If the world contained calmer, more green scenery, such as large backyards that mowed themselves and contained lakes, it’s possible that people would be happier. But most of us don’t live in a world where we can just step outside and be surrounded by nature. We have to go out of our way to find parks, and even then, they’re not always readily available.
We rely on parks to provide us with a sense of sanity and happiness, as well as a place to connect with others. Parks give us an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and for that, we are truly grateful. They also offer us a chance to kindle romance and provide an outlet for children and dogs to run around and release energy.
The city of St. Louis is blessed with an abundance of parks that offer a variety of activities and experiences for residents and visitors alike. From the sprawling, natural beauty of Forest Park to the more intimate and serene Longview Farm, there is something for everyone to enjoy. These parks provide invaluable opportunities for people to get outdoors, explore nature, and connect with their community. Here are the best parks in the St. Louis area including information and other amenities.
1. Forest Park
Forest Park is a great place for kids because it has so many things to do. The 1,300-acre park in the heart of St. Louis is home to the world-renowned St. Louis Zoo, the state-of-the-art St. Louis Science Center, the Missouri History Museum, and other free attractions that are perfect for children. There’s something for everyone at this massive park, making it a great place to spend a day with the family. In addition to the Visitor’s Center, Forest Park also boasts a large playground and miles of trails for walking or biking. The playground is situated next to the Visitor’s Center, making it easily accessible for families with small children. The trails are perfect for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating bike ride. The park is also a great place to take the family for a picnic lunch or just to spend some time outdoors.
Forest Park is the epitome of natural beauty and it is great to see the leaves change color during autumn. This park has a wide variety of botanical species which makes it the perfect environment for enjoying the fall season. No matter how you choose to spend your time at Forest Park, you’re sure to have a memorable experience.
2. Lafayette Park
Although Forest Park may be the pinnacle of fall foliage in St. Louis, there are several other parks across the city that are also worth visiting if you are intrigued by the prospect of seeing gorgeous autumnal colors. Lafayette Park, though lesser known, is an urban environment that is just as spectacular as Forest Park during the fall season. It’s only a short drive from Forest Park across the city, so it’s definitely worth checking out!
Lafayette Park is a small park when compared to Forest Park, but it is relatively large when compared to other parks in the area. Lafayette Park is a great place to take a walk, have a picnic, or just relax and enjoy the scenery. The different shades of green, yellow, and brown were so beautiful that you wanted to spend all day walking around and admiring them.
3. Benton Park
Benton Park may be one of St. Louis’ smaller parks, but it is still packed full of natural beauty. The park is uniquely beautiful, with a gorgeous lake, fountain, and bridge that create an unforgettable setting. The fountain is a beautiful centerpiece that creates a mesmerizing ambiance. The bridge is the perfect place to relax and take in the stunning fall foliage that can be found here. The autumn leaves create a sea of red, yellow, and orange that is truly breathtaking. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy the beauty of nature, this is definitely the spot for you. Benton Park is one of the many hidden gems in St. Louis that offers visitors a chance to enjoy a peaceful morning walk surrounded by stunning scenery. The park is full of beautiful trees and flowers, and the walking paths are perfect for anyone looking to get some exercise or simply take in the sights.
4. Francis Park
Francis Park is located in the town square of St. Louis Hills and it is bordered by four churches. The park is a popular spot for walkers, bikers, and joggers as it has a stream that encircles the perimeter of the park, making it easy to count laps for those who are looking to get some exercise. People often congregate on the benches surrounding the formal lily pond to chat and enjoy the scenery. Visitors to the park can enjoy a variety of activities, including art and car shows, concerts, and rock and roll restaurant tastings. These activities add to the already vibrant atmosphere of the park and provide visitors with even more reasons to come and explore all that it has to offer. This makes the park a lively and popular destination for many people.
5. Clifton Heights Park
If you find yourself in Manhattan’s Diamond District, it would be well worth your time to sort through piles of lackluster stones until you stumble upon a small, perfectly cut emerald. That gemstone is Clifton Heights Park. With its well-manicured gardens, tranquil ponds, and serene walking paths, the park is a hidden oasis in the heart of the city. This hidden gem of a park provides a much-needed oasis of greenery and tranquility in the bustling city. The lake is situated in the center of the town, making it a lovely place to take a stroll or have a picnic. The ten-mile lap has two fountains, a viewing deck, and a boathouse. The lake is protected by steep grassy slopes and ringed by Victorian houses and Arts and Crafts bungalows, providing picturesque views no matter where you stand.
6. Queeny Park
The land was once part of the Queeny estate, which is where Queeny Park is named after. The historic St. Louis family, the Queenys, were the inventors of the Monsanto Chemical Company. The Queeny family originally sold the land to a real estate investment company in 1964. However, in 1970, they reacquired the land and started the process of turning it into the 564-acre park it is today. This park would not exist without their efforts, so thank you for that. As a St. Louis County park, Queeny offers many activities for nature enthusiasts, horseback riders, fishermen, picnickers, playground-goers, and dog owners. The large dog park is one of the best features of the park, and it’s conveniently located near Missouri’s largest city, St. Louis. Queeny is a great spot for families who want to enjoy the outdoors without having to travel far from home.
7. Creve Coeur Park
Creve Coeur County Park is St. Louis County’s largest park, located in Maryland Heights, Missouri, United States. One of the largest natural lakes in Missouri, Creve Coeur Lake, is part of the park. The park offers a variety of amenities and activities, such as hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, and more. Crystal Springs Quarry Golf Course is an 18-hole course in Creve Coeur Park that is known for its unique golfing experience. The course is situated on top of an old rock quarry, providing stunning views for golfers as they play. The golf course is open to the public and provides a challenge for players of all skill levels.
Construction for the Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park Bridge, which is part of Missouri Route 364, was completed in December 2003. The concrete bridge crosses over the southern end of the park and connects St. Louis County to St. Charles County. The bridge provides a safe and convenient way for people to travel between the two counties and also offers a stunning view of the lake below. A substantial amount of the park and environs are wetlands, which have been utilized for conservation purposes – especially the investigation of different kinds of waterfowl.
8. Compton Hill Reservoir Park
If you find yourself in St. Louis on a night when the moon is full, be sure to climb to the top of the Compton Hill Water Tower. You’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views of a city that sparkles beneath the moon’s light. The tower is 170 feet tall, so it’s not for those who are afraid of heights. But if you’re up for the challenge, you won’t be disappointed! The tower was built in 1898 by engineer James Kirkwood. It is one of a handful of similar structures still standing in the United States, with three others located in St. Louis. The water division wanted the water towers to be located in the parks, where they would be surrounded by trees and fresh air.
9. Willmore Park
Willmore Park is one of the newest parks in St. Louis and it is a great spot for a myriad of activities, both on land and also for bass fishermen to test their skills and enjoy the North Lake that takes up part of the park. The 105-acre space is full of opportunities for hikers, bikers, bird watchers, and anyone who wants to enjoy a day outside. Visitors to Willmore Park can also enjoy a disc golf course that runs through the heart of the park where fall foliage can be found. Willmore Park has really so much to offer its visitors! In addition to tennis courts and pavilions for picnicking, there are also softball fields and a large children’s playground. This makes Willmore Park the perfect place to spend a day out with family and friends.
No trip to St. Louis would be complete without a visit to the Gateway Arch National Park. There’s no denying that this attraction is well worth visiting, whether you think it warrants national park status or not. Not only will you get to see an iconic landmark up close, but you can also take a short walk to Citygarden, an oasis of rural beauty situated in the heart of an urban area. Citygarden is a beautiful urban park and sculpture garden that is just under 3 acres in size. The combination of natural beauty with artistic masterpieces makes Citygarden the perfect place to visit.