Sightseeing in St. Louis

St. Louis is one of those cities that is just packed with activities for locals and tourists to do and see. From the world famous Gateway Arch and the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales to the little known Historic city of Kimmswick, there is something for everyone when sightseeing in St. Louis.

The Gateway Arch

Sightseeing in St. Louis should begin or end with its most noted landmark, the St. Louis Gateway Arch, which is the tallest manmade monument in the United States at 630 feet high. For those people brave enough to ride to the top on a windy day you’ll notice that then entire arch is swaying. The arch can sway a maximum of 18 inches, nine inches each way, in winds of 150 mph or more. But unless you’re out in these conditions you may not even notice a sway, a half inch each way is the typical movement. Plan for a day at the Gateway Arch because the entire riverfront area is packed with activities and adventures.

Museum of Westward Expansion

One of the sights to visit after the Gateway Arch is the Museum of Westward Expansion, this museum houses some of the rarest artifacts from the great explorers Lewis and Clark. There are also a number of artifacts and exhibits that relate to Native Americans and their history in the St. Louis region. Complete the historical experience by visiting William Clark’s gravesite in the Bellefontaine Cemetery.

The Mississippi

One of the sights you just have to see when you visit St. Louis is the Mississippi River, mainly because it’s hard to avoid. But there is a lot of love and enjoy about the Mississippi River as well. One of the best ways to take full advantage is by going on a Mississippi Riverboat Cruise. There are a huge variety of cruises to choose from but dinner cruises tend to be the most popular tips. Because the riverboat guides are very informed about the Mississippi River and the St. Louis area this is an adventure you may want to schedule at the beginning of your trip so you can get tips on other highlights in St. Louis.

Historic Old Courthouse

The courthouse and the Gateway Arch behind it-Marcin Wichary745Creative Commons License Photo credit: Marcin Wichary

The courthouse and the Gateway Arch behind it

The Historic Old Courthouse in St. Louis was built in 1826 in a rather traditional Federal Style with several style and architectural transitions until 1862. The courthouse was a center of activity in its day from the Dred Scott suit to the local Suffragist movement spearheaded by Virginia Louisa Minor. The Old Courthouse today is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park and features a number of displays that cover various points of time in St. Louis history.

Anheuser-Busch Complex

One of the most famous companies headquartered in St. Louis is Anheuser-Busch and so it’s no wonder that three of their buildings are national historic landmarks, the Old School House, the Brew House and the Clydesdale Stable. The Old School House was originally constructed in 1868 and was originally known as the Lyon School. In 1907 the city no longer needed the building and sold it to Anheuser-Busch which promptly converted it into their central office until 1982. The Brew House was built in 1891 and 1892 and was the center of the St. Louis Brewery. The Romanesque building with its clock tower was quite impressive and the most modern, efficient brew house of its time, since then it’s been expanded over the years and has an annual capacity of 15.8 million barrels. The Clydesdale Stable was built in 1885 for $35,000 and was once a private stable for Adolphus Busch. As with all their buildings, no expense was spared at the time to make it the most impressive, beautiful stable around. It wasn’t until 1933 that August A. Busch, Jr. decided to use the stable to house the new signature Clydesdale horses. All of these landmarks are open to the public and an interesting look into the lives of the Busch family as well as their empire.

Busch Stadium

Busch Stadium Panorama-Kevin.Ward31Creative Commons License Photo credit: Kevin.Ward

Busch Stadium Panorama

Official home of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Busch Stadium is a must see for the sports fans visiting the St. Louis area. This stadium opened in 2006 and hosts all of the St. Louis Cardinal home games. The facility is built so that fans not only get a great view of the game but can see the beautiful skyline behind the outfield. Check the game schedule to see if you can fit a game into your schedule.

Historic Kimmswick

The historic town of Kimmswick takes visitors back to a different era, back to the mid 1800s when this small town was settled by German immigrants. The town was once very prosperous but by the turn of the century it was almost forgotten and fell into decay and disrepair but in 1969 a movement was started to restore the city. The city that once was home to 1,500 is now home to about 150 people who live and work in the original buildings which are open to the public as antique stores, craft shops, souvenir and collectible stores and quaint restaurants.

Missouri Botanical Gardens

The Missouri Botanical Garden was founded in 1859 and is the national’s oldest botanical garden in continuous operation. With79 acres, including the 14 acre Japanese strolling garden, the original home to Henry Shaw is truly a magnificent beauty. Of note to flower lovers, the gardens house the world’s largest collection of rare and endangered orchids. If you’re headed to the Missouri Botanical Gardens in 2009 you’re in luck, it’s their 150th anniversary, or the sesquicentennial, and there will be celebrations throughout the year. The gardens recommend you spend at least three hours visiting the grounds to get the most out of the experience, but feel free to stay longer if you want.

St. Louis is a unique city that takes advantage of its historical past, its beautiful natural elements and stately architectural structures to create unique sightseeing opportunities for locals and visitors. There is something for everyone in St. Louis, in fact there is so much to see and do you can change venues every time you change your mind and still not run out of things to explore.
Creative Commons License Photo credit: dionnemusic