Last month, I took a week-long vacation from my full-time job and we took that time to explore a few new places in St. Louis. With summer coming to an end in the near future, I thought this would be the perfect time to introduce a new three-part series titled Vacation Staycation and focus on some of what the area has to offer. Without further ado, let’s dive into Vacation Staycation-St. Louis!
St. Louis was originally founded in 1764 by the French and then ceded over to Spain the same year. In the year 1800, however, it found it was back into French hands. A short three years later, St. Louis (and Missouri) was sold to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Over the years, St. Louis continued to grow, becoming a major port along the Mississippi River. In 1904, St. Louis even hosted a World’s Fair! Home to the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team and the Blues hockey team, the fun stuff doesn’t stop there. Read on to see what other fun sights and activities there are waiting for you.
St. Louis Zoo
I have to admit, I love the St. Louis Zoo! So much so, that we have a membership and regularly become “zoo parents” to help aid in the care of the animals there. Located in the massive Forest Park, the zoo is ever-evolving its exhibits to make them better for not only the animals but the guests as well. Most recently, they renovated the beloved Children’s Zoo into an animatronic, interactive dinosaur area. They also re-did their primate exhibit and added a play area for the kids. While there is no cost to enter the zoo, there is a cost for parking in a zoo lot (free parking can be found around Forest Park, but you may have a small hike to get to the zoo), and exhibits like the dinosaurs, stingrays, sealion show, carousel, and zoo train all have small ticket prices. But if you’re planning to do multiple things, they have adventure passes that get you access to some of those events. Given the size of the zoo, you can easily make an entire day visit out of seeing everything they have to offer. If you’re like us and don’t have kids, but still want to visit the zoo, I’d highly recommend waiting until just after school starts. Take a vacation day from work and spend it visiting the animals with nearly unobstructed views.
While you’re in Forest Park, don’t forget about the Jewel Box, Missouri History Museum, the St. Louis Art Museum, and the St. Louis Science Center!
St. Louis Arch
Even if you went while you were in grade school or high school, checking out the new St. Louis Arch museum is another staycation bucket list item you need to check off! Completed in 1965, standing 630 feet tall, the Arch is the tallest arch and man-made monument in the Western hemisphere. We always use it as a visual marker for getting close to downtown St. Louis. While you’re checking out the new grounds around the Arch, don’t forget about those iconic river views!
Missouri Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens is another great outdoor option for a little day trip in STL. While you do have to pay an admissions fee to get into the gardens, few things can beat taking a peaceful stroll through the different areas and revealing all of nature’s different beauties. Stop in the gift shop prior to heading out into the gardens, and when you reach the Japanese garden, take a minute to feed the massive koi swimming in the pond. Currently, the Garden is offering an exhibit called Origami in the Garden, available both during the day and night. The Botanical Garden does have several indoor exhibits, but due to Covid, those may not always be available to enter.
Vacation Staycation: St. Louis Part 1 Cost Recap
Quick reference to ticket/admission costs
St. Louis Zoo-$15 parking, FREE admission to the zoo, Sea lion, stingrays, train & carousel cost extra
Gateway Arch-$12-$16/adult, $8-$12/children
Missouri Botanical Garden-$14
So, that wraps up part one of my Vacation Staycation: St. Louis series. I’ll be focusing on some of the newer attractions in St. Louis in part two, and we’ll conclude part three with some great eateries for you to check out. As always, you can contact me at email@example.com, sign up for the latest post to be delivered straight to your inbox below, and follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest! Drop a comment below with some of your favorite spots in St. Louis to visit!