Family Weekender: St. Louis

Getaways Just Hours from the Riverfront
By Gary Lantz

Naturally, St. Louis is best known for its backyard river, the mighty Mississippi, granddaddy of them all.

But that's just a drop in a bucket when you consider the many nearby opportunities for outdoor antics. The plains and hills of Missouri overflow with some of the purest and clearest waters in the heartland. Just a short drive away from the St. Louis metro area, you'll find so many natural springs, rivers, and state parks to splash in, it will make your head spin. Whether you're sitting back waiting for the trout to bite, or huffing and puffing as you're hiking the local trails, you'll be meandering alongside some of the midwest's most picturesque waterways.

Plus, in Missouri, outdoor fun season is practically year-round. In fact, if you're not adverse to exploring caves in a light parka, or donning a little extra clothing for a winter paddle, some of the most wonderful moments here can only be had off-season. When the rivers are devoid of all but wildlife, and maybe a few ice sculptures cling to streamside bluffs, you'll find more peace and beauty around you than you could ever hope for in summer.

So whether you find yourself facing a wintry weekend or a summer scorcher, don't think you need to spend it indoors watching T.V. — the St. Louis area has too much to offer outdoor adventurers of all ages, incomes and physical abilities. And its all just a few hours away.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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