In this hardcore one-day in St. Louis itinerary you’ll visit a city that boasts musical legends such as Chuck Berry and the deep-rooted heritage of the iconic beer Budweiser.
Get ready to explore the streets where trailblazers once walked, and experience the legacy of the local pizza, all in the backdrop of the Gateway City, nestled by the grand Mississippi River.
Let’s get into it.
One Day in St Louis Itinerary (It’s Ambitious!)
This is one very action-packed day that will take you through the city’s most iconic landmarks, culinary delights, and cultural hotspots.
It’s admittedly a full schedule that will require an early start and some efficient time management, but it’s doable and promises a fulfilling exploration of the city’s diverse offerings.
Prepare for a day that’s as rewarding as it is energetic, capturing the essence of this vibrant city and I’ve added a few bonus options at the end to account for personal tastes.
Slinger For Breakfast – 6-8 AM
Straight away, we’ve got a bit of a St. Louis culinary gem to add to our travel plans before your early morning hike.
The local special, called a “slinger,” is a hearty dish combining hash browns, meat, chilli, and a fried egg. For those who prefer plant-based meals, there are vegetarian and vegan versions available.
If you’re looking to try some of the best slingers in the city, Rooster, Mud House, and EGG are top spots to consider.
Lone Elk Park
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM: I know, I’m sorry. I also hate early mornings but all of this is an unnecessary evil for even the most ardent night owls and you’ll be fully fuelled after your slinger for brekkie.
Lone Elk Park, located in St. Louis County, Missouri, is a unique wildlife management area known for its natural beauty and the opportunity to observe a variety of wildlife in their natural habitat. The park was established on land that was originally part of the Tyson Valley Powder Plant used during World War II.
It became a wildlife reserve in 1971, featuring herds of elk and bison that were reintroduced after being previously destroyed for safety during the Korean War.
You can enjoy scenic drives or walks through the park, offering chances to see animals such as elk, bison, wild turkey, waterfowl, and deer. If you opt for wheels then give the larger animals a respectful distance or you may need to contact a St. Louis car accident lawyer.
The park is particularly known for its large elk population, which can often be seen roaming freely. It’s a popular destination for wildlife photography, nature observation, and for those seeking a peaceful retreat into nature.
The park’s name originates from a lone bull elk that survived the culling of the herd in the 1950s. Today, it serves as a testament to the area’s natural heritage and conservation efforts.
Missouri Botanical Garden
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM: The Missouri Botanical Garden, located in St. Louis, is one of the oldest botanical institutions in the United States and a National Historic Landmark, spanning 79 acres and is renowned for its beautiful and extensive horticultural display.
The garden features a range of collections, including a vibrant Japanese garden, the Climatron Conservatory with a tropical rainforest theme, and an extensive collection of rare and endangered plant species.
A lovely place to chill and take stock during your bust day in St Louis.
Enjoy a St. Louis-Style Pizza
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: St. Louis-style pizza, an iconic dish of the city, is distinguished by its thin cracker-like crust made without yeast, its very rich and tangy tomato sauce, and especially its use of Provel cheese, a unique blend of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone cheeses.
This pizza is typically cut into squares or rectangles, a style known as “party” or “tavern” cut.
It emerged in the mid-20th century and reflects the city’s Italian-American heritage. For vegans, there are modern interpretations of this classic dish using plant-based cheeses and toppings, ensuring that the unique flavours and experience of St. Louis-style pizza can be enjoyed by all.
This adaptation maintains the distinct qualities of the original while aligning with vegan dietary preferences.
In St. Louis, there are several plant-based friendly options in notable establishments:
- Pizzeoli Wood Fired Pizza: Known for its vegan-friendly pizzas, including a variety of plant-based toppings and vegan cheese options.
- Pizza Head: Offers vegan pies with house-made, cashew-based cheese, providing a vegan twist to the traditional St. Louis-style pizza.
- Union Loafers Cafe and Bread Bakery: Although not a typical St. Louis-style pizza, they offer a vegan-friendly marinara pizza with a thin crust.
- Imo’s Pizza: This place is possibly the most popular pizza place in St Louis for tourists. Although it is yet to serve vegan cheese the company has upped its game recently by adding an array of Impossible Meat options.
Visit The Creepy Eros Bendato Sculpture
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM: The creepy Eros Bendato Sculpture, located in Citygarden in downtown St. Louis, is a captivating and thought-provoking art piece… it’s certainly hard to miss this slightly spine-chilling gift from the City of Krakow.
Created by Polish artist Igor Mitoraj, the sculpture is a large, bronze, fragmented head that rests on its side, giving it an intriguing and somewhat eerie appearance. This sculpture is part of a collection of public art in Citygarden, an urban park that combines lush landscaping with an array of sculptures, making it a popular destination for art enthusiasts and visitors looking for a unique cultural experience in the heart of the city.
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, also known as the Saint Louis Basilica, is a renowned landmark in St. Louis, celebrated for its striking architecture and stunning interior mosaics.
This Roman Catholic church, completed in the early 20th century, is a masterpiece of Byzantine and Romanesque design. The interior is adorned with one of the largest mosaic collections in the world, created by several different artists over 75 years, covering 83,000 square feet.
The mosaics, along with the grand architecture, make the basilica a site of significant artistic and religious importance, attracting visitors and worshippers alike.
Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM: The Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour in St. Louis is a unique experience that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the beer brewing process. Visitors have the opportunity to explore the historic brewery, learn about the brewing methods and history of one of America’s oldest and largest breweries, and see the famous Budweiser Clydesdales.
Budweiser has strong historical ties to St. Louis. The beer was first introduced by the Anheuser-Busch company, which was founded in St. Louis, Missouri, in the mid-19th century.
After grabbing a few Buds, it’s time to have a romantic stroll over to the Gateway Arch as the weather is playing nice…
Sunset at Gateway Arch
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM: Experiencing a sunset at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis is a perfect way to wind down your one-day in St Louis itinerary.
As the tallest monument in the United States, the Gateway Arch offers panoramic views of the city and the famous Mississippi River.
As visitors and locals take in the stunning views and the remarkable engineering of the arch, this moment creates a memorable experience, symbolising the pioneering spirit of the city and offering a pretty perspective on St. Louis (again, if the weather is good to you!)
Dinner at The Loop
7:30 PM – 8:30 PM: The Loop is a lively, culturally diverse neighbourhood known for its array of dining options, ranging from local eateries to international cuisines such as Thai, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Italian.
Local legend Chuck Berry used to play here often, this is a nice little trivia fact for your day in St Louis if you consider yourself a music buff.
Union Station Hotel Grand Hall Bar
9:00 PM: This iconic local bar is set in the Grand Hall of the historic Union Station, a 120-year-old National Historic Landmark of St Louis.
It’s a place where guests can enjoy a sophisticated evening in a setting that beautifully blends historical architecture with modern luxury. This combination of history, architecture, and modern comforts makes the Union Station Hotel Grand Hall Bar a memorable destination to unwind after a very adventurous day of exploring St. Louis.
While this action-packed itinerary covers St. Louis’s highlights, these honourable mentions offer additional options for those with specific interests. Keep in mind that due to time constraints, you might not be able to fit them all into your day, but they make excellent substitutions based on your preferences:
Honourable St Louis Day Trip Mentions
While my action-packed itinerary covers St. Louis’s highlights, these honourable mentions offer additional options for those with specific interests to me, myself and I.
Keep in mind that due to time constraints, you might not be able to fit them all into your day, but they make excellent substitutions based on your preferences if the stars do align:
- Go to a Cardinal’s Game: Catching a Cardinals baseball game at Busch Stadium is a quintessential St. Louis experience for sports enthusiasts and travellers working on their sports bucket list.
- River City Casino: This entertainment hub not only offers gaming excitement but also hosts stand-up comedy shows and live music performances. It’s a fantastic choice for a night of entertainment and relaxation if the other options don’t speak to your heart.
- True Crime Walking Tour in Soulard Neighborhood: Delve into the city’s darker history with a true crime walking tour in the historic Soulard neighbourhood. Learn about infamous events and mysteries that shaped St. Louis’s past.
- Visit Six Flags St. Louis: For adrenaline junkies and families, Six Flags St. Louis is a treasure trove of amusement park fun. Enjoy exhilarating rides, water attractions, and entertainment shows.
- Chuck Berry’s House: Pay homage to the legendary rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, Chuck Berry, who had classics such as “Johnny B. Goode” and “Roll Over Beethoven” by visiting his former residence. Although this feels like a must for music history aficionados, it’s a little sterile at the moment but there are grand plans to make this an official Chuck Berry Museum in the future.
These honourable mentions add depth and extra options to your St. Louis experience, allowing you to tailor your day to your personal preferences and interests.
One Day in St Louis Itinerary Conclusion
This one day in St Louis itinerary is obviously for people with a lot of energy who want to squeeze every second out of their trip… but it doesn’t have to be!
You can simply substitute with the honourable mentions, or choose to take out a few options if that serves you better.
Your one day in St Louis should be for you (and/or who you are travelling with), there is no right or wrong way how to do this.
What’s next? I suggest a road trip to nearby Chicago and seeing which pizza is the best out of the two neighbouring cities! Check out my “is Chicago safe for tourists” if you’re curious or concerned about that.