Day trips are a great way to enjoy something different and not commit to an extravagant vacation. Fortunately, the St. Louis area is rich with places to go and things to do. We went and found the top five places to get away for the day. Family, friends, dates, or all of the above, we have found just the right place to go have some fun. Fill up the car, pack a lunch and hit the road for some adventure. Make memories and maybe even start a tradition or two while you’re at it.
Hermann, MO
(800) 932-8687
www.visithermann.com

Hermann is a small town that also has a heavy German influence. There are plenty of shops and festivals to keep travelers busy, but the wine aficionados will appreciate the number of wineries that are relatively close together. Families can enjoy hikes on the Katy Trail, or can catch one of many art and food festivals that the town hosts each year. The website lists events, and there is a calendar of events to choose from so vacations can be planned out well in advance.

Steelville, MO
(573) 775-2815
www.steelville.com

Steelville is just a short drive away, but so different from the hustle and bustle of St. Louis that it’s hard to imagine they are close. With parks and river floating, this is a great place to take the family on a float trip or a nature walk. The main street is nostalgic and reminiscent of the days when the town was founded. Nearby museums give history buffs and families a great place to go, or to stop between activities. This is a great place to take a date, enjoy some old-fashioned ice cream and a walk around the square. For the more adventurous, it’s also a great place to get some exercise and fresh air, and enjoy the peace and quiet of the Missouri woods.

Six Flags St. Louis
4900 Six Flags Road
Eureka, MO 63025
(636) 938-5300
www.sixflags.com/stlouis

Nothing says classic good time like an amusement park. Ideal for kids of all ages, Six Flags has plenty of rides and thrills to keep everyone amused for the day. The website has a tool to help plan the trip, and make sure everyone has a great time. This year, there is a new virtual reality roller coaster that lets guests enjoy all the thrills without the risk, and see different journeys that sync up with the headsets. There are always specials and themes so plan ahead and be ready to scream and laugh the day away. This makes for a classic first date, or a fun day with the kids.

Related:  5 Must-See Cities On Your Midwest Road Trip

Alton, IL
(618) 463-3500
www.cityofaltonil.com

Alton is well worth the trip. Visitors can enjoy some award-winning restaurants and shop in the downtown district. There are many specialty shops and niche markets for the wandering or curious. However, Alton’s greatest connection is with the rich history of the area. Guests can hike up to the top of the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower and see where the Missouri and the mighty Mississippi river converge. The Pere Marquette State Park also offers scenic views and a great variety of activities. For peace and quiet or breathtaking views, this is the best choice.

Ste. Genevieve
(573) 883-5400
www.visitstegen.com

Missouri’s oldest town, Ste. Genevieve is rich in both history and culture. Guests can explore the French history of the area, and enjoy some wineries that pepper the area. There is a wide selection of microbreweries and vineyards to tour, as well as historic bed and breakfasts, each with their own attractions and histories. An ideal day trip for sweethearts or newlyweds, this sweet and happy town makes a romantic destination.

Related: 5 Day Trips Near St. Louis To Do Before The Kids Go Back To School

Bon Tindle is an author from Springfield, MO. She writes fiction and nonfiction for several publications, and can be reached through her website (www.bontindle.com) with comments or questions.