Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee!

Top Museums Tour (Self Guided), Saint Louis

Amid an array of diverse cultural attractions fit to delight any tourist in Saint Louis, museums are among the most prominent. If you're an American history buff or have a keen interest in military or architecture, you can discover much to your liking, as well as learn a great deal about the city's past and present by visiting the Museum of Westward Expansion, the City Museum, the Soldiers' Memorial and more. Take this self-guided walk to tour the most popular museums of Saint Louis.
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Top Museums Tour Map

Guide Name: Top Museums Tour
Guide Location: USA » Saint Louis (See other walking tours in Saint Louis)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Author: doris
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Soldiers' Memorial Military Museum
  • Campbell House Museum
  • City Museum
  • Museum of Westward Expansion
  • Eugene Field House and Saint Louis Toy Museum
1
Soldiers' Memorial Military Museum

1) Soldiers' Memorial Military Museum

The Soldiers' Memorial in downtown St. Louis is a memorial and military museum operated by the St. Louis Board of Public Service. Interior east and west wings contain cases with military displays and memorabilia from World War I and subsequent American wars.

The building was designed by St. Louis architectural firm Mauran, Russell & Crowell in a stripped Classical style, with a severely simplified form and limited ornament. It was dedicated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1936 and officially opened to the public on Memorial Day, 1938. Four monumental sculptural groups representing figures of Loyalty, Vision, Courage and Sacrifice complete with their horses, created by sculptor Walker Hancock, stand on the north and south sides of the building. Other architectural sculpture here was completed by Hillis Arnold.

Why You Should Visit:
An amazing military museum housing every imaginable weapon. Most exhibits are presented in outdated glass display cases, but if you overlook that, there's plenty to see.

Opening Hours:
Mon–Fri: 9am–4:30pm; Sat–Sun: 10am–7pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Campbell House Museum

2) Campbell House Museum (must see)

Opened on February 6, 1943, the Campbell House Museum commemorates the home and Victorian lifestyle of Robert Campbell and his wife Virginia Kyle Campbell. The leading experts in history, architecture and art who were summoned during the preparation of an inventory and evaluation of the estate, were all amazed and pronounced that, "probably nowhere in America, possible nowhere else, is such an intact and integral display of elaborate and ornate furnishings of the middle Victorian period to be found, as in the Campbell mansion".

During the 1940s, the Campbell House was one of the only museums dedicated to the history and decorative arts of mid-Victorian America. The discovery of the Campbell House photo album allowed for accurate restoration of the interior rooms.

The museum was documented as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey between 1936 and 1941, designated a City of St. Louis Landmark in 1946, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, and became a National Trust for Historic Preservation Save America's Treasures project in 2000.

In February 2000, the restoration of the house started with the packing and storing of the entire museum collection. The exterior restoration was complete by mid-2001. The interior restoration began in the Spring 2001 and was completed in 2005 restoring the house as closely as possible to its appearance in the 1885 photographs.

Why You Should Visit:
Personally guided tours of this meticulously restored and maintained treasure are wonderful.
You truly do step back into time upon entering the house with its beautiful woodwork, artwork, and furnishings.

Tip:
Don't miss the tour over the holidays when the museum is decorated with antique decorations (be advised, however, that on certain days of the week and in January and February the tours are by appointment only).
The shop is also very unique offering lithograph nightlights and books about the St. Louis area.

Opening Hours:
Wed-Sat: 10am–4pm; Sun: 12pm–4pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
City Museum

3) City Museum (must see)

The City Museum is a museum consisting largely of repurposed architectural and industrial objects, and is housed in the former International Shoe building in the Washington Avenue Loft District of St. Louis. Popular among residents and tourists, the museum bills itself as an "eclectic mixture of children's playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel." Visitors are encouraged to feel, touch, climb on, and play in the various exhibits. The museum attracted over 300,000 visitors in 1999 and over 600,000 in 2007. It has been named one of the "great public spaces" by the Project for Public Spaces and has won other local and international awards as a must-see destination.

City Museum was founded by artist Bob Cassilly, who remained its artistic director until his death, and his then-wife Gail Cassilly. The venue's building was once a shoe factory and warehouse but was mostly vacant when the Cassillys bought it in 1983. Construction began in January 1995 and the building opened to the public on October 25, 1997. The museum has since expanded, adding new exhibits such as MonstroCity in 2002, Enchanted Caves and Shoe Shaft in 2003, and World Aquarium in 2004. A circus ring on the third floor offers daily live acts. The City Museum also houses The Shoelace Factory, whose antique braiding machines make colorful shoelaces for sale.

Why You Should Visit:
This place is like the biggest playground in the world, and is quite literally fun for all ages.

Tip:
Be prepared to sweat and work out! Knee-pads are a must (and sold in their gift shop if you forget).
Make sure you come on a day with good weather, so you can enjoy the outdoor parts. The extra $5 for the rooftop is worth it.

Opening Hours:
Wed-Thu: 9am-5pm; Fri-Sat: 9am-12am; Sun: 11am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Museum of Westward Expansion

4) Museum of Westward Expansion (must see)

The Museum of Westward Expansion, located at the base of the Gateway Arch, recounts the history of America's expansion toward the West. It houses some truly outstanding artifacts from the Lewis and Clark period. Here you can learn much about the life and customs of the American Indians and other most interesting facts.

Why You Should Visit:
A nice balance of types of exhibits: big, small, interactive, simple, complex...
Rather than simply glorifying the westward expansion as an achievement, the exhibits pay great respect to native Americans, Mexicans, slaves, women, and others who were not always treated well.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8am-5pm
Winter hours: 9am-6pm
5
Eugene Field House and Saint Louis Toy Museum

5) Eugene Field House and Saint Louis Toy Museum

The Eugene Field House and St. Louis Toy Museum is the place of birth of renowned American writer, Eugene Field. On display here are personal belongings of the writer and his father, Roswell Field. The latter served as an attorney for the Scott slave couple in 1853 when they appealed to the federal court for their freedom. The refusal of the United States Supreme Court to treat Dred Scott and his wife, Harriet, as citizens is believed by many to be a factor that precipitated the American Civil War.

Among other artifacts presented at the Field House & Museum are the restored original furniture, photographs, and a papercraft exhibition. The museum also contains a vast collection of toys and dolls with the oldest one dating back to 1790.

Operation Hours: Wednesday - Saturday: 10 am - 4 pm; Sunday: 12 pm - 4 pm.

Walking Tours in Saint Louis, Missouri

Create Your Own Walk in Saint Louis

Create Your Own Walk in Saint Louis

Creating your own self-guided walk in Saint Louis is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Saint Louis Downtown Tour

Saint Louis Downtown Tour

Missouri's main city, Saint Louis is a prominent metropolis with high-rising downtown dominated by the iconic, 630-ft. Gateway Arch, erected in the 1960s to commemorate the early 19th-century explorations of Lewis and Clark and America's westward advance. To see this and other attractions of downtown Saint Louis, follow this self-guided orientation walk.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Forest Park Walking Tour

Forest Park Walking Tour

Saint Louis boasts a number of entertaining and educational facilities such as museums, zoos and parks. Among the latter, the most outstanding is Saint Louis Forest Park, established in 1876. The park represents an ideal location for a great time out. Take this self guided walking tour to discover the most visited tourist attractions in Saint Louis Forest Park.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 Km or 3.7 Miles
Religious Buildings

Religious Buildings

Saint Louis is considered the perfect destination for those who want to see great architecture that also has an important spiritual value. This old city features some of the famous and interesting churches in the USA as well as other well known religious buildings. Take this self guided walking tour to visit the beautiful religious buildings in Saint Louis.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles