You’ll never run out of things to do in St. Louis, but there are some things that just cannot be missed. We have such a colorful culture filled with art, beautiful natural scenery, and incredible history, so we’ve compiled a list of must-see things in St. Louis that definitely deserve a spot on everyone’s bucket list. Whether you’ve seen them before or just haven’t gotten around to visiting these awesome places, we think it’s important to appreciate the things that make this city so special. Here’s a list of 14 things in St. Louis that everyone should see before they die:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Forest Park
This one is a no-brainer; Forest Park is one of the most incredible spots in the city. It's positively packed with things to do and has an amazing history stretching all the way back to 1876. It has served as the site for several significant historical events, including the 1904 World's Fair - Louisiana Purchase Exposition and the swimming, diving, and water polo events for the 1904 Summer Olympics. It's no wonder the park's nickname is the "Heart of St. Louis!"
Forest Park is located at 5595 Grand Dr, St. Louis, MO.
2. The Gateway Arch
Another obvious choice for a St. Louis Bucket List, but it would be a crime not to include this stunning city icon! If you have yet to make the trek up to the observation deck, we question your status as a true St. Lousian. Sure, you might have a legitimate reason like severe claustrophobia (those elevators are a tight squeeze!) or a crippling fear of heights (at 630 feet, it's the tallest arch in the world!), but for everyone else, this one is a requirement.
The Gateway Arch is located at 100 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO.
3. Saint Louis Art Museum
There's no excuse not to go to this stunning museum in Forest Park - it's free to visit! Nearly half a million people visit the Saint Louis Art Museum each year, and for good reason: it's considered one of the best in the world. The museum's collection contains more than 30,000 individual works, so there is definitely no way you can take them all in in just one trip. There's a little bit of everything here, from ancient artifacts to contemporary modern pieces, and it's home to one of the most diverse collections, featuring works from around the world.
The Saint Louis Art Museum is located in Forest Park at 1 Fine Arts Dr, St. Louis, MO.
4. Cardinals Game
We love our Cards! Whether or not you are a baseball fan, a game at Busch Stadium is an experience that everyone should have at least once in a lifetime. We're famously fierce fans of our sports teams and there's nothing quite like cheering on the home team with thousands of fellow fans. The Cardinals have one of most successful records in Major League Baseball, holding 11 World Series titles (out of 19 appearances), second only to the New York Yankees (who hold 27).
Busch Stadium is located at 700 Clark Ave, St. Louis, MO.
5. Soulard Farmers Market
This incredible historic market has been around since 1779, making in the oldest market west of the Mississippi! More than 100 vendors gather here to sell some fresh fruits, veggies, and other goods, and it's a fun to explore, even if you aren't shopping for produce. While you're there, you should definitely venture out and around the Soulard neighborhood to check out some fantastic live blues and jazz music. If you are looking for some high-energy fun, head on over to Soulard for Mardi Gras or Oktoberfest - they are impossible to describe and an absolutely one-of-a-kind experience.
Soulard Farmers Market is located at 730 Carroll St, St. Louis, MO.
6. City Museum
City Museum is nothing short of a fantasy. This is one of the most unique museums you will ever see and it's DEFINITELY not just for kids. It's part playground, part architectural wonder, and part surrealist art... and totally amazing. This wonderland includes cage-like tunnels to climb, enormous slides (one is 10 stories tall!), eclectic indoor exhibits, circus events, a skate park, and an old-school ferris wheel on the roof that offers some of the best city views in St. Louis!
City Museum is located at 750 N 16th St, St. Louis, MO.
This epic urban park and sculpture garden is always fun to explore! It's open year round and free to visit, which makes it a perfect little oasis in the heart of the city. There are 24 incredible sculptures in the park, beautiful gardens, and a very cool spray fountain that is a popular spot for kids to cool off in the heat of the summer.
CityGarden is located between 8th, 10th, Market, and Chestnut Streets in downtown St. Louis.
8. Saint Louis Zoo
Zoos are awesome, there's no doubt about that, but the Saint Louis Zoo is hands-down one of the finest - it's even celebrated as one of the best animal parks in terms of wildlife management, research, and conservation. It features several different animal exhibits that are sectioned off by ecological and biological similarities, creating a diverse map of the animal kingdom and plenty of opportunities to learn about the creatures that we share our world with! The best part? Admission is free!
The Saint Louis Zoo is located in Forest Park at 1 Government Dr, St. Louis, MO.
9. Old Courthouse
The Old St. Louis County Courthouse has some of the most fascinating historical stories in the city. Built in 1816, the Old Courthouse played a significant role in shaping the history of the United States. It was the site of the 1857 Dred Scott Decision, in which citizenship was infamously denied to an enslaved man suing for his freedom. The event sparked outrage and ultimately set the stage for the Civil War. In 1872, a women's suffrage activist named Virginia Moore was arrested for attempting to register to vote in a U.S. Senate election, opening up an early dialogue for gender equality.
Though these moments in history are certainly not our nation's finest, they are extraordinarily important to progression of our history and are only a few of the incredible stories you can learn about here. The Old Courthouse is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and is now designated as a St. Louis Landmark, U.S. Historical District, and is operated by the National Park System.
The Old Courthouse is located at 11 N 4th St, St. Louis, MO.
10. Anheuser-Busch Brewery
While there are TONS of amazing craft and microbreweries in town, it is impossible to ignore Anheuser-Busch as an American icon and a brand name recognized around the world. The company was founded in 1852, and the original brewery is right here in St. Louis. It is now designated as a National Historic Landmark District, with three individual buildings considered National Historic Landmarks. You can take free tours of this amazing brewery to learn about how beer is brewed and even meet the famous Budweiser Clydesdales at their home stable!
Anheuser-Busch Brewery is located at 1200 Lynch St, St. Louis, MO.
11. Saint Louis Science Center
With over 300,000 square feet and 750 different exhibits, Saint Louis Science Center is one of the largest of its kind in the country! The Science Center was founded in 1963 as a planetarium and has since grown to include the enormous Exploradome, and Omnimax theater, and Taylor Community Science Research Center. The museum showcases interactive exhibits across many disciplines, as well as rotating special exhibitions and events, so there is always something new to learn here... in the most fun way possible (and admission is free!)
The Saint Louis Science Center is located at 5050 Oakland Ave, St. Louis, MO.
12. Missouri History Museum
Another fantastic location within Forest Park, the Missouri History Museum was founded in 1866 and showcases the amazing history of our great state. The gallery contains significant American historical collections, including colonial and Native American artifacts, as well as from the Lewis & Clark Expedition and Charles Lindbergh's transAtlantic flight. Admission to a main museum is free and guarantees you a day of fascinating fun!
The Missouri History Museum is located at 5700 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO.
13. Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
You don't need to be religious to appreciate the spectacular beauty of this Roman Catholic Cathedral in the Central West End. The immense domed ceilings and stunning stained glass windows are absolutely breathtaking. The Cathedral was founded in 1914 and consecrated in 1926, but its most famous feature - the awe-inspiring mosaic that covers almost the entire ceiling - wasn't completed until 1988! It is one of the largest mosaics in the western hemisphere and truly must be seen in person to understand and appreciate how epic this masterpiece is.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis is open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with mass celebrated at 7:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m. and 12:05 p.m. Visitors of all faiths are welcome to attend mass; however, the sanctuary cannot be openly toured at that time. At non-mass times, you can tour the building on your own or join a guided tour on weekdays between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis is located at 4431 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO.
14. Missouri Botanical Garden
If you are looking for a peaceful retreat, look no further than Missouri Botanical Garden. This natural oasis has more than 79 acres of stunning gardens and is internationally recognized as one of most incredible botanical displays, and it is among the oldest of its kind in the United States. Aside from the lovely Japanese Gardens, the impressive Climatron biodome, and amazing works of art sprinkled among the displays, Missouri Botanical Garden also hosts some incredible cultural festivals throughout the year. Like many others on this bucket list, Missouri Botanical Garden is free to visit!
The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, MO.
There’s so much to do in St. Louis, and these are just a handful of the highlights. So many of these spots have ever-changing displays, activities, and experiences, so even if you have visited before, there’s no excuse not to return to learn something new!