STL: Our favorite things

“St. Louis is full of museums, parks, restaurants, and concert venues, and any given weekend I can easily find some new part of the city to explore. It also doesn’t hurt that most of the best things to do in St. Louis are completely free!” – Simona, a WashU student from California

Here are just a few of our faves throughout St. Louis.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 25, 2012 - Washington University students visit the St. Louis Zoo. Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr.

Saint Louis Zoo

A world-class zoo with FREE admission? Many people would think that’s unheard of. Not in St. Louis. Our awesome zoo offers lions and tigers and bears…and oh so much more. The penguin and puffin exhibit is always a cool stop on a hot day, and the sea lion show delights audiences young and old. Stop by – the elephants, meerkats, and flamingos are always ready to say hello.

Missouri Botanical Garden

Missouri Botanical Garden

Need a day to relax? Surround yourself with floral scents and breathtaking displays at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Explore the Climatron (the first geodesic dome to be used as a conservatory), and find your zen in the Japanese Garden. Besides the incredible array of flowers, the gardens offer a number of festivals – including a free concert series during the summer.

Sept 6, 2013 - Students spend the evening at the Missouri History Museum during the WUSTL's Night at the Museum.  James Byard/WUSTL Photos

Missouri History Museum

Whether you’re into photography, war, urban design, toys, or fashion, something at the Missouri History Museum – voted the 2016 best museum in St. Louis – is bound to pique your interest. Oh, and admission is free. The museum also offers research opportunities and special events.

4.29.2014--A few of the St. Louis Art Museum. Photo by James Byard/WUSTL Photos

Saint Louis Art Museum

Sitting majestically atop Art Hill, a statue of St. Louis out front, this museum ranks among the most famous art museums around the world. Its cool, calming interior boasts famous exhibits ranging from ancient to modern, Islamic to Native American, textile arts to photographs. And like the Missouri History Museum, admission – except for a few special exhibits – is free. Art Hill is a favorite spot for concerts, movie nights, sledding, and picnics.

THIS IS NOT A WUSTL IMAGE. Contact Mary Butkus Photography, 314.965.3321, for publication rates.  'The Hill' in South St. Louis. Contact Mary Butkus Photography at 314.965.3321 for usage rates.

The Hill

If you have a craving for Italian food, there’s no better place than The Hill. Indulge in creamy pasta or giant sandwiches, find fresh-baked bread and cannoli, get a pizza to go, play bocce ball at Milo’s, or simply walk around this unique neighborhood with narrow streets, small houses, and family businesses that have spanned generations.

Washington University students at a Cardinals game on September 8, 2013.

Busch Stadium

It doesn’t matter whether the St. Louis Cardinals are your team – it’s easy to get caught up in home team pride as you join the sea of red at Busch Stadium. Our beloved Redbirds entertain year after year, as fans flock to the beautiful stadium nestled in the heart of downtown.

09.29.2014 -The Gateway Arch. James Byard/ WUSTL Photos

Gateway Arch

St. Louis’ iconic Arch is three destinations in one. The park-like grounds are right on the riverfront and recently underwent a major renovation; the museum below the Arch chronicles the Lewis and Clark Expedition; and the trams take you to the top of this tallest national monument, where you will find breathtaking views.

4.18.2014 - Ted Drewes on Chippewa St James Byard/WUSTL Photos

Ted Drewes

Another St. Louis classic, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, offers cold treats in every flavor – whether you prefer cones, sundaes, or their signature “concretes,” served upside down. It’s a favorite among locals and college students alike. On any nice evening, it will be packed with people clamoring for the creamy treat. But don’t despair – with 12 serving windows and quick, experienced workers, you’ll have your custard in no time.

What will top your list?