St. Louis Trip Guide | Midwest Living

St. Louis Trip Guide

Once the jumping off point for westward-bound pioneers, this major metro is a destination in its own right. Attractions include Forest Park, The Gateway Arch, 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.


Anheuser-Busch brewery tours Free tours show the how-to of beer making and include product sampling, plus a peek at the brew house and the Clydesdale stables (though most horses live on nearby Grant’s Farm).

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

Cherokee Antique Row As the name implies, antiques shops line this street, but there are also retro boutiques and coffeehouses in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, anchored by the supposedly haunted Lemp Mansion.

Citygarden Download the app for stories behind the artwork in this family-friendly mecca of sculpture, splash fountains and greenery.

City Museum Yes, it’s surreal, but the mishmash of a ball pit, the world’s largest pair of men’s briefs and a serious exhibit on architect Louis Sullivan works.

Forest Park Larger than New York City’s Central Park, Forest Park brims with free activities. The Missouri History Museum opens World War I: Missouri and the Great War April 6, 2017. The science center has a planetarium, flight simulators and life-size T. rex. Among the art museum’s 33,000 pieces are works by Picasso and van Gogh. Other attractions include the zoo, ice rink, golf course and tennis center. Rent a pedal boat at The Boathouse, or stretch your legs on trails that attract joggers, walkers, bicyclists and skaters.

Forest Park

Forest Park

The Gateway Arch Ride up the Arch in a Jetsons-like pod for 30-mile views. The Arch museum and the grounds around the Arch are undergoing renovations until late in 2017.

Historic Old Courthouse One of the nation’s first iron domes crowns the courthouse where Dred Scott sued for freedom in 1846. Exhibits cover the Scott case as well as westward expansion. The building also serves as the temporary ticketing and visitors center for the Arch during renovations.

Missouri Botanical Garden Explore 79 acres of gardens and conservatories in the heart of the city near Tower Grove Park. Highlights include a children’s garden, Japanese Garden and Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures.

The Muny This theater stages outdoor musical productions in Forest Park. The 2017 summer season includes A Chorus Line and

The Pageant The nightclub’s unobstructed sight lines make it a top venue to see live acts, such as Meghan Trainor, Wilco and Elvis Costello.

Peabody Opera House Returned to its 1934 Art Deco glory, the former opera house hosts entertainers like Jimmy Fallon and the Blue Man Group.

Pin-Up Bowl Score big fun bowling and drinking martinis in the retro alley in the Delmar Loop.

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

Saint Louis Art Museum

Saint Louis Art Museum

Soulard Five minutes south of downtown is about as close as you can get to feeling like you’re in New Orleans without being in Louisiana. The district is known to locals as the Island and takes pride in its annual festivals and huge Mardi Gras parade. The city’s largest farmers market is open Wednesdays through Saturdays year-round.

StL Culinary Tours Understand the city's culture through food on tours of Delmar Loop, Kirkwood, Webster Groves and more.


Bailey’s Range Choose from about 20 burgers made with grass-fed beef, pork, chicken, lamb or bison in a funky former Bell Telephone building.

BB’s Jazz, Blues and Soups Downtown, you’ll find great catfish nuggets, gumbo and sweet potato fries.

Blueberry Hill Head to the Delmar Loop music club and eatery to enjoy hickory-seasoned burgers, 18 draught taps and 62 bottled beers;  hear singers like Ed Sheeran.

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) It serves famous toasted ravioli, said to have been created in St. Louis. Service and from-scratch items, like three-pepper cream seafood pasta and six-layer lasagna, are two reasons for its longevity.

Charlie Gitto's (on The Hill)

Charlie Gitto's (on The Hill)

Cicero’s Great location, great vibe and even greater pizza make Cicero’s a must in the bustling Delmar Loop neighborhood.

Clementine's 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."

Copia Knowledgeable servers help diners choose from the 1,000-plus wines in this trendy spot decorated with mannequins in custom gowns.

Crown Candy Kitchen Luscious sundaes keep this 1913 spot going strong. 

Fitz’s Bottling Company Soda jerks pull root beer from the tap and create giant ice cream float creations. Watch as Fitz’s original 1940s bottling equipment rolls out sodas in the Delmar Loop spot.

Gaslight The big draw to this bar? A profesional recording studio in the back of the lounge. Sip craft cocktails and nibble tacos while seeing artists perform.

Gus’ Pretzels Locals line up at 6:30 a.m. for pretzels, some stuffed with bratwurst, salsiccia or hotdogs. Sauces and cheese toppers make them even better.

Molly’s in Soulard Alligator rangoon is popular at this place known for Cajun and Creole food and live music.

Pi Pizzeria In the Delmar Loop, locally grown ingredients top the specialty and create-your-own thin-crust and deep-dish pizza options.

Porano Pasta Quick, affordable noodles go upscale at chef Gerard Craft's Italian eatery. We're partial to the Smoky Sunday Sugo sauce.

Rooster Downtown The European-influenced cafe near the Garment District serves buttery crepes, fluffy pancakes and eggy French toast all day. Or be traditional and have soup and a sandwich for lunch.

Salt and Smoke The pitmasters have a hipster flair at this 'cue star in the Delmar Loop neighborhood. The popovers always get double takes.

SweetArt Bake Shop and Art Studio One couple’s passion for African-American art and baked goods resulted in this eatery and gallery in the Shaw neighborhood.

Trattoria Marcella Italian comfort foods fill the menu at this family restaurant.

Winslow’s Home A 1926 building that was originally a general store has become a gift shop-cafe. Try the spinach, egg and cheese breakfast burrito or a brisket sandwich.


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

The Cheshire The Tudor-style property near Forest Park decorates with a British theme.

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 Amenities such as free popcorn and soda, a pool, and complimentary early evening snacks—plus a prime downtown location—make this a family-friendly choice.

Embassy Suites St. Louis Downtown Contemporary suites feel like roomy apartments.

Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis Enjoy Arch views, spacious rooms, a spa and gourmet restaurant Cielo, where the chef makes traditional Italian food using herbs and veggies from rooftop gardens.

Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark Rooms and the rooftop bar, 360, provide views of Busch Stadium and the Arch.

Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark

Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark

Hotel Ignacio Reflecting its artsy neighborhood, the hotel’s hallways and 49 rooms have artistic touches like oversize photographs.

Magnolia St. Louis A $20 million renovation freshened the 1926 downtown hotel but left cool vintage touches, like the crystal chandeliers in Robie's Restaurant and Lounge.

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

St. Louis Union Station The luxury hotel in an 1894 building is within walking distance of the MetroLink.

St. Louis Union Station

St. Louis Union Station Hotel

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