15 Landmarks in St. Louis, Missouri, You Must Visit

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A large arch and city skyscrapers
St. Louis is full of fantastic landmarks to see

The Midwest state of Missouri doesn't usually make the top of the list as a vacation hotspot. This is a shame because its second-largest city, St. Louis, has a lot for visitors to see and do.

Once the central hub for travelers heading west by train, St. Louis saw considerable growth in the late 1800s and first half of the 1900s. Today, you'll find evidence of St. Louis' rich history in well-maintained landmarks throughout the city.

From the Missouri Botanical Garden, which opened in 1859, to the 1891 Wainwright Building, many of the top landmarks in St. Louis, Missouri, date back to the 19th Century.

But there's more to see in the city than just looking at old stuff. St. Louis is home to one of the nation's most enormous urban green spaces. And the Riverfront Trail along the Mississippi River provides miles of scenic views.

Covering a range of interests, the 15 unique landmarks on this list will provide a starting point for checking out all of the top things to see while you're in St. Louis.

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15 Landmarks of St. Louis

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A park with a large fountain in a pond surrounded by trees in autumn
Forest Park is one of the most popular landmarks in St. Louis, Missouri

Forest Park

The crown jewel of St. Louis' green spaces, Forest Park, is an over 1,300-acre park west of downtown. It dates to the 19th century, having been established in 1876.

Interestingly, the park has hosted some major events, like the 1904 Summer Olympics and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904. Forest Park is also home to two other attractions on this list: the Missouri History Museum and Saint Louis Art Museum.

Scott Joplin House State Historic Site

Home to composer Scott Joplin, the "King of Ragtime," from 1901 to 1903, the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site is now a museum dedicated to the renowned musician and his life in the St. Louis area. Established in 1983, this house is considered one of the most famous landmarks in Missouri thanks to Joplin's numerous contributions to music history.

A tall building with many widows beside a modern glass-paneled building
The Wainwright Building remains a renowned landmark, having been completed in 1891

Wainwright Building

Completed in 1891, the Wainwright Building is a ten-story office building designed by famed architects Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan. Sullivan, the mentor of Frank Lloyd Wright, is named the "Father of Skyscrapers."

The Wainwright Building is considered one of the first modern office high-rises in the United States. It remains one of the premier points of interest in St. Louis, Missouri, for architectural students and enthusiasts.

Grand Avenue Water Tower

Standing 154 feet above St. Louis' College Hill neighborhood, the Grand Avenue Water Tower is the oldest extant water tower in the city. The brick and stone tower is also the tallest free-standing Corinthian column in the world.

This landmark was additionally added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, almost one hundred years after its completion in 1871.

Tall skyscrapers and an arch near a body of water
The Mississippi River is an important part of St. Louis' history

Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is St. Louis' most remarkable natural landmark, serving as the border between Missouri and Illinois. From the river's role in trade in the early days of St. Louis to its importance for maritime transport during the Civil War, the Mississippi River is ingrained in the city's heritage.

Today, most visitors enjoy the river by taking a scenic stroll along the 12-mile St. Louis Riverfront Trail. Following this trail will help you understand why River City is one of St. Louis' nicknames!

Missouri History Museum

Established in 1866, The Missouri History Museum is a popular St. Louis attraction that highlights the history and growth of the state of Missouri and its second-largest city. The attraction contains one of the state's largest collections of historical documents and artifacts about St. Louis County. It serves as a vital resource for local researchers and genealogists.

A Greek Revival-style building with a dome top surrounded by city buildings
The Old Courthouse served as a federal and state courthouse before 1930

Old Courthouse

The Old Courthouse is a Greek Revival-style landmark in Gateway Arch National Park. Constructed between 1816 and 1864, the Old Courthouse was home to state and federal courts until decommissioned in 1930.

This courthouse is famous as it's where Dred Scott, a former enslaved person, sued for his freedom in 1846. It's also where suffragette Virginia Minor was tried for attempting to vote in 1872.

Busch Stadium

Located in Downtown St. Louis, Busch Stadium is a Major League Baseball ballpark that serves as home to the St. Louis Cardinals. The third professional sports venue in St. Louis to carry the Busch moniker, the approximately 46,000-seat Busch Stadium welcomed fans to its first game on April 4, 2006.

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A pond with lily pads surrounded by trees next to a glass dome structure
The Missouri Botanical Garden comprises 12 uniquely themed gardens

Missouri Botanical Garden

Opened to the public in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a 79-acre park divided into a dozen uniquely designed themed areas. The park is nicknamed Shaw's Garden after founder and local businessman Henry Shaw.

Notably, the Missouri Botanical Garden hosts one of the most anticipated fall activities in St. Louis, the St. Louis Japanese Festival.

Campbell House Museum

Built in 1851, the Campbell House Museum is one of the country's best-preserved Victorian-style residences. The St. Louis landmark served as the home of the Campbell family from 1854 until 1938.

It opened as the Campbell House Museum five years later in 1943 and is decorated with original features and furnishings from the 1850s.

A Romanesque Revival-style building with a tall tower
St. Louis Union Station was built in 1894 and now houses shops and restaurants

St. Louis Union Station

Opened in 1894 as a 32-track railway terminal, St. Louis Union Station has evolved into one of the city's most popular dining and entertainment destinations. However, the station, especially the ornate Grand Hall, has retained its classic charm.

For many, the most surprising Missouri fact is that St. Louis Union Station once rivaled New York City's Grand Central Terminal in passenger numbers.

The Field House Museum

The Field House Museum preserves the legacy of the 19th-century Field family. Lawyer and patriarch Roswell Field represented the plaintiff in the landmark US Supreme Court case, Dred Scott v. Sandford.

His son, writer Eugene Field, became known as the "Poet of Childhood" for his numerous children's stories. As it was his birthplace, the Field House Museum is often referred to as the Eugene Field House.

Gateway Arch is one of the most renowned landmarks in St. Louis, Missouri
Gateway Arch is the tallest structure in St. Louis standing 630 feet tall

The Gateway Arch

The Gateway Arch, a National Historic Landmark by the bank of the Mississippi River, is St. Louis' most visited attraction. It's been the city's de facto symbol for marketing and tourism since the arch was dedicated in 1968.

Reaching 630 feet, the Gateway Arch is also the tallest structure in St. Louis. It's currently managed by the National Park Service.

Soldiers Memorial Military Museum

Dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936, the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum was initially built to memorialize the veterans who served in World War I. In modern times, this landmark in St. Louis features exhibits paying tribute to the service of St. Louisans dating from the Revolutionary War to the present day.

A Classical-style stone building with a garden in front under a blue sky
The Saint Louis Art Museum houses a varied collection of over 36,000 pieces

Saint Louis Art Museum

Situated within Forest Park, the Saint Louis Art Museum maintains a collection of more than 36,000 pieces of art. These range from modern works to pieces that are 5,000 years old.

The three-story institution is one of the most famous landmarks in St. Louis, Missouri, for art lovers. But with such a varied collection of items on display at any given time, there's something for everyone to appreciate at the Saint Louis Art Museum.

In Summary

While it may not have the name recognition of other, more popular destinations, St. Louis offers visitors plenty of well-preserved history and landmarks. From the Wainwright Building, considered the first modern office building, to the Campbell House Museum, one of the country's top Victorian residences, St. Louis is awash in historical attractions.

But the Gateway to the West has more than just history; it's also a vibrant waterfront city with modern landmarks like the iconic Gateway Arch and Busch Stadium. St. Louis is a city along the Mississippi River unlike any other, with unique monuments and attractions worth visiting more than once.

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Written by Jonathan Davis

JDavis WRITER Jonathan is a Florida-based travel writer who can't seem to stay in one place for long. With more than two decades of trips under his belt, Jonathan has a wealth of information to share about travel within the United States and abroad.

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