I’m not a travel agent. I just recognize a good (make that great) thing when I see it. And St. Louis is great! It’s especially great this summer because we’ve decided to vacation closer to home. We’ll not only save on fuel prices by staying closer, but there’s so much to see and do in this wonderful city on the Mississippi River.
St. Louis campgrounds
Bring your RV and stay at the KOA or Jellystone Park, both near Eureka, MO. Both campgrounds are located about 20 minutes from the city itself, but the trip on I-44 is beautiful. You’ll see amazing limestone/dolomite cliffs, lush forests, and the winding Meramec River.
You read that right! There are many, many places in and around St. Louis that you and your family can enjoy for free. I won’t go into a lot of detail. (It would fill a book!) You can Google the following free area attractions for more information: St. Louis Zoo, The Arch, Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, and Forest Park. Also check out the St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Science Center, Missouri History Museum, Laumeier Sculpture Park, Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, City Garden, Old Courthouse (re: Dred Scott trial site), Lone Elk Park, Grant’s Farm, Soulard Farmers’ Market, Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center, Central Public Library, Jefferson Barracks Historic Park, The Old Cathedral, Soldier’s Memorial Military Museum, Federal Reserve Bank, and the World Bird Sanctuary. Whew! That’s quite a list! Did I mention they are all free?
Free factory tours
Select St. Louis businesses also offer free facility tours. Check out Schlafly Bottleworks, Anheuser-Busch Brewery, or 4 Hands Brewery for free tours and product samples for adults! Or tour Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate’s factory for free. You’ll even get a fresh piece of (you guessed it) chocolate at the end of your tour. And yes, it’s free, too!
For a fee
Many of the aforementioned free attractions also offer specialized tours for a fee. For example, you can go behind the scenes at the Zoo for an up-close look at your favorite animals; see fabulous special art installations on loan to the Art Museum; travel to the top of the Arch; or view an educational movie on the Science Center’s IMAX 3D experience.
History buffs can tour the following places: Field House Museum, Magic Chef Mansion, the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion, Campbell House Museum, and the Daniel Boone Home. Take a Riordan Tour to discover the haunted side of St. Louis. Or try the St. Louis Paranormal Research Society’s tour. There really is something for everyone in St. Louis.
Sports fans can catch a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game if you time your summer vacation to coincide with when the Cards play at home in Busch Stadium. Tickets are as low as $15. The experience is priceless.
St. Louis has so many great places to eat. From Italian to German to good ol’ American BBQ, they’ve got it all. Simply ask wherever you fuel up and the friendly people of St. Louis will gladly direct you to their favorite local restaurants. Or check out Sauce, St. Louis’ own free foodie magazine, for recommendations.
No matter when you plan to travel, be sure to put St. Louis, Missouri, on your “Go-To” list. You and your family won’t be disappointed.
What’s your favorite place to visit? Why? Tell us all about it in the comments. We’d love to recommend your favorite place to other readers.
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