— St. Louis: 2-Day City Loop —
The Japanese garden at Missouri Botanical Gardens
Some whimsical art in front of the Missouri Botanical Garden Climatron
The City Museum—it's even weirder inside
Forest Park is larger than Central Park in NY, so take a seat and relax by a fountain
The Missouri Botanical Gardens has some of the most unusual lily pads—these are variegated
A different view of the infamous Gateway Arch
Forest Park's Jewel Box
Japanese iris boardwalk at Missouri Botanical Gardens
St. Louis Basilica Cathedral
60 miles, 2 days, 3 hours driving Best Time to Go: spring, summer, or fall
Day 1: Arrive in St. Louis, go on Anheuser-Busch tour, go up into the Gateway Arch, lunch at riverfront Laclede's Landing, explore at the weird City Museum, shop on the Delmar Loop, eat at Blueberry Hill, have an ice cream float at Fitz's Root Beer, go see some live music. Stay in a hotel on the Delmar Loop or in Clayton.
Day 2: See either the zoo, art museum, history museum, or go golfing—all in Forest Park. Then eat lunch at the Boathouse, go to the Missouri Botanical Garden, and shop at the Bug Store. Then either go to BB's Blues, Jazz, and Soups for dinner and live music, watch a Cardinal's baseball game, or Blues hockey match. Stay in a hotel downtown.
— Trip Details by Day —
Start your St. Louis visit at the iconic Anheuser-Busch brewery tour, then go to the iconic Gateway Arch National Park. You can go up to the top of the arch in weird pods and there's a museum underground beneath the arch. Since you're already down near the Mississippi River, check out the riverfront at Laclede's Landing for lunch. After that, treat yourself to the unique and fascinating City Museum. Don't worry, it's not exactly a museum and it's open late with a ball pit for the kids and a bar for the adults. In the City Museum an artist started assembling random things into the most fantastical man-made place in the country. Don't be afraid to crawl in, crawl through, climb up, roll down, slide down, or play on everything just like the kids. You know we do. No matter your age, the City Museum is a must see and St. Louis' top attraction. (Yes, really!)
Spend the evening on the Delmar Loop shopping and eating. Go to the St. Louis landmark Blueberry Hill restaurant for a burger. Get a root beer float at Fitz's Root Beer bottling plant, bar, and restaurant. Then go to The Pageant or Blueberry Hill's The Duck Room (there are ducks all over the venue!) for some live music.
Lodging: We recommend staying nearby at the Seven Gables Inn in Clayton, the second downtown area in the St. Louis metropolitan area, if you want a more B&B vibe. Or stay at the Moonrise Hotel with its rooftop terrace overlooking the Delmar Loop and right next to The Pageant music venue for a more trendy experience.
Food & Drink: The quality of the St. Louis dining scene has exploded in recent years. There are fantastic restaurants to fit every palette—from St. Louis barbeque to ethnic to fine dining. For the best Vietnamese food around, head to Mai Lee. If you love desserts, head to Jilly's Cupcake & Ice Cream Bar—two time winners of the Food Network's Cupcake Wars. Food restrictions are easy to accommodate in STL. If you're vegan, head to our friend's vegan restaurant—Frida's near the Delmar Loop and Clayton. It's so good it's expanded 4 times since opening and one of the owners has appeared on the Food Network. We lived in St. Louis for 4 years, so I could go on about the food for hours.
And then there's the craft beer scene. (No, we're not talking about Anheuser-Busch or any of its subsidiaries.) Craft breweries abound all around the city. You can't go wrong.
— Recommended Trip Variations —
St. Louis is the best live music town we've ever lived in, so extend your stay just to see more music! St. Louis has more than its fair share of awesome music venues. We've listed the best below:
- The Pageant
- The Sheldon (best acoustics EVER!)
- Old Rock House
- BB's Blues, Jazz, Soups
- Off Broadway
- The Firebird
- Blueberry Hill
- Fox Theater
If you happen to be in St. Louis around Christmas, see the El Monstero show at the Pageant. It's a Pink Floyd tribute band made up of St. Louis local talent. We're not tribute band kind of people, but it really is a truly amazing show that's supposed to be better than the professional tribute band. In addition to the amazing music, it's got pyrotechnics, stripper pole dancers, and more. Buy tickets early because it sells out every year.