St. Louis (Missouri, the USA) has been attracting a large number of visitors from around the world because it has many fabulous attractions with free entrance and activities that people often call “Fab N’ Free” (Fabulously Free Stuff) for every guest. About half an hour from the city center by car, you can visit many interesting Fab N’ Free sights. If you do not have much time, you can discover St. Louis in some days like a local people. How to spend one day in St. Louis. Let’s check it out through my St. Louis travel blog.
- Chicago travel blog — Best places to visit & top things to do in Chicago
- Boston travel blog — The fullest Boston city guide for a trip to Boston on a budget for the first-timers
- Verona blog — How to spend one day in Verona, Italy
- Visiting Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm — Exploring the most beautiful sheep farm in Gangwon, South Korea
- Must do in Taipei — Top 12 best places to visit & best things to do in Taipei
It is said that St. Louis is open for “Feb N’ Free” activities because its people have to pay a high amount of taxation so that they can get more benefits. It’s fair that people, who give you anything free, should be paid in some other way. For example, you may get free entrance to the zoo but have to pay $15-$20 for parking. Or water at that same zoo might cost $3 per bottle, while you pay one sixth of that price in a local supermarket. However, if you don’t want to pay more money, you can bring snacks and water with you and take a bus to free sights. You can enjoy as other visitors without any discrimination and on a minimal budget.
Free enormous zoo in the city
Situated on Government Drive, St. Louis zoo covers an area of nearly 37ha in Forest Park, which was voted as the most beautiful city park of the US by USA Today newspaper. St. Louis is also listed as one of the most attractive free attractions in America thanks to over 15.000 species of exotic animals at the zoo.
It will take you nearly a day to walk around the 6 areas highlighted with 6 different colors and themes. Some people even said that this is a good opportunity for you one to get some exercise for free under the cool trees, while still basking in the sound of singing birds and other precious animals that you may have only seen in your course books at school or on any TV programs.
Rated 4.7/5 stars from more than 62.000 voters on Google, TripAdvisor and Facebook, it’s easy to understand why an array of tourists choose this as their first destination. I’m not an exception. I came to the zoo at 8a.m and looked for a free parking near the entrance because they will sell tickets for some activities free from 8:00a.m to 9:00a.m. If you come here, you are advised to bring a big bottle of water because a small bottle of water in the zoo will be priced at $3.5.
Free entrance at museums!
Most of museums around the city offer a free entrance for every guest. While the Saint Louis Art Museum is a favorite destination for those who love paintings, the Missouri History Museum, home to many ancient objects, is fantastic for sculpture lovers. If you are interested in different models of motorbikes, you can enjoy your time at the Motor Museum at Olive street.
Located in a park, Saint Louis Science Center provides over 700 scientific experiences free for every age, especially teenagers. Do not forget to drop by the one-of-a-kind Grow exhibition detailing the journey of our food from farm to fork. Once again, if you visit these attractions by car, you will have to pay an extra $10-$15/day for parking. In order to save money, you can buy a bus or trolley ticket to travel among the sights.
City of green parks
Walking in green parks around St. Louis would be a fabulous choice for you to start your day or at late afternoon. At Laumeier Sculpture Park, spreading over 1.4 miles, visitors are be able to breathe fresh air while enjoying over 80 contemporary sculptures shown outdoor.
Lone Elk park with its World Bird Sanctuary is also a must-visit place to see hawks, eagles, falcons, owls and other bird species. If you go with your children, you can bring them to City Garden Park to play with water sprayed up from the ground and colorful sparkling lights. While your children are having fun, you can relax on a chair by the lake to watch water music and fire breathing performances every evening from 7:00p.m to 11:00p.m at Union Station, the largest station of America at Market street.
Farming in the modern city
After a day in the zoo, if you still desire to see animals, visit Grant’s Farm built in 1955 with hundreds of wild animals and Clydesdale horses, the biggest and strongest horse species in the world that are used to market Budweiser beer in the USA. A free tram will take you to the middle of the 88ha park to start your journey of discovery. You can choose to enjoy a free elephant show at 11:15a.m, 12:45p.m or 2:15p.m. There are also 5 different performances of tamers and other animals during the day. If you would like to have more fun, you can pay from 50 cents to $2 to buy foods for camel, zebras and parakeets or a bottle of milk for goats.
About 30 minutes from the city center by car, Purina farm is ideal for children. Here, your kids can learn about the life of animals, milk the cow, ride a wagon and feed animals. At the arena of dogs, you will be amazed at professional skills of these animals.
Spectacular ancient architectural structures
St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, a Roman holy site built over a century ago, allures international guests with its original and skillful sculptures on every wall and ceiling. Located conveniently on Lindell boulevard, not far from Saint Louis site and Forest Park, this destination has been attracting numerous visitors to St. Louis for a long time indeed. You should be next visitor!
The Old Courthouse is a huge arch building constructed in the middle of 1800s and is an expanse of the Jefferson Memorial Park. The building showcases historical objects of the city and is where visitors can begin their trip up Gateway Arch, which is overlooking to the city. If you would like to climb up to the top to view the city, you will have to pay $13 for adults and $10 for children. Standing under the site of the world’s highest stainless steel structure (200m high), you can view the romantic Mississippi river separating Illinois and Missouri into two different regions.
An experience-rich journey at this free city drew me out of the pressure of daily life and brought me new energy when I got back to work. Of course, I will save more money to return to this destination to enjoy “charged” activities! For this time, thanks St. Louis!
+ Transportation: Since some roads are being fixed and Gateway of Arch is being repaired, it’s wise to stay updated about the local transportation on the internet and information provided by the local government.
+ Notice: You should always prepare change and coins to pay for parking because some automatic payment machines at some parking lots will not return money if you pay more than the listed price.
+ Coupon: You can get travel information with free coupons to visits many sights of the city at hotels and stations.
+ Vehicle: You can take a trolley to wander around the city center and Forest Park at $2/adult and $1/child and old person. The ticket can be used from 8:00a.m till mid-night.
Author: Phan Quoc Vinh, 38 years old
Online tour operator, Texas, America
He moved to America with his family in 2011 and traveled to many states of the USA. With the passion of travel, he has been exploring many places with an eye towards maximizing his budget. St. Louis is one of his favorite destinations.