Top Museums Walking Tour, Saint Louis

Top Museums Walking 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 Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Top Museums Walking 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
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 Most exhibits are presented in outdated glass display cases, but if you overlook that, there's plenty to see.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.
Campbell House Museum

2) Campbell House Museum

Established in 1943, the Campbell House Museum commemorates the home and Victorian lifestyle of Robert Campbell, an Irish immigrant who became an American frontiersman, fur trader and businessman, and his wife Virginia Kyle Campbell, an American socialite who played host to members of local high society (including President Ulysses S. Grant, James Eads, General William T. Sherman, and botanist Henry Shaw).

During the preparation of an inventory and evaluation of the estate, the invited experts in history, architecture and art were all amazed at the condition of the property 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 designated a City of St. Louis Landmark in 1946, and then listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

During the mid-1980s, its dining room was partially restored, with the elaborate painted ceiling recreated. False wood graining also underwent restoration or recreation wherever needed. In the morning room, wallpaper was recreated to match the pattern in the photos.

In February 2000, another round of restoration started with the packing and storing of the entire museum collection. The exterior restoration was complete by mid-2001, while the interior restoration, began in the Spring 2001, continued until 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 in time upon entering this house with its beautiful woodwork, artwork, and furnishings.

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, as well as 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.
City Museum

3) City Museum (must see)

Housed in the former International Shoe Company factory and warehouse building, the City Museum consists largely of repurposed architectural and industrial objects. Popular among residents and tourists alike, this place attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, billing itself as an "eclectic mixture of children's playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel." Here, visitors are encouraged to feel, touch, climb on, and play in the various exhibits at will.

City Museum was founded by artist Bob Cassilly, who remained its artistic director until his death in 2011, and his then-wife Gail Cassilly.

Since opening in October 1997, the venue has regularly expanded, adding new exhibits. In 2008, they had a ten-story slide added that starts at the roof and leads down to the Caves' entrance. One of its most popular attractions, the Enchanted Caves and Shoe Shafts, runs through the center of the museum all the way up to the 10th floor.

The original part of the museum, the first floor is home to a life-size Bowhead Whale that guests can walk through to view a large fish tank from the Mezzanine where there is a food court. The floor itself is covered with the largest continuous mosaic in the US, which morphs its way up columns.

The second floor houses The Shoelace Factory, whose antique braiding machines make colorful shoelaces for sale. A circus ring on the third floor offers daily live acts as well as concerts. The building's fifth floor consists of apartments, dubbed the Lofts at City Museum, which range in size from 1,300 to more than 2,800 square feet (260 m2).

The roof has a small old-fashioned Ferris wheel and a wide ramp slide.

Located in front of the building, MonstroCity features two Sabreliner 40 aircraft fuselages suspended high in the air, a fire engine, a castle turret, and other interesting things.

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

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.
Museum of Westward Expansion

4) Museum of Westward Expansion

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
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.
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
Saint Louis Downtown Walking Tour

Saint Louis Downtown Walking Tour

Missouri's main city, St. Louis, is a prominent metropolis renowned for its cultural diversity, vibrancy and art. Ahead of the Europeans, the area of today's St. Louis was inhabited by the Native American Mississippian tribes.

French fur traders, who settled on the territory in 1764, named it for King Louis IX of France. That same year, the land was ceded to Spain, and in 1800, was...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Historical Religious Buildings Walking Tour

Historical Religious Buildings Walking Tour

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