Visit St. Louis
St. Louis Missouri has a Lot to Offer
Visitors to St. Louis will find a wide array of activities and attractions! St. Louis has wonderful museums, parks, great restaurants and delightful neighborhoods.
If you enjoy professional sports St. Louis has much to offer from the hockey Blues, to football Rams to the baseball Cardinals. St. Louis fans love their sports!
I was born and raised in the St. Louis metro area but then I also moved away and came back as a visitor. Today I have moved back into the area and enjoy seeing the sights anew through the eyes of my granddaughters when they come to visit from Atlanta.
This past summer I spent a week showing our granddaughters (age 5 and 7) all of the fun places to visit in St. Louis. They were fascinated by the Arch, loved the City Museum and enjoyed the Butterfly House and Botanical Garden. I'm looking forward to them visiting again next year so I can show them more of this great city. There is so much to see and do.
In this lens I will touch on some of the places I visited last summer, both with our granddaughters and with friends. They are my favorite places in St.Louis.
photo taken in front of Missouri History Museum
photos by Mary Beth Granger
Arch is Top Attraction
Gateway to the West
The St. Louis Arch has become the iconic symbol of the city. It attracts 4 million guest each year. I went on a tour of lofts in the downtown area and I was able to capture the of the arch from the balcony of one of the lofts.
The photo below was taken from Busch Stadium.
The arch, which was built between 1963 and 1965 was opened to the public on July 10th 1967. It was built as a monument to remember the westward expansion of the United States and the St. Louis role in the expansion during the 19th century. It is named the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in honor of Thomas Jefferson's role in opening the western US for expansion.
The arch is 630 feet in both width and height and is the nations tallest man made monument. There is a tram you can take to the top of the monument where you then enter an observation deck that has 32 windows. From the deck you get a wonderful view of the city and the surrounding area.
Below the arch is a museum of westward expansion. When my granddaughters visited last summer I took them to the museum below the arch. They were fascinated with the exhibits. They saw models which included a buffalo, a stagecoach and some of the indians and pioneers of the expansion era. There was a movie that detailed the historic events of the expansion and told of the hardship the the pioneers encountered.
The arch and museum is open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year Day.
Inside the Arch Museum
St. Louis City Museum
fun for children and adults
St. Louis museum is an interactive museum for children and adults that is located in an old International Shoe Company building at 701 N 15th Street. It is a wonderful mixture of a playground, funhouse, miles of tunnels and much more, all made out of reclaimed building materials. Some of the things you will find there include an old chimney, salvaged bridges, construction cranes, old tiles and even two abandoned airplanes.
My granddaughters, age 5 and 7 loved every minute of their time at the museum. I thought we would spend a couple of hours there and we ended up spending an entire day. They loved climbing in and out of the tunnels and going down all the various types of slides. They enjoyed a wonderful show that featured young people doing circus type acts. We had a good lunch at the museum restaurant and I'm sure my granddaughters would say that it was the most fun they had in St. Louis.
Guidebooks for St. Louis
I have found that to get the most out of a vacation, or visit to a new place a little research will help. Here is a book that I recommend you to read to find what interests you in St. Louis.
Are you planning a trip to St. Louis. You can't go wrong with the Moon handbook to find the best places to visit.
My Granddaughters Enjoying the City Museum
Missouri Botanical Garden
nations oldest botanical garden in continuous operation
Missouri Botanical Garden was founded in 1859. It is 79 acres of beautiful flowers, with interesting artwork displayed among the plants and flowers. I love the 14 acre Japanese garden that has a different look with each changing season. The garden also has a wonderful children's area where my granddaughters spend time exploring the different sections.
Last spring I visited during the time the irises were blooming and it was beautiful...acres of beautiful flowers and so many varieties. Every time I visit the garden I find a new surprise.
The garden, which is located in the south St.Louis area, is also a center for botanical research and science education.
Rachel and Ella at the Children's Area
The Butterfly House
The Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House, located just west of St. Louis, was first opened in late 1998. In 2001, it merged with the Missouri Botanical Garden ( a world-renowned botanical garden located in St. Louis).
The Butterfly House has between 1500 and 2000 butterflies at any given time. There are 60-80 different species of tropical butterflies at the Chesterfield,Mo butterfly house.
All of the butterflies are tropical butterflies and are shipped to The Butterfly House in the chrysalis stage from butterfly farms in tropical places such as Costa Rica and Malaysia.
I volunteer at The Butterfly House one day a week and I enjoy seeing it through all the seasons of the year. Here is a photo taken in the conservatory of one of the many beautiful tropical butterflies.
Paper Kite Butterfly
St. Louis Art Museum
Forest Park in St.Louis is one of the largest urban parks in the country. It is 1371 acres and was the sight of the 1904 World's Fair. Today it is home to the Art Museum, Science Center, Zoo, Jewel Box greenhouse, History Museum, The Muny theatre, 7.5-mile biking, jogging and skating path, skating rink and lakes.
The St. Louis Art Museum is a wonderful place to visit. It has over 30,000 pieces of art and is free to all. I have always enjoyed spending time at the art museum. One of my favorite pieces of art is one of Monet's waterlily panels. I always stop by to visit it when I'm at the museum. I think the mission of the art museum best describes what you will find there:
The Saint Louis Art Museum collects, presents, interprets, and conserves works of art of the highest quality across time and cultures; educates, inspires discovery, and elevates the human spirit; and preserves a legacy of artistic achievement for the people of St. Louis and the world.
St. Louis Zoo
St. Louis has a wonderful zoo that is home to more than 18,000 exotic animals of 700 species that represent the animal kingdom on all major continents of the world. I love to spend an afternoon visiting the giraffes, elephants, tigers and lions and what is amazing is the St.Louis Zoo is FREE! There is some admission charges for special services such as the train, carousel, childrens zoo, and special shows, but the general admission is free. The zoo is a major attraction in Forest Park.
Penguins at Zoo
Missouri History Museum
The Missouri History museum is dedicated to preserving St. Louis and Missouri history. They also host a variety of traveling exhibits. This past year I attended an exhibit entitled Vatican Splendors. It was very interesting. A current exhibit is Treasures of Napoleon.
Boathouse in Forest Park
a fun place to eat
The Boathouse is a favorite place to eat before attending the Muny Opera in St. Louis. My friends and I often eat there when we go to the Muny. They have a great selection of sandwiches, salads and entrÃ©es and you can choose to eat indoors or outside.
Each summer the Muny presents 7 different musical production in their beautiful outdoor theater. I have enjoyed attending these productions over the years. Each production lasts for one week. The Muny is the oldest and largest outdoor theater in the nation. Here is the list of shows for the 2011 season:
Kiss Me, Kate
The Little Mermaid
Singin' in the Rain
Little Shop of Horrors
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Bye Bye Birdie
Muny in Forest Park
© 2011 Mary Beth Granger