How to see the best of St. Louis in one day

Saint Louis is a vibrant and interesting city compact enough to not be overwhelming on a short trip, but comparable to larger cities when it comes to culture and the arts. The City of Saint Louis also has excellent public transportation making visiting attractions easy and inexpensive.

St Louis

The St. Louis Metro has both train and bus stations located throughout the city. In addition to Metro commuter buses and trains, there is a trolley system which runs continuously with stops at all the major attractions. These two trolley lines, Downtown and Forest Park, are connected by Metro stations making it easy to move throughout the city. Day passes called Adventure Pass are available for both the Metro and trolleys so you can build your perfect trip. Visitors who only have one day to explore St. Louis can make the most of it by picking the trolley line that fits their interests best and riding the loop to find their favorite attractions. Trolleys stop every 20 minutes throughout the day and it is easy to hop on and off as you please anywhere along either line.

Downtown Trolley: Public Art, Architecture and Culture

The Downtown Trolley Line connects visitors to great outdoor art, culture and some of the best shops and local businesses in the city. After you make your way to the Gateway Arch, consider enjoying the Citygarden Sculpture Park. It’s full of amazing sculptures in the same vein as the arch, including some unique ones you’ll definitely want to take pictures of. Perhaps the most famous is the Hollow Head, a huge bronze likeness of the Greek god Eros’ head on its side. 

Worth stepping off the trolley for:

  • Gateway Arch
  • Citygarden Sculpture Park
  • National Blues Museum
  • Old Courthouse
  • Stifel Theatre

Forest Park Trolley: Outdoors and Family Activities Abounds

The Forest Park Trolley is an excellent pick for family activities and those interested in art and history. This aptly named loop runs around the perimeter of one of the largest parks in the country. Similar to Central Park in New York, Forest Park is home to several cultural and outdoor attractions. The majority of them are either totally free to visit or very inexpensive. Most visitors consider many attractions on the Forest Park trolley loop before ultimately being captivated by the city’s free zoo. The Saint Louis Zoo is one of the best zoos in the country, housing a large variety of animals. While most attractions like their butterfly garden and reptile habitat are totally free to visit, some exhibits do have a fee. No matter which exhibits you take in, the Saint Louis Zoo will keep the kids fascinated for hours and talking about your trip for weeks to come.

Worth stepping off the trolley for:

  • Saint Louis Zoo
  • Science Center
  • The Jewel Box Horticultural Center
  • Art Hill
  • World’s Fair Pavilion

No matter what you’re into, St. Louis is a great city to visit when you’re short on time. In one day, you can experience shopping, art and culture comparable to larger and more expensive coastal cities without having to break the bank.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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