Best Public Park

Forest Park

Staff Pick

It's easy for St. Louisans to take Forest Park for granted. It's always there, it's always great, it always contains the zoo, which is always free. So what else is new? In this way, we can be a bit spoiled. But it's worth stepping back every now and again to acknowledge the fact that, hot damn, we have it good. From the aforementioned gratis animal jail to the untouched majesty of Kennedy Forest to the city-uniting sledding utopia of Art Hill, Forest Park just might be unmatched by any city park in the country. It houses St. Louis' art museum, history museum, science center — all free of admission fees, too — as well as a lake for paddling boats, a six-mile bike trail and the Muny, the open-air amphitheater that has operated for more than 100 years. You could easily get lost in Forest Park's 1,371 acres of land. Hell, you could probably even live on that land undetected for months if you really tried. Forest Park has long been the place where St. Louisans of all shape and size come and gather with no concern for class or race, a neutral ground where any and all are welcome to take in its natural beauty, an oasis of inclusivity in a city that is too often divided. In short: Stop being so spoiled and show some respect to one of the best attractions the whole of St. Louis has to offer. It's well earned.

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