Best & Fun Things To Do + Places To Visit In Saint Louis, Illinois

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St. Louis Fun: The Best Places to Visit and Things to Do (Illinois, Not Missouri)

Looking for a fun and exciting place to visit? Look no further than St. Louis, Illinois! This vibrant city has something for everyone, from outdoor adventures to historical museums to unique attractions. Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or solo, you’re sure to find plenty of things to do and see in St. Louis.

One of the most iconic attractions in St. Louis is the Gateway Arch, a stunning monument that stands over 600 feet tall. Take a tram ride to the top for breathtaking views of the city and the Mississippi River. If you’re a history buff, you won’t want to miss the city’s many museums, including the Missouri History Museum and the National Blues Museum. And if you’re looking for outdoor adventures, head to Forest Park, where you’ll find miles of hiking trails, a golf course, and even a zoo.

No matter what your interests are, St. Louis has plenty of options for family fun, nightlife, and dining. From amusement parks to breweries to fine dining restaurants, you’ll find it all here. And if you’re looking to take a day trip, St. Louis is just a short drive from many other exciting destinations, including the Ozark Mountains and the historic town of Hermann. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to St. Louis for an unforgettable adventure!

Key Takeaways

  • St. Louis has something for everyone, from historical museums to outdoor adventures to unique attractions.
  • Don’t miss the iconic Gateway Arch, the city’s many museums, or the family fun, nightlife, and dining options.
  • St. Louis is also a great base for day trips to other exciting destinations in the area.

Gateway Arch

If you’re looking for a fun and unique experience in Saint Louis, you can’t miss the Gateway Arch. This iconic monument is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. Here are some of the highlights of your visit to the Gateway Arch.

Tram Ride

First up, take a tram ride to the top of the Gateway Arch. You’ll get a bird’s eye view of the city and the Mississippi River. The tram ride is a bit cramped, but it’s worth it for the view. Make sure to hold on tight as the tram can get a bit bumpy.

Observation Deck

Once you reach the top of the Gateway Arch, head to the observation deck. You’ll be able to see for miles in every direction. It’s a great spot to take some photos and get a sense of the city’s layout. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the famous Gateway Arch sunset.

Museum at the Gateway Arch

Before you leave, make sure to check out the Museum at the Gateway Arch. Here, you’ll learn all about the history of the Westward Expansion and the construction of the Gateway Arch. The museum is interactive and engaging, with plenty of exhibits to explore.

Designed by Eero Saarinen, the Gateway Arch is an architectural marvel. It’s the tallest arch in the world and a symbol of American ingenuity and ambition. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a unique experience, the Gateway Arch is not to be missed. So, what are you waiting for? Head to the Gateway Arch and see it for yourself!

Historical Museums

If you’re a history buff, Saint Louis has some amazing museums that will transport you back in time. Here are a few of the best:

Missouri History Museum

The Missouri History Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of the state. From the Lewis and Clark expedition to the Civil War, this museum covers it all. You’ll find artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays that will keep you engaged for hours. Make sure to check out the “Seeking St. Louis” exhibit, which explores the history of the city from its founding to the present day.

Art Museum

If you’re looking for something a little more highbrow, the Saint Louis Art Museum is the place to be. With over 34,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, this museum has something for everyone. Make sure to check out the collection of pre-Columbian art, which is one of the best in the world.

City Museum

The City Museum is not your typical museum. In fact, it’s more of an indoor playground for adults (and kids too!). This museum is housed in a former shoe factory and features a giant slide, a Ferris wheel on the roof, and a collection of architectural artifacts from around the city. You’ll also find a collection of vintage pinball machines and a giant ball pit. It’s a little bit crazy, a little bit weird, and a whole lot of fun.

So, whether you’re interested in Missouri history, art, or just want to act like a kid again, Saint Louis has a museum for you. Get ready to learn, explore, and have a blast!

Outdoor Adventures

Looking for some outdoor fun in Saint Louis? You’re in luck! This city has plenty of options for outdoor adventures. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do:

Forest Park

Forest Park is a massive urban park that covers over 1,300 acres. It’s home to some of the city’s most popular attractions, including the Saint Louis Zoo, the Missouri History Museum, and the Saint Louis Art Museum. There are also plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, like hiking and biking trails, golf courses, and even a boathouse where you can rent kayaks and paddleboats.

Missouri Botanical Garden

If you’re a fan of plants and flowers, you won’t want to miss the Missouri Botanical Garden. This 79-acre garden is home to over 8,000 species of plants, including rare and endangered species. You can take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, attend one of the many events and exhibitions, or even take a cooking class using fresh herbs from the garden.

Saint Louis Zoo

The Saint Louis Zoo is one of the best zoos in the country, and it’s free to visit! You can see over 17,000 animals from 600 species, including lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!). The zoo also has several exhibits that focus on conservation and animal welfare, so you can feel good about your visit.


CityGarden is a unique urban park that combines art and nature. You’ll find sculptures, fountains, and lush greenery throughout the park, making it a great place to relax and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are also plenty of places to sit and enjoy a picnic, so pack a lunch and make a day of it!

Whether you’re a nature lover or just looking for some outdoor fun, Saint Louis has something for everyone. Make sure to check out these top outdoor attractions and enjoy all that this city has to offer!

Sporting Events

If you’re a sports fan, Saint Louis has plenty of options to keep you entertained. From baseball to hockey, there’s something for everyone. Here are two of the most popular sporting venues in the city:

Busch Stadium

Home of the St. Louis Cardinals, Busch Stadium is a must-visit for any baseball fan. With a seating capacity of over 45,000, the stadium is always buzzing with energy on game days. The stadium has a retractable roof, which means you can enjoy a game rain or shine. Plus, the stadium offers a variety of food and drink options, including local favorites like toasted ravioli and frozen custard.

Pro tip: If you’re not a fan of crowds, try to attend a weekday game. The stadium is usually less crowded, and you can often find cheaper tickets.

Enterprise Center

If hockey is more your thing, head to Enterprise Center to catch a game featuring the St. Louis Blues. The arena has a seating capacity of over 18,000 and is known for its lively atmosphere. Plus, the arena offers a variety of food and drink options, including local favorites like toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake.

Pro tip: If you’re looking for a unique experience, try attending a game during the playoffs. The energy in the arena is electric, and you’ll never forget the experience.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just looking for a fun night out, Saint Louis has plenty of sporting events to keep you entertained. So grab a beer, a hot dog, and cheer on your favorite team!

Family Fun

Looking for some family fun in Saint Louis? You’re in luck! There are plenty of exciting places to visit and things to do that will keep everyone entertained.

The Magic House

First up, we have The Magic House. This children’s museum is a must-visit for families with young kids. With over 100 hands-on exhibits, your little ones will have a blast exploring and learning at the same time. From a giant bubble-making station to a kid-sized grocery store, there’s something for everyone at The Magic House.

Hurricane Harbor

If you’re looking to cool off on a hot summer day, head over to Hurricane Harbor. This water park has plenty of thrilling water slides and rides for the whole family to enjoy. Don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and towels!

Saint Louis Science Center

For a more educational experience, check out the Saint Louis Science Center. With interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, this science museum is sure to spark your curiosity and imagination. From exploring the human body to learning about outer space, there’s no shortage of fascinating things to discover at the Saint Louis Science Center.

So, whether you’re looking to learn something new or just have some fun in the sun, Saint Louis has plenty of options for the whole family to enjoy.

Nightlife and Dining

When it comes to nightlife and dining, St. Louis has a lot to offer. You’ll find plenty of bars, restaurants, and entertainment options throughout the city. Here are some of the top areas to check out:

Delmar Loop

If you’re looking for a fun and funky vibe, head to the Delmar Loop. This six-block stretch of Delmar Boulevard is home to a variety of restaurants, bars, and music venues. You can grab a slice of pizza at Pi Pizzeria, sip a cocktail at the Moonrise Hotel’s rooftop bar, or catch a show at the Pageant.


For a more historic feel, check out Soulard. This neighborhood is known for its red-brick architecture and lively atmosphere. You can enjoy a beer at the historic Soulard Farmers Market, listen to live music at Broadway Oyster Bar, or dance the night away at Molly’s in Soulard.

The Grove

If you’re looking for a trendy spot, head to The Grove. This neighborhood is known for its LGBTQ-friendly atmosphere and eclectic mix of bars and restaurants. You can sip a craft cocktail at Atomic Cowboy, grab a bite to eat at Grace Meat + Three, or dance to the beats at Rehab Bar & Grill.

No matter where you go, you’ll find that St. Louis has a vibrant food and nightlife scene. From classic barbecue to innovative cocktails, there’s something for everyone. So, grab your friends and explore all that this city has to offer!

Unique Attractions

Looking for something different to do in Saint Louis? Look no further than these unique attractions!

St. Louis Wheel

You haven’t seen Saint Louis until you’ve seen it from the top of the St. Louis Wheel! This 200-foot-tall observation wheel offers breathtaking views of the city skyline and the Mississippi River. Hop on one of the 42 climate-controlled gondolas and take a spin on this modern marvel. And don’t worry, the gondolas are sanitized between each ride, so you can enjoy the view without any worries.

St. Louis Aquarium

Dive into a world of wonder at the St. Louis Aquarium! This 120,000-square-foot aquarium is home to thousands of aquatic animals, from playful otters to majestic sharks. You can even get up close and personal with some of the animals during one of the aquarium’s animal encounters. And if you’re feeling brave, take a ride on the Shark Bridge, a rope bridge that hangs over the shark tank!

Meramec Caverns

Explore the depths of the Cave State at Meramec Caverns! This natural wonder has been fascinating visitors for over 150 years, and it’s easy to see why. The caverns are home to stunning rock formations, underground lakes, and even a ballroom! And if you’re a history buff, you’ll love the fact that Jesse James and his gang used the caverns as a hideout back in the day.

So there you have it, three unique attractions that are sure to make your trip to Saint Louis unforgettable!

Day Trips from St. Louis

So you’ve explored all the fun things to do in St. Louis, but now you’re looking to venture out a bit further? Fear not, because there are plenty of exciting day trip options just a short drive away. Here are a few destinations worth considering:

Springfield, IL

If you’re a history buff, then Springfield is the perfect day trip for you. Not only is it the capital of Illinois, but it’s also the final resting place of President Abraham Lincoln. You can check out his tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery, or visit the Lincoln Home National Historic Site to see where he lived before becoming president. And if you’re a fan of “The Simpsons,” you’ll be happy to know that Springfield, IL was the inspiration for the hometown of America’s favorite cartoon family.


If you’re a fan of Mark Twain’s classic novels “Huckleberry Finn” and “Tom Sawyer,” then Hannibal is a must-visit destination. This charming river town was Twain’s boyhood home, and you can tour his childhood home and other historic sites related to his life and work. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River.


Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city? Head to Hermann, a picturesque town in the heart of Missouri’s wine country. The town was founded by German immigrants in the mid-1800s, and you can still see evidence of their influence in the town’s architecture and culture. Take a stroll through the town’s historic district, sample some local wines, and enjoy the scenic views of the Missouri River. And if you’re up for a bit of exercise, you can even bike along the nearby Katy Trail.

There are plenty of other day trip options to explore, including the charming towns of Defiance and Augusta, the natural beauty of Johnson’s Shut-Ins, and the scenic Great River Road that runs along the Mississippi River. So pack a picnic, hop in the car, and get ready for a fun-filled day of adventure!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some fun activities for adults in Saint Louis?

If you’re looking to let loose and have some fun in Saint Louis, there are plenty of options for you. You can visit the Anheuser-Busch Brewery for a tour and some beer tasting, or head to the Hollywood Casino for some gambling and entertainment. For a more laid-back experience, check out the City Museum or the Missouri Botanical Garden.

What are some unique things to do in Saint Louis?

Want to do something different in Saint Louis? Try the Lemp Haunted Neighborhood Walking Tour for a spooky adventure, or visit the Gateway Arch for a breathtaking view of the city. You can also explore the Soulard neighborhood for some live music and delicious food.

Saint Louis has plenty of popular attractions that you won’t want to miss. The Gateway Arch is a must-see for its stunning architecture and panoramic views. The Saint Louis Zoo is also a favorite among visitors for its wide variety of animals and exhibits. And of course, the City Museum is a unique and fun experience for all ages.

What are some fun things to do in Saint Louis with kids?

If you’re visiting Saint Louis with kids, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to keep everyone entertained. The Magic House is a great option for interactive exhibits and hands-on fun. The Saint Louis Science Center is also a hit with its planetarium and IMAX theater. And don’t forget about the Saint Louis Zoo and the City Museum, which are both enjoyable for kids and adults alike.

What’s the best way to spend a day in Saint Louis?

With so many things to see and do in Saint Louis, it can be hard to decide how to spend your day. One option is to start with a visit to the Gateway Arch, followed by a trip to the Saint Louis Zoo or the Missouri Botanical Garden. For lunch, head to the Delmar Loop for some delicious food and shopping. In the afternoon, check out the City Museum or the Saint Louis Art Museum. And don’t forget to end your day with a visit to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery for some beer tasting.

Is it worth visiting Saint Louis?

Absolutely! Saint Louis has something for everyone, from its iconic Gateway Arch to its world-class museums and attractions. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly vacation or a fun weekend getaway with friends, Saint Louis won’t disappoint. So pack your bags and come see what all the fuss is about!

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