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The Best & Worst Times to Visit St. Louis in 2023

The Best & Worst Times to Visit St. Louis in 2023

Going to this awesome Missouri city is possible any time of the year, but picking the best time to visit St. Louis ensures you have a memorable stay, regardless of what you hope to get out of your holiday.

In this guide, we’ll help you not only learn what the best time to visit is, but also when to avoid crowds, when/how to travel on a budget, why heading to St. Louis is worth it in the first place, and so much more.

Ready to dig in? So are we — let us be your guide!

The Best Time to Visit St. Louis

Six fountains pictured spraying high into the sky in the distance, as seen from behind a park bench, on a nice day during the best time to visit St. Louis

Leigh Trail/Shutterstock

The best time to visit St. Louis is in summer, during the June–August period. St. Louis’ summers can be sticky and hot, but they’re also packed with events and activities, drawing in many visitors, making summer the peak tourist season.

Also, booking your accommodation well in advance is highly recommended, as availability may be scarce. These months see average daily temperatures hovering around 89.1°F during the day and 66.7°F at night.

The June season opens with Shakespeare in the Park festival — professional actors perform various Shakespearean plays almost every night in the Forest Park (attending is free of charge!).

The PrideFest event honors diversity and highlights unity among people’s differences. If you’re a beer lover, mark your calendar for the IndiHop festival, and enjoy sampling more than 50 beers for a single ticket price.

Theater enthusiasts should check out the Muny and the seasonal musical program. Then, there’s Whitaker Music Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden, starting in June and ending in August.

Friday nights in the hottest month of the year — July — are reserved for the Art Hill in Forest Park. Those coming to St. Louis for Independence Day can celebrate it under the Fair Saint Louis Arch.

Summer may be slowly reaching its end, but August hosts Blues at the Arch Festival, letting everyone know things are still running full steam. St. Louis World’s Fare provides visitors with live performances, music, and plenty of food options, even for the pickiest of eaters.

Honoring art, music, and culture from a wide range of diverse places around the world, St Louis’ Festival of Nations is devoted to honoring the city’s immigrant community.

If you’ve ever wished to engage in the most unique biking tradition ever, check out the Moonlight Ramble event.

Cheapest Time to Visit St. Louis

Budget-minded folks should head to St. Louis in November. Attractive airfare prices are waiting to be booked, and affordable hotel rates wish to be taken advantage of.

In November, the temperatures fluctuate between 38.1°F and 55.6°F. Although the temperatures plummet, there’s still a lot to be seen and done in St. Louis.

We suggest checking out the well-known St. Louis International Film Festival. Displaying some of the best domestic and international films, the festival can add a cultural touch to each curious traveler’s itinerary.

Least Busy Time to Visit St. Louis

Aerial shot of empty streets, as seen during the least busy time to visit St. Louis, pictured at dusk with an orange sky overhead

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit St. Louis is in the September–November period. If you wish to enjoy St. Louis in the off-season, these months are the time to go.

These months see average temperatures between highs of 80.2°F and lows of 38.1°F. Although the temperatures may go down, the cultural atmosphere is just beginning to heat up. Also, fall’s golden colors make an appearance.

Whether you are a food, music, or culture lover — September has you covered. Key events include the Saint Louis Art Fair, Great Forest Park Balloon Race, Q in the Lou, and Taste of St. Louis.

October has the Best of Missouri Market, hosted in the Missouri Botanical Garden. Zootoberfest promises fun for the entire family, and the Shaw Art Fair is known as the absolute best arts & crafts event in town.

Worst Time to Visit St. Louis

The worst time to visit St. Louis is in winter, or the December–March period. These winter months see temperatures between lows of 23.7°F and highs of 55.9°F.

There’s a lot of strong wind, ice, and cold. If you don’t mind the harsh winter climate, however, you might as well enjoy the dispersed crowds and emptyish hotels.

What’s more, attractions aren’t as crowded as in the spring/summer months, so chances are you won’t need to wait in queues. December in St. Louis is known for the Garden Glow in Missouri Botanical Garden.

With more than thousands of lights shining in the park, this winter event will certainly uplift your Christmas mood. Another holiday-related event worth being on your radar is Anheuser-Busch Brewery Lights.

The ice sculptors and the ice skating alone are enough to make your visit worthwhile. January has the Loop Ice Carnival, an attempt to keep the holiday vibe strong and going.

Then there’s Winter Warm-Up — an event securing donations for Cardinals Care with the purpose of supporting children in the St. Louis region. Vehicle lovers will be thrilled to hear about the St. Louis Auto Show, where they can see a myriad of fresh new SUVs, trucks, and cars.

Foodies should head to the St. Louis Food and Wine Festival, but if you’re into beer as well, then Cabin Fever Winter Beer Festival not only grants you access to many cool beers but also finger-licking food options.

Although the shortest month of the entire year, February abounds with activities beginning with the biggest Mardi Gras celebration after New Orleans. Anthophiles shouldn’t miss the yearly Orchid Show in the Missouri Botanical Garden.

St. Patrick’s Day can give an Irish vibe to your American itinerary, and the Schlafly Stout & Oyster Festival promises professional shuckers, live music, and more oysters than you can count.

Things to Consider

A Metrolink bus and train leaving a station in St. Louis, during the best time to visit, on a nice day

St. Louis, Missouri, United States – circa 2016 – Metrolink commuter passenger train and metro transit bus leaving shrewsberry station St Louis Missouri/Jon Rehg/Shutterstock

Wish to make the most out of your St. Louis visit? Follow our travel tips and tricks to ensure the best city experience ever:

  • Double check offers on St Louis’ official tourism website for potential discounts and printable coupons. Getting a St. Louis pass may be worth it too. If you’re traveling in a group, always ask for group discounts. 
  • If you wish to eat on a budget, consider local markets, budget-friendly restaurants, and food trucks (St. Louis is known for its thriving food truck scene!).
  • St. Louis is quite welcoming to foreigners and migrants, as it’s a highly multicultural city.
  • Dress in layers, as the weather gets unpredictable in St. Louis, especially during the shoulder months.
  • Tipping around 15% for good service and even 20% if it’s exceptional is considered common. Leaving a dollar per round in bars is also normal. Hotel porters expect to get $2 per luggage. Taxi fares should be rounded up to the closest 50¢ or dollar.
  • If you don’t want your accommodation to cost a fortune, make sure to avoid booking when the Cardinals play at home. That said, if you can afford to watch a match when this hometown team plays at Busch Stadium, by all means, go for it, as it will make your visit much more special and dynamic!
  • Operating from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m., MetroLink, the country’s reliable rail transit system, is one of the best ways to navigate St. Louis. There are stops at many local attractions, such as America’s Center, Busch Stadium, Union Station, Gateway Arch, and Forest Park. Night rides may not be the best idea, though, as St.  Louis has relatively high crime rates. That said, tourists are very rarely targeted, so chances are you’ll be fine.
  • With over 70 routes, MetroBus is also another public transportation option. Extra tip: if you opt for the one-day Adventure pass, you can enjoy an unlimited number of rides on both buses and rail for only $5.
  • That said, car rentals are also very common as the city is quite spread out.
  • Many areas are also bike-friendly, so if you wish to keep fit while traveling from one side of the city to another, resort to cycling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Glass dome in the background of a botanical garden pond with trees on either side pictured for a guide to the best and worst times to visit St. Louis Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri / United States – July 8th, 2018: A view of the St. Louis Botanical Gardens in the summer/Ted Alexander Somerville/Shutterstock

What are some fun facts about St. Louis?

Fun facts about St. Louis include:

1. The city is named after King Louis IX.
2. It’s the first American city to have hosted the modern Olympics.
3. The Arch is the tallest man-made landmark in the United States.
4. If you visit it, don’t be surprised if it feels like the arch begins moving — it was created to sway as much as eighteen inches.
5. One of the city’s initial nicknames include “Mound City,” thanks to the Indian mounds in the area.
6. St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the country’s second oldest one.
7. The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis is said to contain the biggest collection of mosaics worldwide, around 41 million tesserae, to be exact.
8. St. Louis is home to the world’s biggest Bosnian population outside of Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Is St. Louis an expensive city?

As a tourist, how expensive or cheap St. Louis is will ultimately depend on your budget and travel style. If you’re on a tight budget, set aside $80 per day per person. If you anticipate mid-range expenses, you’ll need $180 per day per person.

Lastly, if you have no financial restrictions whatsoever, you can expect to spend around $360 per day per person. Note that these figures are based on past travelers’ experiences, so they’re more than likely going to change over time.

What kind of food is St. Louis known for?

St. Louis’ cuisine includes the Mayfair salad dressing, St. Louis- style pizza, Provel cheese, frozen custard concrete, Gooey butter cake, toasted ravioli, St. Paul sandwich, Gerber sandwich, fried brain sandwich, slinger, St. Louis-style barbecue, and pork steaks.

Does St. Louis have natural disasters?

The St. Louis area is generally prone to earthquakes, flooding, severe storms, and tornadoes. That said, on the whole, the city has a low natural disaster risk score of only 29%, so such hazards aren’t extremely frequent.

Is St. Louis good for tourists?

As we previously mentioned, St. Louis has a higher-than-the-national-average crime rate, but it typically concerns locals, not tourists. The city’s southern side is said to be the safest area.

Neighborhoods such as Clifton Heights and Princeton Heights being among the most secure options. If you exercise common sense as you should everywhere you visit, especially for the first time, you should be fine.

Over to You — Book Your Trip Today!

👍 Best Time to VisitJune-August
💲 Cheapest Time to VisitNovember
🗓️ Least Busy Time to VisitSeptember-November
👎 Worst Time to VisitDecember-March

The best time to visit St. Louis is in summer, during the June–August period. These are some of the busiest months, the days are pleasant, and there’s a lot going on in the city — from festivals to outdoor activities.

If you’re trying to stick to a budget, head to St. Louis in November. This month allows visitors to score cool flight deals and come across affordable hotel rates.

The least busy time to visit St. Louis is in the September–November period. If you wish to stay away from busy crowds and avoid large queues in front of attractions, these months have you covered.

The worst time to visit St. Louis is unsurprisingly in winter, or the December–March period. The days are cold and bleak, the sun stays away, and the wind dominates the city. That said, these months are ideal for visitors looking forward to attending winter events.

All in all, considering St. Louis’ versatile climate, many events, and abundance of major tourist attractions, chances are you’re going to enjoy your stay irrespective of when you head there.

Have fun and don’t forget to take plenty of pictures!