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This 3-day architecture-based itinerary in St. Louis will allow your group to see the best sites of the city on a deeper level than simply 'sightseeing'. Get the inside scoop on some of the city's most iconic landmarks, structures, and attractions, from the Gateway Arch to historic Fox Theatre.
Landmarks Downtown Walking Tour
While in St. Louis we highly suggest your group takes part in a Landmark Downtown Walking Tour, these tours helping guests learn more about what makes St. Louis such a great city. These tours allow you to explore the fascinating history, culture, and architectural legacy of downtown St. Louis, from the city's first founding days to today! Your expert guides will discuss landmarks and hidden gems along the way, as well as stunning architectural details and the art of historical preservation. These tours take place annually from April to October, normally two times a day each Saturday. There are also special tours and custom group tour options you can set up outside of that time frame!
The nation's tallest national monument, the Arch is a symbol of St. Louis' station as the Gateway to the West, the motion of westward expansion from the civilized east coast to the undiscovered western frontier. The Gateway Arch rises powerfully from the riverfront Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in downtown St. Louis – near the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition - to a towering 630 feet, cutting an imposing silhouette against the city skyline. A quick tram ride the top affords guests an incredible bird’s eye view of up to 30 miles in any direction on a clear day. Be sure your group's visit to the Museum at the Gateway Arch.
Gateway Arch Riverfront Cruise
The most popular cruise in St. Louis? Hands down the One-Hour Sightseeing ‘journey back in time’, the classic cruise offered to guests that show them what it was like in a time in which steamboats ruled the Mississippi, the entire cruise narrated by the captain or local National Park Service Ranger. This cruise ‘highlights the history of St. Louis and the mighty river’s role today’, explaining all surrounding history, wildlife, and architecture along the way.
Housed in a recycled 600,000 square foot shoe company, this constantly evolving “museum” is a wonderful, eclectic fusion of post-apocalyptic playground, midway funhouse, surrealistic treehouse pavilion, and more than four stories of architectural marvel created from ordinary, unique and amazing found objects. The fabulous brainchild of internationally acclaimed artist Bob Cassilly, the City Museum opened for visitors in 1997 to the vigorous roar of approval of young and old, alike. “Grown” from the very stuff of the city, this beyond-awesome St. Louis institution has urban roots deeper than any other...scavenging resources solely within municipal borders for its reclaimed materials and turning them into fantastic playthings and whimsical objets d’art, City Museum boasts fun features like cool salvaged bridges, archaic construction cranes, “actual miles” of tile, and two abandoned planes!
Welcome to the St. Louis Union Station, 'The Grandest Station in the Nation'! This historic St. Louis icon saw its beginning when the first train arrived here September 1st, 1894, changing 'the Gateway to the West' into 'the Gateway to America'. At the time it was one of the largest and busiest passenger rail terminals in the world, seeing its heaviest travel times during the World Fair of 1904 and WWII. Today this stunning feat of architecture combines historic elegance with modern and stunning detail, Union Station featuring luxury hotel rooms, wedding venues and conference areas, and plenty of family-friendly entertainment options. There is truly 'something for everyone' here! Here is a quick list of attractions onsite:
Shrine of St. Joseph
This church, sitting in Columbus Square in St. Louis, began in 1843 when Jesuits founded the parish for mostly German local residents. In 1887 it saw its first major miracle declared in Rome by Cardinal Bianchi. This miracle dealt with Peter Claver and ultimately resulted in a very sick man being completely cured of ailments that should have ended his life. A second miracle was performed during the great Cholera outbreak in St. Louis when prayers were answered and those in the church were not affected by the disease. Today you can take public tours of the gorgeous church each Sunday after Mass. Explore architect George Purvis' astonishingly breathtaking details piece by piece as you visit the Main Altar, Paintings on the Dome, Upper Alter, Mary's Alter, Jesuits Altar, Pipe Organ, and various statues throughout.
Scott Joplin House
This Italianate architectural gem is located on Delmar Boulevard in St. Louis, first built in 1860. The house served as the home to Scott Joplin and his wife Belle from 1901 to 1903, a time in which Joplin composed several of his greatest pieces. During your visit you will be able to explore the modest flat, furnished as it would have been in 1902, lit by gaslight. See various museum exhibits interpreting his life, then visit the Rosebud Cafe, the eatery and performance venue for the site. The first floor of this 2-story brick building has a bar, piano, and tables for eating (brown bag lunches to catered events), and upstairs has another piano and performance space.
The Fabulous Fox Theatre
St. Louis’ Fox Theater is one of the most spectacularly lavish sites to see while in the city, this former movie palace is known as ‘one of the most exquisite venues in the country’. Here you and your group can enjoy living touring Broadway shows, concerts, vegas performances, classic movie viewings, and comedians, providing ‘the best of everything and something for everyone’. The Fabulous Fox has seen over 15 million guests come through its grand brass doors, the 56,630 square foot establishment holding a 4,500 guest capacity. As mentioned above, this spot used to be a movie palace first builtin 1929. The regal design follows the Siamese and Byzantine tradition, reopened in 1982 revamped majestically with a beauty unseen anywhere else in St. Louis.
Here you will find over 1370 acres of gorgeous green space to sightsee, learn, and dine, the entire park area holding four different museums, the St. Louis zoo, athletic fields, golf courses, and the iconic World Fair Pavilion. Forest Park is a world-class cultural institution that allows in-depth natural and recreation exploration and even gives your group a good chance to get some exercise in. Eat lunch, visit a museum, and enjoy [arguably] the best park in St. Louis. Did we happen to mention that this park has been here since 1876? Talk about an impressive local history!
St. Louis Art Museum