What To Do For 36 Hours In St. Louis, Missouri

36 hours in st louis
| 9 min read

From its brilliant historic and cultural attractions to the amazing food scene, St. Louis is the perfect destination for a quick getaway filled with endless entertainment. This Missouri metropolis blends cosmopolitan flair with Midwestern hospitality and is filled with stunning surprises. Even if you only have 36 hours to visit, St. Louis has an incredible amount of things to do, see, and discover. Visit iconic landmarks like Gateway Arch and meander along St. Louis Riverfront Trail during the day, then sit back in the city’s vibrant bars and clubs in the evening. With lush parks to wander into, fascinating museums to explore, and family-friendly attractions to enjoy, St. Louis makes for an unforgettable vacation. Read the itinerary below to know what to do for 36 hours in St. Louis, Missouri!

Day 1: Afternoon

Start with a specialty burger from Baileys' Range

36 hours in st louis | start with a specialty burger from baileys' range
Source: instagram

For an unbelievably tasty start to your St. Louis trip, you can’t miss a meal at Baileys’ Range. This delectable restaurant crafts specialty burgers that dazzle with delicious flavor and feature homemade buns. All the patties are made with 100% grass-fed, American-range beef, but you can also make a substitution—with chicken, bison, and veggie options. Complement your meal with one of the 30 beers on tap, or try a quench-thirsting lemonade or a decadent boozy shake. Whatever you order, make sure you save room for a cone of homemade ice cream for dessert!

Baileys' Range

Address: 1420, 920 Olive St, St. Louis, MO 63101, USA

Website: Baileys’ Range

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11am - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 12am

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Discover the city’s musical legacy at National Blues Museum (from USD 15.0)

Delve into St. Louis’s musical heritage at National Blues Museum! Purchase your ticket ahead of your visit, then immerse yourself in the fascinating world of blues musicians and their cultural significance in society. The museum brims with interesting memorabilia and artifacts throughout the exhibits and allows visitors to write and record their own songs. Guests can also listen to live music in the museum’s theater every Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.

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National Blues Museum Admission Ticket

Duration: 5 to 7 hours

Visit the iconic Gateway Arch

St Louis night expblend cropped
Source: Photo by user St_Louis_night_ex... used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Standing at 630 feet (192 m) tall, Gateway Arch is one of the most recognizable symbols of St. Louis and a must-see during your visit to the city. The massive steel monument is the tallest arch in the world and was created as a tribute to America’s expansion to the west. Visitors can learn more about the landmark’s construction and history in the underground Visitor’s Center, then take a tram up to the soaring Observation Deck. From here, visitors have an amazing view across Mississippi River and can admire breathtaking panoramas—with the city of St. Louis on one side and the state of Illinois on the other. For a different view, visitors can sail along Mississippi River on a riverboat cruise and enjoy fantastic vistas of Gateway Arch and the surrounding St. Louis skyline.

Gateway Arch

Address: 100 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO 63102, USA

Website: Gateway Arch

Opening hours: 8am - 10pm (daily)

Price: 12 USD

Tip from Trip101 local expert


St. Louis

Offering the best views in the city, it is well worth going inside the St. Louis Arch and taking the tram to the top for absolutely spectacular views of the city and river! While you wait for your turn to take a tram to the top, make sure to explore all the museum exhibits that this National Park has on offer. If you are visiting with children, talk to one of the Park Rangers so that they can give you the workbook for the junior ranger program, where your child can earn a commemorative badge!

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St. Louis Tour Guide

Melissa Smith

Melissa Smith

I began my guiding career as a teenager in St. Louis, where I was born and raised. I first volunteered as a guide for the Chatillon-Demenil Mansion in South St. Louis. There is where I fell in love with history and its effect on present day. From my teenage years as a volunteer, I progressed to a job at the Missouri Botanical Garden where I trained and supervised the School Program Volunteer Docents and Instructors. My love for the outdoors comes from this experience of guiding school groups and chaperones through the spectacular 79 acres of the world’s 3rd most renowned botanical garden. Right here in my home town! From there I’ve gone on to work for the National Park Service as a Seasonal Park Ranger. This has been a most rewarding and delightful experience! I have guided travelers at such wonders as Arches National Park in Moab, Utah, and lesser known parks like Voyageurs National Park in International Falls, Minnesota. I have served two seasons at the Gateway National Park in St. Louis and have been to the top of the Gateway Arch over 200 times! Each time was a unique experience. I witnessed 3 marriage proposals, 1 military reenlistment ceremony, and 1 choir singing their award-winning songs. Most recently I have been guiding tours of Forest Park, the Central West End, and downtown St. Louis. I hope you’ll join me on one of my walking tours. I can’t wait to share with you St. Louis, and our rich cultural history!

Tours by Melissa

Day 1: Evening

Stroll along St. Louis Riverfront Trail

36 hours in st louis | stroll along st. louis riverfront trail
Source: instagram

One of the best ways to enjoy the urban beauty of the city is to meander along St. Louis Riverfront Trail. This paved walkway stretches 12 miles (19 km) alongside Mississippi River and is popular with cyclists, joggers, and skaters. The trail offers fantastic vistas of St. Louis and highlights many of the city’s attractions, including the Lewis and Clark statue, Gateway Arch, and Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. Parts of this trail are also wheelchair-accessible.

St. Louis Riverfront Trail

Address: 1246 Lewis St, St. Louis, MO 63103, USA

Website: St. Louis Riverfront Trail

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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Enjoy dinner and drinks at Morgan Street Brewery

Okayyyyy we see you @meghanantal #repost

Posted by Morgan Street Brewery on Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Morgan Street Brewery is a casual restaurant with fantastic food, a friendly ambiance, and a first-class collection of craft beer. This laid-back restaurant is the second-oldest craft brewery in St. Louis and has a lunch and dinner menu brimming with signature appetizers, sandwiches, meat entrees, and daily specials. Many award-winning beers are on tap, and there is a wide selection of seasonal beers and special releases. You can also go on a tour of the brewery and stop by the gift store to pick up a souvenir.

Morgan Street Brewery

Address: 721 N 2nd St, St. Louis, MO 63102, USA

Website: Morgan Street Brewery

Opening hours: Tue - Wed: 11am - 12am; Thu - Sat: 11am - 2:30am; Sun: 11am - 12am (closed on Mon)

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Day 1: Night

Try a unique martini from Blue Sky Cafe and Bar

36 hours in st louis | try a unique martini from blue sky cafe and bar
Source: instagram

St. Louis may have a reputation for its fantastic craft-beer scene, but the martinis at Blue Sky Café and Bar can’t be missed. This casual restaurant has over 60 creative martinis to try out, with wild flavors like Blueberry Muffin, Peaches and Herbs, Rootbeer Float, and Chocolate Covered Pretzel. As you sip, snack on delicious appetizers, pizzas, sandwiches, and burgers. If you’re not in the mood for a martini, the restaurant also has a great drinks list of craft beer and wine.

Blue Sky Cafe and Bar

Address: 1034 S Brentwood Blvd, Richmond Heights, MO 63117, USA

Website: Blue Sky Cafe and Bar

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 10pm; Fri: 11am - 11pm; Sat 11am - 10pm (closed on Sun)

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Have a laugh at Helium Comedy Club

Laugh your heart out at Helium Comedy Club. This vibrant venue features a brimming calendar filled with stand-up acts of local and national talents, and each show highlights an opener, a feature, and a headliner. The club also has a lineup of special programming with events like Comedy Roulette, Paint & Punchlines, and Best of the Garage. There is a terrific restaurant and bar on-site for the perfect end to a late night.

Helium Comedy Club

Address: 1151 St. Louis Galleria St, Richmond Heights, MO 63117, USA

Website: Helium Comedy Club

Opening hours: Wed - Thu: 6pm - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 5:30pm - 12am; Sun: 5pm - 11pm (closed on Mon - Tue)

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Day 2: Morning

Get your caffeine fix at Shaw's Coffee Ltd

Simple and scrumptious...buttered brown sugar scone paired with a nice cup of hot java yummy

Posted by Shaw's Coffee - St. Louis on Friday, 4 October 2019

Start your morning right at Shaw’s Coffee Ltd. Sourcing its fresh beans from Africa, the Pacific Rim, and the Americas, this airy coffee shop serves delicious dark-roasted coffee drinks, as well as some breakfast wraps and baked goods. The beans are roasted on-site throughout the week, so you’ll always have the freshest cup possible. In addition to coffee creations, the café serves refreshing fruit smoothies, icy granitas, European sodas, and hot chocolate and tea. You can also pick up bags of coffee beans to take with you, including house blends and decaf options.

Shaw's Coffee Ltd

Address: 5147 Shaw Ave #3039, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA

Website: Shaw’s Coffee Ltd

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 7am - 6pm (closed on Sun)

Tip from Trip101 local expert


St. Louis

Shaw's Coffee is the perfect place on "The Hill" to grab a freshly brewed coffee or espresso after a long night out. If you are on "The Hill" on a Sunday, after enjoying your coffee on Shaw's outdoor patio, walk just one block to Carnivore STL to grab a fulfilling brunch that will not disappoint!

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Sample Little Italy’s brilliant food scene on a walking tour (from USD 61.0)

Get a taste of St. Louis’s history and culture on this walking food tour. During this three-hour tour, you will traverse Little Italy—also called The Hill—and learn about the Italian immigrants that infused this area with their heritage and culinary traditions. Over the course of this excursion, you will visit six food establishments and sample amazing snacks and dishes. Your experienced guide will share stories about The Hill and highlight the unique historical, architectural, and cultural aspects of the neighborhood.

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Walking Food Tour of St. Louis - Little Italy Neighborhood (The Hill)

Duration: 3 hours

1 review

Take a walk on the wild side at St. Louis Zoo

Elephants at St. Louis Zoo
Source: Photo by user OakleyOriginals used under CC BY 2.0

Travelers of all ages will love a day at the family-friendly St. Louis Zoo. This brilliant, budget-friendly attraction is home to a wild assortment of rare and endangered creatures and animals from all across the globe throughout its unique and creative exhibits. Meander down to River’s Edge where black rhinos roam, traverse Big Cat Country and look out for lions and leopards, or watch lemurs and tropical birds fly through a rainforest landscape! Visitors can also check out the Wild Wonder Outpost discovery room, watch animal shows and feedings, take a safari tour, and more. There are both indoor and outdoor exhibits to explore, as well as shopping and dining options, making the zoo a fantastic attraction no matter the weather.

St. Louis Zoo

Address: Government Dr, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA

Website: St. Louis Zoo

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Price: Free

Tip from Trip101 local expert


St. Louis

As one of only a handful of free zoos in the United States, the St. Louis Zoo is a must-visit attraction while you are visiting the city! The Zoo has a multitude of animals and you can easily spend the whole day exploring all of the exhibits. My favorite exhibit is the Bird House and Garden, but my friends always love seeing the penguins, puffins, and polar bears. I suggest that if you want to avoid paying for parking at the zoo, park in either one of the free parking lots in Franklin Park or street park on Oakland Ave. The walk to the zoo takes about 15 minutes from either of these parking locations.

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Day 2: Afternoon

Snack on Sicilian food at Adriana's on the Hill

Feast your eyes on this beauty!! Our Pasta Pie has a delicious meatball crust baked with a filling of pasta, blended cheeses, topped with our tomato basil sauce.

Posted by Adriana's on the Hill on Thursday, 6 June 2019

After a busy morning of sightseeing, it’s time to eat. Located in St. Louis’s Little Italy neighborhood, Adriana’s on the Hill is an intimate, family-owned café that serves delicious Sicilian food for lunch. The menu is filled with fresh salads, crisp pizzas, saucy pasta dishes, and hearty sandwiches. Daily specials are also available, and you should always ask what mouthwatering soup is on offer when you visit.

Adriana's on the Hill

Address: 5101 Shaw Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA

Website: Adriana’s on the Hill

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10:30am - 3pm (closed on Sun)

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Stroll through Missouri Botanical Garden

Missouri Botanical Garden
Source: Photo by user Andrew Balet used under CC BY 3.0

The lush lanes of Missouri Botanical Garden are perfect for a peaceful afternoon. This botanical wonderland brims with horticultural displays and themed gardens that feature fragrant flowers, soft shrubs, and towering trees. Wander through the tranquil paths, and admire the beauty of artistically crafted areas like English Woodland Garden, the Mediterranean-themed Temperature House, and Victorian District. You can even get lost in a tropical rainforest inside the Climatron conservatory. The park also hosts special events throughout the year and offers programs and classes for adults and children.

Missouri Botanical Garden

Address: 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA

Website: Missouri Botanical Garden

Opening hours: 9am - 4pm (daily)

Price: 14 USD

Tip from Trip101 local expert


St. Louis

The Missouri Botanical Garden is my favorite place to go on a date and is a beautiful and romantic place to visit. The Botanical Gardens offer signature events throughout the year, and many occur in the evening. During the summer, my favorite events at the Missouri Botanical Garden are the Wednesday evening Whitaker music festival shows. Make sure to get your tickets early and enjoy a night out listening to live music!

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Unwind at Tower Grove Park

Tower Grove Park at Sailboat Pond with Castle Ruins in St Louis MO
Source: Photo by user Parker Botanical used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Enjoy a peaceful afternoon at Tower Grove Park. A wonderful place of grassy meadows and shady trees, Tower Grove Park is a public garden and arboretum that is filled with lovely amenities. Stroll alongside lush flowerbeds and visit landmarks like Columbus Statue, or stop at one of the athletic courts for a game of tennis or pickleball. The park hosts fantastic events throughout the year, making it a terrific destination all year round. In the warmer months, pick up produce from Tower Grove Farmers’ Market, then sit back and listen to a musical event in Piper Palm House. When the weather turns cool, enjoy seasonal foliage walks or shop for souvenirs at the local winter and holiday markets.

Tower Grove Park

Address: 4257 Northeast Dr, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA

Website: Tower Grove Park

Opening hours: 5am - 10pm (daily)

Price: Free

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Day 2: Evening

Admire the architecture of Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France

Basilica of St. Louis, France (color)
Source: Photo by user Tom Bastin used under CC BY 2.0

The historic Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France is an impressive architectural marvel located near the city’s riverfront. It is one of the oldest buildings in St. Louis. Locally known as Old Cathedral, the church dates back to 1764 and is named after King Louis IX of France, who is also the namesake of the city. This cathedral was built in Greek Revival style and has a beautiful interior with marble altars and glorious stained-glass windows.

Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France

Address: 209 Walnut St, St. Louis, MO 63102, USA

Website: Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 6:30am - 2:30pm; Sat: 6:30am - 6pm; Sun: 7:30am - 6pm

Price: Free

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Promenade with the paranormal along Lemp Avenue (from USD 25.0)

See another of St. Louis’s spooky neighborhoods on this haunted walking tour. This excursion focuses on the Lemp neighborhood and is led by paranormal investigators. During this 90-minute tour, you will hear the chilling tales connected to the Lemp family and visit their historic home, as well as explore two lost cemeteries and go inside the haunted Lemp Brewery Bottle Works. From infamous ghosts to serial killers, this tour is filled with eerie information that may just give you goosebumps.

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St. Louis Lemp Haunted Neighborhood Walking Tour

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

191 reviews

Feast on fresh barbecue at The Shaved Duck

Posted by The Shaved Duck on Thursday, 4 August 2016

No trip to St. Louis would be complete without trying the famous Southern barbeque. The Shaved Duck is a mouthwatering eatery that creates buzz for its melt-in-your-mouth barbecue meat—roasted over sweet, smoky wood. This rustic American restaurant focuses on local ingredients and from-scratch home-cooking. Feast on sticky ribs that have been smoked all day; succulent sandwiches of pork, beef, or duck; and hearty appetizers like fresh cornbread, smothered fries, and burnt ends. The drinks menu is amazing as well and filled with artisan craft-beer options. As you feast on your delicious entrée, you can also enjoy the restaurant’s daily lineup of live music entertainment.

The Shaved Duck

Address: 2900 Virginia Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118, USA

Website: The Shaved Duck

Opening hours: Mon: 11am - 9pm; Tue - Sat: 11am - 10pm; Sun: 12pm - 8pm

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Day 2: Night

Listen to live music at Jazz St. Louis

Funky Butt Brass Band perform during Brunch & Brass

Posted by Jazz St. Louis on Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Jazz St. Louis is an intimate performance space with a rotating roundup of live music events. This low-key jazz club features live performances by instrumental and vocal musicians throughout the week, and it includes a small dining lounge offering small plates, entrees, and desserts. Bar service runs through both sets in the evening.

Jazz St. Louis

Address: 3536 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO 63103, USA

Website: Jazz St. Louis

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 9am - 5pm; Fri: 10am - 9:30pm; Sat: 2pm - 9:30pm; Sun: 2pm - 5pm

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Get in the competitive spirit at Brennan’s

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

For a night of endless fun, you have to head to Brennan’s. This vintage-style bar bursts with character and includes a vibrant ping-pong parlor, complete with track jackets, headbands, and custom paddles. After you kick your competition to the curb, refuel at the gorgeous restaurant and sip on cool cocktails like the “Don’t Worry About It,” “I Come Here Often,” or the “I Wanna Get Buzzed, But I Don’t Wanna Drink, Drink.” You can also sit back and relax in the cigar lounge, before squeezing in one more ping-pong rematch before you go.


Address: 4659 Maryland Ave, St. Louis, MO 63108, USA

Website: Brennan’s

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 3pm - 1am; Sun: 3pm - 11pm

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A city for food, fun, and family

There is so much to do and discover in the surprising city of St. Louis. With its plethora of museums and landmarks, vibrant neighborhoods, and historic attractions, this Missouri metropolis is quickly becoming a dazzling destination. Start planning your short getaway today, and use this itinerary for what to do within 36 hours while in St. Louis.

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Discover the haunted history of St. Louis's Old District

This spine-tingling walking tour highlights the haunting history of St. Louis. Combining storytelling with sightseeing, your guide will lead you through Old District and reveal chilling tales from the city’s past. On this 90-minute, small-group tour, you will traverse the city’s oldest neighborhood and learn about local ghosts and events like the Great St. Louis Fire, the Cholera Epidemic, an infamous duel on Bloody Island, and an exorcism that inspired the horror film The Exorcist. After the tour concludes, guests will receive discounts on food and drinks at Morgan Street Brewery.

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St. Louis Haunted History Walking Tour

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

204 reviews
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Hannah is a freelance writer, list making aficionado, and world traveler currently based in Germany. She is an avid explorer, and believes in creating new experiences to put on her bucket list to...Read more

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