St. Louis is a city of hidden riches for enthusiasts of American history. Start the day with life-time St Louis native and founding member of St Louis Historical Society guide, Kristine Peterson at Shaw’s Garden, one of the oldest botanical institutions in the US and a National Historic Landmark. Named for Henry Shaw, a leading citizen and businessman of early 19th century St Louis, the Garden is now known worldwide as the Missouri Botanical Garden. Tour Shaw’s Victorian house and mausoleum, and explore the 79 acres of horticultural wonders, including the Japanese garden, the geodesic dome conservatory, and the exquisite Chihuly glass sculpture throughout.
Next, tour the St Louis Mercantile Library, the the oldest library west of the Mississippi and the forerunner of many St. Louis cultural institutions. Established in 1846, the library is still an active research institution. It counts among its archive highlights travel narratives, early atlases, railroad history, and the sweep of Manifest Destiny and expansion. Its art collection includes a death mask of Napoleon and pioneering 19th-century sculptor Harriet Bosner’s beloved marble “Beatrice Cenci.
Experience the gem of St. Louis, Forest Park, which now comprises 1300 acres, 45,000 trees, and five major cultural institutions: the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Saint Louis Science Center, the Missouri History Museum, and 2 Zoos. Explore the fine collections of the Art Museum and the Missouri History Museum.Finally, cap off the day with a visit to the Gateway Arch, Eero Saarinen’s modernist masterpiece and the tallest man-made monument in the US at 630 astounding feet. Located footsteps from where Lewis and Clark completed their westward exploration journey, the 90-acre site grounds, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, was designated as a national historic site in 1935. The nat’l park encompasses both the Gateway Arch and the nearby Old Courthouse, central to the history of the Dred Scott decision. An optional trip to the top of the Arch is included, but not required, with this tour.
Lunch will be provided. Seats on the bus are limited. Wear comfortable shoe