Chase a New View With These St. Louis Spots | City Guide | St. Louis | St. Louis News and Events
Everyone needs a little inspiration to sometimes shake up their usual routines. To keep your outings from getting stale on the outside, we’ve got five places to discover where you can blow the rut.
Ellen Clark Sculpture (and unofficial dog) Park
The Ellen Clark Sculpture Park is the perfect outdoor oasis in the middle of Midtown. It is on the corner of Grand and Lindell Boulevards next to the impressive St. Francis Xavier College Church on the Saint Louis University campus. While the views at the park’s gates are intricate old buildings and a beautiful cityscape, the feel within its confines is more of the awe-inspiring natural landscape of Forest Park.
The park, covered in bright green grass and shady trees, is a haven from the chaos that lies just behind its fence. While cars can be heard in traffic in the surrounding city, dog collars are ringing and birds are chirping overhead in the park. Picnic tables and benches are scattered throughout, making it the ideal place to sit and enjoy the view.
The park began as a stunning display of the colorful and vibrant sculptures of Brother Mel Meyer, the late Marianist monk and prolific artist, and is also popular with dog owners, who make up most of the visitors. Whether you own a dog or not, the Ellen Clark Sculpture Park is the perfect destination for art lovers, dog people, or nature lovers looking for a place to relax in the city.
Round lake in the forest park
Round Lake is one of the smallest bodies of water in Forest Park and is a great choice if you’re looking for a sunny day with few crowds. The lake is on the northeast corner of the park between Kingshighway and Lindell Boulevard. Even on busy weekends, parking is easy to find as it is a long way from the most desirable zoos at Zoo and Art Hill.
There are plenty of benches and picnic tables to sit and look out over the water. While the natural scenery is obviously beautiful, a beautiful cityscape is just a short walk away. It really is the best of both worlds for the city and nature-loving introverts looking for a relaxing retreat in a normally crowded park. As the crowds of visitors head towards the center of Forest Park, rest assured that there is plenty of space to spread out and relax at the equally stunning Round Lake.
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Laumeier Sculpture Park
The Laumeier Sculpture Park is a 105-hectare museum and sculpture garden that is entirely outdoors. The park is located in Sunset Hills and has a hiking trail that leads to more than 70 sculptures. Laumeier, populated with towering, intriguing, and whimsical pieces, is an excellent place to experience some culture outdoors.
One of the most popular attractions in the sculpture park is Tony Tasset’s 2007 eye sculpture. The gigantic piece of fiberglass is almost three meters high and a huge model based on Tasset’s own blue eyes. The park’s website says: “The never blinking, constantly conscious piece watches over Laumeier day and night.” The park welcomes visitors every day from 8 a.m. and closes 30 minutes after sunset. It’s also a great destination for an interesting photo op.
While most of the sculptures are on the museum’s lawn and sculpture garden, there are also fields, forests, and paths to explore the natural landscape. If you are looking for a free attraction to enjoy fascinating works of art outdoors, Laumeier may be the perfect place that is underrated.
Gateway Geyser is possibly the coolest attraction along the Mississippi – the second largest after Gateway Arch, of course. The Geyser is an artificial, large-area fountain located directly across from the Arch in East St. Louis. It’s capable of shooting 7,500 gallons of water into the air, and on a typical day it sprays up to 630 feet high.
The idea for the Gateway Geyser came from a plan by Eero Saarinen, the architect who designed the beloved Arch of St. Louis. Saarinen’s original concept was to have matching archways on the other side of the river. Instead, the Illinois side of the river received the Gateway Geyser, which can shoot water to exactly the same height as the Arch, making it one of the tallest water wells in the country.
The geyser is located in Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park, which has grassy spots to take in the surrounding nature and benches to sit on and enjoy the views of the geyser and arch. Either way, the Gateway Geyser is a fascinating monument that combines the interesting history of St. Louis and a beautiful outdoor setting.
Rootwad Park is an attraction created by the late Bob Cassilly, the city museum’s creative thought leader. The project is one of his unfinished works, filled with the industrial ruins of St. Louis history. Located on O’Fallon Street near the Mississippi River, the park is a great spot for exploring and photography.
Cassilly began building Rootwad in hopes of showing the beauty in old, neglected items. Attractions include the abandoned Laclede power station buildings and the cotton belt cargo depot, both built in the early 20th century. Also in the park is a bridge made of reused mechanical items covered in graffiti and concrete turtle and snake sculptures similar to those on Highway 40.
A fascinating setting for an outdoor adventure, Rootwad Park is often used as the venue for art performances by outsiders. It really is an only-in-st. Louis goal.
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