The Essential Guide to St. Louis
Collected by Anne Roderique-Jones , AFAR Local Expert
Marked by the Gateway Arch—the tallest man-made monument in the United States—St. Louis is famous for baseball at Busch Stadium and, of course, beer. Home to the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch, the city has a thriving brewery scene, from the commercial to craft. It’s also home to loads of free activities, including the 90-acre Saint Louis Zoo, world-class museums, and the sprawling lawns of Forest Park. In between sightseeing, explore the many exciting restaurants, offering everything from toasted ravioli and St. Louis–style pizza to James Beard Award–winning fare.
1200 Lynch St, St. Louis, MO 63118, USA
When it was founded in 1852 in St. Louis’s Soulard neighborhood, the Anheuser-Busch Brewery was revered for its access to the Mississippi River and natural caves that were used to keep beer cold prior to modern refrigeration. Today, it...
700 Clark Ave, St. Louis, MO 63102, USA
It’s impossible to visit St. Louis and not hear about the Cardinals—the city is crazy for its major league baseball team. The Redbirds play in the heart of downtown at Busch Stadium, a Populous-designed, retro-classic ballpark with...
750 N 16th St, St. Louis, MO 63103, USA
Located in a former shoe factory, City Museum devotes 600,000 square feet and four levels to play for all ages. The museum was the brainchild of artist and entrepreneur Bob Cassilly—along with a crew of 20 artisans known as the Cassilly...
5595 Grand Dr, St. Louis, MO 63112, USA
Forest Park is to St. Louis what Central Park is to New York—but it’s even bigger in size. Opened in 1876 and host of the 1904 World’s Fair, the 1,300-acre green space serves as a scenic backdrop to the city, featuring everything...
Gateway Arch Trail, St. Louis, MO 63102, USA
The unofficial symbol of St. Louis, the Gateway Arch is the tallest man-made monument in the United States, rising 630 feet into the air. It sits at the center of Gateway Arch National Park, which was established in 1935 to commemorate Thomas...
4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
Founded in 1859, this 79-acre oasis is the nation’s oldest continuously operating botanical garden and a National Historic Landmark. Built by Henry Shaw, whose estate still sits on the grounds, the garden boasts one of the world’s...
615 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO 63101, USA
Opened in downtown St. Louis in 2016, the National Blues Museum offers a deep dive into the blues, a genre that served as the bedrock for all American music. Here, historical exhibits and immersive experiences teach visitors about everything from...
1 Fine Arts Dr, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
Originally built as an arts and culture “palace” for the 1904 World’s Fair, the Saint Louis Art Museum is now home to approximately 34,000 objects spanning 5,000 years of history and culture. On display are works by Henri...
Government Dr, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
The Saint Louis Zoo is touted as one of the best in the country. Add to that free admission and you have the ultimate family experience. Situated on 90 acres in Forest Park, the zoo boasts some impressive numbers: A whopping 16,000 wild animals...
736 S Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63102, USA
Broadway Oyster Bar wears many hats. First and foremost, it’s an oyster bar, serving bivalves in a variety of fashions, from raw and char-grilled to fried and Rockefeller style. It’s also a solid bar, where a lot of folks come to party both before...
102 W Lockwood Ave, Webster Groves, MO 63119, USA
When Mark Hinkle lost his young son to a congenital heart defect, he set out to memorialize him with a neighborhood restaurant that would bring families together around the table. The result of his efforts is Olive + Oak, a Webster Groves favorite...
6525 Delmar Blvd, University City, MO 63130, USA
Salt + Smoke opened in 2014, but don’t let its relative newness put you off—this place serves some seriously solid barbecue. The restaurant now features three insanely popular locations in Delmar Loop, Hampton, and St. Charles, with a...
6726 Chippewa St, St. Louis, MO 63109, USA
You can often spot Ted Drewes Frozen Custard by the long line that’s snaked around the front of the building. Located on Chippewa Street—a designated section of the historic U.S. Route 66—the ice-cream shop is a St. Louis...
4260 Forest Park Avenue Entrance On Boyle, At Corner Of, Duncan Ave, St. Louis, MO 63108, USA
Husband-and-wife team Michael and Tara Gallina met while working at New York’s acclaimed Blue Hill at Stone Barns, he as the chef de cuisine and she as a captain. In 2017, they moved to Michael’s native St. Louis and opened their own...
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