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The Best Things to Do in St. Louis, Missouri
After college, Logan and I moved to St. Louis, Missouri where he pursued his degree to become an eye doctor. We lived there for four years and it quickly became a place we loved. We spent countless hours exploring the beautiful parks, drinking craft beer, and checking out the foodie scene in this lovely city – so get ready to fall in love with St. Louis too!
Where is St. Louis?
St. Louis, Missouri is a major U.S. city along the Mississippi River that is full of historic charm, unique restaurants, and the iconic Gateway Arch. Best of all? There are tons of free activities to do in St. Louis too which we will cover some here!
Where to Stay in St. Louis
Since we lived in St. Louis we never actually stayed in a hotel there. Minus the time we stayed in a small budget hotel when Logan was interviewing but it wouldn’t have been convenient for this guide of things to do in St. Louis. But we did get a few recommendations from friends and family who have stayed in hotels in St. Louis and have toured a few of them ourselves!
BUDGET: Days Inn By Wyndham St. Louis Lindbergh Boulevard
MID-RANGE: Moonrise Hotel
LUXURY: Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis OR The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis
FAMILY-FRIENDLY: Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch
Outdoor Experiences in St. Louis
There are so many wonderful parks, trails, and picnic spots in St. Louis so I feel like it’s only fair to dedicate an entire section to them! From sculpture parks, biking and hiking trails, historical buildings along a path, we feel like there is a park that fits everyone’s outdoor style.
Faust Park & Governor Bates Trail
When we lived in St. Louis we spent a lot of time walking around various parks with our dog, Bentley. Faust Park is a great place for families to enjoy a picnic or spend a day at the playground but it has a lot of historical value too. The park grounds are the former farming estate of Missouri’s 2nd governor and you can see many of the charming, historic buildings while walking around the park and Governor Bates Trail. Be sure to also take a ride on the 1920’s antique carousel and visit Sachs Butterfly House.
Location: 5185 Olive Blvd, Chesterfield
Chesterfield Central Park
Chesterfield Central Park is another park that we spent a lot of time at while we lived in St. Louis. It’s was hardly ever crowded but is a central hub for the city of Chesterfield. It has a large outdoor amphitheater for summer concerts and events, beautiful walking paths around a pond that you can practice fishing in, and intriguing sculptures.
Location: 16365 Lydia Hill Dr, Chesterfield
Castlewood State Park
Castlewood State Park is truly one of the gems of St. Louis. It has some of the most beautiful hiking and biking trails we’ve seen in Missouri. You could easily spend a whole day here on the trails, stop and have a picnic, and enjoy some breathtaking scenery. If you are looking for a slightly more time consuming or strenuous hike, Castlewood State Park is your answer!
Location: 1401 Kiefer Creek Rd, Ballwin
Hours: 7am – 7pm, daily
Forest Park is the most prominent park in St. Louis and you’ve probably heard of it before if you’ve been thinking of visiting St. Louis. It is home to over 1,300 acres of land (bigger than New York’s Central Park!) and is the home of many popular St. Louis attractions such as The St. Louis Zoo, The St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri History Museum, The St. Louis Science Center, and The Muny – an outdoor theater.
Location: 5595 Grand Drive, St. Louis
Hours: 6am-10pm, daily
Laumeier Sculpture Park
Laumeier Sculpture Park is a 105-acre park that features fascinating modern art sculptures. The park’s mission is to engage the community through art and nature with its 1.4-mile walking trail and over 60 sculptures.
Location: 12580 Rott Road, St. Louis
Hours: 8am – 30 minutes after sunset, daily
Things to Do in St. Louis
St. Louis Zoo
It’s easy to see why the St. Louis Zoo is ranked as one of the top zoos in the world. It has many terrific attractions and is also located in one of St. Louis’ most beautiful city parks, Forest Park. Their conservation efforts are remarkable and best of all, it’s free to visit!
Location: 1 Government Dr, St. Louis
Hours: 9am – 5pm, daily
Missouri Botanical Gardens
The Missouri Botanical Gardens are the most beautiful we’ve ever visited! It also hosts year-round exhibits and seasonal festivals that are all unique and often celebrating various cultures. In the summer we have enjoyed going to the free jazz festivals in the gardens, the Lantern Festival (Summer), the Japanese Festival (Labor Day weekend), and the Garden Glow (winter).
Location: 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis
Hours: 9am – 5pm, daily
Cost: $8/adults, FREE/children 12 and under
St. Louis Art Museum
The St. Louis Art Museum is an expansive museum that offers paintings, sculptures, and other fine arts from around the world. I personally loved the contemporary and modern art sections!
Location: 1 Fine Arts Dr, St. Louis
Hours: Sunday: 10am – 5pm, Monday: Closed, Tuesday – Thursday: 10am – 5pm, Friday: 10am – 9pm
The Fabulous Fox Theatre
The Fabulous Fox Theatre is a former movie palace now turned swanky theater. The inside of the theater exhibits lavish decor that will make you feel like you stepped back in time. Each year, it hosts varying iconic performances such as The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, and Mamma Mia!
Location: 527 N Grand Blvd, St Louis
The Delmar Loop
The Delmar Loop is one of my favorite neighborhoods for day and night entertainment, shopping, and my favorite part is the emerging international foodie scene. A few places you should definitely visit while on the loop are Blueberry Hill for live music and cute 50’s diner vibes, the Tivoli Theater for a movie, and stop at Fitz’s for a rootbeer float.
Location: 6504 Delmar Blvd, University City
St. Louis is a city of beer, but let’s talk about the one that started it all for this city, Anheuser-Busch. At the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, you can go on a complimentary 45-minute tour and observe the 7-Step Brewing Process. After, you’ll get to enjoy a pint of Budweiser and also see the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales at the historic stables built in 1885.
Location: 1200 Lynch Street, St. Louis
Hours: Sunday: 11am – 5pm, Monday – Thursday: 9am-5pm, Friday & Saturday: 9am – 5:30pm
The City Museum
Bring out your inner kid at the City Museum, where you can explore without maps and boundaries. There are over 30 slides, miles of tunnels, caves, and a large outdoor climbing space. Prepare to get lost in this amazing exhibit that is fun for all ages!
Location: 750 N 16th St, St. Louis
Hours: Sunday: 11am – 5pm, Monday – Thursday: 9am – 5pm, Friday & Saturday: 9am – 12am
Cost: $12/person or $10/person if Friday or Saturday after 5pm
Even if you aren’t a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals seeing a game at Busch Stadium is one of the best things to do in St. Louis. The best part? You can bring your own food and beverages (just not alcohol) to the games!
Location: 700 Clark Avenue, St. Louis
The Gateway Arch
Of course, no stop is complete in St. Louis without a visit to the iconic Gateway Arch. The views from the bottom are quite nice, but the views from the top of the arch are unbeatable!
Location: 100 Washington Ave, St. Louis
Hours: 8am – 10pm, daily
Cost: $13/adult, $10/kids
READ MORE: The Perfect Romantic Getaway from St. Louis
Places to Eat in St. Louis
BRUNCH IN ST. LOUIS
Half & Half
If you’re looking for a casual homemade breakfast and brunch spot Half and Half is the perfect place. I recommend trying the Tess’ Toast with lemon curd and fresh berries or one of their egg hashes. One of my favorite things about Half and Half is the rotating coffee flavors available.
Location: 8133 Maryland Ave, St. Louis
Hours: Sunday & Saturday: 8am – 2pm, Tuesday – Friday: 7am – 2pm, Closed Mondays
City Coffeehouse & Creperie
City Coffeehouse & Creperie is a cozy European breakfast spot that offers a large menu of savory and sweet crepes. Our favorites include the frittata with eggs, pesto, tomato, and roasted red peppers or the fresh fruit crepes.
Location: 36 N Brentwood Blvd, St. Louis
Hours: Monday – Friday: 6:30am – 3pm, Saturday & Sunday: 7am – 3pm
Another European-style cafe that is a great brunch restaurant in St. Louis is Rooster. Get one of their sweet or savory crepes or the brunch burger. But don’t miss out on their award-winning Bloody Marys!
Location: 1104 Locust St, St. Louis
Hours: 8am-3pm daily
LUNCH OR DINNER IN ST. LOUIS
One of our favorite BBQ restaurants in St. Louis is Pappy’s Smokehouse. It’s a casual order-at-the-counter restaurant known for wood-smoked Memphis-style barbecue. Get some of their dry-rubbed, slow-smoked ribs, and the smoked pulled chicken breast or pork.
Location: 3106 Olive St, St. Louis
Hours: 11am – 8pm, daily
Another favorite St. Louis BBQ Restaurant is Sugarfire Smokehouse. Sugarfire prides itself on twisting up the traditional style of barbecue. Their pulled pork, turkey, and salmon are all amazing menu options and their sides are drool-worthy too. After your feast, treat yourself to one of their boozy milkshakes!
Location: 605 Washington Avenue, St. Louis (other locations available)
Hours: 11am – sold out, daily
While it might not look like much from the outside in its strip mall location, Roberto’s Trattoria is perfect for a romantic evening. They offer a variety of traditional Southern Italian food & steaks but don’t miss out on a bowl of their lobster bisque as well!
Location: 145 Concord Plaza, St. Louis
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 4:30pm – 10pm
Charlie Gittos is another longtime Italian favorite in St. Louis with a classic yet romantic atmosphere. The service is always impeccable and their classic favorites such as lasagna and manicotti are delicious as are the seafood entrees!
Location: 5226 Shaw Ave, St. Louis
Hours: Sunday 4pm – 9pm, Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 10pm, Friday & Saturday: 5pm – 11pm
All good Midwesterners love ranch so join the party and become a ranch addict at Twisted Ranch. Twisted Ranch has over 27 flavors to choose from that pair with their house-made menu items.
Location: 1730 S 8th St, St. Louis
Hours: Sunday: 11am – 3pm, Tuesday – Saturday: 11am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 9pm, closed Mondays
Mission Taco Joint
If you’re looking for a unique twist on street tacos, Mission Taco Joint is where it’s at! The al la carte street tacos, burritos, and other side items are all delicious and offered in a swanky setting where you can chat with friends and sip on margaritas.
Location: 908 Lafayette Ave, St. Louis (other locations available)
Hours: Sunday: 11am – Midnight, Monday – Saturday: 11am – 1am
Cooper’s Hawk is a contemporary American fare restaurant with an amazing selection of wine. It is not only a great place for a romantic dinner or birthday celebration, but it also has one of the best happy hours in St. Louis! Don’t miss out on their $5 glasses of wine or cocktails and some heavy appetizers to enjoy for dinner.
Location: 1146 Town and Country Crossing Dr, Town and Country
Hours: Sunday: 11am – 9pm, Monday – Thursday: 11am – 9:30pm, Friday & Saturday: 11am – 10:30pm
Sauce on the Side
Sauce on the Side is a casual restaurant that is entirely dedicated to calzones. These giant calzones can be created entirely to your liking or you can pick one from their menu choices like the Roasty Toasty with chicken, pesto, arugula, mozzarella, and garlic oil or the Figgy Piggy with applewood smoked bacon, figs, balsamic onions, Boursin cheese, mozzarella, ricotta, and honey oil.
Location: 7810 Forsyth Blvd, Clayton (other locations available)
Hours: Closed Sunday, Monday – Wednesday: 11am – 1opm, Thursday – Saturday: 11am – 11pm
Pi Pizzeria does pizza a little differently than the rest. These freshly baked deep-dish pies are made with a cornmeal crust and topped with a variety of yummy ingredients. We love the Delmar – their take on BBQ Chicken Pizza and the western addition which is loaded with veggies. Don’t forget to order some local craft beer to enjoy with each slice!
Location: 6144 Delmar Boulevard, St. Louis (other locations available)
Hours: Sunday 11am – 10pm, Monday – Thursday, 11am – 11pm, Friday – Saturday, 11am – 12am
Schlafly has some of our favorite beer in St. Louis but they also have a terrific restaurant at their Brewpub location. All of the food they serve is responsibly grown and mindfully farm-to-table. P.S. Schlafly also has a great brunch!
Location: 7260 Southwest Ave, Maplewood
Hours: Sunday 11am-10pm, Monday-Thursday 11am-11pm, Friday & Saturday 11am-12am
DESSERTS IN ST. LOUIS
You know you’ve got a good thing when it’s been a success for over 80 years! Ted Drewes has an amazing menu of frozen custard and concrete choices.
Location: 6726 Chippewa St. Louis, MO 63109
Hours: 11am – 11pm, daily
Fitz’s Root Beer
We wouldn’t recommend Fitz’s for the food, but definitely go for the floats! Of course, you can get a traditional root beer float but also can mix it up with one of Fitz’s other soda flavors. Trust us, these are big enough to share.
Location: 6605 Delmar Boulevard, Saint Louis
Hours: Sunday – Thursday,11am – 9pm, Friday & Saturday, 11am – 10pm
We hope that this guide to things to do in St. Louis has been helpful in planning your trip to St. Louis! We loved living in this amazing city and know you’ll love any amount of time you’ll spend there.