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5 Reasons Why You Should Visit This Underrated U.S. City

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Those in the know would agree – the Midwest is best.

Often overlooked as a fun getaway given the cold, gloomy winter weather and lack of beaches, some U.S. cities can still claim ‘underrated' status.

Travelers are searching high and far for cool places to visit, and some of them can be found right here in our own backyard.

beautiful view of st. louis skyline

Take Louisville, for example. Not exactly a household name, yet it's becoming increasingly popular. Or maybe Charlotte, where the city saw more visitors than ever before last year.

Some of the most unassuming cities are the most pleasantly surprising. Now it's St. Louis's turn.

Here are 5 reasons why you should visit this underrated U.S. city:

The Eiffel Tower Of The Midwest

the arch in st. louis

Unmissable among the pretty skyline of St. Louis is the famous Gateway Arch. Standing tall along perhaps the even more famous Mississippi River, this American icon received more visitors than it has in a decade.

Over 2.4 million people flocked to the Arch in 2023. Although famous arches are known for serving billions, this particular Arch's feat is still impressive.

All U.S. cities have their own unique attractions, but it's fair to say this is the Midwest's version of the Eiffel Tower. It's certainly not Paris, Texas.

It is one of the most Instagramable sites in this region of the States. Tourists are coming in droves for sweeping views of the waterfront park and scenic cityscape.

Just like the Eiffel Tower and another U.S. icon, the Statue of Liberty, visitors go inside for even better views and photo ops.

Free Attractions

st. louis cityscape at sunrise

While visiting the Arch isn't free unless you just want to chill at the park, other awesome attractions won't cost a penny.

That is unless you would like to make a donation or can't score a parking space. No payment is required for entry to some of Missouri's best museums.

These top museums are all free:

  • Saint Louis Art Museum
  • Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum
  • Missouri History Museum
  • Saint Louis Science Center

Additionally, one of the top-rated zoos in America is free. The Saint Louis Zoo, as well as the above museums, are all located in the gorgeous Forest Park in the heart of the city.

Over 1,300 acres of open fields and walking trails make this beaut St. Louis's version of Central Park, if you will.

More Culture Than One Might Expect

budweiser brewery tour in soulard st. louis

As far as world travel goes, St. Louis is easily passed over when thinking of booking your next trip. However, this city is full of surprises, especially when it comes to culture.

The Hill, as it's known, is one of the most authentic Italian neighborhoods in the U.S. You can skip Olive Garden's Tour of Italy and head straight to the hill for savory Italian cuisine perpetually on any street in this charming district.

Soulard is another cultural neighborhood worth exploring. While the most famous event, Soulard Mardi Gras, has already passed this year, mark it on your calendar for next year.

Until then, enjoy this historical area of St. Louis lined with charming red-brick buildings and, of course, the Anheuser-Busch brewery, as you are in America's heartland for brewskis.

Stunning Nature Within Close Reach

hikers in lush forest

St. Louis is a city worth exploring, but it is relatively small compared to other major cities. One might be surprised the city's population is under 300,000 according to the latest census.

That being said, going outside the city limits is well worth a trip, too, as charming small towns and stunning nature abound in the Mark Twain National Forest.

There are multiple access points within 2 hours, the closest being through the pint-size town of Potosi.

With so many cave systems, waterways and serene hiking trails, this is one of the most underrated destinations to immerse yourself in nature.

So Affordable

aerial view of st. louis

With rising rents and costs across the board, there are few affordable U.S. cities left that are actually worth visiting.

St. Louis is one of them and could make for a highly underrated digital nomad base. With all the free attractions, stunning nature, and fun things to do, St. Louis is a great affordable escape.

Those interested in long-terms stays can find centrally located apartments in the $800's and serviced apartments on Airbnb just over $1000 per month.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.