This year for Memorial Day, we decided to spend the long weekend in St. Louis.
Our main goal was to visit the Gateway Arch National Park. My husband and I had seen it many years ago but long before it became a National Park. So, we decided it was time for another visit.
As I was looking around for places to stay, I discovered Union Station, an entertainment district with a hotel in the old train station.
We arrived late Friday night and checked into the hotel. The St. Louis Union Station Hotel is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton.
I was immediately excited about how incredible this place is. It’s unique, to say the least. Not surprisingly, this was my first time staying in a train station.
Saturday: City Museum & Union Station
On Saturday morning, we headed to the St. Louis City Museum. It’s hard to describe this museum. It’s part museum, part playground.
We explored the museum for a couple of hours. During that time, we slid down the 5 story and 10 story slides and climbed around until my legs were sore!
We ate lunch on Saturday at the Train Shed in Union Station. I’ll be honest and say I didn’t have high expectations since this restaurant is geared towards tourists. But, I was pleasantly surprised. The roasted cauliflower was particularly tasty.
After a bit of a break, we rode the Ferris Wheel at Union Station. We debated on whether to ride during the day or at night. We opted for the day. The views were specular. The gondolas are climate-controlled, so it was not hot.
Next, we headed over to the Mirror Maze. We’d purchased combo tickets for the aquarium, which included access to other Union Station attractions such as the Mirror Maze.
The Union Station Aquarium is in the same building as the Mirror Maze and was our next stop. Touring the aquarium starts off with a virtual train ride (optional). It’s a fun way to begin an aquarium visit.
For dinner, we’d planned to check out the Soda Fountain, but the wait was too long. So, we went to Landry’s instead.
Sunday: Cahokia Mounds & the Zoo
On Sunday, we drove to Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville, Illinois. We spent about 3 hours at the mounds touring the interpretive center, participating in a guided walk, and climbing Monk’s Mound.
Some friends of ours had recommended a restaurant called Mama’s on the Hill. So, we ate lunch there on Sunday. The food was delicious. I highly recommend it!
We took an afternoon break and then went to the St. Louis Zoo. Admission is free, but parking is not- $15 during our visit. We arrived around 3:30, and the zoo was pretty crowded. But, as time went by, the crowd thinned, the temperature cooled, and it was enjoyable.
After a full day of walking around the mounds and the zoo, I had no trouble sleeping!
Monday: Gateway Arch National Park
A weekend in St. Louis isn’t complete without a visit to its new national park. So, on Monday, visited the Gateway Arch. There are 4 primary activities at the park:
- Tour the interpretative center
- Watch a movie on the construction of the arch
- Take a riverboat cruise
- Ride to the top of the arch
We spent over 4 hours at the arch due to ticket time availability. During our trip, some COVID19 restrictions were still in place. So, we had to make reservations ahead of time for several attractions.
We had a wonderful time on our long weekend in St. Louis. It was action-packed. But, we still didn’t come close to seeing all this city has to offer. Of course, we’ll just have to go back!
For more information on the Show Me State, check out my Missouri page.