The 10 epic st louis day trips

Nestled on the Mississippi River on the border of Missouri and Illinois, St.Louis is a city where innovation meets history.This once peaceful downtown is now booming with activity, offering visitors countless restaurants, cultural institutions, parks and museums to explore.

Before there were airplanes, St.Louis was a central meeting point for America's railroads, rivers and roads.As a center of convergence, the city attracted a lot of wealth and luxury, which is still noticeable in the modern city today.But that makes St. Louis also to a truly accessible city for day trips.

Once you get a feel for the city, and after a few day trips from St. Louis, then you've come to the right place.In this guide, I've listed some of the best surrounding towns, nature preserves and attractions so you can easily make day trips to St. Louis can undertake.

Getting Around St.Ludwig and beyond

St.Louis is a small city with an even smaller population spread over a relatively large area.For this reason, the best way to get around the city is by car or MetroLink.

MetroLink operates an efficient light rail system with stops throughout downtown and the central suburbs.There is a blue line and a red line that are the most convenient and cost effective options for public transportation to get from the airport to the city center.

The system also operates MetroBus routes, a convenient but less rapid way to get around the downtown area.

While the subways serve the main parts of downtown St.Louis, the light rail takes you to the suburbs of St. Louis, but not too far out.

This makes it useful to have your vehicle in St.Louis, especially if you are going on day trips to St. Louis would like to undertake.

If you're heading to St.Louis Lambert International Airport (STL), you can rent a car from one of the leading car rental agencies upon arrival.This isn't the cheapest way to get around, but it's much more convenient and offers a degree of freedom for day trips in St.Ludwig.

St.Louis streets are tourist-friendly with signs, making it easy to navigate the city and surrounding neighborhoods. The traffic isn't too bad either.Parking can get very expensive, so if you rent a car and park in a st. Stay at Louis Airbnb with free parking on the premises.

Cabs are another convenient but expensive option.Country Yellow Cab and Laclede Cab are the two leading cab companies in town.You may prefer apps like Uber and Lyft, which also work here.Most cab rides start at $3.50 and cost $2.50 per mile.

Half day trips in St.Ludwig

Because of its size, St.Louis is a popular place for a short visit while exploring the U.S.If you can only spend a few days here, why not take a half-day trip from St. Louis out?

This way, you can get a better understanding of the area without waking up at dawn and traveling too far to see some of the major sights.Here are my favorite half-day trips in St.Louis.

Alton, Il

Just a 35-minute drive or 45-minute train ride north of St.Louis lies a small town revered by nature lovers.Alton is located at the intersection of three major rivers (Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois Rivers), offering all kinds of outdoor activities for adventurous travelers.

As a historic town founded over 200 years ago, Alton is known for some other quirky attractions.Did you know that Alton was home to the world's tallest man and a legendary man-eating bird named Piasa?

You'll also find some of America's largest antique stores in this town, which is a haven for antique collectors.Honestly, you could spend an entire day exploring this ancient neighborhood.

Alton has a reputation for being America's most haunted small town, home to many haunted mansions with spooky stories that will haunt you for years to come.

No matter when you visit this attractive city, there will likely be an event or festival worth attending.In fact, the proximity to St.Louis, you can even start your day trip from St.Louis and find lodging in this historic city.You'll feel right at home in this river-view loft on Airbnb.

Kimmwick, MO

If historic towns and relaxing walks capture your imagination, you'll love this half-day trip to Kimmswick.This Missouri city is only half an hour from St.Louis along the Mississippi River.

Kimmswick offers the opportunity to take a step back in time to the 1800s.Take time to explore this small town with its unique stores and boutique restaurants.Some of the stores that still exist today were first established in the 19th century. Founded in the nineteenth century.They are quite old!

Depending on what time of year you visit, your day trip could coincide with one of Kimmswick's famous festivals.The Kimmswick Apple Butter Festival in October is a crowd pleaser.

Aside from apples being slow-cooked throughout the day, the streets are lined with food vendors and craft stores, and live music resounds throughout the city.

The Strawberry Festival is another event worth visiting.Every June, the town bursts at the seams with everything strawberry related.Think strawberry shortcake, cheesecake, iced tea, chocolate covered strawberries and everything in between.

Full day excursions in St.St Ludwig

If you have a little more time, I highly recommend spending a few days exploring the area around St.Ludwig.There's plenty to see and do in this area, from visiting state parks to browsing antiques in historic towns!

Here are the best full-day excursions from St. Louis.

Springfield, Illinois

Another bustling city within a day trip of St.Louis, Springfield, Illinois, is just an hour and a half drive from the city.If you want to use public transportation, a train takes less than two hours to get from one city to the other and is a scenic way to enjoy the journey.

The city is best known as the home of Abraham Lincoln.Those interested in American history can visit the Presidential Museum and Library.This museum has permanent exhibits and hosts regular events that allow visitors to experience a fascinating part of the country's history.

Take a stroll through the Old State Capitol Building before paying a visit to Lincoln's Tomb, the final resting place of one of America's most influential ancestors.

Once you've had your daily dose of American history and culture, spend the afternoon at Lake Springfield.This lake offers many beautiful recreational beaches and yacht clubs where you can rent a boat and sail on the lake between sunrise and sunset.

In fact, I recommend taking a full day trip from St.Louis at this lake that laps the sun along the beautiful shoreline.

Suggested excursion: self-guided drive from St.Louis to Springfield

Hermann, MO

Hermann is a charming town you can visit on a nice drive from town, and is a major highlight of Missouri wine country.Whether you're traveling as a couple, alone or with young children, there's something for everyone in this attractive small town.

The town is known for its German heritage, reflected in its name, and the Germanic-sounding vineyards in the surrounding area.This is because, unsurprisingly, the city was founded in the 19th century. It was founded by German settlers in the sixteenth century.

The city is located on the Missouri River, which gives the area the rich and fertile soil needed to grow grapes.Hermann for its beautiful natural setting, abundant vineyards and walkable downtown, and it's a wonderful place to spend a relaxing day.

In fact, the town is so easily walkable and compact that I recommend you park your car altogether and take the train.This way you don't have to find parking and you can enjoy a scenic train ride through the countryside.

Recommended Excursion: Painting Classes at Blank Canvas Studio

Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park, MO

Calling all outdoor adventurers and adrenaline junkies:

Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park is a beautiful natural attraction less than two hours from St.Ludwig by car.Take a day trip from St.Louis to visit this incredible natural phenomenon formed thousands of years ago by volcanic activity.

River water flowing through the volcanic rock formations has created hollow pools, rapids and waterfalls that make this place a haven for outdoor lovers.

Besides swimming in the beautiful Clear Rock Pools, there are many hiking trails around this state park.Bring a picnic to enjoy at one of the many picnic areas that make this the perfect place for a family outing.

If you feel like extending your trip and spending a full day or two in this natural oasis, why not rent this trendy mountain home on Airbnb?It is located near biking and hiking trails and offers a magnificent view of the valley.

Carbondale, IL

Carbondale, Illinois, is a small college town just two hours from St.Louis.Home of the Southern Illinois University of Carbondale.

This city is nationally known for its excellence in education and research and is a top location for a St.Louis Day Trip.University brings a wealth of culture, sporting events and architectural beauty to the city.

Spend some time wandering the streets of downtown Carbondale, which features more than 25 historic buildings and boutiques.

If you love a farmers market as much as I do, head over to the Saturday Carbondale Farmers Market, which is supplied by a community of farmers and local artisans spanning several generations.

The SIU campus, with its late-18th-century. Great Renaissance Revival Hall, built in the nineteenth century, is worth a visit.With a young student population, Carbondale is full of fun activities, events and nightlife.

If you'd rather take a more adventurous day trip, Giant City State Park is just a 15-minute drive south of town and a beautiful place to get some fresh air.

The state park offers a number of lakes, hiking trails and climbing areas.Some even refer to it as the Little Grand Canyon – that's a great name to live up to!

The Katy Trail, MO

The Katy Trail is perhaps the most famous day trip in St.Louis on this list.This beautiful hiking and biking trail stretches 200 miles across the state of Missouri and follows the Missouri River.

If you've reached your city limits and are craving some fresh air, biking this trail is a great way to get out into nature.The trail is relatively flat, making it popular for all ages and fitness levels.If you get tired along the way, there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat.

One of the main attractions along the way are the local wineries.Visit Defiance Ridge Vineyards, Sugar Creek Winery, Montelle Vinery or Honey Bee Vineyard Farm for wine tasting or a leisurely lunch.

Feel free to join the trail at any point along the river.However, the towns of Defiance and Augusta are the quickest to St.Louis (between 40 and 50 minutes by car).

Recommended excursion: Katy Trail River Route Adventure

Columbia, MO

It's no surprise that Columbia, home to the University of Missouri's main campus, is one of the most attractive cities in the state.

It takes just under an hour to get there on a day trip from St.Ludwig.Alternatively, take the Greyhound bus and you'll arrive within two and a half hours.

Located in the heart of Missouri's rolling hills and prairies, the area is also known for its beautiful outdoor landscapes.Explore 2200 acres at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, which features an intricate cave system worth exploring.

For a more manicured setting, The Shelter Gardens are a nice place to lay under rustling trees on a summer afternoon.

Downtown Columbia is exactly what you'd expect from a college town: vibrant restaurants, excellent shopping and bustling bars that rumble into the wee hours of the morning.

Spend some time exploring this central area, grab a bite to eat on the university campus and finish your meal with a stroll through the lush green squares.

As a quintessential Midwestern college town, there are also some great museums here that are worth a visit.My favorite is the George Caleb Bingham Art Gallery, which houses some incredible contemporary works.The Museum of Art and Archaeology is another interesting institution that delves into the depths of human existence.

Recommended trip: Columbia Scavenger Hunt

Arcadia Valley, MO

80 miles south of St.Louis, surrounded by high mountains and bubbling streams, Arcadia Valley is one of Missouri's best-kept secrets.If you enjoy spending time outdoors, learning about history, or sampling local Midwestern cuisine, you must visit Arcadia Valley on a day trip in St.Ludwig.

With three state parks in the valley, all within a half-hour drive of each other, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking and camping in this area.Choose either Hughes Mountain or Tom Sauk Mountain and enjoy the incredible views of the valley.

If you visit in June, you may overlap with the famous Arcadia Barbeque Battle in June or the Lion's Club Rodeo in August.Almost every weekend during the summer, you can enjoy local musical talent at many restaurants and venues.

Ste.Genevieve, MO

Ste. was founded in 1735 by French-Canadian colonial settlers.Genevieve is a small town with a unique French influence.It was actually the first European settlement in Missouri.Today, the city is an eco-friendly destination perfect for a family visit and only an hour's drive from St.Louis.

French architecture is very evident throughout the city, which is beautifully landscaped, with many green spaces and wide avenues.There are many guided tours of the historic buildings and homes that will take you from downtown Ste.Genevieve.

If a day trip in St.Louis full of antiques, wine tastings and peaceful streets will delight you, you might even enjoy spending the night in this lazy city.How about a night in this cozy Airbnb on the border between Missouri and Illinois?

As the oldest city west of the Mississippi, you can see some homes that are hundreds of years old.Many of these historic buildings now house antique stores filled with trinkets and furniture reminiscent of an earlier era.

The city is also home to the Ste.Genevieve National Historical Park is an incredible place to visit year-round.This unique place features well-preserved historic homes from communities that once called the area home.

Visit the Beauvais-Amoureux house to get a sense of the original French colonial architecture.

Don't forget your St.Louis Travel Insurance

It's good to get lost sometimes, but it's also good not to get too lost.There are people who want you to get home in one piece.

There is one travel insurance provider that The Broke Backpacker trusts with all of its wildest shenanigans … World Nomads!