The Bandstand in Forest Park in St. Louis.

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Forest Park

Top choice in St Louis

New York City may have Central Park, but St Louis has the bigger (by 528 acres) Forest Park. The superb, 1371-acre spread was the setting of the 1904 World's Fair. It's a beautiful place to escape to and is dotted with attractions, many free. Two walkable neighborhoods, the Loop and Central West End, are close. The Visitor & Education Center is in an old streetcar pavilion and has a cafe. Free walking tours leave from here, or you can borrow an audio tour.

Major attractions at the park include the Missouri History Museum, St Louis Art Museum, St Louis Science Center, St Louis Zoo, the Boathouse (both a good restaurant and a place to rent a boat) and wintertime ice skating.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby St Louis attractions

1. Missouri History Museum

0.59 MILES

Presents the story of St Louis, starring such worthies as the World's Fair; a replica of Charles Lindbergh's plane, Spirit of St Louis; and a host of…

2. St Louis Zoo

0.63 MILES

Divided into themed zones, this vast park includes a fascinating River's Edge area with African critters. Don't leave without saying hello to the zoo's…

3. St Louis Art Museum


This grand beaux-arts palace (with a striking modern wing) was originally built for the World's Fair. Now housing this storied institution, its collection…

4. St Louis Science Center

0.86 MILES

The interactive exhibits at this three-story museum are geared toward kids (and the young at heart). Expect live demonstrations, dinosaurs, a planetarium…

5. Missouri Botanical Garden


Dating to 1859, these gardens hold a 14-acre Japanese garden, a carnivorous plant bog, a Victorian-style hedge maze and the oldest continuously operating…

6. Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

2.58 MILES

A Grand Center landmark, this pint-sized institution has programs and rotating exhibits across disciplines, including architecture.

7. City Museum


Possibly the wildest highlight of any visit to St Louis is this frivolous, frilly fun house in a vast old shoe factory. The Museum of Mirth, Mystery &…

8. Anheuser-Busch Brewery

4.53 MILES

One of the world's largest beer plants, the historic Anheuser-Busch Brewery gives marketing-driven tours. View the bottling plant and Clydesdale horses…