St. Louis, Missouri, is a gem of the Midwest and a very popular tourist destination. St. Louis is a mid-sized city with a population of approximately 300,000. It was historically a major port city on the Mississippi River, but now relies on service, manufacturing, trade, and transportation of goods as drivers of the economy. The city is home to multiple major corporations and has become known for its growing medical, pharmaceutical, and research presence. The city also has been defined by music, especially blues, jazz, and ragtime. Visit the nationally touring St. Louis Symphony while you are in town. Try some of the many unique city and regional cuisine options, including toasted ravioli, gooey butter cake, Provel cheese, St. Louis style pizza, and a Ted Drewes frozen custard “concrete.”Whether you are visiting for a day or for a week, here are a few St. Louis destinations that are simply must-sees.
The Gateway Arch
The Gateway Arch is a 630-ft stainless steel monument on the shore of the Mississippi River, dedicated to “the American people” as a tribute to western expansion. It is the world’s tallest arch and the tallest manmade monument in the Western Hemisphere. It was designed by the world-renowned architect Eero Saarinen in 1947 and built in the form of a weighted catenary arch. It is an extremely popular tourist attraction, with over 4 million visitors annually. Take time to explore the underground visitor center, and take the tram up to the top of the Arch to the observation area, where you will see unparalleled views of the Mississippi River and downtown St. Louis.
Forest Park is an enormous 1,371-acre public park in St. Louis City, right next to the hip Central West End neighborhood. This historic park was host to the 1904 World’s Fair (the Louisiana Purchase Exposition) and the 1904 Summer Olympics. The park is now home to multiple St. Louis attractions, including the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, and the St. Louis Science Center. Many of these attractions, including the zoo, art museum, and history museum, are completely free and open to the public, so take some time to explore this beautiful historic city park.
Downtown St. Louis
St. Louis’s downtown has been revitalized with major businesses, residential lofts, boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and nightspots. Go on a factory tour and beer tasting at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, watch a Cardinal’s game at historic Busch Stadium, or visit the bustle of the Soulard Farmer’s Market. Downtown is always pulsing with activity and life. There is always plenty going on, so join in!