Why Go To St. Louis
With a slice of Midwestern Americana and a hint of cosmopolitan flair, St. Louis' charms are best viewed in the stands of Busch Stadium, in the nostalgia of the iconic Judy Garland film "Meet Me in St. Louis," or at the bottom of a pint of Budweiser. And yes, there's the Gateway Arch – that gleaming curve of stainless steel. But beyond St. Louie's star attractions, you'll find a vibrant city that has plenty to offer for beer, food, sports and music enthusiasts. To start, it's the birthplace of iced tea and ice cream cones and is often referred to as the "Home of the Blues" thanks to its rich music scene. And with 79 distinct neighborhoods to tour, including tranquil Forest Park and historical Soulard, there's plenty to see, eat and do in this Midwestern metropolis. Plus, exploring here won't put a major dent in your wallet: St. Louis boasts more free attractions than any city outside the District of Columbia. So take a cue from Lewis and Clark, who "discovered" the area in the early 19th century, and start your exploration of the West – and St. Louie – here.
The U.S. News & World Report travel rankings are based on analysis of expert and user opinions.
St. Louis is ranked as:
#1 In Best Places to Visit in Missouri
Best Things To Do In St. Louis
With its cache of vibrant museums, gardens and parks, you'll find plenty of reasons to meet in St. Louis. Families will enjoy visiting the Saint Louis Zoo, The Magic House and the Saint Louis Science Center. Meanwhile, artsy types can't pass up a chance to check out the City Museum and the Saint Louis Art Museum. Wherever you start your expedition, save time to marvel at the iconic stainless steel Gateway Arch is a monument to the country's westward expansion is also an engineering marvel, which St. Louisans remain proud of more than 50 years after its construction. The Gateway Arch, which was designed and submitted by Eero Saarinen during a national competition, rises 630 feet into the air and spans 630 feet from leg to leg.
St. Louis Travel Tips
It's multicultural - Although the Gateway to the West offers its fair share of classic Americana (think: Cardinals baseball and barbecue), St. Louis also boasts a sizable immigrant population. In fact, this Midwestern city is home to the world's largest Bosnian population outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
It's hopping - For a night out, head to The Loop in the West End. This area features a vibrant set of watering holes, plus dance lounges and several live music venues.
It's a barbecue town - St. Louis' version of barbecue is tangy and sweet. To sample some of the city's finest barbecue, visit traveler-approved barbecue joints like Bogart's Smokehouse in Soulard and Pappy's Smokehouse in Midtown.
Be mindful of the Cardinals' home schedule - Although hotel rates stay fairly consistent throughout the year, prices can rise when the Cardinals play at home. To avoid these higher prices, plan your visit in the offseason or when the Cardinals are away.
Take advantage of the city's free attractions One of the draws of this Missouri city is its abundance of free activities. Save some money by sticking to St. Louis' free attractions, such as the Saint Louis Zoo and the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis.