St Louis, MO Top Ten Vacation Ideas

1)     Gateway Arch

St. Louis Riverfront
St. Louis, MO 63102
(314) 982-1410
http://www.gatewayarch.com/

The Gateway Arch Riverfront, highlighted by the majestic Gateway Arch, attracts more than four million guests each year. At 630 ft., our nation’s tallest man-made monument has plenty of exciting activities. Take the tram ride to the top, see a documentary film, experience a giant screen movie, visit the Museum of Westward Expansion and go shopping. Open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Extended summer hours.

2)     Forest Park – http://stlouis.missouri.org/citygov/parks/forestpark/

Owned and operated by the City of St. Louis, Forest Park is one of 105 city parks under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry.

Forest Park, officially opened to the public on June 24, 1876, is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. At 1,293 acres, it is approximately 500 acres larger than Central Park in New York.

In 1904, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition..The St. Louis World’s Fair…drew more than 20 million visitors from around the world to Forest Park.

Today, it attracts more than 12 million visitors a year. It is more than a scenic backdrop to our city. It is an active participant and catalyst in the St. Louis community. Monuments, historic buildings, wildlife, waterways and landscapes combine to form a unique cultural institution that is vitally important to the entire St. Louis region. The park is recognized as an important gathering place where people of all ages, races and economic backgrounds can gather and mix in a positive way.

It is the home to the region’s major cultural institutions – the Zoo, Art Museum, History Museum, Science Center and the Muny Opera. It also serves as a sports center for golf, tennis, baseball, bicycling, boating, fishing, handball, ice skating, rollerblading, jogging, rugby and more. FREE

3)     St Louis Zoo – Forest Park  http://www.stlzoo.org/  (800) 966-8877

Home to more than 18,000 exotic animals, many of them rare and endangered. These 700 species represent the major continents and biomes of the world. Set in the rolling hills, lakes and glades of Forest Park, the Saint Louis Zoo is always a great place to be. FREE

4)     St Louis Arts Museum – Forest Park http://www.slam.org/ (314) 721-0072 

Built as the Fine Arts Palace of the 1904 World’s Fair, the St. Louis Arts Museum is one of the nation’s leading comprehensive art museums. Collections include works of art of exceptional quality from virtually every culture and time period. Highlights include free admission to special exhibitions on Fridays and programs that range from films to performances. FREE

5)     St Louis Science Center – Forest Park http://www.slsc.org/ (800) 456-7572

Explore 700+ exhibits, the OMNIMAX-Theater, planetarium, special traveling exhibitions, and more. Group rates available. Open daily. No general admission charge.

6)      Missouri Botanical Gardens – http://www.mobot.org/ (800) 642-8842 

A National Historic Landmark, the Gardens were founded in 1859 with 79 acres of scenic landscaping and historic structures. Don’t miss the Climatron tropical rain forest, the Japanese Garden, Seiwa-en and founder Henry Shaw’s Victorian home. Seasonal narrated tram tours, restaurant, gift shop. Free parking on-site. Adults, $8; children 12 and under are free.

7)     Anheuser-Busch Brewery – www.budweisertours.com (314) 577-2626

Tours include the historic Brew House, Budweiser Clydesdale stable, beechwood lagering cellar, packaging plant, hospitality room and Anheuser-Busch gift shop. Open daily. FREE.

8)     Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site – https://cahokiamounds.org/

The story of Native Americans in St. Louis begins before the arrival of explorers and pioneers when the region was home to an enormous city called Cahokia. The 20,000-person metropolis thrived from AD 700 until sometime after AD 1300. When European explorers first mapped the Mississippi River in the 1500s, the great city of Mound Builders had been abandoned.

Today at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site and Interpretive Center in Illinois, visitors can enter the world of the Mound Builders. Walk in their footsteps up Monk’s Mound, the largest of the area’s surviving earthen structures, and see the 2,200-acre United Nations World Heritage Site below. Special events throughout the year bring visitors closer to the lives of the early residents. At Mastodon State Historic Site in Imperial, Missouri, half an hour south of downtown St. Louis, the relationship between the Ice Age mammals and the prehistoric Native American tribes that hunted them is explored. In the so-called Historic Period, after the arrival of the French, the Missouri and Osage tribes dominated the St. Louis region, but by the 1820s, most tribes had headed west. The Trail of Tears, marking the forced march of the Cherokee nation from the East Coast to the established Indian Territory of the West, brought additional Native Americans through Missouri.

9) Six Flags – https://www.sixflags.com/stLouis/index.aspx (636) 938-4800

Non-stop, over-the-top, high-speed thrills around every turn. Heart-pounding roller coasters, family rides and attractions are just the ticket to fun for kids of all ages. Visit Hurricane Harbor, a 12-acre water park, free with theme park admission.

10) St Louis Cardinals (Baseball), Rams (Football) & Blues (Hockey)

St. Louis Cardinals https://www.mlb.com/cardinals 314-345-9000

Catch exciting Major League Baseball action and cheer for the St. Louis Cardinals, 10-time World Series Champions. If you reserve your vacation at Harpole’s Heartland Lodge before February of the current year, we can set you up with great seats. Busch Stadium tours, (314) 345-9565.

St. Louis Rams http://www.stlouisrams.com/ (314) 425-8830

The National Football League’s St. Louis Rams play home games in the Edward Jones Dome in downtown St. Louis, Aug.- Dec. https://www.therams.com/.

St. Louis Blues https://blues.nhl.com/ (314) 622-5400

A member of the National Hockey League, the Blues’ season runs Oct. – Apr., followed by the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Please contact each location directly to check on hours of operation and directions.