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Completed in October 1965 the Gateway Arch was designed to last 1,000 years. The Arch was built to represent Thomas Jefferson's dream of a United States that stretched from the Pacific to the Atlantic Coast. At a spectacular 630 feet (192 meters), the monumental structure features a stainless steel facade that represents the city's legacy as the Gateway to the West. A tram zips to the top of the monument and one can see 360-degree views for 30 miles (48 kilometers) around the city. The Arch stands within the larger Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and is a testament to American engineering at its finest.
A garden lover's paradise, Missouri Botanical Garden, a 79-acre (40 hectares) collection of gardens has something for everyone, including a fragrance garden for the visually impaired. The Kemper Center has more than 20 gardens set to various themes, including the Japanese Garden and Chinese Garden, which offer a tranquil getaway from the urban hustle and bustle. A tropical rain forest also grows in this Midwestern city in an indoor garden spot, the Climatron, a glass geodesic dome through which you can stroll even when there is snow outside.
Jody Newman and Barbie Freund founded the Magic House in 1975 with the goal of creating an interactive museum that attracts, educates, and entertains both children and adults. It's a place where you can learn about magnets, electricity or about the environment through hands-on activities. The Electro-Static Generator, Jack and the Beanstalk Climber, Mizzou Training Center, and the Backyard Magic are some of the museum's most popular exhibits.
Located in a former shoe manufacturing building, this museum will satisfy both the young and the young-at-heart. With three floors of interesting, educational and fun-filled rooms, it is one of the best downtown attractions. The museum is run by a group of artists and professionals who together produce an awe-inspiring array of exhibits. Feel the authenticity of the multilevel enchanted caves, the architectural museum and the giant aquarium.
Discover the home of a musical legend, Scott Joplin, who's credited with the popularization of Ragtime music from 1895 to 1918. Joplin lived in St. Louis for nine years and spent two of them living in this historic home with his wife, Belle Haden. During that time, Joplin wrote and published eight songs, including his most famous, "The Entertainer". As part of the restoration, a piano with his sheet music was installed for visitors to enjoy. Today the home is listed as a National Historical Landmark with daily guided tours.
This aristocratic Victorian home-turned-museum is the only survivor of the Locust Street area. Built in 1851 and preserved with 90 percent of its original furnishings and decor kept intact, this museum has become a major attraction among both tourists and locals. The history of the furnishings and decor dates from 1854-1935 and tells a tale of the families who lived in the home. The museum is convenient to downtown St. Louis and features a beautiful carriage house, romantic gazebo and a fragrant rose garden.
Born in 1879, this park attracts history lovers from around the world. Dubbed as the 'Heart of St. Louis', Forest Park is a stirring nexus of history and nature, where rolling meadows and serene ponds are accentuated by agile streams. Memories abound in this urban park, which hosts reunions and many other events year-round. Within its scenic landscape are remarkable attractions like the St. Louis Science Center, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Muny Amphitheatre and the Missouri History Museum. Another notable attraction of the park is the Saint Louis Zoo which is a treasure trove of wildlife like bears, apes and penguins. Similarly, the charming, pink Cabanne House, which serves as the forest headquarters stands in striking harmony with the other ancient edifices cradled in the park. A marvelous synergy of historical intrigue and natural delight, Forest Park takes a place of pride in St. Louis.
Explore the outer reaches of space and try your hand at archaeology when you spend a day visiting the St. Louis Science Center. Using interactive displays, life-like exhibits, an IMAX theater and hands-on activities, this center will have your imagination running wild. Kids too can have a fun time, learning about science, astronomy and health, through various camps and workshops organised on-site. Best of all, admission to this fantastical center is free!
The Saint Louis Art Museum is the perfect place for a family outing for an educational and fun day out. Peruse the largest collection of artwork that the city has to offer and flit from exhibit to exhibit to view sculptures and paintings. From Impressionistic to Modern art, this museum boasts styles of artwork from all around the world. The best part about the museum is that the admission is totally free. Visit the website for more details.
By the 1960s, almost all of the buildings on the riverfront were cleared out to make way for the Gateway Arch. The only building on the Arch grounds that remained was the Old Cathedral, just west of the Arch's south leg. The Old Cathedral was inaugurated in 1818. Inside there are religious statues and paintings that tell the story of Christ's crucifixion. There are postcards available for sale inside a gift shop on the west side of the building. Guests are welcome from the morning through the afternoon.