St. Louis, also known as the Gateway City, is a vibrant midwestern city with something for nearly any type of visitor. Whether you’re looking for an animal adventure at the zoo or a day of historic sightseeing around town, you’ll find plenty of attractions to fill out your itinerary. One of the best parts of St Louis is its extreme affordability as a vacation destination. Many of the city’s biggest attractions are actually free, and the hotels and restaurants offer stellar bargains. Use these tips to plan your next visit on a surprisingly small budget.
Stay Where You Play
Image via Flickr by kla4067
Visitors can easily get around St. Louis without a rental car using the Metro bus and train system. While the system is affordable and widespread, it does require a bit of navigational finesse to get to your destination in a timely manner. The best way to experience St Louis is to stay as close as possible to the highlights you plan to spend your time at. Snag a cheap Fox Park hotel for easy access to the St. Francis de Sales Church and other historic highlights, or stay in Clayton for art galleries and boutique stores.
Enjoy Free Attractions
St. Louis offers dozens of free attractions, many of which would typically come with a significant admission price in other cities. You can dramatically slash your vacation budget by including these in your visit. General admission is free for the St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Science Center, and Missouri History Museum. Special exhibits and activities may have a fee, but these attractions will still keep you within a minimal vacation budget.
Take Advantage of Hotel Amenities
Many St. Louis hotels offer excellent money-saving amenities. The Days Inn St. Louis – Lindbergh Boulevard offers a complimentary breakfast that will help you slash your dining bill while you’re away. The Hampton Inn & Suites St. Louis/Chesterfield has an indoor pool for hours of on-site recreation that won’t cost you a thing. Rooms at The Parkway Hotel feature refrigerators and microwaves, so you can easily prepare simple meals and late-night snacks without eating out.
Visit in Spring or Fall
Hotel prices are highest in St. Louis during the summer. However, the spring and fall are actually much more comfortable, and hotel prices tend to drop along with the temperatures. Visit in September and you can enjoy the Big Muddy Blues Festival, Great Forest Park Balloon Race, and St. Louis Art Fair. Time your visit for spring and you can catch the St. Louis Storytelling Festival in May.
Dine on the Cheap
St. Louis is a great city for budget dining. Grab a juicy burger with an original Korean twist at KimCheese Burger. Get a meal at Southwest Market Cuisine and you’ll receive a free cookie for dessert. Feraro’s Jersey Style Pizza is some of the cheapest in town. It’s easy to fill up for just a few dollars in this city.
For more on planning a cheap trip to St. Louis, check out this handy Hipmunk guide. Leave your own tips in the comment section below.
Mandi Rogier is a resident of sunny central Florida who regularly contributes to several travel blogs and websites, including Hipmunk. In her free time she enjoys visiting nearby theme parks, taking family road trips, and planning girlfriend getaways.