Top Things to Do in St. Louis

Once the jumping off point for westward-bound pioneers, this major metro is a destination in its own right. Attractions include Forest Park, Gateway Arch National Parkl, the Missouri Botanical Garden and a top-notch food scene. Check out our trip guide for what to do, where to eat and where to stay.

Citygarden St. Louis Missouri
Citygarden. Photo: Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux


Anheuser-Busch brewery tours

Visitors can choose from several tours, including the Beermaster Tour and a Clydedale VIP experience.

Ballpark Village

Cardinals fans can spread out in an outdoor plaza next to Busch Stadium for food, drinks and live baseball shown on large-screen TVs (as well as other entertainment on nonbaseball nights).

Big Muddy Adventures

Set out on the mighty Mississippi and Missouri rivers by canoe, kayak or paddleboard for a guided exploration. Experiences like Full Moon Floats include a chef-created gourmet campfire dinner.

Busch Stadium

Perennial World Series contenders, the Cardinals play in front of 46,000 fans in the retro-style stadium. For more celebrated moments, visit the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum in Ballpark Village.

Cherokee Antique Row

One of the city's most vibrant stretches comprises a cultural mash-up of retro boutiques, genteel antiques shops, Mexican bakeries and paleterias, coffeehouses, and a saxophone museum.


This 2.9-acre family-friendly mecca includes sculpture, splash fountains and greenery.

City Museum St. Louis
City Museum. Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux

City Museum

Yes, it's surreal, but this museum's mishmash of a ball pit, caves, a playground with an airplane and a serious exhibit on architect Louis Sullivan somehow works.

Forest Park St. Louis
Forest Park. Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux

Forest Park

Larger than New York City's Central Park, Forest Park brims with free and low-cost attractions, including the Missouri History Museum, the Saint Louis Art Museum, a science center and top-rated zoo.

Gateway Arch National Park
Courtesy of Gateway Arch Park Foundation

Gateway Arch National Park

Take a tram ride to the top in a Jetsons-like pod for 30-mile views and check out the fully reimagined history museum, part of a $380 million renovation of the park.

Kiener Plaza

The 1.9-acre park west of the Old Courthouse reopened with a new fountain, event space and splash pad, part of the Arch renovation project.

Missouri Botanical Garden

Explore 79 acres of gardens and conservatories. Highlights include a 14-acre Japanese Garden and Dale Chihuly's glass sculptures.

The Muny

The outdoor theater celebrates more than 100 years of performances in Forest Park with a mix of new and fan-favorite musicals.

National Blues Museum

Galleries transport visitors through the decades with decor and blues music from around the country. Put together your own blues song on interactive stations.

Pin-Up Bowl

Score big fun bowling and drinking martinis in the retro alley in the Delmar Loop.

Saint Louis Art Museum
Saint Louis Art Museum. Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux

Saint Louis Art Museum

This free museum's $130 million East Building focuses on modern and contemporary art like Ellsworth Kelly's Spectrum II.


The district takes pride in its annual festivals and huge Mardi Gras parade. The city's largest farmers market is open Wednesdays through Saturdays.

St. Louis Aquarium At Union Station

The two-story aquarium is the center of a $187 million family entertainment complex that also includes a 200-foot-tall ferris wheel.

Stifel Theatre

Returned to its 1934 Art Deco glory, the former opera house hosts entertainers like Trevor Noah and the Blue Man Group.

World Chess Hall of Fame

Play a round on the oversize board outside the museum before exploring interactive exhibits about chess' impact on history and culture.

Eat and Drink

Bailey's Range

Choose from about 20 burgers made with beef, chicken, bison or veggies—plus boozy shakes—in this eatery inside a funky former Bell Telephone building.

Balkan Treat Box

The brick-and-mortar location of a wildly popular food truck serves specialties such as cevapi (grilled meats) and pide (Turkish flatbread with toppings) in the suburb of Webster Groves.

BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups

At this downtown jazz and blues club, you'll find great catfish nuggets, gumbo and sweet potato fries.

Blondie's Coffee, Wine and Dessert Bar

The destination for pastries and dessert in a loft setting also serves breakfasts and lunches.

Blueberry Hill

Head to the Delmar Loop music club to enjoy hickory-seasoned burgers, 18 draught taps, 64 bottled beers and shows in the Duck Room.

Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar

A story-tall wall of wine indicates what might pair best with cheese, charcuterie and inventive entrees at this downtown spot.

Charlie Gitto's (on The Hill) St. Louis
Charlie Gitto's (on The Hill). Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux

Charlie Gitto's (on The Hill)

It's famous for toasted ravioli, said to have been created in St. Louis. Service and from-scratch items, like six-layer lasagna, are two reasons for its longevity.


The booze-filled "Naughty" part of the ice cream menu tempts with flavors like Chocolate Cabernet. But nonalcoholic Gooey Butter Cake might bring you over to "Nice."

Crown Candy Kitchen

Luscious sundaes and heart-stopping BLTs keep this 1913 spot going strong.

Fitz's Bottling Company

Soda jerks pull root beer from the tap and create giant ice cream floats. See Fitz's 1940s bottling equipment in the Delmar Loop spot.

Gus' Pretzels

A local favorite for pretzels, some stuffed with bratwurst, salsiccia or hotdogs. Sauces and cheese toppers make them even better.

Lona's Lil Eats

The vegan-friendly Fox Park neighborhood gem is a favorite for fresh Asian fare, like giant rice-paper wraps, noodle bowls and dumplings.

Molly's in Soulard

Alligator rangoon is popular at this place known for Cajun and Creole food and live music.


An artist-chef couple runs a vegan-friendly cafe where you can nibble from-scratch breakfast and lunch treats while admiring colorful paintings.

customers inside Nathaniel Reid Bakery
Nathaniel Reid Bakery. Erik Kellar Photography

Nathaniel Reid Bakery

Pound cakes, pastries and other treats are works of art at this Kirkwood spot.

Olive + Oak

The Webster Groves bistro shines with steaks; comfort dishes like catfish with red beans and rice; and a solid selection of sides, such as blistered peppers and roasted beets.


Contemporary Mexican cuisine—such as tacos with confit pork belly and pineapple pico—shines in a retrofitted garage bay in Botanical Heights.

Pi Pizzeria

Each location spotlights local ingredients to top specialty and create-your-own pizzas.

Rooster Downtown

The European-influenced cafe serves buttery crepes and eggy French toast all day.

Salt and Smoke St. Louis Missouri
Salt and Smoke. Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux

Salt and Smoke

This hipster 'cue star has expanded into four neighborhoods; ribs are to die for, and the unexpected popovers tend to get a double-take.

Trattoria Marcella

Italian comfort foods fill the menu at this family restaurant.


Dishes at this award-winning restaurant emphasize creatively prepared vegetables (and proteins), such as Missouri wheat berries with grilled broccoli and goat cheese.

Grand Suite
Courtesy of Angad Arts Hotel


Angad Arts Hotel

Why stop at bed size? This 146-room boutique hotel in the Grand Center Arts District invites guests to book a stay by emotion, with color schemes to match—or stoke?—your mood.

Dwell 912

The two-story apartment in an 1885 home has its own entrance, a balcony and full kitchen.

Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch

Families love amenities like free popcorn and soda, a pool, free breakfast, and a prime downtown location.

Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Louis Downtown

Contemporary suites feel like roomy apartments steps from the convention center.

Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis

Enjoy Arch views, a spa, and gourmet restaurant Cinder House, with South American-inspired dishes at this luxury spot.

Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark
Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark. Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux

Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark

Rooms and the rooftop bar, 360, provide views of Busch Stadium and the Arch.

Magnolia Hotel St. Louis

A $15 million renovation freshened the 1924 downtown hotel but left cool vintage touches, like crystal chandeliers.

Moonrise Hotel

From the rotating orb on the roof to photos of space on the walls, a lunar theme pervades this boutique hotel near Blueberry Hill.

The Royal Sonesta Chase Park Plaza Hotel

Stay in a landmark with a pool, and walk to nearby Forest Park.

St. Louis Union Station
St. Louis Union Station Hotel. Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux

St. Louis Union Station Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton

Enter the luxury hotel through the Grand Hall, where guests can grab a cocktail or watch 3-D light shows on the vaulted ceiling.

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