Welcome to our guide to Saint Louis, known for its famous Gateway Arch. We are excited to share with you everything you need to know before visiting this popular city. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a longer trip, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive guide.
If you’re planning a trip to St. Louis, it can be tough to decide where to stay. Whether you prefer luxurious hotels, cozy bed and breakfasts, or budget-friendly hostels, the city has a range of options for every traveler. St. Louis is full of history, culture, and unique entertainment options that draw in visitors from across the globe. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best neighborhoods and lodging options in the city, so you can make an informed decision about where to stay during your visit. Get ready to discover some of St. Louis’s hidden gems!
Best Area to Stay in St. Louis: Downtown
Downtown St Louis is the best area to stay for those seeking a bustling and lively atmosphere. Located right next to the iconic Gateway Arch and the Mississippi River, it is the perfect spot for sightseers and travelers looking to explore the city center. The area is filled with plenty of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, making it perfect for those who want to experience St Louis’ vibrant nightlife. Additionally, visitors can explore the historic City Museum, which offers a unique experience for both adults and children. Overall, Downtown St Louis provides a perfect blend of excitement and convenience, making it an excellent choice for anyone planning a trip to the city.
Sightseeing Hub: Forest Park
Forest Park is an ideal sightseeing hub for those who love nature and outdoor activities. Located in the heart of Saint Louis, this urban park spans over 1,300 acres and includes many attractions such as the Saint Louis Zoo, the Missouri History Museum, and the Saint Louis Science Center. It is also surrounded by some of the best accommodations in the city, such as the Hampton Inn & Suites St. Louis at Forest Park, offering a central location to explore the park and its surroundings. With its walking and biking trails, picnic areas, and beautiful lakes, Forest Park is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway or a family vacation. Whether you want to admire the Successional Forest or visit the Government Hill, Forest Park is a must-see destination in St. Louis.
Cultural Hotspot: The Loop
The Loop is a cultural and lifestyle hotspot that offers six exciting blocks of retail, restaurants, live music, cafés, and even a Walk of Fame. Located in the heart of St. Louis, it is the perfect destination for city slickers who love the buzz of nearby restaurants, shops, and bars. The area’s vibrant live music scene makes it an excellent place to stop by after indulging in some of St. Louis’ famous barbecue. With a variety of accommodations available in the area, including luxury hotels like The Last Hotel and Hyatt Regency, as well as cozy boutique hotels like the Moonrise Hotel, visitors will have a comfortable and convenient stay in the heart of St. Louis. The Loop’s proximity to Forest Park, Midtown, and Lafayette Square also makes it an excellent location for those who want to explore other cultural and historic destinations in the city.
University Town: Midtown & Saint Louis University
Midtown and Saint Louis University are a great option for those who want to be near a vibrant university environment. Visitors can easily walk to SLU’s campus and explore the surrounding area, which is filled with eclectic bars, coffee shops, and restaurants. Within walking distance, visitors can also check out the Grand Center Arts District, a cultural hub featuring theaters, art galleries, and music venues. The neighborhood is conveniently located near major Saint Louis attractions, such as the Fabulous Fox and the Saint Louis Art Museum. For accommodations, visitors have plenty of options, from the luxurious Last Hotel to the quirky Moonrise Hotel. The Drury Inn St. Louis at Union Station is also a popular choice, offering comfortable and convenient lodging within walking distance of SLU. Overall, Midtown and Saint Louis University provide a lively and convenient location for travelers looking to experience the energy of a university town.
Historic Neighborhood: Lafayette Square
Lafayette Square is a historic neighborhood that boasts beautiful Victorian-era architecture and charming restored homes. This part of St. Louis has a lot to offer visitors looking for a quieter, more residential atmosphere while still being close to downtown. Visitors can enjoy a stroll through the namesake park that anchors the district, or explore the lively neighborhood with its unique boutiques and local restaurants. While there aren’t any luxury hotels in Lafayette Square, visitors can choose to stay at cozy and unique accommodations such as Lehmann House bed and breakfast. It’s a place that offers unbeatable levels of service in a beautiful, historic setting. Lafayette Square provides a great option for travelers who prefer to stay in a less touristy area and experience the city like a local.
Iconic Landmarks: Gateway Arch & Mississippi River
The Gateway Arch and Mississippi River are two of St. Louis’s most recognizable landmarks, and they are conveniently located close to some of the best areas to stay in the city. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the arch from Downtown, which is the recommended area to stay in when visiting St. Louis. For those looking to explore the city’s outdoor offerings, Forest Park offers access to the park’s stunning architecture and attractions. If art and culture are more your thing, The Loop is the place to be. For those seeking a historical perspective, Lafayette Square offers a glimpse into St. Louis’s past. In terms of accommodations, visitors can choose from luxurious options like The Last Hotel and Hyatt Regency, quirky boutique hotels like the Moonrise Hotel, or comfortable and convenient options like the Drury Plaza Hotel and Drury Inn. No matter which area or hotel they choose, visitors can rest assured they will be in close proximity to the Gateway Arch and Mississippi River, two iconic landmarks that should not be missed.
Marvelous Museums: 21C Museum Hotel & Magnolia Hotel
Moving on to the cultural side of St. Louis, there are some marvelous museums to explore. 21C Museum Hotel is one such museum that doubles up as a boutique hotel. This multi-venue museum has a vast collection of contemporary artwork, including a fantastic remake of Michelangelo’s “David.” The restored YMCA building, where the museum is located, is a piece of art in itself, with the Renaissance Revival-style architecture. Magnolia Hotel is another charming museum that combines luxury accommodation with art. The hotel is located in the downtown neighborhood and has an impressive collection of art deco furnishings and original paintings by renowned artists. These two marvelous museums offer guests a unique cultural experience during their stay in St. Louis.
Luxurious Accommodations: The Last Hotel & Hyatt Regency
If you’re looking for a luxurious stay in St. Louis, The Last Hotel and Hyatt Regency are the perfect options. Located in the heart of downtown, these hotels offer access to some of the city’s most desirable attractions. The Last Hotel boasts a fitness center and private parking, while the Hyatt Regency features free WiFi and two bars/lounges. With helpful staff and excellent amenities, these hotels will make your stay in St. Louis unforgettable. As you explore other parts of the city, you may also want to check out other areas such as Forest Park, The Loop, and Lafayette Square for more cultural and historic experiences.
Quirky Boutique Hotel: Moonrise Hotel
The Moonrise Hotel stands out as a quirky boutique hotel located in The Loop District in St. Louis. It offers guests a unique and modern experience with its cool design and quirky sophistication. The hotel boasts fine dining, a rooftop bar, and even a green space. Strategically situated on the Delmar Loop, which is a cultural hotspot, guests have easy access to shops, dining, and entertainment. Visitors seeking a memorable stay should consider this headquarters. From the luxurious accommodations to the comfortable and convenient locations, tourists will have endless opportunities to explore the best St. Louis has to offer.
Comfortable & Convenient: Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch & Drury Inn St. Louis at Union Station.
For those looking for a comfortable and convenient stay in St. Louis, the Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch and Drury Inn St. Louis at Union Station are the perfect options. Both hotels offer great locations, putting guests within walking distance of popular attractions such as the Gateway Arch and Busch Stadium. Additionally, both hotels feature fantastic amenities including an indoor pool, fitness center, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Visitors will appreciate the warm and friendly staff, as well as the spacious and clean rooms with in-room amenities such as microwaves and refrigerators. Whether visiting for business or pleasure, the Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch and Drury Inn St. Louis at Union Station offer comfortable and convenient accommodations for a memorable stay in St. Louis.
Best Time to Visit Saint Louis
April, May, and September are the best times to visit Saint Louis. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and the crowds are low. The city experiences long hot summers and awfully cold winters, so it’s best to avoid visiting in July, August, January, or February. December through March can see some snow, making it a challenge to get around and see the sights.
The international airport at Saint Louis offers direct flights to most major U.S cities, with many flights taking under three hours. The airport is just 13 miles from downtown, meaning you can take the Metrolink lights to the downtown area. Amtrak is a great option for those traveling the USA via train, with multiple trains running daily through Saint Louis each day. Driving is another popular option, with many choosing to stop here during a Route 66 road trip.
There are two easy travel options for getting around Saint Louis. Firstly, renting a car and driving around the city isn’t the cheapest option, but it is one of the easiest. Some sites, such as the Magic House and Grants Farm, are further afield, meaning you will need a car to get to the attractions. You could also opt for the light rail system in the city, with two lines offering connections to the major sites around the downtown area.
Finding budget accommodation can be a challenge here, but there are plenty of two to three-star chain hotels with prices starting around $80. Mid-range hotels begin at $120, while five-star hotels like the Four Seasons will cost upwards of $300. There are plenty of cheap eats around the city to choose from, with breakfast and lunch starting at $5 and sit-down dinners beginning at $15 per person. As with most U.S cities, a trip here isn’t cheap, but of course, there are ways to save some money. Domestic flights here are much cheaper on Tuesdays and Wednesdays compared to Thursdays and Fridays. As this city is often visited on a weekend, you could also save money on accommodation by staying at an Airbnb or bed and breakfast rather than staying in a hotel. But either way, look ahead and visit in the winter for even cheaper rates. You can use ride-sharing apps here, but try to stick to public transport as much as you can to save some money. There are also plenty of free attractions, including the Saint Louis Zoo and the Art Museum.
Best Things to Do
The first thing you must do while you are in the city is to see the Gateway Arch and take the ride to the top of the stainless steel monument that is 630 feet above ground. With baseball and ice hockey, there are plenty of games for you to catch when you are in the city, and families can enjoy a date at Six Flags as well. Enjoy a night out at the Ballpark Village or Westport Plaza, and families should head to the Aquarium and Zoo before visiting the quirky Magic House.
In conclusion, Saint Louis is a city that has plenty to offer for visitors of all ages. With its famous Gateway Arch and exciting sports teams, there is something for everyone. The city also has many affordable options for accommodation and food, making it a great destination for budget travelers. We hope that our guide has been helpful in planning your trip to Saint Louis, and we wish you an incredible time exploring this vibrant city.