One of my favorite ways to get to know a new city is to explore the neighborhoods, wander in and out of the must-do attractions, and, of course, visit the local eateries! St. Louis is an easy city to do just that. With a wealth of incredible, free things to do you can fill days or even weeks exploring this city without paying a dime for admission.
If you’re looking for a great spot to stretch your legs and also get a lot of bang for no buck, look no further than Forest Park. At 1,300 acres, it’s one of the largest city parks in the country and provides a great respite from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Forest Park is also home to some of St. Louis’s best free attractions. Check out the world-class collection of arts and traveling exhibits at the Saint Louis Art Museum.
Learn about everything from westward expansion to Charles Lindbergh at the Missouri History Museum. Dive into hands-on learning at the Saint Louis Science Center. Or visit the lions, tigers, and bears at the Saint Louis Zoo.
Budget tip: The Muny is the oldest outdoor musical theater in the country and it’s located in Forest Park. Arrive at the show early to take advantage of limited free seats located at the back of the theater – first come, first served.
After you’ve spent the day (or days) in Forest Park, head towards the Delmar Loop. Take a stroll down the St. Louis Walk of Fame, honoring St. Louis notables from Chuck Berry to Nelly.
Then wander towards downtown to admire the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, boasting one of the largest collections of mosaics in the western hemisphere. Or take a long lunch in downtown’s Citygarden. After lunch, head over to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery to tour the famed Clydesdales’ stables and marvel at the stunning architecture of this St. Louis brewery. Nearby Grant’s Farm offers another look at the iconic Clydesdales plus lots of other family friendly activities.
Looking to cross something off your bucket list? Cahokia Mounds, located in nearby Collinsville, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This unique destination is an incredible reminder of the sophisticated prehistoric civilization that once existed in the area.
With so many amazing, free options, it can be hard to fit them into just one trip. But because they’re free, you can spend as little (or as much) time at each as you want. Then return to your favorites later in the day or on your next visit to St. Louis!