Explore St. Louis

Explore St. Louis

SightSeeing And Restaurant Recommendations

St. Louis welcomes ASPET with their signature warmth and hospitality. The city is ready for us to explore—from the iconic Gateway Arch to miles of trails, parks and waterways, to world-class, family and budget-friendly attractions, to a robust cultural and arts scene, to exciting sporting events including their new major league soccer team. It’s also one of the hottest food cities in the nation including some of the best brews. Pick your mood, food vibe or idea of fun and you’ll find a St. Louis neighborhood to fit you.

See our recommendations below or explore the city's website at https://explorestlouis.com/

ASPET Tours/Tickets

Tours and Tickets Available for Purchase Through ASPET

A limited number of tickets are available to ASPET attendees to experience key tourist activities and events in the city. All tickets through ASPET are non-refundable.  Each attendee is limited to the purchase of 2 tickets per tour/game. 

Use the link in your Registration confirmation email to go back into the registration system to purchase tickets.

IMPORTANT: ASPET is not providing transportation to these activities. You are responsible for your own transportation. All locations are a short cab ride or walkable.  You must come to St. Louis Union Station to pick up your tickets and can gather with other attendees to share rides if you wish.

Thursday, May 18
St. Louis Gateway Arch (1.4 miles)
Arrive by 10:30 am. Timed ticket to ride to top at 11:10 am.
$18.00 non-refundable

Take a 630-foot ride to the top of this world-famous stainless steel monument for the finest views in the Gateway City. While you’re there, be sure to make time to explore the on-site museum, which traces over 200 years of the region’s history in six themed exhibit areas. Allow time to pass through a security screening similar to an airport screening.  

Thursday, May 18
Missouri Botanical Garden (4.2 miles)
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
$15.00 non-refundable

Explore 79 acres of lush gardens, landscape architecture, greenhouses and conservatories at the oldest botanical garden in the United States. Wander through collections of botanical and horticultural plants among beautiful fountains and statuary. Visit the Climatron for a real rainforest experience featuring magnificent waterfalls, tropical birds and exotic plants like bananas, cacao, coffee bushes and orchids. Other points of interest include the serene Japanese garden and the interactive and educational Children’s Garden. The ticket is an all-day pass but the times above are recommended so you don’t miss the ASPET Opening Session.

Friday, May 19
Baseball: St. Louis Cardinals vs Los Angeles Dodgers, Section 342 (0.9 miles)
7:15 pm Game start time
$55.00 non-refundable

The 2022 NL Central Division champions, St. Louis Cardinals take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in this 2nd game of the series and the only game that doesn’t conflict with ASPET’s official conference programming.  ASPET volunteers, please note, there is an invitation-only reception for volunteers at the same time as this game.

Saturday, May 20
ASPET tickets are sold out, but you may still be able to buy direct.
Chiluhy Nights at the Missouri Botanical Garden (4.2 miles)
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
$25.00 non-refundable

Chihuly in the Garden 2023 presents the work of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly in a stunning exhibition uniting art and nature. Thousands of pieces of blown glass forms in 18 dramatic installations throughout the Garden’s grounds present these artworks on a grand scale. Daytime viewing of Chihuly in the Garden is included in ASPET’s May 18th tickets but the installations are transcendent when illuminated at night. Visitors will enjoy live music and entertainment as they stroll the Garden at night. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.  This event typically sells out and ASPET has secured only a handful of tickets.

Sunday, May 21
St. Louis Gateway Arch (1.4 miles)
Arrive by 3:20 pm. Timed ticket to ride to top at 3:50 pm.
$18.00 non-refundable

Take a 630-foot ride to the top of this world-famous stainless steel monument for the finest views in the Gateway City. While you’re there, be sure to make time to explore the on-site museum, which traces over 200 years of the region’s history in six themed exhibit areas. Allow time to pass through a security screening similar to an airport screening.

Site-Seeing Recommendations

Recommended Activities Available On Your Own

Weren’t able to secure any of the ASPET group tickets or the days/times didn’t fit your schedule?  Be sure to sneak in a little time while in town to see a bit of the city.  The ASPET schedule doesn’t start until 2:00 pm Thursday, has hour-long lunch breaks, ends at 7:00 pm Friday and Saturday, and we finish up on Sunday by 2:30 pm.

Use ASPETConnect or the meeting’s virtual event platform (available in late April) to find others who would like to explore the city with you.

Some ideas of things to explore:

St. Louis Union Station – 0 miles
Attached to the ASPET conference venue is an amusement area that includes The St. Louis Wheel (climate controlled gondola lifting you 200 feet in the air for incredible views), an historic Carousel, a Mirror Maze, a Ropes Course, Mini Golf, an Aquarium, and a free Fire & Light Show.  Show your ASPET badge to receive discounts for the ticketed attractions.

Or grab a drink in the Grand Hall (hotel lobby) in the evenings for a one-of-a-kind, stunning, and free 3D light and music shows presented on the 65-foot ceiling of the historic Grand Hall. They run on the hour from 5:00-10:00pm daily with 30 different shows.  Note: lobby is closed on Saturday evening for a private event.

Soccer - St. Louis CITY SC - 0.1 mile (1 block)
The brand new soccer stadium in St. Louis is just 1 block from the St. Louis Union Station and there’s a game in town!  St. Louis will play Kansas City on Saturday, May 20 at 9:30 pm. The game is expected to sell out and tickets are already tight.

St. Louis Gateway Arch – 1.4 miles
Take a 630-foot ride to the top of this world-famous stainless steel monument for the finest views in the Gateway City. While you’re there, be sure to make time to explore the on-site museum, which traces over 200 years of our region’s history in six themed exhibit areas. There is no charge to wander the grounds and museum. Prices range from $10-$20 for a ride to the top.  The arch is open daily from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm with the last ride to the top leaving at 5:00 pm.  Allow time to pass through a security screening similar to an airport screening.  We strongly encourage you to purchase your ticket in advance if you want to ride to the top.

City Museum – 0.8 miles
City Museum is an ever-evolving, always-thrilling, artist-built playground with installations you can climb up, slide down, crawl under, jump over, swing across, walk into, and spin around.  This eclectic museum is unlike any you’ve seen. Tickets start at $20 plus tax.  Hours are Thursday/Sunday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Friday/Saturday 10:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Explore the City Museum’s unique all-ages multi-story playground filled with caves, slides and climbing apparatus made from recycled and found objects. Visitors can venture through the Museum of Mirth, Mystery and Mayhem and wander through the Elmslie and Sullivan architectural exhibit. Take notes with the world’s largest pencil and grab a bite or a beer on every floor of this unique museum, from the first floor 19th century Cabin Inn to the Rooftop Cafe.

Anheuser-Busch St. Louis Brewery - 2.5 miles
Opened in the 1850s, St. Louis is their flagship brewery, the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch and the Home of Budweiser. The brewery is remarkable for its beautiful interior and has been offering tours to the public since the 1890s. It is the hub for innovation brewing over 30 brands, like beloved favorites Budweiser and Michelob ULTRA. They have called St. Louis home for more than 160 years. Visitors may choose from a number of tour experiences including visiting the Clydesdales, learning to brew beer and taking a behind-the-scenes VIP look at the brewing operations. Tours range from $15-$30. Hours vary. Tickets are timed so advance purchase strongly recommended.

Citygarden -  Experience free art in the fresh air – 0.7 miles
Citygarden is an urban sculpture park located in downtown St. Louis. The park is an oasis of free interactive art, fountains and gardens spanning two blocks in downtown St. Louis. Paved, winding paths lead visitors past 24 sculptures resting on wide lawns, six rain gardens, a children's spray plaza and a 180-foot-long pool with a six-foot waterfall.  

St. Louis Art Museum – 6.8 miles
Located in the heart of historic Forest Park, the Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM) is home to a world-renowned collection of more than 34,000 cultural crown jewels spanning more than 5,000 years of human history. Come for the galleries filled with everything from mummies to new media and African art to Andy Warhol. Museum admission is free Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm, Friday 10am-9pm. Closed Mondays. In addition to the museum’s permanent collections which are free to visit, these special exhibitions are happening during ASPET’s week:

• Monet/Mitchell: Painting the French Landscape ($12 tickets required)
• Fabricating the Empire: Folk Textiles and the Making of Early 20th Century Austrian Design (free)

Contemporary Art Museum – 2.2 miles
Admission to the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) is also free. Its exhibits, however, are ever-changing. The lack of permanent collections is intentional. Their goal is to share the latest (and most thought-provoking) contemporary art depicting the world's current state of affairs - good and bad. The museum is located in the heart of St. Louis' Grand Center Arts District, home to myriad galleries and museums. Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Open until 8:00 pm Fridays. Closed Mon/Tues.

Saint Louis Science Center -  4.5 miles
Connect with curiosity at the Saint Louis Science Center, located in Forest Park. With more than 700 exhibits, it's not only one of the country's largest science museums, it also offers free admission. Visitors can measure up to a life-size T-Rex, execute an out-of-this-world mission to Mars, immerse themselves in virtual reality or build their very own Gateway Arch Free admission but some attractions are ticketed. Hours: Monday, Thursday thru Sunday 9:30 am – 4:30 pm. Closed Tues/Wed.

Saint Louis Zoo - 5 miles
Famed for its beautiful park setting and world-renowned natural exhibits, the Saint Louis Zoo is dedicated to saving species and bringing people and wildlife together. Home to over 16,000 animals, many of which are endangered, entry is free every day for everyone. Open daily from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Have another activity to recommend? Let us know and share it in the Networking discussion forum section in our virtual event platform (available in late April). 

Restaurant Recommendations

St. Louis Union Station

The St. Louis Union Station complex includes a variety of places to eat including multiple full service restaurants, tavern/bar style eateries, a taco truck, a soda fountain, a seafood house, a traditional hotel restaurant, lobby bar, and room service. Explore the offerings here.

NEIGHBORHOOD: Central West End (10 min drive)


Seafood. Charbroiled oysters, lobster rolls, and such sumptuous selections as salmon and sea bass are matched with mashed sweet potatoes and squid inked pasta.
4239 Lindell

Bar Italia

Italian. Come spring, enjoy a gentle breeze and a Negroni on the patio. The veal, salads, and pastas are notable, as are the antipasti and drinks.
13 Maryland Plaza

The Boathouse

American. Beloved by locals, The Boathouse offers charming vistas of Post-Dispatch Lake in Forest Park. The classic meeting spot serves up Sugarfire Smoke House barbecue, sandwiches, and salads.
6101 Government

NEIGHBORHOOD: Downtown (within walking distance)

Al’s Restaurant

American. This time portal back to the genteel era of dinner-jacketed waiters, swanky cocktails, and stockyards of beef manages to make “dated” a very good (if pricey) thing.
1200 N. First

Aubergine café

Thai. A small menu with large portions of Thai food offers an occasional swerve provided by such ingredients as smoked salmon and flour dumplings.
550 N. Seventh

Baileys’ Range

American. If beef patties aren’t sufficient for your fix at the city’s most extravagant burger bar, consider alternatives like bison, pork, or lamb.
920 Olive

Ballpark Village

American. At Cardinals Nation, reserve a spot on the AT&T Rooftop, overlooking Busch Stadium. Budweiser Brew House offers beer flights, a self-serve 21-foot tap wall, and 24 ABI-family beers on draft. Anchored by a monster 40-foot LED TV, Bally Sports Live! is BPV’s spectacular action packed hub.
601 Clark

Bowood; within the Bowood Farms nursery shop; or outside, among the plants and flowers.
4605 Olive

Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar

American. Bridge is all about upscale noshing: cheese and charcuterie platters, along with offbeat but delicious snacks such as coffee-braised beef. If you can’t find one of the 200 beers or 100 wines to like, you’re too fussy.
1004 Locust

NEIGHBORHOOD: Lafayette Square (7 min drive)

33 Wine Shop & Bar

Wine Bar. It’s dim, comfy, relaxed, like a neighborhood pub—with a staggeringly expansive wine list and a selection of beer that isn’t much smaller. There are no full meals, but you’ll find high-end charcuterie boards that are well-matched to the wine.
1913 Park

Baileys’ Chocolate Bar

Café. Located upstairs from its prior digs, it’s still a shrine for chocolate lovers.
1915 Park
314-241- 8100

Eleven Eleven Mississippi

Italian. The Lafayette Square fave serves such inventive dishes as wild boar ravioli and braised rabbit.
1111 Mississippi

Hamilton’s Urban Steakhouse

Steakhouse. The edible bacon candle’s a hint: This is a different kind of steakhouse—and the bourbon list is impressive.
2101 Chouteau

NEIGHBORHOOD: Soulard (5 min drive)

Bogart’s Smokehouse

Barbecue. Tales of life-changing meals of brisket smoked turkey, and baked beans are only slight exaggerations here.
1627 S. Ninth
314- 621-3107

Café Miami

Café. Located in the former Soulard Gyro space, this cozy café is inspired by the South Florida corner bodegas known for their Cuban coffee, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and desserts, such as pastelitos.
2022 S. 12th

Jack Nolen's

Bar & Grill. At his veteran owned and operated hangout, simplicity is the key: smash burgers (singles, doubles, and triples made from a blend of 25 percent brisket, 25 percent short rib, and 50 percent chuck), four other sandwiches, and fries topped six ways. For a pleasant jolt, try the Firecracker Burger and the CBGB fries topped with beer cheese (“CB” stands for “cheesey beer”) and grilled bacon (the “GB”). A sister restaurant (AJ’s Smashed and Smoked in Belleville) serves a similar menu.
2501 S. 9th
No phone

Llywelyn’s Pub

Bar & Grill. It’s boisterously happy—and not just because of that beer menu that’s longer than a Stephen King novel. It’s suitably pub-ish, with old brick and dark wood.
See website for details

Explore more options as recommended by the city's visitors center.

Important Dates



Registration Discounts End



Division Town Halls



Housing Deadline



Online Award Lecture Series



ASPET 2023 Annual Meeting
St. Louis Union Station, MO