Five Reasons To Visit St. Louis This Summer

May 10, 2014 7:00 AM

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Smack dab in the center of the USA sits one of the country’s great treasures — the city of St. Louis. Here the Mighty Mississippi flows past the Gateway Arch, which is the nation’s tallest monument. The STL’s world-class Art Museum is free thanks to the city’s cultural tax district, and the sprawling Science Center, Six Flags and City Museum are loved by locals and tourists alike. But there’s even more to love about St. Louis, especially in the summer.

forestpark Five Reasons To Visit St. Louis This Summer


Forest Park
5595 Grand Drive
St. Louis, MO 63112
(314) 367-7275

At nearly 1,300 acres, Forest Park is nearly 50 percent larger than New York’s Central Park. This huge mid-town oasis offers an abundance of trails for biking, walking, running and inline skating. The park offers standard sports like golf and tennis, plus a boathouse so you can spend your day pedaling or paddling on the lake. Many of the STL’s biggest attractions are located in or near the park, including the Jewel Box, Art Museum, Zoo, Science Center, Muny Amphitheater and History Museum. 

themuny Five Reasons To Visit St. Louis This Summer


The Muny
1 Theatre Drive
St. Louis, MO 63112
(314) 361-1900

One of Forest Park’s attractions is America’s oldest and largest outdoor theater, the Muny. This is where St. Louisans sit under the stars, sip strawberry margaritas and enjoy Broadway musicals. Because Forest Park’s attractions are partially tax supported, tickets at the Muny range in price from $14 to $85 — and some free seats are set aside at every performance. Locals come early to picnic in the park, whether they plan to get in line for free seats or already have tickets. 

stlzooentrance Five Reasons To Visit St. Louis This Summer


St. Louis Zoo
1 Government Drive
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 781-0900

St. Louis is home to one of the best zoos in the country. Even better — it’s free. The Zoo’s 90 acres house 18,000 animals, representing 700 species. Exhibits include an Insectarium, Penguin and Puffin Coast, Children’s Zoo and a Zooline Railroad. While general admission to the Zoo is free, there are charges for some exhibits and activities. The Children’s Zoo is well worth its $4 admission, but if you enter the area during the first hour the zoo is open, it’s free. A $10 pass covers everything, including the Children’s Zoo and the Zoo Railroad. 

Related:  Vacation Relaxation: Top Spas In St. Louis

botannicalgardens Five Reasons To Visit St. Louis This Summer


Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 577-5100

The locals refer to their beloved Botanical Garden as “Shaw’s Garden” after its founder Henry Shaw, or the more modern, “MoBot.” The complex is the oldest botanical garden in continuous operation in the US, and it’s a National Historic Landmark. MoBot is home to the largest Japanese garden in North America, and its climatron was the first geodesic dome to be used as a conservatory. The extensive Children’s Garden invites kids to play and explore, while the Kemp Center offers inspiration and information for home gardeners.

buschstadium 300 Five Reasons To Visit St. Louis This Summer

(credit Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Busch Stadium
700 Clark Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63102
(314) 345-9600

St. Louisans pride themselves on being rabid sports fans, and, above all, “sports” means Cardinals Baseball. The Cards play in Busch Stadium, which has been ranked in the top 10 nationwide by Yelp, Bleacher Report and Fox Sports, among others. In 2014, the long-awaited Ballpark Village area next to the Stadium is finally becoming a reality. This area houses the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, the Budweiser Brew House and a whole host of restaurants, bars and performance stages. 

Related: Top Local Trivia About St. Louis

Lauren Haas was the founder and publisher of The St. Louis Area Family Gazette magazine, and editor-in-chief of Marketplace Magazine. Now, Lauren is a full-time freelance writer who travels the world, using St. Louis as her base. Contact her at

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