A Quick Travel Guide to St. Louis, Missouri

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis

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!

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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

Moonrise Hotel

Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis OR The Ritz-Carlton St. Louis

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

Faust Park in St. Louis, Missouri
One of the old buildings you’ll see on Governor Bates Trail in Faust Park.

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

Barn at Faust Park in St. Louis, Missouri
One of our favorite views was the road leading up to the old barn at Faust Park.

Chesterfield Central Park

Chesterfield Central Park in St. Louis
A view of the pond at 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

The Awakening Sculpture at Chesterfield Central Park in St. Louis
One of the interesting sculptures you’ll find at Chesterfield Central Park.

Castlewood State Park

View from Castlewood State Park in St. Louis
Castlewood State Park boasts some of the best views you can enjoy while on a hike.

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

Pond at Forest Park in St. Louis
View of the pond at Forest Park.

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
Cost: FREE

Laumeier Sculpture Park

Eye sculpture at Laumeier Sculpture Park
Eye sculpture at 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
8am – 30 minutes after sunset, daily

Things to Do in St. Louis

St. Louis Zoo

Giraffe at the St. Louis Zoo.
Giraffe at the 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
Cost: FREE

Missouri Botanical Gardens

Missouri Botanical Gardens
Such beautiful views at the 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 celebrate 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

St. Louis Art Museum
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
Cost: FREE

The Fabulous Fox Theatre

The Fabulous Fox Theater in St Louis, Missouri
The Fabulous Fox Theater

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 in St. Louis
Blueberry Hill on 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

Anheuser-Busch Brewery

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
Cost: FREE

The City Museum

City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri
A few of the slides at the City Museum in St. Louis.

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

Busch Stadium

Busch Stadium in St. Louis
Spend an evening at Busch Stadium watching the Cardinals play!

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

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis
The Gateway Arch is an iconic symbol of St. Louis.

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
$13/adult, $10/kids

READ MORE: The Perfect Romantic Getaway from St. Louis

Places to Eat 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


Pappy’s Smokehouse

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

Sugarfire Smokehouse

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

Roberto’s Trattoria

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

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

Twisted Ranch

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)
: Sunday: 11am – Midnight, Monday – Saturday: 11am – 1am

Cooper’s Hawk

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

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


Ted Drewes

Ted Drewes - St Louis, Missouri
Ted Drewes

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

Fitz's Root Beer - St. Louis
Peanut Butter Cup Root Beer Float at Fitz’s

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.

St. Louis, Missouri is full of historic charm, unique restaurants, and the iconic Gateway Arch. Check out these fun things to do in St. Louis and places to eat in St. Louis.

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