If you have ever wanted to get out of St. Louis for a day (or three), but didn’t have the money for a long vacation, don’t give up hope. Here are a few cheap vacation ideas so you can get away without breaking the bank.
Resting on the west shore of Lake Michigan and almost six hours north of St. Louis, Milwaukee is a great weekend trip. If the drive is too much, a round trip train ticket can be purchased for as low as $52. Milwaukee is chock-full of fun things to do over the summer. Also known as the City of Festivals, Milwaukee is home to one of the biggest music festivals ever — Summerfest. On eleven stages, Summerfest hosts over 800 acts, attracting nearly a million guests. Milwaukee also has numerous ethnic weekend festivals along with an LGBT festival.
If you can’t swing a whole weekend getaway, maybe a day trip to Columbia, Missouri may be the right option for you. Roughly a two-hour drive from St. Louis, Columbia could be a good break from the monotony of your usual routine. In addition to being a college town with countless bars and restaurants, Columbia has a Museum of Art and Archaeology and a handful of beautiful parks and gardens. Columbia is also home to great architectural sites like the Quadrangle and Albert Oakland Water Park.
Devil’s Den State Park
If the city isn’t for you, a trip to the majestic Devil’s Den State Park in West Fork, Arkansas is another great weekend excursion. Five hours south of St. Louis, it is perfect for hiking, biking and getting up close and personal with nature. Nightly cabin rates start at $115 for a studio, and campsites begin at $25. You can lose hours trekking through the woods or crossing streams in the 2,500-acre expanse.
For a $62 train ticket, you could take a weekend trip to Kansas City — home to two sporting teams that play over the summer: The Royals and the Major League Soccer team, Sporting KC. You could also go to the amusement park Worlds of Fun for around $40. Kansas City has one of the largest farmer’s markets in the Midwest, the City Market, where you can find numerous restaurants and even some live performances. Kansas City is also home to the American Jazz Museum (affiliated with the Smithsonian), where numerous jazz artifacts like Charlie Parker’s saxophone are displayed.
Story by Caleb Foster
Photo by Crystal French