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St. Louis: The Gateway to the West
Are you looking for a fun vacation for the whole family? Don’t pass on St. Louis, because this urban town may have just what you’re looking for. The city claims to have more free attractions, than any other major city in the United States and you definitely don’t want to pass that up. Who doesn’t love free stuff! View The Arch, see a Cardinals game, eat comfort food that will have your taste buds singing, visit a museum or enjoy nature at one of the largest parks in the Midwest. Whatever your preference, St. Louis has a whole lot to offer. There are plenty of activities filled with culture and friendly Midwest fun, for the entire family.
Sleeping in St. Louis
Having easy access to all of St. Louis’ attractions will give you lots of time to explore the city. Staying downtown will be the best option for you and your family, because you’ll be in the city’s center. Drury Plaza at The Arch is a great option if you’re on a higher price point. This family friendly hotel is located in the heart of downtown. You’re close to many attractions on foot, including, the Cardinals stadium, The Arch and the city museum. The hotel offers a restaurant, spa, fitness center and indoor pool. Another great family friendly option, in the heart of downtown, is Hampton Inn St. Louis Downtown. This hotel is overlooking The Arch in downtown St. Louis and is within walking distance to the America’s Center. There’s a fitness center, indoor pool and onsite restaurant. However, by staying in downtown St. Louis you’re also close to other restaurants and nightlife options. Another plus, if you’re bringing your family, is this hotel has family rooms that you can book. Just to note, this hotel is on the pricier side, but it’s worth it since you’re able to walk everywhere.
For those looking to save more money and who have a lower price point, the St. Louis area has great cheap hotel options. However, most of them are in the suburbs and surrounding areas of St. Louis. One example of that is, Days Inn St. Louis Westport, MO. This cheap hotel is about 26 minutes outside of the city. However, it’s near I-270 so you’ll be able to reach downtown St. Louis very quickly. This affordable family friendly hotel features free parking, a free breakfast buffet and is very close to St. Louis’ International Airport. There’s also a fitness center and outdoor pool. Another great affordable option is, Hilton Garden Inn St. Louis-Airport. This hotel is conveniently located just off I-70. So, if you and your family stay here, you would be minutes from downtown St. Louis and three miles from the St. Louis International airport. This hotel is close to shopping, fine dining and exciting attractions. The hotel offers many great amenities, such as a lounge/bar and restaurant. There’s also a fitness room, an indoor pool, and a free airport shuttle to and from the airport.
Things to Do in St. Louis
A trip to St. Louis would not be complete without visiting The Arch. Known as the “Gateway to the West”, this monument was created to represent westward expansion in the United States. Locals are still proud of the 630 feet tall, stainless steel Gateway Arch and it’s a main site for the city. You know you’re in St. Louis when you see “The Arch.” Locals suggest paying the fee and riding to the top of The Arch, for incredible views of the city. The tram ride is tight, but it’s said that there is nothing like going across the Mississippi River to see the city’s entire skyline.
Your ‘one stop-shop’ in the city will be found at The Loop. This six-block district is filled with restaurants, boutiques, bars, galleries and even open-air cafes. This is a popular hangout spot for St. Louis’ young adult, trendy and hipster crowds. The shops range from second-hand clothing stores, to book stores and athletic apparel. You’ll be able to satisfy all of your shopping needs in The Loop. Make sure you visit Blueberry Hill – a restaurant and live music venue, and one of The Loop’s most sought out places. The Loop is located just north of Forest Park.
Speaking of Forest Park, you definitely don’t want to miss a trip here. Although considering the size of this enormous park, it would be hard to miss and nature lovers may pass out from the sheer size of it. The park is known to be about 500 acres larger than New York City’s Central Park, if you want to get an idea of how gigantic this place is. On top of that, the park holds about 1,300 acres of things to do in St. Louis alone. You’ll find fun museums inside the park, a golf course and summer concerts are held inside as well. The St. Louis zoo is inside the park and you should definitely check out the diverse exhibits. Plus, the zoo’s main attractions are free. If the weather permits take a jog on one of its many trails, take a boat through its waterways, or you can try your swing at the tennis courts. However there is so much to do in Forest Park, you won’t be able to complete them all in one trip. The park is free, but attractions may charge their own fees.
The Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals are very much loved in their city. Even if you’re not a baseball fan, or you’re not a fan of the Cardinals – don’t say this out loud in St. Louis, a trip to Busch Stadium is worth seeing. During a game, the ballpark is taken over by its red wearing fans and visitors say it’s a sight to be seen. One convenient thing about this stadium is the escalators, which helps with mobility around the ballpark. While you’re here make sure you stop at Ballpark Village to view the Cardinals’ history museum. It has been said that the experience of Bausch Stadium can be enjoyed without the love of baseball. The ambiance is perfect for a summer evening, and the views of The Arch, and part of the St. Louis skyline, should be seen. If you’d rather not see a baseball game, the stadium does offer day tours.
Additional free sites such as the Anheuser-Busch Brewery and Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis should not be missed during your trip as well. However, with even more sites and activities in St. Louis, you definitely won’t be able to see everything in one trip. More family friendly fun will await you, when you return and it will be worth it.
Price rangefrom $37to $931
- Hotel Clarionfrom $41
- Hotel Holiday Inn Express St Louisfrom $73
- Hotel River Cityfrom $127
- Hotel Lumière Placefrom $88
- Hotel Days Inn St Louis Westport MOfrom $54
- Hotel Hilton Garden Inn Saint Louis Airportfrom $63
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- Hilton St. Louis Downtown at the Arch
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- Drury Plaza at the Arch
- Best Western Saint Louis Inn
- Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham St Louis Westport Plaza
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