Top Attractions in St. Louis
This memorial to America's westward expansion is also an engineering wonder, of which St. Louisans are proud for more than 50 years. Eero Saarinen designed and submitted the stainless steel Gateway Arch during a national competition. It rises 630ft in the air and spans about 630ft from leg to leg. The Museum of Westward Expansion has more information about the arch's history and the Gateway Arch Visitors Center. The building was opened in July 2018 and features six galleries that tell the story of the West. The park boasts over 5 miles of biking and walking paths.
It's not a charge to use the Gateway Arch on the ground. However, former travelers recommend paying $10 to $13 to take a ride up to the top to see the incredible views from the sky. A one-hour sightseeing cruise ticket costs $20 for adults, and $10 for children 3-15 years old, to get a stunning view from another vantage point in the summer months. You can purchase tickets for both activities in advance at the Gateway Arch ticket portal.
Forest Park is massive. For an idea of its size, think about this: It is approximately 500 acres bigger than New York City's Central Park. This "forest" contains nearly 1,300 acres of activities. There are many things to do within the forest, including a zoo, summer concerts, museums and fish hatcheries. You can also walk its trails and boat its watersways, or swing your racket at its tennis courts. You won't be bored if you just glance at the map.
If you are looking for some St. Louis history, there is plenty to be found on-site. Forest Park has been open since 1876 and has hosted the 1904 World's Fair. The proceeds from the 1904 World's Fair were used in 1909 to build the park's World's Fair Pavilion, which is now open to the public. The Cabanne House, which is the oldest brick farmhouse west of the Mississippi, can also be found in the park.
This beautiful, neoByzantine Roman Catholic cathedral was built less than a century after the completion of many churches throughout Europe. However, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis is well-known for its extensive mosaic collection. The installation is home to nearly 42 million pieces of glass tesserae, making it one the largest in the world.
Many people recommend spending several hours at the cathedral to see its vast mosaic collection. Be sure to verify the church's hours of operation. Tours are not permitted during Mass.
There are lions, tigers, and bears everywhere! These three species of mammals are housed at the Saint Louis Zoo, but they also board armadillos and sloths as well as penguins. You can also see stingrays, but they have been clipped.
The attraction's wide variety of animals is not the only reason past visitors have praised it. Recent visitors raved about the free admission and the large, natural enclosures that were created for the animals. The zoo is large enough that you might want to take more time to see it. If you want to avoid crowds, plan your visit on a weekday or arrive early.
Grant's Farm was constructed by Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant. Grant settled on the land in 1854 to raise cattle and farm it. The Civil War helped Grant to become the first president in 1869.
The property was saved by August A. Busch Sr. after Grant left the land. It has remained in the Busch family ever since. Grant's Farm now covers 281 acres and hosts concerts, animal shows, and petting zoos. Some of Budweiser’s Clydesdale horses are also housed in the stables. It's no surprise that many St. Louis visitors have rated this attraction as worth the effort, despite the high fees for special activities.