Home of the bridge marking where the East meets the Midwest, St. Louis has a rich history that attracts visitors and residents alike to its historical wonders. Settled in 1764 as a trading post, St. Louis has since become one of the most traveled cities and inland port towns in the central U.S. as its boasts a wide variety of music, food and culture for any visitor.
Here are a few awesome things to do around the city:
Visiting the arch in St. Louis is as iconic of a visit as visiting the Statue of Liberty in New York or the Lincoln Memorial in D.C. As the symbol of traveling to the frontier of new American land along the likes of Lewis and Clark, the Gateway Arch stands at a whopping 630 feet, making it the largest man-made monument in the country. The arch was created as the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and was built with about $13 million, approximately $90 million today. It was opened in the summer of 1967 and has been pushing through as a beacon of expansionism ever since. The city's courthouse is also a must-see for classic architecture.
Around for 100+ years, the St. Louis Zoo is not only one of the best things to do in St. Louis, but remains one of the best zoos in the country. With a wide selection of animals -- from the Herpetarium of snakes to the cold penguin house -- the zoo can transport you to whatever climate you'd like to be for a few hours. The sea lion show is particularly fun, and a perfect opportunity to get the family splashed on a hot day and pet a sea lion. You can also pet stingrays in the aquatic area, and even feed them for a few bucks. Admission is free but parking is paid.
Eden in the City
The Missouri Botanical Garden, located in the city and surrounded by beautiful green parks, is famous for its beautiful flora and in particular, its Japanese botanical garden. Funded and created by botanist Henry Shaw in the mid-1800s, this expansive plot of gardens can amuse any audience from its spherical "Climatron" containing tropical plant species to its abundant rose garden. There is a wide selection of events at the garden occurring throughout the year, including the Whitaker Music Festival, Café Flora Brunch and art exhibits in the exquisite main building of the garden.
In 2006, the St. Louis Cardinals opened the new 46,000-seat Busch Stadium in their inaugural game against the Milwaukee Brewers. The stadium replaced the old Busch Memorial Stadium, and is designed in a retro stadium style. The MLB season traditionally starts in March and ends in September, so if you're in the city in the last days of spring or the hot days of summer, catching a game should be top on your list. There's no better place to grab a hot dog and maybe even get a peek at the Cardinal's mascot "Fredbird." While the stadium itself is a sight to see, the experience of America's great sport makes it an inevitable item on your travel list.
Within the city of St. Louis lies the oasis of Forest Park, a huge park devoted to culture and nature all in one. Aside from containing many cultural attractions that stem from talented architects and designers, including the Zoo, Art Museum, History Museum, Science Center and the Muny Opera, the park also encourages the natural approach to the city. It heralds as the center for many sports, including rugby, bicycling, tennis, baseball and more. In 1904, the St. Louis hosted the World's Fair, which drew 20 million visitors to Forest Park. The park underwent an improvement in 2004 for the 100-year celebration. You can walk through the beautiful greens of the park, sit on top the large turtle sculptures in Turtle Park or expand your knowledge in the Saint Louis Art Museum, a building as magnanimous as the art it contains. It continues to attract many people from many walks of life, from inside and outside St. Louis.