Skip to Content

Planning Your Trip

Experience the best of Midwestern warmth and craftsmanship in a city whose good life is emerging from under the radar. Choose from legendary barbecue and a slew of new culinary stars, then walk it off in the massive Forest Park, home to some of the city’s top cultural institutions, or take a stroll exploring the antique shops and artsy cafés of Cherokee Street.

596080538

Business Travel

Preparation is key to packing light. St. Louis’ weather is notoriously fickle, so plan ahead and bring items that can pull double or triple duty. A raincoat and travel umbrella are musts.

 

  • Pack versatile pieces that can go from office to dinner with ease — a blue suit, white shirt and brown or black shoes for men; a blazer, a couple of dresses and comfortable shoes for women; a sleek pair of jeans for more casual companies. Be sure to pack your workout gear to take advantage of the hotel’s gym in your downtime.
  • Wear your suit jacket on the plane to save room — the hotel can press it for you later. Roll up belts and ties and pack them in your shoes, then place in a dust bag for even more space.
  • For women, think multipurpose: a long scarf to wrap up in on the plane or dress up an evening look; chic mules you can slide into for a meeting or for dashing out of the security line faster.
View from across the river of the arch at night

Exploring the City

There is a lot of ground to cover in St. Louis, from cosmopolitan Clayton to the hipster enclave of The Loop to blues-soaked Soulard and the artsy Central West End. Here’s how to explore in style.

 

  • The weather in St. Louis might surprise you. Check the weather in advance … then check it again. Bring a travel umbrella, a raincoat and a warm outer layer for just about any time of year.
  • A good pair of walking shoes is essential. If you have a stylish pair of sneakers to pair with your daytime ensembles, you can wear them for comfort on the plane and during your daily workouts, too.
  • Bring a hands-free tote, cross-body bag or backpack to carry your essentials while you are on the go.  
821037954

Weekend Getaway

A little forethought is all that is needed to fit what you require into a simple weekender bag. Most people don’t use everything they pack, so err on the side of simplicity.

 

 

  • Bring season-appropriate basics that can be mixed together without much thought: a pair of jeans, a couple of collared shirts and a sport coat for men; jeans, a couple of blouses and a cocktail dress for women.
  • Bring shoes that are comfortable, stylish and go with everything. For women, think ankle boots and backless loafers. For men, weatherproof boots and minimalist sneakers are a good bet.
  • Take along sneakers and activewear for working out and outdoor adventures.
suitcase.png

Don’t Forget:

Lacking mountains or an ocean to temper its climate, the area around St. Louis is subject to extreme weather. In summer, sunglasses and sunscreen are a must. In winter, be sure to have a very warm coat, gloves, hat, scarf and plenty of warm socks. A light, packable down jacket or vest is a smart layer that does not take up much room in your suitcase, and insulated, waterproof boots with grippy traction soles are a must in snowy and icy conditions.


Famed as the Gateway to the West, St. Louis is as essential a stop on the modern traveler’s American adventure as it was for Lewis and Clark. The city’s distinctive neighborhoods are farther flung than in other American cities, so plan ahead to ensure you hit your St. Louis wish list in advance.

Dining Reservations

placesetting.png

In this culinary hotbed, a few establishments should not be missed. Start at Pappy’s Smokehouse, which kicked off the city’s lauded barbecue boom. Try the ribs — a dish of magic, smoked over apple and cherry wood — with a side of beans and bright, tangy slaw. In fine dining, two farm-to-table ventures stand out: Chef Carl McConnell’s Stone Soup Cottage, now on the farm where most of its produce is grown (a weekend visit requires a reservation two or more months ahead), and Vicia, from former Blue Hill at Stone Barns Chef Michael Gallina, which features vegetable-forward seasonal fare. After, retire to The Cigar Club at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, where scotch, whiskey and cigars are served in a handsome setting. Alternatively, for a quiet afternoon at the hotel, make a tea reservation and enjoy a traditional service, featuring a wide selection of teas, sparkling wine and finger foods.

Museum Tickets and Cultural Sights

hotel1.png

The former Fine Arts Palace of the 1904 World’s Fair is now home to the Saint Louis Art Museum, which includes more than 30,000 works of art from antiquity to the present. The outlandish City Museum, brainchild of the late artist Bob Cassilly, is a mysterious, surreal journey through a former shoe factory that includes enchanted caves, slides and a rooftop Ferris wheel. Contemporary art lovers should stop at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki, a charming, gem-stuffed institution at Washington University, while Citygarden is a world-class sculpture park featuring large-scale works framed by the old courthouse and the Gateway Arch.

Children’s Activities

map.png

St. Louis is a family paradise, boasting one of the nation’s best zoos and most acclaimed parks. Start at check-in, where young guests receive V.I.K. (Very Important Kids) registration and instructions for a hotel scavenger hunt. Then bring them to the Gateway Arch, the tallest man-made monument in the United States — an enclosed tram carries riders to the top, offering panoramic city views. Introduce them to red pandas and Tasmanian devils at the Saint Louis Zoo, then explore the rest of Forest Park — Turtle Playground draws all ages with its massive turtle and snake sculptures; you can also rent a paddle boat, visit the Saint Louis Science Center or simply enjoy a picnic lunch.

Day Trips

car.png

Day trips abound from within easy reach of St. Louis. You could spend an entire day sampling the best of the city’s exceptional beer scene, from the quintessential Anheuser-Busch flagship brewery and its iconic Clydesdales, to the area’s innovative craft brewers (wine lovers should check out nearby Augusta and Defiance for superior wines and breathtaking scenery). Or witness the historic charm of nearby St. Charles, Missouri’s first capital. Tour the Lewis and Clark Boat House Museum, then explore the lively shops, cafés and restaurants nestled in the pristinely preserved buildings of the historic city streets

Situated on the western bank of the mighty Mississippi River, St. Louis has historically been known as the Gateway to the American West. In recent years, it has re-emerged as a lively destination defined by music and the performing arts, particularly jazz, ragtime and blues, as well as the home of the second-oldest symphony orchestra in the nation. Nestled in the center of St. Louis, iconic Forest Park is also home to The Muny; America’s oldest and largest outdoor musical theater. With its French past — St. Louis was founded by French fur traders in 1764 — the city also boasts notable architecture and eclectic cuisine sourced from the rich bounty of its surrounding farmland. Experience the best St. Louis has to offer with The Ritz-Carlton as your elegant home away from home.


12 Hours in St. Louis

There is far more to St. Louis than its famous steel Gateway Arch. This vibrant city on the Mississippi River boasts a surprising amount of leading-edge art, music and culture, not to mention an urban park 1.5 times the size of New York City’s Central Park. St. Louis’ vibrant neighborhoods are grounded in Midwestern sensibility with a hint of Southern charm and occasionally French flair, making for especially memorable drinks, dining and nightlife. Short on time? Spend your day exploring the best the city has to offer or indulging in a day of relaxation.

 

Discover More

The Perfect Weekend

St. Louis is a midsized American city with attractions rivaling much larger metropolises. Since its early days as the final outpost for pioneers headed West — including Lewis and Clark’s expedition — St. Louis has had big ambitions. Today that spirit is evident in its numerous superlatives, from tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere to largest open-air theater in the nation to most phantasmagorical museum. There is a lot to love about St. Louis. Here is how to experience the best of the city in a weekend.

 

Discover More