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15 Best Day Trips From St. Louis To Explore Gateway To West

This is a city built beside the bank of Mississippi River. Named after Louis IX of France in 1764 as the first (French) European who settled there and started to trading. If you are planning day trips From St. Louis then this article is for you.

This place has so many fantastic spots for a day trip. Full of lives and crowd with a great history, many museums, and a scrumptious botanical garden. To start your journey and enjoy the best out of it, here we are with a list of places about the best day trips from St. Louis. 

Day Trips From St. Louis

1. Hermann

Hermann Street Market,Best Day Trips From St. Louis
Hermann Street Market

Hermann is a little town in Missouri wine country and known for German heritage and wineries like Hermannhof and Stone hill. Hermann established in 1837 along the Missouri River by the germans who migrated from Philadelphia and start the winemaking industry in the area. 

It is a very lovely place to enjoy the surroundings and drink a glass of wine while listening to live music on the outdoor terraces in any winery.  Or even take a tour in the city to visit Deutschheim State Historic Site. Hermann buildings are renovated in the same way that they have looked during 1840 and 1850. 

Distance from St Louis: About one and a half an hour

2. Hannibal

Hannibal,Best Day Trips From St. Louis

This is the famous town because of being the boyhood town of the author Mark Twain. Hannibal is the inspiration for classic Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer’s stories. One of the amazing spots is to visit Mark Twain’s childhood home and also visiting the Museum which is dedicated to him and his works. 

So, for the day trips from St. Louis let’s walk through the Mississippi River and get the adventure feeling of Huckleberry as well. Even you can aboard the Mark Twain riverboat in the Mississippi River. Hannibal is a small but lovely town with many beautiful landmarks and historical sightseeing. Like Rockcliffe Mansion. With amazing dining, shopping and museum in the city. 

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Distance from St Louis: Almost 2 hours 

3. Meramec Caverns

Meramec Caverns,
Meramec Caverns

Missouri is known for its unique caves. And there are so many of these beautiful nature’s work in the area. Most of these carven have some historical stories behind them like rumours abut Jesse James was using the caves as a hideout or even before that there has been sheltered for Native Americans. 

This Giant cave is welcoming tourists for more than 80 years and it is one of the most attractive points along route 66 for so many years. Meramec Caves has been shaped by erosion of limestone and other mineral waters for millions of years. The cave is filled with many colourful stalactites and stalagmites with different shapes and sizes. 

The cave is quite cold and required to be prepared by carrying warm clothes. The path is clear through the lights and required 90 minutes to complete this pathway. There are a few more attractions nearby like caveman Zipline and Jesse James Wax Museum. 

Distance from St Louis: About an hour 

Also Read: Best Day Trips From Berlin To Discern The Old Tales Of German, Best Places To Visit In Germany: Attractions That will Amaze You

4. The Katy trail

 Katy trail,Best Day Trips From St. Louis
The Katy trail

The Katy Trail is beautiful cycling and walking ground extends for 200 miles throughout the state. And it is following the path of Missouri River. Once in awhile cycling can be a great option to stay away from the cars and enjoy the fresh air. 

Katy trail is a very easy route for cycling because the road is almost flat and at any point, you feel tired, will be able to eat in a small restaurant or shop and continue your way. There are different points for cycling but the best options are Defiance and Augusta from St Louis. These 2 small towns provide you to rent a bike and enjoy the leisurely right through a stretch of Missouri wine country. 

Distance from St Louis: Almost half an hour

5. Shaw Nature Reserve

 Shaw Nature Reserve,Best Day Trips From St. Louis
Shaw Nature Reserve

Shaw Nature Reserve with 14 miles of trails or even more, where you can explore a variety of environments like meadows, jungles and plenty of different fauna. For those who don’t like to walk the trails, Shaw Nature Reserve is offering ride on Wilderness Wagon during summers. And also a great zone for the picnic. There is a great outdoor class for the kids where they can enjoy musical instruments, play areas and climbing. 

Distance from St Louis: About 45 minutes

6. Washington County

Washington County
Washington County

Yes, the fifteen one is one of the best. Seriously what can be better day trips from St. Louis than Washington, a gateway town famous for the winery. Washington is in the south bank of Mississippi River with lots of wineries that you get really confused which you have to try first.

Like other places has great eating options, the historical society museum, and shopping places. During the month of August, try to not miss the annual Washington Town and Country Fair festival. 

Distance from St Louis: Half an hour

7. Johnson’s Shut-Ins

Johnson’s Shut-Ins,Best Day Trips From St. Louis
Johnson’s Shut-Ins

Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park is the most unique natural attractions in Missouri was created by cooled volcanic rock millions of years ago. Hundreds of waterfalls created by water from the Black River flows over the rock. And created a  great area for swimming in deep pools during summer. 

There are other things available in this park-like picnic area, visitor’s centre, hiking trail, and general store. Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park is near Taum Suk Mountain State Park. located in St. Francois Mountain with the highest point and the tallest waterfall in the state. 

Distance from St Louis: Almost Haf an hour

8. Six Flags Theme Park, Eureka

 Six Flags Theme Park, Eureka,Best Day Trips From St. Louis
Six Flags Theme Park, Eureka

This park is not a cultural destination but sometimes you need to enjoy your day differently. Six Flags is a chain park all over the USA. and it is one of the amazing day trips from St. Louis along with your dear one. Beyond your expectations, there is plenty of entertainment and food options that fulfil your desire to enjoy a day out of laughter. There is a waterpark in where you can cool down your body and enjoy like anything. 

Distance from St Louis: 40 minutes

Suggestion to read:

8 Best National Parks In The USA Popular For Camping Layoffs

9. Bonne Terre Mine

Bonne Terre Mine,Best Day Trips From St. Louis
Bonne Terre Mine

In the south of St Louis, there is the largest freshwater dive available in the USA. During 1961, This place was functioning mine before being flooded. For those who can dive in, its a very fascinating underwater adventure because they can see the mine as it is left long ago and observe picks, ore carts, and locomotives. If you are not a dive lover person, then you can enjoy the other option like boat riding. 

Distance from St Louis: one hour 

10. Columbia

Columbia,Best Day Trips From St. Louis

Columbia is the home of the main campus of Missouri University. The city is offering a lot of bars, restaurants, and shops that create a really vibrant city. There are a few famous museums in the town. The main one is George Caleb Bingham Gallery which is even hosting temporary exhibitions and the Museum of Art And Archaeology. There are even different activities available in the area such as parks, trails, and gardens. 

Distance from St Louis: About 2 hours

11. Ste. Genevieve

Ste. Genevieve,Best Day Trips From St. Louis
Ste. Genevieve

Ste. Genevieve is a pretty French-colonial city. And the first permanent location for Europe in Missouri. The city has so many entertainings to do, for example, tour the historic houses or visiting the french winery. It feels as in you have travelled back in time rather than being only an hour far away from St.Louis. 

Distance from St Louis: one hour

You can also read: Top French Cities To Visit: Beautiful Honeymoon Places, 12 Best Places To Visit In France To Navigate The Hexagonal City

12. St. Charles

St. Charles church,Best Day Trips From St. Louis
St. Charles church

Towards the west side of St. Louis you will reach the historic city of St. Charles which is located on Missouri River. During 1821 this was the first state capitol. Where you can still feel the old brick building while taking a tour in the city.

It was the last embarkation point for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. There is a museum of Lewis & Clark Boat House and Museum that has full-size replicas of boats that used on the journey. The main street in the city has nice and plenty of shops, wineries, antique stores, and restaurants. You can do either shopping or just window shopping. 

Distance from St Louis: Half an hour

13. Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Ozark National Scenic Riverways,
Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Ozark is the first national park in the area known for protecting the river system. Jack Fork River and Current River are the famous rivers and initially, the national park was established due to these two rivers. But there are other hikes, historic places, and swimming pools in this area. 

Distance from St Louis: Almost 3 hours

14. Springfield, Illinois


Most of Springfield’s top tourist places are dedicated to the town’s most famous former resident, Abraham Lincoln. The is an Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, and Library as the best destination for Tourists in all age groups. 

The museum is showing the 16th president’s lifestyle. This city is a place of other historic things like OldState Capitol Building which known as a statehouse for Illinois from 1839 to 1876. 

Distance from St Louis: About one and a half an hour

15. Great River Road

Great River Road,Best Day Trips From St. Louis
Great River Road

The Great River Road stretches the entire western border of Illinois. The road extends through Alton and Grafton along the Mississippi River with the view of the water one side and limestone on the other side. 

On your way, there is Pere Marquette State Park. A very beautiful spot for hiking and outdoor activities. If you searching for something more fun then go to Alton and check Fast Eddie’s Bon Air to enjoy a cold beer, affordable food, and live music.  This is known for being the best day trips from St. Louis. 

Distance from St Louis: Almost half an hour

Wrap up line 

St. Loius and it’s around areas are great places to spend time with your family or friends. The kind of excitement and adventure is just too suitable to bring the people closer to each other.

In the best day trips from St. Louis, there is a lot that you can discover and have fun but moreover, this trip apart from an adventure is taking you to history and make you feel travelling back in time. Hope you enjoy the article and wish you a happy journey. 

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