German philosopher Friedrich Engels once wrote to a friend, “That you are going to America is bad, but I really don’t know what other advice to give you. Outside of New York, the only endurable place is St. Louis.” His words may be a bit harsh, but they speak to St. Louis’ power to win over even the most hesitant traveler. These four activities are just some of the reasons that staying in St. Louis this year is so appealing.
Explore the Attractions of Forest Park
Central Park might get all the buzz, but Forest Park is actually around 500 acres larger. It packs a lot into its 1,300 acres, including the Saint Louis Zoo, the historic Cabanne House, the World’s Fair Pavilion, the St. Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Science Center, and a striking art deco greenhouse dubbed the Jewel Box. All of these great attractions are absolutely free. Upcoming events include the I Love Forest Park Fun Run, Loufest, and bird walks on the first Saturday of most months.
See a Show at the Peabody Opera House
For music and theater while you’re in the city, visit the Peabody Opera House. Despite its name, this is no stuffy cultural venue. Traditional operas are rare. instead you’re more likely to see modern musicals or big-name pop, rock, and country acts. David Gray and Alison Krauss, the Pixies, and Michael McDonald are all on this year’s schedule.
The building dates back to 1934 and was very nearly demolished in the 90s. In 2009, renovations began to restore the old theater, originally called the Kiel Opera House, to its former glory. Its downtown location makes hotels near the Peabody Opera House great bases for all your local sightseeing.
Tour the Anheuser-Busch Brewery
St. Louis’ new U.S. of Beer day has come and gone, but it’s still worth touring Anheuser-Busch Brewery in 2017. All visitors of legal drinking age receive two complimentary beers and plenty of expert knowledge when they join a guided tour. The 45-minute tours are free, but places fill fast, especially on weekends. Alternatively, you can book one of the longer Day Fresh, Beer Museum, or Beermaster Tours starting from $10. Or get a real education at Beer School!
While the beer matters, meeting the friendly Clydesdale horses who live in the brewery’s historic stables is the highlight for many visitors. These stallions have much easier lives than the original horses, who pulled wagons carrying beer during the 19th century.
Release Your Inner Child at the Turtle Playground
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Whether or not you have kids, visiting Turtle Playground is great fun. This Oakland Avenue fixture is no ordinary jungle gym, with enormous stone reptiles replacing traditional swings and slides. Stand on their giant shells and even climb inside their mouths if you dare! Take your camera, because this quirky playground provides plenty of photo opportunities. It’s the work of local artist Bob Cassilly, who believes sculptures should be interactive rather than simply admired from afar.
Make sure you put these amazing attractions on your St. Louis itinerary.