ST. LOUIS TRANSPORTATION
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL) is an easy to navigate, mid-size airport with plenty of domestic and Canadian flights and lots of shops. Its geographic location near the nation’s middle, makes it an alternative to changing planes in Chicago for some flights.STL AIRPORT TERMINAL MAP
Metrolink light rail runs from STL Airport to downtown St. Louis. Some airport hotels have shuttles. Their pick-up phones are located by Terminal exits MT 12 & 17. Taxis are at the Main Terminal lower level. A taxi ride from STL Airport to downtown costs $30-35, depending on commute hour. Car Rentals includes Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty. The most direct route to downtown is via airport exit signs to I-70 Freeway East; then it’s a 12 mile ride.
Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center located at 430 South 15th Street hosts Amtrak trains. Operating 24/7, this utilitarian transportation center has a food court hosting Greyhound buses, while being adjacent to a Metrolink station, a rental car center, and Taxi/Uber/Lyft station. Overall, you wish the city and state invested in a grander structure. Gateway hosts these daily Amtrak routes:
Missouri: Chicago-Springfield-St Louis-Jefferson City-Kansas City
Illinois: Chicago-Springfield-St Louis
Texas Eagle: Chicago-St Louis-Little Rock-Dallas-Fort Worth-San Antonio
Amtrak service in Chicago-Springfield-St Louis corridor now runs up to 90 mph with six daily trains on smoother tracks. Once the safety system is fully implemented in 2021 (?), top speed upgrades to 110 mph. For more context on this important subject, see Interstate High Speed Rail.
MetroLink light rail transit runs every 6 minutes during peak periods, then tapers to 30 minutes in off-hours. You can get from STL airport to the Downtown convention center in 35 minutes. Service runs from 4:30a-12:57a. METROLINK SYSTEM MAP
Red: STL Airport-Forest Park-Downtown-Gateway Arch-East St. Louis-Belleville-Shiloh
Blue: Shrewsbury-Clayton-University City-Forest Park-Downtown-Gateway Arch-Fairview Heights
One-Day MetroLink Pass costs under $10, which is useful if your travel plans include visits to Downtown, University City or Forest Park.
Black History & Underground Railroad Self-Guided Tours
As a border state during slavery and location of the Dred Scott Supreme Court Decision preceding the Civil War, greater St. Louis is ripe with Underground Railroad stations and other key historical sites to explore
National Black Tourism Network
Specializes in tours spanning 250 years of black history covering such topics as black fur trappers and ragtime millionaires; stops include Scott Joplin‚s home and the Old Courthouse where slaves were sold and Dred Scott sued for his freedom. Reservations are required.
PHONE: 314-865-0708 or 800-490-3773
Delta Queen Steamboats
Authentic steam-powered overnight paddle wheelers transport you on three to fourteen-night cruises from St. Louis to New Orleans during the year.
ADDRESS: 30 Robin Street Wharf; New Orleans, LA
Gateway Arch Riverboats
One-hour cruises, daily. Dinner cruises and private charters. Enjoy dinner aboard a two-hour moonlight Mississippi River cruise. Reservations are required.
ADDRESS: 50 North Leonard K. Sullivan Blvd, St. Louis
PHONE: 314-621-4040 or 800-878-7411
RiverBarge Excursion Lines
The only floating hotel barge traveling America’s rivers and inland waterways; it is scheduled to drop anchor in St. Louis in May 4, July 22 and August 26, 2009. When docked, they invite the public to come aboard as “BargeMates” give Free tours and answer questions.
ADDRESS: Gateway Arch riverfront
St. Louis Freeway Network is designed to get you quickly to downtown, points west and the airport and Interstates 70, 44, 64 and 55 freeways interconnect at or near downtown. Unfortunately, the freeways exits downtown can approach quickly with little forewarning by freeway signage, so be attentive. Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge, formerly known as Veterans Bridge when built in 1951, is a dramatic cantilever truss bridge spanning the Mississippi River. It connects St. Louis with East St. Louis, IL. Renovated over the years, it is considered to be an integral part of Route 770 Highway. Get an excellent view of this bridge from Laclede’s Landing on the St. Louis riverfront.
Parking downtown is fine, except during major sporting events, where you need to arrive early. Use secured parking lots with guards and check for ID badges of the parking lot attendant, even around America’s Center and the Gateway Arch.