If you don't want to take the MetroLink, walk, or drive, you could always take a tour of St. Louis on a Trolley, Tram, or Bus. They will even pick you up at your hotel!
Their GRAND TOUR consists of 4 Stop-Offs (you select two, and they select two)
The choices are: Arch, Brewery, Botanical Garden, Old Cathedral, Old Courthouse, Antique District, Mansions, French Market Riverfront, Laclede's Landing & Riverboats, New Cathedral Mosaics, Forest Park Millionaire's Row, The Central West End, Art Museum, Zoo, Science Center, History Museum, Grant's Farm ( special reservations).
They say that 1850's to 1890's architecture is always featured. Some of the choices require an entrance fee.
This GRAND TOUR cost $45.00/Child is $10.00. They also suggest a 15% Gratuity to the Guide.
To visit most of the major attractions, the best way to go is to use MetroLink, the region's light rail train system. You can go to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, Gateway Arch, St. Louis Blues and Rams games, the St. Louis Zoo, The History, Science, and Art Museums, the Convention Center, the downtown business district, the Edward Jones Dome, and many hotels, including Hyatt Regency at Union Station (where we stayed).
The MetroLink hooks up with the bus system also. The rail and bus schedules vary daily; however, MetroLink rail service runs at intervals ranging from six to thirty minutes as early as 5 a.m. and no later than 1 a.m.
It's rather new, very clean, safe, efficient, and comfortable. What more could you want?
This Summer the Zip2 shuttle is back & a better price than the first year!!! Get on 7 off at all the museums, the ZOO, The MUNY theater, tennis courts ( $5 for a day!), many restaurants, sand volleyball courts and MORE!! For only $1.50, you can ride it around Forest Park all day! Kids are only 75 cents. It starts this Saturday, May 28 & will go all Summer. Buy the tickets on the Metro bus.
Remember, you can get to the Forest Park Metro train station from the airport or from downtown ( or other locations). Zip2 Shuttle picks you up at the Forest Park train station, of course. there's so much to do in this GIGANTIC and beautiful park.
You could enjoy several days just seeing & doing everything there is to do here, so HAVE A BLAST!!!
Metrolink (local light rail) offers VERY limited service for the St. Louis area. There is only one 'line' which runs from the airport to downtown (then east into Illinois). Stops along the way are not convenient for the areas they serve. For example, the Grand Blvd. stop is a significant walk (2+ mi) from the Fox Theatre, which is probably the major tourist destination for said stop. Frankly, with the exception of a few downtown stops, the train is a bad choice for in-town travel.
Much of the area is best accessed by car, and parking is usually readily available and often free.
St. Louis has developed a pretty good public transportation system, but for the most part it still seems to be very much a car town, and if people have a choice they don't take the MetroLink. Consequently, we encountered very few people who knew much about it, even basic information such as fares. When we asked people (even those in the tourist trade such as hotel desk staff) how to get somewhere by public transit we were usually met with blank stares and head scratches. It's not that difficult to navigate the system, and there are great maps available. I also hear there is a great website where you can look up all of the routes. Because the MetroLink operates on a proof of payment system, you there often isn't any staff at the station to ask. My point is that it will probably be up to you to figure out how to get where you want to go. Don't worry, you can do it.
If you are traveling to St. Louis by car, the interstate system here can be quite confusing, especially if your trip requires going through the Metro East (The Illinois part of St. Louis). In the Metro East, Interstates 64, 70, and 55 all come together to go across the same bridge into downtown St. Louis, where they split up. In East St. Louis, there is a very confusing place where the lanes of the highway split up, only to come back together again in about a mile. To visitors, it looks like the interstate splits up for good, and it can be very confusing which way to go. But just remember, they all go the same place! Don't worry about it! Also, Interstates 55 and 70 are together through much of the Metro East, then split up about 20 miles from downtown. Oh, and one more thing (I just keep rambling on and on, don't I), Interstate 270 turns into Interstate 255 in South St. Louis county...so don't get confused if you are suddenly on 255...it's ok!
I took American Airlines to Saint Louis and found that it was very easy to get in and out of the airport.
American flies to Saint Louis from just about everywhere so you should not have a problem getting there from where ever you are.
The metro system is fairly new to St Louis and it is a life saver. One can travel to nearly all of the St Louis sites without worrying about a car or traffic or getting lost. The tickets are sold right on site. You get the time stamped on the ticket by putting your tickert in the little red machines next to the ticket machines and wait for the next train to pick you up. It is a terrific system. Yes, some people do board without a ticket or without stamping the ticket, and if they are caught by the metro police they get a big fat metro fine...so stamp your ticket.
Lambert is the 11th busiest airport in North America for aircraft operations and 15th in total passengers [Airport Council International (ACI)].
The airport sits on approximately 2,000 acres of land and currently owns an additional 800 acres through its Noise Mitigation/Land Acquisition Program.
Lambert has 87 gates serving 7 major airlines. Lambert also has 11 commuter airlines, 6 on-site Air Cargo Airlines, and 2 major charter companies that use Lambert on a regular basis.
Lambert employs over 19,000 people through airlines, vendors, service companies, and the City of St. Louis. Of the 19,000 people, 688 are City of St. Louis employees. The airport is owned and operated by the City of St. Louis.
LAMBERT TOUR PROGRAM
The Airport Public Relations Department has a tour program and offers free tours of the airport, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Group sizes for tours are a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 30 individuals. Reservations should be made two weeks in advance by calling the PR department, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at (314) 890-1316.
Note: Airport Tours are suspended until further notice.
Airport Authority, General Office: (314) 426-8000
Airport Police (24 hours daily): (314) 426-8100
TT/TDD: (314) 426-8118
Although not overly extensive (only 38 stations) the Metrolink is a good way of getting around downtown St Louis.
You can find stops at Union Station, Busch Stadium and Laclede's Landing.
Only $1.25 per journey, but you must purchase a ticket before boarding. This can be done at ticket machines outside each station.
Trains are fairly frequent ranging from six minute intervals during peak weekday time periods up to thirty minute intervals during offpeak weekday and early and late weekend time periods.
If your flying into St.Louis and your staying downtown, you should ask your hotel if they are close to a metro link station. It is inexspensive and you get a chance to see a lot of st.louis. It only costs like a dollar for a one-way ticket. Thats a lot cheaper than a taxi!!! And if your hotel isn't next to a metro link than you could always get off at the one that is close and then take a taxi to your hotel. I know a lot of hotels have a free shuttle, but if you want to see a lot of St.Louis, this is the way to go.
Flying in is always good, but you would want a car once you get there.
Traffic usually isn't too bad except during rush hour. Because its a huge area surrounded by a lot of smaller cities, cars are definitely the best way to get around.
Running from Lambert Airport to southwestern Illinois and costing a mere $1.25, the MetroLink light rail system is a great away to avoid the traffic hastles seemingly inherent to St. Louis. There are numerous downtown stops and the service is very clean and efficient.
For an experience that is both fascinating and horrifying (not to mention unforgetable), catch the train at one of the Illinois stops between Washington Park and College and ride through East Saint Louis. Buildings literally rot before your eyes and anyone with a sense of social consciousness will question the reality of the 'American Dream.'
The downtown stops between Union Station and Laclede's Landing are free, weekdays 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM.
Several interstates go through St.Louis
Have good idea where you are going before you get there.My first visit to the zoo led me all around St. Louis because I exited at the wrong Forest Park exit.Most of the popular attractions are well marked but with the traffic at certain times you should be aware of nearing your exit.
Anyway you want. There's plane, train, bus, car... you name it. I'm not a huge fan of St. Louis Lambert Field (the main airport). I've always had delays here and have had to change terminals without being told of the changes! Lots of running around here! Ugh, hate this airport, but LOTS of airlines fly through here, so you can't avoid it.
Car is probably the best way I can think of. Of course, there is the Metrolink (light rail) which connects a few places in the area, including the airport and Forest Park.