The greater St. Louis region offers a wide range of activities and experiences for the out-of-town visitor. Downtown St. Louis, 40 miles east of the National Equestrian Center, has a true city vibe. Stroll the busy streets, pop into a local restaurant for an afternoon coffee or cocktail, attend an event or a baseball game, or simply appreciate the architecture.
Closer to the NEC, you’ll find your choice of shopping centers and outlet malls in Chesterfield, plus Ameristar’s Vegas-style casino as well as a historic main street district in St. Charles. Whether you want exciting entertainment and a meal at your favorite restaurant or a more down-home experience at a local watering hole, you can find it in and around St. Louis.
Where to Stay
Some of the region’s more popular attractions include:
Missouri Botanical Garden
Missouri Botanical Garden is the oldest botanical garden in the country and a National Historic Landmark. Visit the garden to explore 79 acres of lush, meticulously cared for gardens, including a 14-acre Japanese garden, a large collection of rare orchids, and Henry Shaw’s original estate home that dates back to 1850.
St. Louis Zoo
The St. Louis Zoo welcomes millions of visitors annually to its 90 acres of wildlife habitats and exhibits. More than 12,000 animals live at the zoo, including popular sea lions, polar bears, red pandas, primates, and hippos. TripAdvisor readers ranked the St. Louis Zoo as one of the 10 best zoos in the world in 2018. Best of all, the St. Louis is free to visit.
You have to see it to believe it. City Museum is a 3D exhibit of repurposed materials from old cities, turned into a maze of tunnels, slides, and bridges. It’s an ever-popular attraction with adults and kids.
The Gateway Arch
The Gateway Arch is the world’s tallest arch and a monument to the westward U.S. expansion in the 19th century. Take a tram to the top for amazing views, and then take the afternoon to explore the Arch Museum and grounds.
Forest Park, one of the country’s most popular urban parks, is home to the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, and the St. Louis Science Center. Spanning 1,300 acres, it’s larger than New York’s Central Park. Walk or bike miles of trails, attend a festival, or enjoy a game of pick-up soccer — find everything you need on the park’s interactive map here.
Craving a cheesy calzone? Or looking for a sweet treat that’s keto-friendly? Get the inside scoop on the St. Louis restaurant scene at Feast Magazine. For a true St. Louis experience, try thin-crust pizza, toasted ravioli, and a local brew like Urban Chestnut or Civil Life.