20 St. Louis Tourist Attractions That Are Actually Worth a Visit

There are so many great (and free!) things to do in St. Louis that it can be difficult to figure out which ones are actually worth your time. Whether you’re a tourist trying to maximize your stay or you’re just looking for somewhere new to take your kids, these places can’t be beat. There is much to explore here, but these twenty spots are the ones you really don’t want to miss.

-- Jaime Lees

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Crown Candy Kitchen
(1401 St. Louis Avenue; 314-621-9650)
Crown Candy Kitchen's old-timey frozen malts and shakes are legendary, but there is so much more here to put a smile on your face. If the cozy booths, the variety of chilis and the bacon-heavy "Heart Stopping BLT" don't satisfy, this soda fountain that has been open since 1913 also sells some of the best sweets in the city out of their Willy Wonka-worthy candy counter.
Photo credit: Ryan Gines
Crown Candy Kitchen
(1401 St. Louis Avenue; 314-621-9650)

Crown Candy Kitchen's old-timey frozen malts and shakes are legendary, but there is so much more here to put a smile on your face. If the cozy booths, the variety of chilis and the bacon-heavy "Heart Stopping BLT" don't satisfy, this soda fountain that has been open since 1913 also sells some of the best sweets in the city out of their Willy Wonka-worthy candy counter.

Photo credit: Ryan Gines
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
(38°39?14?N 90°3?52?W; Collinsville, IL; 618-346-5160)
You might've heard that Cahokia Mounds is one of the most important historic sites in the St. Louis area, but the view from the top of Monks Mound also offers one of the best views of the city. Located just across the river in Illinois, the Native American mounds are the largest prehistoric earthen construction in the Americas north of Mexico and are a designated National Historic Landmark.
Photo credit: Aaron Plewke / Flickr
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
(38°39?14?N 90°3?52?W; Collinsville, IL; 618-346-5160)

You might've heard that Cahokia Mounds is one of the most important historic sites in the St. Louis area, but the view from the top of Monks Mound also offers one of the best views of the city. Located just across the river in Illinois, the Native American mounds are the largest prehistoric earthen construction in the Americas north of Mexico and are a designated National Historic Landmark.

Photo credit: Aaron Plewke / Flickr
Cherokee Street Antique Row
(1900-2300 Cherokee Street; CherokeeAntiqueRow.com)
If you're looking for something special, Antique Row on Cherokee Street really does have everything. If you need a souvenir or a fantastic gift, these cute antique shops have you covered. And if antiques aren't your bag, just roll north of Jefferson Avenue on Cherokee where a variety of modern goodies are available, too.
Photo credit: Ryan Gines
Cherokee Street Antique Row
(1900-2300 Cherokee Street; CherokeeAntiqueRow.com)

If you're looking for something special, Antique Row on Cherokee Street really does have everything. If you need a souvenir or a fantastic gift, these cute antique shops have you covered. And if antiques aren't your bag, just roll north of Jefferson Avenue on Cherokee where a variety of modern goodies are available, too.

Photo credit: Ryan Gines
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
(4431 Lindell Boulevard; 314-373-8200) 
Yes, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis is legendarily gorgeous. But you can't appreciate just how gorgeous it is until you see it in person. This Roman Catholic cathedral is breathtakingly, achingly beautiful. Its soaring ceilings and incredibly detailed mosaics are stunning enough to make any visitor a believer.
Photo credit: Jon Dickson / Flickr
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
(4431 Lindell Boulevard; 314-373-8200)

Yes, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis is legendarily gorgeous. But you can't appreciate just how gorgeous it is until you see it in person. This Roman Catholic cathedral is breathtakingly, achingly beautiful. Its soaring ceilings and incredibly detailed mosaics are stunning enough to make any visitor a believer.

Photo credit: Jon Dickson / Flickr
The Griot Museum of Black History
(2505 St. Louis Avenue; 314-241-7057)
Black history is St. Louis history. And to discover more about black history in the Gateway to the West, the best place to stop in is the Griot Museum. The museum collects and shares the stories of black lives in the region — using displays, memorabilia, gallery talks and presentations to illustrate these important (and essential) histories.
Photo credit: Ryan Gines
The Griot Museum of Black History
(2505 St. Louis Avenue; 314-241-7057)

Black history is St. Louis history. And to discover more about black history in the Gateway to the West, the best place to stop in is the Griot Museum. The museum collects and shares the stories of black lives in the region — using displays, memorabilia, gallery talks and presentations to illustrate these important (and essential) histories.

Photo credit: Ryan Gines
Forest Park
(5595 Grand Drive; ForestParkForever.org)
This 1,371 acre park is easily one of the most impressive things we have to offer in St. Louis. And we're right to brag about it. It's gone from being the location of the 1904 World's Fair to being the center of everyday life in St. Louis. The park hosts the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Art Museum and wide expanses of green that offer city-dwellers a refreshing dose of nature.
Photo credit: Chris Collins / Flickr
Forest Park
(5595 Grand Drive; ForestParkForever.org)

This 1,371 acre park is easily one of the most impressive things we have to offer in St. Louis. And we're right to brag about it. It's gone from being the location of the 1904 World's Fair to being the center of everyday life in St. Louis. The park hosts the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Art Museum and wide expanses of green that offer city-dwellers a refreshing dose of nature.

Photo credit: Chris Collins / Flickr
The Museum of Westward Expansion at the Gateway Arch
(11 N. 4th Street; 314-655-1614)
Don't assume that the Gateway Arch — St. Louis' majestic and sexy symbol to the world — is overrated just because it is famous. This mid-century marvel has been impressing visitors since it first opened up in 1067. And trips to this monument recently got even more extraordinary recently with the unveiling of the Museum of Westward Expansion. Located beneath our beautiful boomerang, this subterranean exhibit features displays about St. Louis' past as a trading post, its riverboat heyday and the construction of the Arch itself.
Photo credit: Daniel Hill
The Museum of Westward Expansion at the Gateway Arch
(11 N. 4th Street; 314-655-1614)

Don't assume that the Gateway Arch — St. Louis' majestic and sexy symbol to the world — is overrated just because it is famous. This mid-century marvel has been impressing visitors since it first opened up in 1067. And trips to this monument recently got even more extraordinary recently with the unveiling of the Museum of Westward Expansion. Located beneath our beautiful boomerang, this subterranean exhibit features displays about St. Louis' past as a trading post, its riverboat heyday and the construction of the Arch itself.

Photo credit: Daniel Hill
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
(3750 Washington Boulevard; 314, 535-4660)
We're blessed with not one but two distinguished art museums here in St. Louis. The Contemporary Art Museum is like the cool cousin of the St. Louis Art Museum. It's much smaller and generally just a bit more hip. Stop in here to see anything from a hot cultural happening to an exhibit of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Photo credit: Paul Sableman / Flickr
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
(3750 Washington Boulevard; 314, 535-4660)

We're blessed with not one but two distinguished art museums here in St. Louis. The Contemporary Art Museum is like the cool cousin of the St. Louis Art Museum. It's much smaller and generally just a bit more hip. Stop in here to see anything from a hot cultural happening to an exhibit of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Photo credit: Paul Sableman / Flickr
Scott Joplin House State Historic Site
(2658 Delmar Boulevard; 314-340-5790)
Located just west of downtown St. Louis, the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site is a must-see for fans of St. Louis history, music history or black history. This beautifully preserved building was once the hope of Scott Joplin, the legendary ragtime performer famous for writing "The Entertainer." But Joplin was much more than just a performer and this museum helps to put his big, impressive life into context.
Photo credit: Matthew Black / Flickr
Scott Joplin House State Historic Site
(2658 Delmar Boulevard; 314-340-5790)

Located just west of downtown St. Louis, the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site is a must-see for fans of St. Louis history, music history or black history. This beautifully preserved building was once the hope of Scott Joplin, the legendary ragtime performer famous for writing "The Entertainer." But Joplin was much more than just a performer and this museum helps to put his big, impressive life into context.

Photo credit: Matthew Black / Flickr
The Delmar Loop
(approximately Delmar Boulevard & N. Skinker Boulevard; VisitTheLoop.com)
This shopping, entertainment and dining hub has maintained much of its cool-factor despite being decades into its growth. This small stretch of commerce along Delmar Boulevard is still one of the best places in town to stop in for a concert or a tattoo or to buy some records. There's also no shortage of restaurants, resale shops and plenty to do to keep a tourist entertained and delighted.
Photo credit: Paul Sableman / Flickr
The Delmar Loop
(approximately Delmar Boulevard & N. Skinker Boulevard; VisitTheLoop.com)

This shopping, entertainment and dining hub has maintained much of its cool-factor despite being decades into its growth. This small stretch of commerce along Delmar Boulevard is still one of the best places in town to stop in for a concert or a tattoo or to buy some records. There's also no shortage of restaurants, resale shops and plenty to do to keep a tourist entertained and delighted.

Photo credit: Paul Sableman / Flickr