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Best Things to do while in Northeast Missouri

Updated on January 26, 2014

King Louis IX of France, namesake of St. Louis MO

At the St. Louis Art Museum, a free museum that is simply amazing.  It comes very highly recommended!
At the St. Louis Art Museum, a free museum that is simply amazing. It comes very highly recommended! | Source

Saint Louis Missouri Area

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Great things to do while visiting St. Louis Missouri

When traveling to St. Louis Missouri, you will find there are a great many wonderful things to do. This "show me" state definitely has a lot to show you. From the arts, to education to just general fun there is no loss of things to do in the area. Here are some that are sure winners.

The Gateway Arch is probably one of the first that will come to your mind. This is located in downtown St. Louis area, and is officially called Gateway Arch and Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. There is a great area full of trees surrounding this arch, and the river is nearby also.

Then we have the famous St. Louis Zoo, which you cannot miss and is also free to get into. It is a must see and full of many amazing animals. You can pay for parking or park and walk a little distance for free.

The Katy Trail is beloved by many and goes all the way from St. Charles Missouri to Sedalia. Many people walk and hike and bike along this beautiful trail which often is within view of the Missouri River.

One of my all time favorites it the Missouri Botanical Garden also located in St. Louis and I will go into more detail on that in a bit.

For children you have everything from the City Museum, to the St. Louis Science Center and the Magic House in Kirkwood. If you still haven't had your fill, make sure to check into Grants Farm in Affton, or Six Flags St. Louis in Eureka. Some other favorites include Hannibal, Purina Farms in Gray Summit, and Mark Twain Lake in Stoutsville.

One of my top recent favorites is Cahokia Mounds. You can see evidences of an ancient civilization here. It is absolutely amazing this is in our country at all. If you like archaeology and history, you have to see this place and hike the actual mounds that are still there. Just a short drive on the outskirts of St. Louis.

Please see more below as I go into a bit more detail. If money is something you are looking to save,there are plenty of these things which are free. You can make a whole trip of it!

St.Louis Gateway Arch in St. Louis Missouri

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Gateway Arch and Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

If you do no other thing while visiting or vacationing in Northeast Missouri, this might be a choice you would not regret. The St. Louis Arch, also known as the Gateway Arch is just an amazing structure to behold. The panels on the base of it are massive, and its much larger than I imagined when I first visited St. Louis years ago for a convention. Just driving by doesn't give you the magnitude of this structure.

The grounds surrounding the Arch are just beautiful. Tree lined walks leading up to the arch from the parking area make it a lovely spot to picnic or rest or exercise. Visitors from all over the world come to see the arch and there are many larger events there during the year.

There is museum on the inside base of the arch area. You will find all kinds of interesting things to view, and there is a little shop as well if you care to get souvenirs. From postcards to gifts to books that share a more in depth history of the area. When I was there I found many items I hope to go back and get one day as I get the chance. There are restrooms and snacks available as well. There are local areas to eat if that is something you are looking for.

There is a little elevator to ride up into the arch. From what I hear, its a very memorable experience, and even more so if it is a windy day! The arch can sway a bit, which is good so that it can have a bit of "give" when the stormy days may come. Its a magnificent structure and so rich with history.

Fiji Banded Iguana from the Zoo
Fiji Banded Iguana from the Zoo
Victoria Crowned Pigeon at the Zoo
Victoria Crowned Pigeon at the Zoo

St. Louis Zoo

This zoo is just amazing, and it is free to the public.  A friend from Texas once told me that she and some family members made a trip out of finding out some free things to do in St. Louis, and proceeded to have a wonderful time together.  This was one of the things on the list.  The Zoo is known world over, and has quite a vast array of animals.  You will definitely get some great exercise, and if it should be raining outside, that is no problem for there are many exhibits and animals to see in sheltered buildings.

There are some things that stand out, like the Penguin exhibit, the reptiles, the birds, the polar bear, the apes and so much more.  There is a neat little train that you can ride as well, but it does cost a little bit extra.  There are places to eat when you go to the zoo, and plenty of restrooms and little shops to visit. 

One of the things I loved most when visiting the zoo, ironically, were all the beautiful flowers and landscaping everywhere.  It may have been the time of year, but I was very impressed.  There is nothing quite like viewing these animals that are just such incredible creatures.  The workers at the zoo seem to truly love the animals, and take great joy in caring for them from what I have seen and heard.  This makes me happy because I love animals, and can't bear the idea of them being in a situation they were not happy with themselves. This zoo is a must see if you ever get the chance.

St. Louis Arch and Botanical Garden

St. Louis Botanical Gardens

The botanical gardens in St. Louis literally blew my mind when I first went on a visit to Missouri. I kid you not you could spend a full day there, and still not really fully cover all that is offered at these amazing gardens. The land that it sits on is vast, and well kept from a long time ago, and the architecture alone throughout is something worth seeing. The gardens are not free, but more than worth what you pay to go to see. If you are like me and enjoy botanical gardens in general and have a membership at one anywhere, they often have discounts for members of botanical gardens.

You will find beautiful sculptures and water throughout the gardens. There are Chinese and Japanese Gardens, a Rose Garden, a Childrens Garden that is quite exquisite and a lot of fun for them. There are home gardens, and educational centers where you can learn much more. There is a climatron, where all kinds of beautiful and exotic plants and flowers and trees grow. St. Louis Botanical garden has pretty much any type of garden you can imagine. With fountains and ponds, and beauty throughout, this is right up there with the must sees in the Northeast Missouri area.

The little restaurant and gift shop they have are just amazing. They sell little plants, succulents and all kinds of seeds and things for the garden. They also sell all kinds of beautiful gifts, and books and orchids even. Walking out to the garden itself you can sometimes see one of the many galleries they have in view for all to see. I was very impressed and hope to go and see it again some time in the future. Its a very happy and inspiring place.

An example of what you can find at the Botanical Garden

Attractions in St. Louis, Missouri - Poll

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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Phoenix, thank you very much. I love to find videos that go along with the topic, you can learn quite a bit from them!

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 7 years ago from USA

      You find some great vids for your hubs well done great hub!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Dave,I will definitely need to try out some of those restaurants in the riverfront district. That is so awesome you took your kids up in the arch, and that you have fond memories from when you were young. I love to hear this kind of thing. Thank you for sharing! As for Jesse James, you aren't kidding, he deserves his own hub!

    • DavePrice profile image

      DavePrice 7 years ago from Sugar Grove, Ill

      The riverfront restaurant district has some of the best places to eat in the country. My dad took us up to the top of the arch the first year it was open, and I've had the pleasure of taking my kids up there a couple times. My youngest daughter likes to lay down right on the window - yeow! Thanks for a great hub - how 'bout one for the other side of the state where I grew up; Jesse James is still a hero in them thar hills.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Christopher, thank you very much for your detailed and informative comment. I wanted to say that I absolutely love both the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. I will have to incorporate them another time, or maybe give them and the Cahokia Mounds their own distinctive hubs, as they are great ideas. The Cahokia mounds seem so fascinating to me, and I think they are in Illinois if I am not mistaken. There is so much that could be said, but you give me great ideas to incorporate in the future and study more. Thank you!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Simone, thank you for stopping by, and for your comment! Yes, they can be both fun and educational activities for people of all ages.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 7 years ago from San Francisco

      Great activities, these are! Thanks for sharing them- the formatting is lovely and easy to follow, and the photos and video are great!

    • Christopher Price profile image

      Christopher Price 7 years ago from Vermont, USA

      I like St Louis. The pizza there is underrated.

      You failed to mention two of the oldest and most fascinating sites near St. Louis...The Mississippi River and the Cahokia Mounds.

      The River, and it's colorful historic influence on the city and the surrounding area from riverboats to Mark Twain stories shouldn't be overlooked.

      The Native American constructions a few miles East of St. Louis, near Cahokia, Illinois were begun more than 1100 years ago and cover 6 square miles. They are made up mainly of earth and shells carried in straw basket by thousands of prehistoric laborers. The full story of their purpose and significance is still not fully understood.

      I'm from the Northeast, but it ain't MO.

      I would like to spend more time in St, Louis and look out from atop the Arch.

      Thanks for the invite.