Located 30 minutes west of St. Louis, St. Charles is an easily accessible destination. With shopping, dining, a riverfront casino, two national historic districts, and numerous outdoor recreational activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here are a few of our favorite attractions in St. Charles County.
1. St. Charles Historic District, Main Street, St. Charles, MO
The St. Charles Historic District preserves the site of the first European settlement along the Missouri River and marks the site of the final outpost where Lewis and Clark gathered their last supplies before heading off on their famous expedition. Founded as Les Petites Cotes (“The Little Hills”) in 1769 by French-Canadian fur trader Louis Blanchette, the City of St. Charles is one of the oldest settlements in Missouri. Along brick paved Main Street, you’ll find more than 75 unique shops, selling everything from antiques, jewelry, clothing, gifts, art, fabrics, books and home decor. With plenty of cafes, bakeries, full-service restaurants, and bed and breakfast accommodations, a visit to the historic district has plenty to offer visitors looking for a short day trip or a leisurely weekend escape.
2. Katy Trail State Park
Missouri’s Katy Trail State Park follows the path of what was once the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (MKT or Katy). The crushed limestone trail is open daily from sunrise to sunset for walkers, cyclists and joggers and offers a scenic route that primarily follows the Missouri River for 240 miles. The trail is easily accessible from the historic district in downtown St. Charles. If you didn’t bring your bike, you can rent one at The Bike Stop Cafe located at 701 S. Riverside Drive just across from the trail.
3. Lewis & Clark Boat House and Museum, 1050 S. Riverside Drive, St. Charles, MO
The Lewis & Clark Boat House and Museum is one of the official sites on the Lewis & Clark National Historical Trail. Located just a short walk from historic Main Street, this working museum contains full-size replicas of boats used by Lewis & Clark. The second floor provides visitors the opportunity to explore the Lewis & Clark Expedition, Native American displays and other exhibits. The museum’s artwork, “Missouri River Walk,” is the largest indoor mural in the state.
4. First Missouri State Capitol, 200 South Main Street, St. Charles, MO
Missouri became a state in 1821. While the new capitol building was under construction in Jefferson City, St. Charles served as a temporary meeting place for the legislature. The Federal-style building that served as the seat of government until 1826 had a general store on the first floor and meeting space on the second. Today, the restored building is open to visitors and offers a variety of youth programs and special events throughout the year. Eleven rooms in the complex have been restored to their original state. Interpretive programs and tours help visitors understand how the state’s government was formed and what daily life was like in the early 1800s. Admission is free to the historic site’s interpretive center which offers two floors of exhibits.
5. Foundry Art Centre, 520 N. Main Center, St. Charles, MO
Located in what was once a 1920’s train car factory, the Foundry Art Centre serves as a cultural resource for the larger metropolitan area, showcasing visual arts exhibitions, performing arts, artist studios and educational programs. The children’s gallery hosts student artwork from around the region. The Foundry is open Tuesday-Thursday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
6. The Frenchtown Historic District, St. Charles, MO
Located just one block north of Main Street you’ll find the Frenchtown Historic District, a neighborhood and business district that features unique French Colonial architecture. Second Street has a mix of shops, restaurants, antique stores and other services. The residential area showcases one of the largest existing areas of original, conserved French Colonial and German-style homes in the country. The district encompasses over 200 buildings and includes representative examples of Greek Revival, Late Victorian and Colonial architecture. The Frenchtown Heritage Museum and Research Center, located at 1121 N. 2nd Street, is a community-run organization. Call (636) 724-2106 for current operating hours.
7. The Streets of St. Charles, 1520 S. 5th Street, St. Charles, MO
Less than a mile from the downtown historic district, The Streets of St. Charles is a modern development featuring a mix of bars, restaurants, boutiques, hotel accommodations, and a movie theatre. Located just off Highway 70, this shopping and dining destination is easily accessible and has plenty of parking. Dewey’s Pizza, First Watch, Prasino, and P.F. Chang’s are just a few of the dining options available in The Streets of St. Charles complex.
8. St. Charles County Heritage Museum, 1630 Heritage Landing, St. Peters, MO
The St. Charles County Heritage Museum at Heritage Park offers free interpretive displays focusing on local and state history and is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday–Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. With easy access to the Centennial Greenway Extension which links Heritage Park with the Katy Trail and beyond, you can combine a visit to the museum with a bike ride or stroll along the paved greenway.
9. Centennial Greenway
This segment of the Great Rivers Greenway stretches from the Katy Trail near the Page Avenue extension to the Heritage Museum in St. Peters. A .7 mile extension over Highways 364 and 94 allows people to safely walk or ride their bikes across those busy highways and offers a direct connection to the paved Creve Coeur Connector trails and beyond. Cyclists, walkers and joggers can use the Centennial Greenway from dawn to dusk 7 days a week.
10. The Daniel Boone Home National Historic Site, 1868 Highway F, Defiance, MO
The Historic Daniel Boone Home and Heritage Center features the final home of the legendary Daniel Boone. His four-story Georgian style mansion was built over looking the Femme Osage Valley where he lived until his death in 1820. Today his home looks out on the Boonefield Village, a collection of over a dozen historic structures including a one-room schoolhouse, cabinet maker’s shop, and chapel. Guided tours of the Daniel Boone Home are available. During special events, volunteers reenact 19th century crafts and daily living.
11. Klondike Park, 4600 Highway 94 South, Augusta, MO
Part of the St. Charles County Park system, Klondike Park provides camper cabins, basic and primitive campsites, a conference center, a large fishing lake, picnic areas, playgrounds, and observation areas with expansive views of the Missouri River, surrounding forests and farmland. The Katy Trail is easily accessed from the park’s network of hiking and biking trails.
12. Ameristar Casino Resort Spa, One Ameristar Blvd, St. Charles, MO
The Ameristar is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. With 130,000 square feet of gaming, eight restaurants, and a spa, the Ameristar is a self-contained destination for many visitors to St. Charles. The adjoining all-suite hotel has 400 luxury suites. Ameristar is located just north of the Interstate 70 bridge near historic Main Street.
13. Wapelhorst Aquatic Facility, 1875 Muegge Road, St. Charles, MO
The Wapelhorst Aquatic Facility features the Boomerango Slide, a 350-foot-long enclosed inner-tube dual passenger waterslide, standing beside the 5-story speed slide. In addition, there is a 5,624 square foot lazy river, 4,883 square foot leisure pool, children’s play pool area and more. With plenty of options for swimmers of all ages and skill levels, a concession stand and shady lounge areas, this facility is a great place to spend a hot summer day. Operated by the City of St. Charles Parks and Recreation Department, the 2021 season begins on May 29.
14. Historic Missouri Wine Country, Highway 94 South
Travel into the southwest corner of St. Charles County along scenic Highway 94 to visit Historic Missouri Wine Country. Missouri’s wine country is a favorite getaway for people looking to escape the noise and stress of city living. The rolling hills and bluffs of this region are less than an hour from St. Louis, making a drive through wine country an ideal day trip. Visitors who want to spend the weekend will find bed and breakfast accommodations along with restaurants, cafes, antique shops, and of course, award-winning wineries. Winemakers throughout the region are friendly, knowledgeable, and generous with free wine tastings. Sugar Creek Winery, Defiance Ridge Vineyards, and Chandler Hill Vineyards are just a few of the wineries located in St. Charles County along Highway 94.
These are just a few of the attractions in St. Charles County. We hope you enjoy exploring this beautiful area as much as we do!