Built in 1855, the historic Hanley House is the oldest structure in Clayton, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Original family furnishings, artifacts and letters are preserved in the restored home, and depict 19th century life in Missouri. The farmstead is situated on a one-acre park, walking distance from the hotel.
Minutes from the hotel, Forest Park is a natural oasis of waterways and landscapes, with more green space than Central Park. Opened in 1876, it is the site of the 1904 World’s Fair, and is now home to the premier cultural institutions in the region: The Muny amphitheater, Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri History Museum, St. Louis Zoo and St. Louis Science Center. Forest Park also offers opportunities for paddle boating, ice skating, jogging, bicycling and golf.
From a 14-acre Japanese garden to the world’s largest collection of rare and endangered orchids, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a horticultural haven in the heart of the city. Encompassing a geodesic dome greenhouse with a tropical forest climate, themed gardens and plant collections, the 79-acre garden is a National Historic Landmark and the nation’s oldest botanical garden in continuous operation.
Stately and imposing, the St. Louis Union Station was once the world’s largest and busiest passenger rail terminal. Now a National Historic Landmark, its most extraordinary feature is the restored Grand Hall, with gold leaf, Romanesque arches, a 65-foot barrel vaulted ceiling and stained glass windows. Be sure to see the spectacular show projected on the ceiling every hour.
Site of Dred Scott’s first two trials for freedom and Suffragist Virginia Minor’s trial for women’s right to vote, the Old Courthouse holds a significant place in American history. Two restored courtrooms are on display, and four exhibit galleries examine St. Louis’ role in the nation’s westward movement.
The world’s largest collection of mosaics may be viewed in the domes, arches and chapels of this magnificent Cathedral. Installation of the 42 million pieces of glass, comprised of 7,000 colors, began in 1912 and finished in 1988.
The archaeological remains preserved at Cahokia Mounds provide a glimpse of how ancient people lived along the Mississippi River. Museum exhibits include a life-size creation of a Cahokian village, and outdoor tours guide visitors along trails of the most populated prehistoric civilization north of Mexico in 1240 A.D. Just a 30-minute drive from the hotel, the World Heritage Site is situated on 2,200 acres on the Illinois side of the river.
Whether taking a quiet walk through the peaceful gardens, grottos and other sacred spaces of the Shrine, visiting the spiritually-themed children’s playground or simply appreciating the natural beauty of this setting overlooking the Mississippi River Valley, there are many ways to experience the serenity of one of the largest outdoor shrines in the country. Just 20 minutes from the hotel, the Shrine is located in Belleville, IL.