Photos: Gateway City

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  1. Fun factory

    A girl walks through a hall of mirrors at the City Museum in St. Louis. The museum, housed in the 600,000-square-foot former International Shoe Company factory, is an eclectic mix of mosaics, sculpted caves to explore, slides to barrel down, even a massive outdoor playground where kids climb through tunnels, towers and suspended airplanes. (Jeff Roberson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Brewed in St. Louis

    Visitors tour the Anheuser-Busch brewhouse in St. Louis. (Whitney Curtis / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Urban oasis

    Michael Marsh of Hopkinsville, Ky., stops to smell a flower at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. Longtime St. Louisans still lovingly refer to this urban oasis as Shaw's Garden, for the British businessman Henry Shaw who recreated the English gardens of his youth in what was then the outskirts of St. Louis. (Jeff Roberson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Gateway Arch

    The Gateway Arch, surrounded by reflecting pools, is the world's tallest national monument. The Arch was built to be a symbolic gateway to the west, and is the centerpiece of the riverfront Jefferson National Expansion Memorial park. (St. Louis CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Eads Bridge

    The historic Eads Bridge spans the Mississippi River at St. Louis. Built in 1874 to accommodate carriages, pedestrians and steam trains, the bridge carries a portion of St. Louis' light rail system which connects to many of the community's major attractions. (Dan Donovan / St. Louis CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Busch Stadium

    Opening Day at Busch Stadium with the St. Louis Cardinals playing. (Dan Donovan / St. Louis CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. The Climatron

    The Climatron, located on the grounds of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, is one of the first geodesic dome conservatories built in the U.S. and the first ever to be used as a greenhouse. (St. Louis CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Western welcome

    St. Louis' evening skyline. (St. Louis CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Majestic Midtown

    The Fabulous Fox Theatre anchors the Grand Center arts district in Midtown St. Louis. Built in 1929, the Siamese-Byzantine movie palace plays host to touring Broadway shows, concerts, classic movie revivals and special events throughout the year. (St. Louis CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Lafayette Square

    Lafayette Square, filled with grand 19th century Victorian homes and row houses, is one of St. Louis' oldest residential neighborhoods that is experiencing a renaissance. (St. Louis CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Spirit of St. Louis

    A replica of the 'Spirit of St. Louis' soars in the grand hall of the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. Charles Lindbergh's flight was the 20th century equivalent to Lewis and Clark's journey of exploration. (Lewis Portnoy / St. Louis CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Missouri History Museum

    The Missouri History Museum houses exhibits on the history of the St. Louis area, including extensive personal collections of aviator Charles Lindbergh and explorer William Clark of Lewis & Clark fame. (St. Louis CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Brick beauties

    St. Louis' historic Soulard neighborhood is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city with homes dating from the mid to late 1800s. It's home to antique shops, restaurants, Jazz and Blues clubs, and the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. (St. Louis CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Botanical garden

    A Victorian Garden is one of dozens of elaborate and beautiful gardens within the Missouri Botanical Garden. (St. Louis CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 10/23/2006 12:34:25 PM ET 2006-10-23T16:34:25

Many of St. Louis's top attractions are spread in or around expansive Forest Park, site of the 1904 World's Fair and one of the nation's largest parks (it beats New York City's Central Park by 500 acres).

Historic Homes -- The Campbell House Museum, 1508 Locust St. (tel. 314/421-0325;www.campbellhousemuseum.org), is an elegant 1851 Victorian mansion with most of its original furnishings intact. The Romanesque Revival-style 1889 Samuel Cupples House, 3673 W. Pine Blvd. (tel. 314/977-3025), is a gem of the Gilded Age on the campus of Saint Louis University, containing 42 rooms, a glass collection, and other fine and decorative arts. Tours of the house cost $4. The Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion, 3352 DeMenil Place (tel. 314/771-5828;www.demenil.org), was a four-room farmhouse in 1848, later expanded to 14 rooms in the Greek Revival style. It contains period furnishings, a collection of 1904 World's Fair memorabilia, and two paintings by Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham. Admission to each house costs $4.

Rollin' on the River--Gateway Arch Riverboat Cruises (tel. 877/982-1410 or 314/923-3048; www.gatewayarchriverboats.com), departing throughout the year from the levee below the Arch, offers 1-hour narrated sightseeing trips aboard replica 19th-century paddle-wheelers called the Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher. One-hour cruises are $10 adults and $4 children.

From 1900 to 1903, the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site, 2658 Delmar Blvd. (tel. 314/340-5790;www.mostateparks.com/scottjoplin.htm), was the modest four-family antebellum home of the musician and composer known as the "King of Ragtime." Now a National Historic Landmark, it offers 25-minute guided tours that include Joplin's second-floor apartment with furnishings representative of the times and a player-piano that rags out renditions of Joplin's best-known tunes, including "The Entertainer."

Major League Fun -- Watch the St. Louis Cardinals hit some homers at Busch Stadium, 7th Street downtown (tel. 314/421-2400;www.stlcardinals.com).

ESPECIALLY FOR KIDS
St. Louis is a children's town, with more than enough to keep them amused, much of it absolutely free. The top-rated St. Louis Zoo, Forest Park (tel. 314/781-0900;www.stlzoo.org), with its Big Cat Country, Jungle of the Apes, River's Edge with elephants and hippos, Penguin and Puffin Coast, the 904 Flight Cage aviary, fascinating Insectarium with everything from giant cockroaches to a butterfly house, and animal-contact area called Children's Zoo, is free (fees charged for Insectarium and Children's Zoo).

Another freebie is the St. Louis Science Center, 5050 Oakland Ave. (tel. 800/456-7572 or 314/289-4444; www.slsc.org), with full-size, animated dinosaurs and many hands-on exhibits covering DNA and genetics, aviation, the environment, and more, as well as a space exploration exhibition, planetarium, and OMNIMAX Theater (admission charged). And two more free attractions are Grant's Farm, 10501 Gravois (tel. 314/843-1700;www.grantsfarm.com ), once farmed by Ulysses S. Grant and now part of the Busch family estate, open mid-April through October and featuring a tram ride through an exotic game preserve, a small zoo, animal shows, a Clydesdale stable, a carriage collection, and a free glass of Anheuser-Busch beer; and Purina Farms, near Six Flags Over Mid-America at the Gray Summit exit off I-44 (tel. 314/982-3232), open from mid-March to November with a hayloft play area, a petting area, dog shows, a barn full of animals, and educational displays (reservations required).

Children -- and adults -- will also love the whimsical, adventure-filled City Museum, 701 N. 15th St. (tel. 314/231-2489;www.citymuseum.org), housed in a former shoe factory and featuring a huge indoor play area filled with imaginative caves, slides, and crawling tubes; a circus performance; train rides; art workshops; a collection of oddities; an aquarium; and a five-story outdoor climbing contraption called MonstroCity (separate admission charges for different activities; call or check the website for details). At the more educational, hands-on Magic House, 516 S. Kirkwood Rd. (tel. 314/822-8900;www.magichouse.org), children can experiment with magnets, water, and tools; be a news anchor; test their fitness; play in a kid-size village; and climb the Fitness Safari jungle gym. The sections of the children's museum are geared to specific age ranges. In general, kids 12 and under will have a blast here. Admission costs $6.50; free for kids under 2.

The biggest attraction for kids is the huge amusement park, Six Flags St. Louis, 30 miles west of St. Louis on I-44 (tel. 636/938-4800;www.sixflags.com), with thrill rides like the 5,000-foot-long Boss roller coaster, plus Looney Tunes Town, live entertainment, and even a water park with a wave pool, slides, and more. Admission is $40 adults, $25 kids under 48 inches tall; discount tickets are often available on the park's website.

For a complete listing of what to see and do in St. Louis, visit the online attractions index at Frommers.com.

Frommer’s is America’s bestselling travel guide series. Visit Frommers.com to find great deals, get information on over 3,500 destinations, and book your trip. © 2006 Wiley Publishing, Inc. Republication or redistribution of Frommer's content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Wiley.

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