Take a trip to the Gateway City: St. Louis
St. Louis was named after King Louis IX when it was founded in 1764 by French fur traders. Shortly after its founding, the city became a center of industry because of its location on the Mississippi River. While fur trading is no longer popular, this Missouri spot has a lot to offer for families on vacation. Visit these attractions for some St. Louis fun:
Drive your St. Louis rental car to 700 Clark Ave. to catch a Cardinals Major League Baseball game. The stadium was built from 2004-2006 and the first game ever played here was against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 10, 2006.
The Cardinals were originally called the St. Louis Brown Stockings. Since their founding, in 1892, the team went from their original name to the St. Louis Browns, the Perfectos, and finally, in 1900, the St. Louis Cardinals.
This team has won 11 World Series Championships and over 9,300 games throughout its existence. Over 40 former Cardinals players and managers are a part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in New York. This winning team has a huge fan base that brings over three million people downtown each year.
Around 90 percent of Cardinals fans come from outside of St. Louis. The franchise is very involved with fans and their community. The team has donated almost four million tickets to kids and charities and has built 19 youth baseball fields through the Cardinals Care program. Be sure to hit the concession stand when you visit.
This facility sells 540,000 hot dogs, 32,000 gallons of nacho cheese and 181,000 pounds of nacho chips every year. Bring your baseball glove, you just might catch a home run at this St. Louis ball park.
Saint Louis Zoo
Wander around this huge zoo and you're sure to see inspiring animals from all over the world. The Saint Louis Zoo has over 19,800 animals on over 90 acres of property. This facility houses are more than 600 species of animals, some endangered in the wild and others that you might see in your backyard.
The zoo is free to attend and a wonderful place to learn about animals and the habitats they live in. Check out beautiful fish, colorful amphibians and furry mammals when you drive your St. Louis rental car to this zoo. There's also an exciting invertebrate population here, from octopi to snails and even insects.
Be sure to stop by the Orthwein Animal Nutrition Center to see the veterinarians and zoo keepers preparing meals for the zoo's hungry inhabitants. You'll be surprised just how much grass those giraffes can eat!
The Magic House
If you've got curious kids this is the place for you. Stop by The Magic House, which started as a 5,500-square-foot Victorian mansion that has now expanded to over 55,000 square feet. Located in the middle of St. Louis, this hands-on museum is a great adventure for families to learn together.
More than 550,000 visitors attend The Magic House annually to experience the educational programming and check out the exciting exhibits. Head to the favorites exhibit where you can make your hair stand on end, leave an imprint of your body on a pin screen and create some colorful art.
Stop by the "Jack and the Beanstalk" exhibit to climb a three story bean stalk, just like the one Jack climbs in the famous fable. Children love the bubble room where they can be inside of a massive bubble, and even make and pop their own.
On nice days take a trip to the outdoor play garden where you can play hopscotch, try out a hedge maze and drive a speed boat. Families get a kick out of learning together in this tactile museum.