My article original appeared in Houston Style Magazine at www.stylemagazine.com.
In my series of must visit U.S. cities, St. Louis makes the list with its many family and budget friendly attractions. From breweries and casinos to museums and parks, the city boasts many amusements along with historical sites and a plethora of culinary delights that are sure to satisfy any palette.
Here are a few of some well-known attractions along with a few newly discovered gems that should be visited during your stay in St. Louis
The Gateway Arch
What’s a trip to St. Louis without getting up close and personal with the iconic Gateway Arch.? This magnificent stainless steel monument rises about 630 feet into the city’s beautiful skyline. Although it’s free to view from the ground, we highly suggest traveling up the arch to marvel at the city’s incredible aerial views. We guarantee that both adults and children alike will have loads of fun taking selfies while riding up to the top in the arch’s sci-fi like pods (seats up to 4).
If visiting during warm months, hop aboard a 19th century paddle-wheel boat replica for a one-hour narrated cruise down the mighty Mississippi. This activity is highly recommended for those wanting to photographically capture views of the arch and other inspiring architecture. (Cruises run daily March-November.)
Missouri Botanical Garden
You don’t have to necessarily be a lover of everything flora and fauna to appreciate this particular St. Louis attraction. As a matter of fact, it is a perfect destination for some fun with the kids, lots of magical discoveries, and an even more serene atmosphere for an afternoon of walking and self-meditation or perhaps even a picnic lunch date. From the interactive and educational Children’s Garden to a 14 acre Japanese Garden to a real rainforest experience with waterfalls and tropical birds, this 79 acres of lush gardens, stunning landscape, and whimsical sculptures should definitely be on your list during your visit to St. Louis. If visiting during the winter months, the holiday lights and decorations are sure to be a treat!
Missouri History Museum
For those that enjoy reveling in a little nostalgia, he Missouri History Museum is the place for you. While the museum does offer permanent exhibits, it also offers short-term special exhibits such as the “ Route 66: Main Street Through St Louis” exhibit. Take a step back and get your kicks learning about this famous road and its history. And to make this experience an even better one, entry is FREE! Side note: perfect time to mention that St. Louis is home to over 25 free attractions, which include most of the city’s museums along with its zoo.
While this museum isn’t free like most of the St. Louis museums, the City Museum is at the top of our list for children of all ages. (Yes, we guarantee that moms and dads will have just as much fun.) The museum can best be described as an interactive, eclectic, and creative playground filled with endless fun. From tunnels to ball pits, to a rooftop ferris wheel, this wondrous architectural funhouse will inspire hours of imaginative and explorative fun. Oh, and for our 21 and up readers, you might want to partake in an adult beverage at the museum’s rooftop cantina and enjoy the sunset before taking another adventure down the 10-story spiral slide.
Can’t visit St. Louis without stopping to snap a photo or two of the world famous Clydesdales. And for the beer lovers out there, what better place to be at than the Anheuser-Busch Brewery? The free 45 minute tour guides you through one of the oldest operating breweries in the country and offers two complimentary drinks for visitors 21 years and older. Tours tend to fill up fast so make sure to show up early or maybe even consider taking one of the special tours for a small fee.
EAT St. Louis Food Tour
Did I mention that I love to eat? Like, a lot. And this is why I recommend this culinary and historical tour, especially if you love Italian food as much as I do. So make sure to sign up while visiting St. Louis and let owner Pete Manzo guide you through a three-hour walking tour of the Hill. With six restaurant tastings ranging from St. Louis style pizza (Provel cheese blend) to Gelato Di Riso, said to be the best gelato outside of Italy, this tour is definitely a must for the foodie lovers.
Save room for the Italian Stallion sandwich at John Viviano and Sons (preferably the vegetarian option – I promise you won’t be disappointed!).
Stay tuned for more on St. Louis in next month’s issue
For more information on what to do in St. Louis, visitwww.explorestlouis.com.
[Photos by: Me :)]