With so much history and diversity tied into its culture, the St. Louis area offers entertainment and attractions that cater to everyone.
One of the main attractions in Downtown St. Louis is the Gateway Arch. Six hundred and thirty feet tall, the Arch is both a tribute to Thomas Jefferson and a monument to westward expansion. Take an elevator ride all the way to the top to see a spectacular view of the St. Louis metropolitan area.
The world’s largest collection of mosaics, which took three generations and 20 different artists to complete, can be viewed at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, a Romanesque and Byzantine-style Roman Catholic Church.
A short distance from downtown St. Louis is Forest Park. Sixty percent larger than New York’s Central Park, Forest Park is home to the Saint Louis Art Museum. Housed in a building created for the 1904 World’s Fair, the St. Louis Art Museum is among the top 10 U.S. museums in annual attendance and includes, among its 30,000 works, a 3,000-year-old mummy, Renaissance masterpieces, and Impressionist paintings.
Forest Park is also home to the world renowned St. Louis Zoo, housing more than 3,000 animals and featuring Jungle of the Apes and Big Cat Country. The World’s Fair Flight Cage, containing numerous species of birds, was built for the 1904 World’s Fair. General admission to the zoo is free.
Located nearby is the Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the world’s leading botanical research facilities. It features not only species of plants native to the St. Louis region, but also Japanese, English and Chinese gardens.
Also in Forest Park is The Missouri History Museum. Built with proceeds from the 1904 Fair and in memory of Thomas Jefferson, this museum houses a variety of exhibits and educational resources focusing on Missouri and the American West. Nearby The Saint Louis Science Center (http://www.slsc.org), which houses the popular Planetarium Theater, features exhibits on ecology, environment, humanity, technology and space.
Recently named one of the “World’s 10 Best Public Spaces” by New York based Project for Public Spaces”, the St. Louis City Museum stretches the definition of museum to new dimensions. It includes three floors of surprising and diverse experiences including a multi-level enchanted forest, a giant aquarium, an architectural museum, participatory circus, and “museums of oddities”.
After time spent seeing St. Louis attractions, our city is also one of the best places in the world to listen to the music – especially the blues. St. Louis is the home of such musical greats as Miles Davis, Chuck Berry, Albert King, Ike and Tina Turner, and John Hartford. Live musical performances occur every night of the week in dozens of clubs throughout St. Louis including the Soulard Neighborhood area and on Laclede’s Landing.
If you want to try your hand with Lady Luck, St. Louis has not one but FIVE casinos nearby. Downtown is home to the President Casino on the Admiral, easily accessible via complimentary shuttles from downtown hotels. Located in East St. Louis, Illinois, across from the Gateway Arch, is the Casio Queen – less than 5 minutes from downtown St. Louis; and 20 miles north of the Gateway Arch on the Mississippi River is the Alton Belle Casino in Alton, Illinois. Ten minutes west of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport at I-70 and the Missouri River is the Ameristar Casino St. Charles, and further south is Harrah’s Casinos at Riverport.
For your dining pleasure, no visit to St. Louis would be complete without a visit to a restaurant on “The Hill”. Celebrity chef Mario Batali of The Food Network calls The Hill one of the top “Little Italy” neighborhoods in the country and praises the area’s exquisite Northern Italian cuisine. The area was settled in the early 1900’s by Italian immigrants and was home to baseball personalities Yogi Berra, Joe Garagiola and Jack Buck.
And, to get to our fair city’s many attractions, there is St. Louis’ light rail system, Metrolink, which has been hailed as one of the best mass transit systems in the country. The system begins at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and covers 38 miles, ending in suburban Belleville, Illinois and stopping at 28 Missouri and Illinois stations in-between, many of them located near St. Louis attractions.