Make some history this weekend.

Famously known for the Gateway Arch, good beer, sports and tons of history, St. Louis, Missouri is the perfect destination for both short and long trips.

From French colonial history to Lewis and Clark to the Civil War and beyond, the Gateway City has a plethora of historic sites and museums that tell its unique story. Plus, the St. Louis area is home to wonderful eateries, delicious craft beer, beautiful scenery and fun family activities. So, make the Gateway to the West your next vacation spot!

Historic Happenings

Want to explore St. Louis’ history? This day plan is for the history buff wanting to explore the past.

  • Print or download your tour map.
  • Enjoy a delicious breakfast at The Mud House, a casual eatery known for its terrific breakfast sandwiches, burritos, pastries and coffee. Plus, it is located along historic Cherokee Street, just south of downtown.
  • Did you know Missouri bore witness to approximately 1,200 engagements during the Civil War? Only Virginia and Tennessee had more battles than the Show Me State. Go see hundreds of artifacts on display about Civil War Missouri, including personal effects from Franz Sigel, Abraham Lincoln, Douglas Cooper, James McCormick and Walter Raleigh Robbins, at the Missouri Civil War Museum. The museum is located in a beautifully restored post exchange building at historic Jefferson Barracks with the National Cemetery nearby.
  • Want a tasty meal with great hospitality nearby? Go eat at Café Telegraph, located adjacent to Jefferson Barracks historic site: the former training ground of over 200 Civil War generals. Try their famous pork steak — a St. Louis tradition!
  • Explore the life of Ulysses Grant and the Dent family at Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site – also known as White Haven. Take a tour of the home and also explore the museum.
  • Near the city, explore more of Missouri and St. Louis history at the Missouri History Museum. For St. Louis military history, Soldiers Memorial Military museum is a beautiful tribute to the Gateway City’s heroes. Both have free admission.
  • Another great option is visiting Bellefontaine and Calvary Cemeteries north of the city. See the graves of William T. Sherman, Sterling Price, Don Carlos Buell, A.P. Stewart, James Eads, Dred and Harriet Scott, Adolphus Busch, Virginia Minor, Kate Chopin, Daniel Frost, Thomas Hart Benton and many more.
  • Want some local history and cuisine? St. Louis is home to great restaurants that reflect the city’s diverse heritage. Venture out to Urban Chestnut Grove Brewery and Beirhall for German food and craft beer — a staple of the city’s deep German roots. Explore the city’s Italian heritage at the famous Charlie Gitto’s On the Hill restaurant and try their toasted ravioli (a local favorite) and delicious pastas.
  • If you have multiple days to explore the area, drive 90 minutes south to Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic Site, the first major battle of Confederate General Sterling Price’s campaign into Missouri in 1864. You can also explore the preserved Union earthen fort there.

Family Fun

Check out some more family-friendly experiences in St. Louis to enhance your experience!

  • Print or download your tour map.
  • Go see the iconic Gateway Arch and its brand-new museum about Missouri and westward expansion.
  • Grant’s Farm is the 281-acre home of the Busch family and also the site of Grant’s Hardscrabble. There is history, lots of wildlife and German heritage. Families can enjoy shows, take a tram ride, feed goats and more!
  • Find more non-history things to keep the kids busy and having fun by going to one of these places:
    • The Saint Louis Zoo at Forest Park is one of the very best zoos in the country — and it is free!
    • Further into the city, take the kids to the City Museum — a massive indoor/outdoor playground that features much of St. Louis’ architecture and beauty.
    • Reflecting St. Louis’ love of sports, there is the Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum and  tours of Busch Stadium. They both showcase St. Louis’ baseball legends.
    • Does your child love science? Located near the city, the Saint Louis Science Center is a free museum filled with interactive exhibits, a planetarium and an OMINIMAX theater. There is also The Magic House, one of the country’s best museums for children. 
  • Have you ever tasted frozen custard? Take the family to the world-renowned Ted Drewes. With multiple locations and dozens of flavors, everyone will find a treat they love.
  • For inexpensive, but delicious places to eat, consider grabbing a St. Louis style pie (flat crusted squares with Provel cheese) at Imo’s Pizza, root beer floats and burgers at Fitz’s and great St. Louis-style BBQ at Pappy’s Smokehouse or Sugarfire Smokehouse.
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Retail Therapy

Like shopping? Check out our list of places to shop and explore in St. Louis.

Romantic St. Louis

Spend some time with your better half in the St. Louis area — a perfect place to relax and enjoy one another.

Before your go

We have some great tips to prepare you for a visit to the Great St. Louis area, including historical information, weather, hotel recommendations and additional sightseeing information.