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Ozark Southern

St. Louis, Missouri (STL)

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St. Louis is far and away the best Missouri city to visit by rail. Gateway Station is an intermodal facility served by Amtrak, intercity buses, Metrobus, and Metrolink rail. There is simply no need for a car here, and you'll find it is much easier to get to the major attractions without one as parking is both expensive and difficult to come by. In the next sections, we'll explore each area of the city in detail.



Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

Metrolink: Arch/Laclede's Landing (Red, Blue)

Metrobus: 40, 99


Located along the riverfront downtown, Jefferson Memorial Park is a gathering place for many city events, including concerts and the Independence Day celebration. The biggest attraction is the Gateway Arch, the tallest monument in the United States at 630 ft. Visitors can travel via tram to the top of the arch every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Also here are Laclede's Landing National Historic Site and the Museum of Westward Expansion. www.gatewayarch.com


Busch Stadium

Metrolink: Stadium (Red, Blue)

Metrobus: 40


A must for any sports fan, Busch Stadium is the home of the St. Louis Cardinals, the first baseball team to play west of the Mississippi River. Weekday tickets often go for less than $20, and the stadium features three all-inclusive areas that offer unlimited food, beer, and soda with ticket purchase. stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com


City Museum

Metrobus: 94, 97, 99


St. Louis' downtown children's museum boasts 600,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, including a giant jungle gym made from two Saber 40 aircraft fuselages, an aquarium with over 10,000 animals, the World's Largest Pencil (at 76 ft. long), and for everyone here, an exceptionally elaborate model railroad. www.citymuseum.org


Union Station

Metrolink: Union Station (Red, Blue)

Metrobus: 4, 41, 97


You won't be arriving at Union Station by Amtrak, but it's just one stop west of Gateway Station on Metrolink. The historic landmark has been converted into a mall, but for the train lovers there is a railroad museum inside with three model train sets and artifacts from the era when trains rolled into Union Station's spacious shed. www.stlouisunionstation.com


Anheuser-Busch Brewery

Metrobus: 73


Tour the historic brewery that is the home of the most popular beer in America--now made by Belgians! The brewery tour includes the Clydesdale stables, beer cellars, brew house, and packaging facility. Samples available for guests 21 and over (of course). www.budweisertours.com


Central West End

Forest Park

Metrolink: Forest Park (Red, Blue)

Metrobus: 1, 2, 3, 16, 59, 90, 95


This 1,371-acre park was host to the 1904 World's Fair, and boasts several dozen attractions (some of which will be given their own sections below). Norman K. Probstein Golf Course is a full-service public course available to all with no membership fee. Its three 9-hole, par 35 courses can be played by themselves or in any combination to create a round of 18. Grand Basin is a lake created from the Des Peres River that flows through the park. Canoes, kayaks, and paddle-boats are available for rental. Steinberg Rink is open year-round for ice skating, and fishing enthusiasts will enjoy Jefferson Lake and the trout hatcheries, both run by the Missouri Department of Conservation. stlouis.missouri.org/citygov//parks/forestpark


St. Louis Municipal Theatre

Metrolink: Forest Park (Red, Blue)

Metrobus: 3


Known to locals as "The Muny," this outdoor, 1500-seat theatre is the home of St. Louis' Shakespeare Festival each summer as well as classic and modern musicals throughout the year. All performances are free, but tickets are required, and are distributed at the Muny box office on a first-come, first-served basis. Premium seats and season tickets can be purchased via Metrotix. www.muny.org


St. Louis Art Museum

Metrolink: Forest Park (Red, Blue)

Metrobus: 3, 90


The Art Museum contains a wide variety of art from nearly every time and place. Its collection of Chinese art is especially worthwhile, including ceramics, lacquers, paintings, and sculptures from nearly every dynasty. Admission is free, but special exhibitions may require a ticket purchase. Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10-5. Fridays it remains open until 9PM. www.slam.org


St. Louis Zoo

Metrolink: Forest Park (Red, Blue)

Metrobus: 3, 90


First built for the 1904 World's Fair, the zoo has been greatly expanded over the years and now houses over 24,000 animals. Especially exciting is the River's Edge exhibit. The exhibit features natural environments with such diverse species as black rhinos, Indian elephants, capybaras, and cheetahs. Admission is free, but certain attractions, including the zoo train, require a ticket purchase. www.stlzoo.org


St. Louis Science Center

Metrolink: Forest Park (Red, Blue)

Metrobus: 3, 59


This combination science museum, children's museum, and planetarium is actually located south of I-64 but is most easily accessed via a pedestrian walkway from Forest Park. Permanent exhibits include an interactive architecture area where visitors can build the Gateway Arch and an exhibit on flight both past and future, both aeronautical and astronautical. Admission is free, but certain exhibitions require a ticket purchase.www.slsc.org


Missouri History Museum

Metrolink: Forest Park (Red, Blue)

Metrobus: 1, 3, 90


This ever-changing museum is dedicated to preserving the memories of Missouri life and Missourians. The permanent exhibits describe Lindbergh's transatlantic flight, the 1904 World's Fair, and the westward expansion. Admission is free, but certain exhibitions require a ticket purchase. www.mohistory.org


Missouri Botanical Gardens

Metrobus: 8, 14, 80


The 79-acre site features English gardens, Japanese gardens, and Ottoman gardens as well as over 1,400 species of tropical plants in its Climatron geodesic dome. Enjoy our gardens and get advice on growing your own. [/url]


Fox Theatre

Metrobus: 10, 70


St. Louis' premiere concert venue features big acts from all over the world as well as Broadway shows, comedy performances, and more. www.fabulousfox.com


Powell Symphony Hall

Metrobus: 70, 97


The home of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, presenting classical and modern orchestral works in a architectural setting styled after the New York Metropolitan Opera House. www.slso.org


St. Louis Cathedral

Metrobus: 1, 10, 13, 18


You don't have to be Catholic to enjoy this awe-inspiring cathedral, but for those who are, this cathedral will be a special place to visit. Gothic architecture, mosaics, and guided tours await all visitors, while Catholic visitors will find Mass served daily at 8:00 AM, and multiple services each Sunday. Tours are $2 per person. www.cathedralstl.org


Delmar Loop

Metrolink: Delmar Loop (Red)

Metrobus: 2, 16, 91, 97


Named for the trolley lines that once served this bustling commercial district, one can sadly no longer find streetcars. Shops, restaurants, art galleries, live music, and more can be found in this historic area. www.visittheloop.com Our activist members will want to visit the site for the Citizens for Modern Transit, an advocacy group for the restoration of the Delmar Loop Trolley: www.looptrolley.org


South County

Grant's Farm

Metrobus: 110


Though not a Missouri native, this farm once owned by President Ulysses S. Grant is now a wildlife preserve. The Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site and a petting zoo are the main attractions. www.grantsfarm.com


Laumeier Sculpture Park

Metrobus: 21, 48


If you're going to take the bus, be prepared for a walk. The bus will get you to the Sunset Hills shopping mall, which is about a half-mile from the sculpture park. Don't get a rental car just for this, but if you're going to rent one anyway, use it to get here. The park itself features 80 modern works scattered over 105 acres as well as an indoor rotating exhibit. www.laumeier.org


West County

Repertory Theatre of St. Louis

Metrobus: 2, 56


Located at Webster University, the Repertory is the place for modern theatre. Its thrust stage is designed so that none of its 760 seats are more than 20 rows from the stage. www.repstl.org


Magic House

Metrobus: 48, 56


This children's science museum is located just a few blocks south of Amtrak's Kirkwood (KWD) station and features interactive exhibits in physics, optics, electricity, music, fluid dynamics, and more. www.magichouse.org


Museum of Transportation

Metrobus: X58 (M-F rush hour service only)


It is unfortunate that transportation to this museum is ironically hard to come by, because it contains over 300 authentic pieces, including many locomotives and other railroading artifacts. The flight exhibit preserves St. Louis' heritage of flight, having once been the headquarters of TWA and McDonnell Douglas; and the automotive exhibit celebrates Route 66's importance to St. Louis. www.museumoftransport.org


Six Flags St. Louis

No public transportation available.


Roller coasters, thrill rides, and more are minutes (hours in traffic...) down I-44 in Eureka. A rental car is required for this one, and parking goes for $15 per vehicle. But then, you should have expected that as soon as you saw "Six Flags." The real treat here is the actual Ferris wheel from the 1904 World's Fair, still in operation. http://www.sixflags.com/stLouis/index.aspx


St. Charles


No public transportation available.


The historic district offers shopping, restaurants, live music, and more in an area established by French settlers over 300 years ago. The Frenchtown Heritage Museum houses photographs by local artists and firefighting artifacts from the building's early days as a fire station. www.frenchtownmuseum.net


First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site

No public transportation available.


St. Charles was home to Missouri's first capitol building (though the first capital was actually St. Louis. Now a museum, the building houses artifacts from the Lewis and Clark era through the early years of Missouri's statehood. mostateparks.com/park/first-missouri-state-capitol-state-historic-site


Frontier Park

No public transportation available.


Located along the Missouri River, Frontier Park is home to the (unfortunately unused) historic train depot, the Lewis & Clark Monument, and the Foundry Art Centre, as well as numerous special events. www.stcharlesparks.com/143/parks/frontier-park.php


Katy Trail

No public transportation available.


The statewide Katy Trail, which I don't need to tell this group about, runs through downtown St. Charles. Bike, hike, whatever you like--it offers great views of the Missouri River. www.bikekatytrail.com


Illinois Suburbs

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

Metrobus: 18


Once the largest settlement in America north of the Rio Grande, Cahokia Mounds allows a unique look inside the Cahokia nation. The Interpretive Center is an educational facility and museum of Cahokia artifacts. www.cahokiamounds.org


Fairmount Park

Metrobus: 18


St. Louis' full-feature horse racing facility features thoroughbred racing, dining, simulcast of races from around the world, banquet facilities, and more. www.fairmountpark.com

Edited by Ozark Southern

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Thanks for the great info. Will be in STL in September to explore for four days and then taking train to Chicago, then SWC to LA and then home via CS. Wanted to take CZ but sold out of bedrooms (using AGR reward).



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Guest PGer

We will be having a brief stop in St. Louis, but don't want to stray too far so is there any place close by where we can walk to for some food and a way to stretch our legs? Will be in the area during the supper time hour so would like to find someplace that is not too very expensive, but maybe a bit different than what we get in Nebraska/Iowa area.

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Even though its a 2 and 1/2 year Old thread there are some good suggestions as to what to see/whee to go iin this thread! As I said in my other Post to your question about the Eagle and the Bus to Houston, , you can have Dinner in the Diner on the Texas Eagle when it leaves St. Louis @ 8PM! Since the Light Rail runs right beside the Station, you can buy a Day Pass and ride clear to the Airport on the West and across the Mississippi River clear out to Belleville, Illinois in Western Illinois (but DON"T get off in East st. Louis!)Good way to sight see! The First stop up the hill to the West from the Amtrak Station is Old Union Station which is sort of a quasi Mall with a Food Court, a few stores (it's not doing well as a going retail place) and the head House is a nice Hotel! Worth a Look! If you want to eat you can get off by the river @ the Arch and "The Landing" has lots of Restaurants, Clubs etc. ) If you like Italian the area known as "The Hill" has some really good authentic Italian Joints, recommended!

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Old thread got touched. Lots of good info. Thanks to the OP.

Wanna see Saint Louis!

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Interesting stuff regarding the area in which I live - some dated, some not.


Mine is not to correct nor deride anything previously posted.


Depending on one's likes - assuming we all lean toward the steel rails - the downtown station does not lend itself to wanting to remain there. I can attest to much of what transpired over the years in getting it up and running. "Train board" anyone? Nope. Aside from that, at least it beats the double-wides used when evicted from old Union Station back when that edifice was being redeveloped.


Union Station - gotta see this place. Sad that no scheduled trains use the place, but still the structure is one to appreciate - inside and out. It will be completely redone - one more time. It is a reasonable walk from the Gateway Transportation Center (aka: Amtrak station) although one can take MetroLink for the short ride.


Now, the St. Louis Museum of Transportation - actually in Kirkwood, MO - not the city of St. Louis, is an interesting way to spend several hours. One would definitely need wheels to get to and from - Metro bus would take quite awhile and I am not at all certain of the scheduling. A link: http://www.transportmuseumassociation.org


Riding MetroLink from Lambert International Airport to Scott AFB near Belleville, IL is a pleasant way to spend the time. A recently completed extension takes one from Forest Park to Shrewsbury if the desire is to ride it all.


The Amtrak station in Kirkwood, is in my opinion, a must see. Lots of UP traffic along with 4 Amtrak trains per day running between St. Louis and Kansas City. Metro runs to and from - then again, a car would save considerable time. Lots to see and do while gawking in Kirkwood - a few decent watering holes and places to fill the tummy.


Of course St. Louis is the home of the baseball Cardinals, hockey Blues and football Rams for anyone wishing to spend the kid's inheritance for a few hours of spectator sports. All of these venues are within reasonable distance from the train station.


Then there is the Arch - the giant Easter Basket handle one sees especially when approaching from the east in the Illinois flatlands. It is a bit of a hike although one can almost get there by MetroLink - just check out the posted route maps. Anyway, definitely a treat to take in and the museum below ground is very well down and historically accurate for those who appreciate such things. Gateway to the west for sure.


Enough from me on this! If y'all come, be sure to come back again.

Edited by siberianmo

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What/where is the closest casino to the Amtrak station, and/or the airport. Arriving on 22 and flying out in evening... Preferably relatively accessible by public transport.


Thanks for the assistance.

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The Casinos are River Boats on the Mississippi on both sides of the River! You can take the Light Rail From the Airport past the Intermodal Station to the Landing and reach the Casino on the Missouri side from there!Easy walk but you may want to use a cab at night to get back to the Light Rail, St Louis isn't dangerous per se but its not Disneyland either!

Edited by jimhudson

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I am not a Casino attendee - however, as Jim pointed out there are a couple. A point of clarification though is Lumiere Place is not a river boat - it is a fixed gambling complex on the Missouri side of the Mississippi in downtown St. Louis.


Interestingly, our local bird-cage-wrap (aka: newspaper) just had a spread on the area's Casino's; bottom line - too many. Be that as it may, MetroLink will whisk you to and from close proximity to those venues. Just exercise caution at night when the worst of the worst comes out to play.

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IIRC (which may not be the best :P ), there was a land based casino I saw from MetroLink on the IL side near the tracks. I don't recall how near it was to a stop, however.

Edited by the_traveler

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Since I work in a casino-related business, I'll chime in here.


Closest to the airport would be Hollywood Casino in Maryland Heights, and Ameristar Casino in St Charles, both west of the airport. Both run a shuttle to/from the airport to their associated hotels; not sure if they'll take passengers just to gamble, but it might be worth a quick phone call to check. Both of these are on the Missouri River, and may be on or near bus stops for the Metro Bus system (I don't ride the bus west from here often, usually only light rail to downtown). I can send you a link to the bus and train routes if you are interested; just PM me, and I'll send them.


Closest to the Amtrak station would be Lumiere Place, downtown (as already mentioned); take the light rail to the Laclede's Landing stop, and walk north about 5 minutes. Across the river in Illinois, at the next light rail stop, is Casino Queen. It's a couple minute walk from the station to the casino. There's a couple of others in the area, but probably not close enough to mess with trying to get there, as they are at least 30 from the downtown Amtrak station, and definitely not served by the light rail system.

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