I feel like the St. Louis Zoo gets a bad rep sometimes for its parking. Just to clarify, there is ALOT of free parking ALL AROUND the zoo. On the weekend, you will see a long line of cars parked around the entrance of the zoo, as well as in the free public parking lot next to the nearby Art Museum and Boat House. Street side parking is free. I have been to the zoo no less than 10 times and have never paid for parking.
I also want to say the park is not THAT big. The train is NOT required. It is a good amount of walking but very much manageable. I have never ridden the train in the times that i have been there and never felt the need to.
All in all, this is a great free zoo (if you can walk a little and park just two minutes further away). Concessions are always going to be expensive at these kinds of places but don't let that stop you from visiting!
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