31 Things to Do in St. Louis

The Arch.  The Lou.  Home of the Cardinals.  Nelly.  LGB.  Thin crust pizza with provel.  Gooey butter cake.  St. Louis claims a number of unique traditions, but if you’re planning a trip to the Gateway to the West, take a look at the top 31 places to be, sights to see, foods to eat, things to do and places to shop.

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1 . The Arch.  First things first.  Although you’ll have to squeeze into the small car to take you up top, the views are great.  No, the locals don’t do it on the daily, but most have done it at least once, and really, you just have to be able to say you did it.

2 . The St. Louis Zoo. A must especially considering it’s been ranked one of the best zoos — oh, and it’s free.

3 . St. Louis Art Museum. Picasso, Matisse and Van Gogh — they got ‘em!  And oh, free admission again?  Bingo!

4 . History Museum. If you want to learn a thing or two on vacay, hit up the Missouri History Museum for free. They recently added an exhibit on the Blues’ Stanley Cup win.

5 . Stroll the Loop. This street is known for its restaurants, shops and a concert venue called the Pageant.  Read #6-9 for several things to hit up on the Loop:

6 . Fitz’s. Root beer and Nutella?  I think yes!  Hit up this restaurant for some great burgers.  You can even watch the root beer being bottled right before your eyes.  My recommendation for root beer floats would definitely be the Eurostar (root beer, vanilla ice cream, Nutella, caramel sauce and whipped cream).  Also, if you eat gluten-free, they have an entire menu for you on their website.  If you can’t make it to St. Louis or just can’t stop thinking about their incredible bottled beverages, you can get it shipped to your front door.

7 . Pi Pizza. While this chain is also located in D.C. and Cincinnati, this is definitely a great place to hit up, especially on the Loop.  If you sit outside, you’re literally steps away from the Pageant.  Although known for their deep dish pizza, their B.L.T. salads are phenomenal as well.

8 . The Loop Trolley. Zoom up and down the Delmar Loop in style on the new trolley. More info here.

9 . Vintage Vinyl. Calling all hipsters!  For all your vinyl record needs and, really, just status.  Be sure to pick up a pink sticker to put on your Toms box, recycled notebooks and other hipster stuff.

10 . College visits. If you happen to be in the city, why not squeeze in a college visit or two for your teens who are ever-so-eager to peace out of the house?  They could be future SLU Billiken or Wash U Bear.

11 . Cardinals Game. Be prepared for a sea of red and die-hard fans in this baseball town.  And you better be wearing some Cardinal red and ready to chant charge!

12 . Rams Game. Oh, wait … please reread #11!  No NFL, but please read on.

13 . Blues Game. Not into baseball?  Grab a sweatshirt and cheer on the Notes. If you live under a rock and haven’t heard, yes, we won the Stanley Cup. And no, we won’t shut up about it.

14 . Art Hill Film Series. It’s one thing to watch a movie sitting around in sweatpants at your hotel, but this film series adds a whole new dimension by showing it on Art Hill.  While not available year-round, be sure to check it out if you’re heading to the Lou over the summer and don’t forget the picnic blanket.

15 . Imo’s. You’ve had Chicago, and you’ve had New York style.  But now it’s time for thin crust St. Louis-style pizza topped with provel cheese.  And this restaurant is the icon of this style.

16 . St. Louis Goodies. St. Louisans are proud to call gooey butter cake and toasted ravioli as their own.  And your mind will be blown as to why the nation isn’t as obsessed with these eats.  Don’t just take my word for it; Kevin Hart and Ice Cube taste tested toasted raviolis along with Ted Drewes custard and #15.

17 . Steinberg Skating Rink. Visiting during the winter?  Take a visit to Steinberg for a round of ice skating, and be prepared to pay in cash.

18 . The Muny. You’ve probably seen a play before (okay, yes, your sixth grade musical counts I guess), but the Muny takes it a step further with summer evening shows at its outdoor theater.

19 . The Hill. Nothing beats Italian food, and the Hill is known for it.  Hit up Favazza’s for some authentic Italian food.  The first time we went there, we ordered a gluten-free pepperoni and sausage pizza and loved it so much that we ordered another one as we were scarfing down the first one.  Bottom line?  Incredible.

20 . Casa Loma Swing Dancing. Done with just looking at pieces of art and sleeping giraffes?  If you’re ready to get out and do something new and exciting, Casa Loma is the place to be for swing dancing.  (Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers are always a favorite, too.)  Never been swing dancing?  Not a problem.  Show up early for group lessons and learn the ropes (well, the Pretzel).

21 . City Coffeehouse & Creperie. Okay, St. Louis and France aren’t near geographically, but get a taste of bleu, blanc, rouge with these French-inspired crepes.  My absolute favorite is a buckwheat crepe with Nutella, strawberries, whipped cream and powdered sugar. 

22 . St. Louis Science Center. The word science may ward off many, but don’t be misled.  Check out what you can see here.

23 . Magic House. You know you’ve always wanted your hair to stand stick-straight out like in the cartoons?  Look no further — this spot is perfect for hands-on activities for young kids.

24 . Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate Factory. Yes, yes AND yes.  Not only will your heart melt in this chocolate store, but this business also offers free tours, which may or may not include a free sample.  Be sure to come with an empty stomach.

25 . Amigos Cantina. While not technically in downtown St. Louis, stop by the near and largely pedestrian suburb of Kirkwood for some to-die-for Mexican food.  While we overheard people saying the wait would be around 45 minutes on that crowded Friday night, Riley and I stepped up to find out for ourselves: no wait if we ate on the patio.  The night was chilly, but the patio was covered and had these super cool fire torches, making the temperature totally manageable.  And those torches really made the night (and an epic Insta pic!).  But let me give you a strong warning: beware the complimentary chips and salsa because you might be full once your meal comes out.  I loved their Chicken Nachos for an entree and would definitely recommend.

26 . paper dolls. Also in the charming ‘burb of Kirkwood, this boutique offers cute clothing and jewelry along with some special STL items.

27 . Drive through Kirkwood neighborhoods. I know you’ll fall in love just looking at these old homes.  It’s free and gives you some time off your feet.

28 . Strange Donuts. You may be raising your eyebrows, wondering if you read that right… This Kirkwood spot offers all the donuts you never thought existed like Strange Bacon and Chicken and Waffle (find out more fun flavors here).  This place also offers gluten-free donuts for select times — be sure to give ‘em a ring to check.

29 . Tropical Moose Shaved Ice.Or as the locals call it: Tro Mo.  Head to this Kirkwood spot for a refreshing treat after all that walking around the town.

30 . Cyrano’s. Not too far from Kirkwood, this restaurant located in Webster Groves offers items ranging from flambées to Coffee Rubbed Pork Tenderloin.

31 . The Fabulous Fox. You’ll feel like you’re in an entirely different era with the ornate design of this theater.  Plan to stop by for events ranging from plays to concerts.

With 30 things to do, you will be ready to explore the Gateway to the West.  Need a map?  Try this one out.  And if you’re hungry for more, check out 12 more things to do in the Lou.  To claim your FREE week St. Louis city guide with a break down of activities for each day, click here.

Looking for ways to budget and save for your next adventure? I shared my tip-top tips and tricks.

{Did I miss an attraction?  Tell me about it in the comments!}

34 thoughts on “31 Things to Do in St. Louis

    • roundtriptravel says:

      Thanks, Jenny! I’ve been there, but it was years and years ago. I grew up with an attorney for a parent who said it was a “lawsuit waiting to happen.” Which meant we didn’t get to go. Now that I’m older, I need to go back! Thanks for sharing!


  1. Dominic Farinha says:

    If you are an animal person (technically a cat person), you need to head over to Mauhaus in Maplewood, MO to visit Missouri’s first cat cafe. They have been featured in many local publications and on television. The owners are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

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