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Visit St. Louis

Updated on November 20, 2014
Arch Replica
Arch Replica | Source

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

Inside the Arch Museum
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.

Moon St. Louis (Moon Handbooks)
Moon St. Louis (Moon Handbooks)

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

My Granddaughters Enjoying the City Museum
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

Rachel and Ella at the Children's Area
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


Forest Park


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:

Our Mission:

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 entrées 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:

Legally Blonde

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

Have you been to St. Louis? - what was your favorite attraction

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    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      4 years ago from United States

      St. Louis is always a fun place to visit! We have vacationed there several different times.

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 

      4 years ago from West Virginia

      No I haven't, but was fascinated by your page. I had no idea that people could travel up to the top of the arch, or that anything was really up there. : )

    • mbgphoto profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Beth Granger 

      5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      @JimHofman: So glad you enjoyed your stop in St. Louis. The Hill is always a great

      place to eat.

    • JimHofman profile image


      5 years ago

      We've been to St. Louis many times and always enjoy it. My father used to work there in the 70's. Last Spring we stopped en route to Little Rock and toured the Budweiser brewery, walked "The Hill" the Italian neighborhood, and had a delicious burger at O'Connell's Pub for of our favorites through the years.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Do you have any photos from atop the arch of the city? I would like to see them if you have any to share. Hope to get to St Louis someday. I've only been through there on airplanes en route to Illinois.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 

      5 years ago

      Shame on me but I didn't visit St Louis yet. I pin this lens to have it handy as I think some day I will. You really have great info in the lens Thanks

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I think I was in Missouri one time but I only saw the airport and a small college football stadium. I can't remember where we were but I was traveling with the team from Jacksonville State University in 1969. I enjoyed this virtual visit to St. Louis.

    • SellClean profile image


      6 years ago

      So much to do in this exciting city. The best part is that so much of it is free! Great job on this lens!

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I was just in St. Louis yesterday - saw the arch from the vicinity of I-44 and KingsHighway area! ;-)

    • UKGhostwriter profile image


      6 years ago

      great lens and pinned

    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 

      6 years ago

      I have not yet been to St. Louis. It looks like a lot of fun.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      St. Louis is a remarkable city for fun and leisure! Thank you for sharing this great lens!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Had to return to visit this lens since I saw it on the Front Page of Squidoo!

      I'm partial to St. Louis, even though I have now moved away. Miss my STL Cardinals the most now that baseball season is in full swing. :)

      My daughter lives in St. Louis, so I will be back often to visit. There are a lot of STL attractions I've yet to see that I didn't have time to visit in the 18 months I lived there. :) I did enjoy our lunch together, though. Always fun to meet a fellow lensmaster in person.... and another St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan to boot. Enjoy your summer.

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 

      6 years ago

      I have heard that St. Louis has highest crime rate in the USA. I have to check it by myself :)

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      6 years ago

      I love St. Louis too - very thorough lens, I love the way you organized this. Pinned to my favorite places and spaces board and Squid Angel Blessed!

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 

      6 years ago from Keller, Texas

      We love St. Louis and one of our favorite attractions is The Magic House.

    • CameronPoe profile image


      6 years ago

      I've been to St. Louis, but unfortunately, it was in an emergency installation. So I did not get any chance to see any of the sights.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have never been to St Louis before, but it seems so nice! Blessed!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Visited once back in the mid eighties. Nice place!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      the river!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      6 years ago

      I've never been to St. Louis, but my husband loves it there. Thanks for an excellent virtual tour. It looks like a fun place to spend a weekend.

    • dann7trdro lm profile image

      dann7trdro lm 

      6 years ago

      i love st lois

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image


      6 years ago from McLaughlin

      I'm from the other side of the state--Kansas City, MO--and I love to visit St. Louis. Love your photos!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Boathouse is a favorite place to eat before attending the Muny Opera in St. Louis

    • KarenHC profile image


      6 years ago from U.S.

      My husband is in St. Louis right now for a few days with the high school robotics championship (he's the faculty mentor for his school), and has been telling me about some of the great things about St. Louis, including the city museum. I'd love to go just to see that, but it looks like I could easily round out the rest of a trip there with other St. Louis attractions.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image


      6 years ago

      I want to visit St. Louis. I'm really researching my ancestry and my great grandmother and her parents lived in Kirkwood. I hope to visit in the next year to see what more I can learn! I'll be reading this again before I go!

    • curious0927 profile image


      6 years ago

      Born, raised and live in St. Louis. I love this lens. You have gorgeous pictures of my favorite places. Have a draft started for STL, think I might junk it now, your's is so perfect! Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Another beautifully done lens. You have some of the prettiest photos always! I was to St. Louis one time by boat on the river. Never got out of the boat.

    • dahlia369 profile image


      6 years ago

      I've never been to St. Louis but it sure looks like a fun place with much to offer. Great guide, thank you!! :)

    • crystalwriter profile image

      Crystal A Murray 

      6 years ago from Corydon, Indiana, USA

      We're only about 5 hours away, so we should go more often. We've spent almost every trip there at some part of the arch, and we took our nephews to a children's museum there many years ago. But now you've got me wanting to go back for stuff I didn't even know was there. This is a fantastic lens and congrats on front page.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'd love to visit and your lens serves as the perfect tour guide. Thank you!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 

      6 years ago

      No but I would like to come visit with the family.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      No, I haven't. Great lens!

    • MelonyVaughan profile image


      6 years ago

      The City Museum looks wonderful! I'm in awe at how many attractions there are in St. Louis. Nicely done!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I haven't been but your lens made me know this place better.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I grew up just over the river in Illinois. We loved the St. Louis Zoo!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      6 years ago from USA

      Have driven through St. Louis several times but never had the time to stop. Sounds like there is much to see. Hopefully I'll be able to see it all one day. Squid Angel Blessed.

    • LabKittyDesign profile image


      6 years ago

      Lesser known St. Louis gem (also free!) Laumeier Sculpture Park in Sunset Hills.

    • MarcoG profile image


      6 years ago from Edinburgh

      I went there a few years ago. The little egg pods that take you up the arch are so fun!

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      6 years ago

      I know almost nothing about Missouri and St. Louis, beyond having heard of the arch in a general way. Thank you so much for the introductory tour!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Haven't been there but been all around it, one of these times I'll hit it smack dab in the middle!

    • allenwebstarme profile image


      6 years ago

      Never been in St. Louis, but now i want to visit once in my lifetime. Wonderful lens.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 

      6 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I'm going to St. Louis for the first time at the beginning of July for our annual church conference (moves cities year to year, this year St L is host city!). I can't wait!

    • SlapDashMom profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a great lens. :) I live in St. Louis and go to all of those places regularly.

    • gamrslist profile image


      6 years ago

      hvent been but looks like a nice place

    • Cold0911 profile image


      6 years ago

      I live in St. Louis and my favorite place is The Hill. Definately worth visiting the Italian district here for great fresh food, breads, delis, and cheeses.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi mbgphoto,

      I visited family in St. Louis way back in the early 70's when I ras very young. Being from the east, I was amazed to see hat stores that only sold western styles, everywhere. A saddle store, a leather store and so on. It was a great town, like Gunsmoke in 3D.

      I'd love to go back again!

      N T T

    • nature photogra profile image

      nature photogra 

      7 years ago

      This is a great lens (and thank you for Squidliking one of mine). I made a site about St. Louis that you might like, and yeah, that arch is pretty cool.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 

      7 years ago from Washington KS

      I've been to St. Louis many times. It's an interesting city.

      Loved your lens.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      Mostly driving by, but a few years ago we went to a superb German restaurant. Wish I could remember the name of it. It had wonderful murals on the wall, including Mad Ludwig's castle in one room.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I moved to St. Louis six months ago and am just beginning to learn my way around and begin visiting the wonderful attractions the city offers. Last Friday evening my daughter & I joined 2 visiting friends at the St. Louis Art Museum. We'd been there about 15 minutes when the staff told us the tornado sirens had gone off and all visitors were escorted to the 'basement'. We stayed there until the 'all clear' 90 minutes later. Didn't get to see much of the art museum on this visit, but, I must say, the 'basement' of the St. Louis Art Museum, filled with beautiful displays and artifacts to look at, has to be the prettiest 'storm shelter' anyone could ever have to 'weather' a storm in! :-) We didn't even know about the tornado hitting Lambert Field until 2 hours later! Quite a different introduction to St. Louis than one would expect!

    • ZenandChic profile image


      7 years ago

      I drove by once as a teen. I even took a quick picture as my step dad drove by the arches. It was a trip around the U.S. in 2 weeks time. Love your photos and this lens!

    • shandigp profile image


      7 years ago

      I <3 STL!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      7 years ago from United States

      We have visiting St. Louis many times. I have never gone to the arch though. I have only seen if from afar :) I love the St. Louis zoo and we thoroughly enjoyed Six Flags there. I would love to visit the botanical gardens. My husband lived in St. Louis for several years when he was in high school. Unfortunately, just about everyone he was close to there is now gone. Of course, that doesn't keep the tourist side of us away :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      It must be great to have such a wonderful botanical garden near, also I envy you for the butterfly house. I am sure you will have your camera always with your:).

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image


      7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      I visited St. Louis when I was about 10 with my family. The arch, of course, is what I remember the most. Beautiful place! *Angel Blessed* =D

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      7 years ago

      I was in St Louis when I was a very little girl. It was an usually hot summer and I got heat stroke. I remember being very sick and Mom said that snowcones helped me.

      I say that to tell you that in spite of all that I still have vivid memories of the zoo. I loved it!

    • DecoratingEvents profile image


      7 years ago

      I have been privileged to go to St. Louis more than once and agree, it is a beautiful city with lots to do!


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