The Cathedral Basilica in the Central West End is more than just a church. It is the spiritual center of the St. Louis Archdiocese. It is also the home of the largest collection of mosaics in the world. It took nearly 80 years to install the more than 40 million mosaic glass pieces that adorn the inside of the church.
Guided tours are offered Monday through Friday (by appointment) or on Sundays after noon mass. The Cathedral Basilica is located at 4431 Lindell Boulevard in St. Louis.
Laumeier Sculpture Park
Laumeier Sculpture Park is an outdoor art museum in South St. Louis County. Visitors will find dozens of pieces of art spread out among the park's 105 acres. There are also indoor galleries, special exhibits and family events. Every year on Mother's Day weekend, Laumeier hosts a popular art fair.
Laumeier Sculpture Park is open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset (expect Christmas and the day before the art fair). Free guided tours are offered the first and third Sundays of each month from May to October. The one hour tours depart from the museum shop at 2 p.m. Laumeier Sculpture Park is located at 12580 Rott Road in St. Louis County.
Museum of Westward Expansion & Old Courthouse
While it does cost money to ride to the top of the Gateway Arch, the Museum of Westward Expansion is located under the Arch is free. It features exhibits on Lewis & Clark and 19th century pioneers who moved America’s borders westward. Just across the street from the Arch is another free attraction, the Old Courthouse. This historic building was the site of the famous Dred Scott slavery trial. Today, you can tour restored courtrooms and galleries.
The Museum of Westward Expansion is located under the Gateway Arch. It is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, with expanded summer hours from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Old Courthouse is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
National Great Rivers Museum
The Mississippi River has played a key role in the history of the St. Louis area. Visitors can learn all about the Mighty Mississippi and other rivers through the educational and interactive exhibits at the National Great Rivers Museum.
The museum is located next to the Melvin Price Locks and Dam in Alton, Illinois. It's open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
The Pulitzer Foundation is a place that celebrates art through exhibits, gallery talks, tours, concerts and other collaborative programs. The museum is located at 3716 Washington Boulevard in Grand Center. It is free and open to the public on Wednesdays from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.