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A St. Louis travel guide – children’s museums and late-night blues at the gateway to the American West

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Begin your St. Louis vacation beneath the iconic Gateway Arch and discover a diverse city of Lewis and Clark, beer brewing, inexpensive family attractions and art of every ilk. Book a St. Louis hotel and let the adventure begin.

Gateway to America’s West

The 630-foot stainless steel Gateway Arch, designed by Eero Saarinen, marks the symbolic portal to the American West. Visit the Museum of Westward Expansion beneath the Arch on your St. Louis vacation to see journals, maps and artifacts from the Lewis and Clark expedition. Then rise via tram to the tiptop of the Arch for sweeping Mississippi River views.

Family fun

Camels strut and zebras whinny at the St. Louis Zoo, home to more than 22,000 animals. Nearby, kids learn the principles of electricity and the routes of the planets at the St. Louis Science Center. Both attractions are free and set within the rolling hills of 1,293-acre Forest Park. Across town, the City Museum is part jungle gym and part architectural phenomenon, challenging children and adults alike with indoor mazes and climbing toys. 

Fine art and music

Chinese bronzes, Renaissance paintings and pop art share space at the St. Louis Art Museum, in Forest Park’s 1906 World’s Fair Fine Arts Palace. America’s second-oldest orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, performs at Powell Hall, while local musical tradition goes up-tempo at the home of former resident Scott Joplin, Father of Ragtime. 

St. Louis Blues

Delay a return to your St. Louis hotel and visit the Soulard neighborhood for live blues, a late-night cheeseburger and a Budweiser, made in St. Louis by Eberhard Anheuser’s namesake Anheuser-Busch. If it’s quiet in Soulard, visit the nearby Blues Triangle, where BB’s Jazz, Blues and Soups features live music.