St. Louis has several notable museums, in particular the St. Louis Art Museum in Forest Park , which is housed in a building from the St. Louis 1904 World Fair, designed by Cass Gilbert (who also designed the St. Louis Public Library in downtown St. Louis), as well as the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University ( a short drive from the Forest Park Art Museum). The St. Louis History Museum also in Forest Park has permanent and rotating exhibits . Both the Art Museum and the History Museum have gift shops and restaurants. The new Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts (in a building designed by Tadao Ando)  and its next door neighbor,  the Contemporary Art Museum  (designed by Brad Cloepfil) in midtown St. Louis have excellent changing exhibitions and are modern structures in an up and coming art district. The Missouri Botanical Garden, while not a museum, is a world class botanical garden and research facility. Other major attractions in St. Louis include the Zoo, the many facilities in Forest Park , the Gateway Arch downtown, and the many neighborhoods with varieties of ethnic restaurants and festivals. See related articles on neighborhoods, first time visitors.

The St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri is a historic treasure that contains 160 + years of St. Louis history and culture.  The collection of rare archival materials and manuscripts is a great resource for researchers.  The Barriger Railroad Library and Pott Waterways Library have extensive records and publications about these topics, as well as intricate models of boats and trains, artifacts from these industries and great artwork. 

The Mercantile Library has an extensive art collection as well, with paintings, sculpture, prints and drawings on display.  Changing exhibits make it worth a repeat visit.

The Library is found inside the Thomas Jefferson Library building on the University of Missouri campus, just one Metrolink stop from the airport.  The Library and its exhibits are free and open to the public.  Group tours are available with three weeks advance reservation. Hours and directions are available on their website:

Opened in 2013 is the Missouri Civil War Museum, which is in a historic building in Jefferson Barracks.  Missouri was a battleground state, with its civilian population divided in their loyalties.  Website: Missouri Civil War Museum