Best Road Trips From St Louis

With its glistening arch, finger-lickin' food, and shrine to America's pastime, there's plenty to enjoy in St Louis. But as great as St Louis is, sometimes adventure calls, so head to the great outdoors, another fun Midwestern city, or make the cross-country trip of a lifetime.

Top Road Trip Destinations From St Louis

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Our rankings are based only on editorial opinion, not any commercial consideration.
Beale Street in Memphis, TN at twilight with bright neon lights illuminated

St Louis to Memphis

πŸš— 330 miles ⏱️ 5 hours, 50 minutes

Drive from St Louis to Memphis, and you know you're in for a treat and bound to shake a tail feather when you come to the β€œHome of the Blues and Birthplace of Rock n' Roll.”

As you head south from St Louis you'll head towards the beautiful riverside town of Ste. Genevieve, before making a pit stop in Cape Girardeau.

Louisville, KY skyline at sunset, with lights reflecting on the water below

St Louis to Louisville

πŸš— 290 miles ⏱️ 4 hours, 50 minutes

Journey from St Louis to Louisville to explore the unique charm of Kentucky's largest city. Most famous for their amber libations and the Kentucky Derby, find history and culture abound in this lively Kentucky town.

As you head east make sure to stop off at Mount Vernon and Benton to check out the shimmering Rend Lake.

Cincinnati, Ohio skyline over the river at dusk with the bridge lit up

St Louis to Cincinnati

πŸš— 360 miles ⏱️ 5 hours, 30 minutes

Historic buildings and a thriving modern art scene illustrate the unique blend of old and new that Cincinnati has to offer. Ohio's southwestern gem is often compared with European cities.

From St Louis you'll get a chance to stop off in Louisville before heading straight into Cincinnati.

Alley Mill, a red wooden historic building on the Ozark National Scenic Riverways

St Louis to Oklahoma City

πŸš— 620 miles ⏱️ 11 hours

Embark on a road trip from St Louis to Oklahoma City, where you'll arrive to enjoy manicured boulevards, the historic Bricktown, wonderful museums, parks, and world-class art. Oklahoma City might take longer to discover than you think.

This picture-perfect journey takes you stunning Ozark National Scenic Riverways and the Ozark Mountains. What a view!

Kansas City Scout Memorial with a view of Kansas City, Missouri skyline at dawn

St Louis to Kansas City

πŸš— 270 miles ⏱️ 4 hours, 30 minutes

If Kansas City attracted the likes of Charlie Parker, then it must have something going on. Feel the jazz and swing in the air as you explore this friendly city, a vibrant metropolis of the Midwest and lures millions of visitors every year.

From St Louis you can enjoy a wonderful stop at Finger Lakes State Park. Enjoy plenty of outdoor activities in a unique environment created from a former coal mine.

Downtown historic buildings in Fort Wayne, Indiana

St Louis to Fort Wayne

πŸš— 370 miles ⏱️ 5 hours, 50 minutes

Set out from St Louis to Fort Wayne, and this diverse and heartwarming city will win you over with its unassuming charms and laid back lifestyle.

Make sure to stop off in the historical and interesting city of Indianapolis, for its blend of motorsports culture and family-friendly attractions like the world's largest children's museum.

Aerial view of the Illinois State Capitol building in Springfield on a clear day

St Louis to Springfield

πŸš— 100 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 30 minutes

A short drive from St Louis, Springfield let's you understand more about Illinois' rich history, including the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, both defintely worth a visit.

En route why not swing by Litchfield to visit the local Museum and Route 66 Center, stretch your legs and enjoy a spot of lunch.

Johnson’s Shut Ins State Park Forest beside the water

St Louis to Mark Twain National Forest

πŸš— 120 miles ⏱️ 2 hours, 20 minutes

Escape to the incredible Mark Twain National Forest, perfect for hiking, camping, and enjoying Missouri's great outdoors. Here you can see wild bison and rustic covered bridges as well as plenty of waterways along 750 miles of trails.

Pass Festus and Leadington as you leave St Louis, before reaching Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park. Especially refreshing in the summer months, the natural pools of Johnson's Shut-Ins have been entertaining visitors for hundreds of years.

Mississippi river along Highway 35 or the Great River Road

St Louis to Minneapolis

πŸš— 590 miles ⏱️ 10 hours, 20 minutes

Travel from St Louis to Minneapolis to explore the vibrant Twin Cities, known for their rich arts scene, numerous lakes, and cultural landmarks. This a fabulous option for a fall trip as it winds along the Great River Road as you approach Minneapolis.

From St Louis you'll be crossing the Iowa border towards Cedar Rapids, renowned for its arts scene, and thriving New Bohemia District.

Nashville skyline at night, with a boat passing by on the river in the foreground

St Louis to Nashville

πŸš— 330 miles ⏱️ 5 hours, 50 minutes

Drive from St Louis to Nashville and dive into the heart of country music. Even though Memphis is known for a few tunes, it is Nashville that gets the title β€œMusic City” and is a mecca of Country and Blues.

On your way make a slight detour into the Shawnee National Forest, and if you don't mind a bit more driving, go further in to the forest and hike Garden of the Gods.

State Capitol at Little Rock, AR, with pink blossoms in the foreground

St Louis to Little Rock

πŸš— 350 miles ⏱️ 5 hours, 30 minutes

Explore the historic city of Little Rock, an endearing town on the banks of the Arkansas River where the vibrant culture of the revitalized South is on full display.

From St Louis, Little Rock is just a short drive, passing through Poplar Bluff and Cabot, on the way. A true treat in the vicinity of Little Rock is also Pinnacle Mountain State Park.

Bengal Tiger at Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha

St Louis to Omaha

πŸš— 480 miles ⏱️ 8 hours, 20 minutes

Travel from St Louis to Omaha to explore a mix of vibrant city life, bursting with great food, a wide selection of cafes, a world-class zoo, and welcoming locals who are all too eager to share the best the city has to offer with you.

On the way you'll get to visit Des Moines,where you can stop for a night, then continue through scenic Madison County and the adorable town of Winterset, IA.

Chapel of the Ozarks in Branson, Missouri at Sunset with Table Rock Lake in the background.

πŸš— 310 miles ⏱️ 5 hours, 15 minutes

Drive from St Louis to Branson along the direct route and enjoy the entertainment capital of Missouri, known for its live music shows, Silver Dollar City, and beautiful Ozark scenery.

Taking a direct route you will get to visit Osage Beach Parkway, which will be your entrance to the stunning Osage Beach. Stay here overnight to relax and regain your energy.

Vineyard in Augusta, MO. Rows of vines growing in a field

St Louis to Washington, MO and Wine Country

πŸš— 50 miles ⏱️ 1 hour

Take a short drive from St Louis to Washington, Missouri, and explore the heart of Missouri, and with over 40 wineries close by it is conveniently central to this Midwestern Wine Country and an adorable town in its own right.

A great place to start exploring Washington is the James W. Rennick Riverfront Park, where you cangrab a bite and enjoy the tranquil river views.

Denver, Colorado, USA with a panorama of Denver skyline long exposure at twilight.

πŸš— 905 miles ⏱️ 13 hours, 30 minutes

Embark on an adventurous road trip, crossing through Kansas and the vast plains and unique attractions of the Midwest en route to the Mile High City.

As you progress westward, you'll reach Kansas City, famous for its jazz music and BBQ, before crossing into Kansas and reach Topeka.

Indianapolis city skyline at sunset with a purple hued sky behind and Soliders' and Sailors' Monument below

St Louis to Indianapolis

πŸš— 240 miles ⏱️ 3 hours, 50 minutes

Journey from St Louis to Indianapolis, a city known for its sports culture, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and bustling downtown.

This is a straightforward route all the way northeast to Indianapolis. Make sure to visit one of Indy's unique offerings White River State Park, the only urban state park in America.

Street view of historic Hannibal, MO on a sunny day

St Louis to Highway 36 Scenic Drive

πŸš— 320 miles ⏱️ 5 hours, 10 minutes

Explore picturesque Highway 36 Scenic Drive, passing the breadth of northern Missouri and discovering small towns, historical sites, and beautiful landscapes along the way.

This is a true road tripper's dream full of slice-of-life Americana. Hannibal, St Joseph, Marceline and Hamilton are all worth checking out along the way.

Downtown Hermann business during Christmastime.

St Louis to Hermann

πŸš— 80 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 40 minutes

Take a short drive to Hermann, and you are sure to be captivated by this charming Missouri River town known for its German heritage and numerous vineyards.

On the way make sure to stop at pretty Weldon Springs Conservation Area. A must-visit for fans of the outdoors, and ideal spot for fishing.

Old converted railway bridge at Katy Trail State Park, MO

St Louis to Katy Trail State Park

πŸš— 30 miles ⏱️ 40 minutes

Explore Katy Trail State Park, just a short distance from St Louis. Walking or biking through peaceful landscapes without having to worry about car traffic is a great way to unwind on a day off.

As you head west from St Louis you'll cross the Missouri River, to Weldon Springs. Visit Busch Greenway Trailhead, which connects to the Katy Trail, and kicks off this 240-mile trail.

Vintage sign advertising Totem Pole Trading Post in Rolla, MO

St Louis to The Fugitive Beach

πŸš— 110 miles ⏱️ 2 hours

Want to go swimming in an abandoned quarry? Far beyond a teenage dare, the Fugitive Beach is a one-of-a-kind water park crafted to entertain young and old alike. at this popular summer spot, featuring a water park set in a former quarry.

Open from May to September, as you make your way to Fugitive Beach you'll pass Sullivan and Rolla, both close to the scenic Ozark Highlands.

State Street historic downtown in Madison, WI

St Louis to Madison

πŸš— 360 miles ⏱️ 5 hours, 30 minutes

Journey from St Louis to Madison, Wisconsin's capital city. It is brimming with activities for art lovers, nature lovers, and beer lovers alike, attracting people from all walks of life.

Highlights along the way include stops at Springfield, Bloomington, and Rockford, which are ideal for a leg stretch and refreshment break.

Downtown Milwaukee by the Milwaukee River on a clear sunny day

St Louis to Milwaukee via Chicago

πŸš— 370 miles ⏱️ 5 hours, 50 minutes

Make the interesting trip between St Louis through to Milwaukee. It is so much more than the home of Miller Brewery, with parks, developed waterfronts, beautiful buildings, and that up-and-coming feeling.

Along the way make a memorable stop in Chicago. If you've never been here, consider taking the chance to explore the Windy City.

Historic Cutler Donahoe Covered Bridge, Winterset in Madison County, Iowa

St Louis to Madison County

πŸš— 360 miles ⏱️ 6 hours

Journey from St Louis to Madison County, known for its scenic landscapes and historic covered bridges.

Stop off to learn more about Mark Twain in Hannibal around halfway through your journey toMadison County.

Meeting of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas River beneath the Keeper of the Plains near downtown Wichita at dawn

St Louis to Wichita

πŸš— 450 miles ⏱️ 7 hours, 50 minutes

Travel from St Louis to Wichita, and whether you're looking for great eats, a smattering of the historical, or immersion in the arts, you're sure to find your scene in Wichita.

Your journey will pass Lebanon, before arriving at Ha Ha Tonka State Park. Enjoy many treats this park has to offer, including the ruins of a castle.

Scenic view of Calumet Creek near Clarksville, Missouri with surrounding landscape reflected in its waters

St Louis to Clarksville

πŸš— 80 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 30 minutes

Escape St Louis for a quick trip to Clarksville, a charming small town perfect for antique shopping and enjoying Missouri's beautiful river scenery.

Although not far into the road trip, we recommend a stop off at St Charles to enjoy the historic main street and museums.

Colorful buildings in Holland, MI with yellow tulips in the foreground

St Louis to Holland, MI

πŸš— 430 miles ⏱️ 6 hours, 50 minutes

Make the surprising drive to Holland, MI. This charming town sits on the hilly banks of Lake Michigan and you can look forward to plenty of Dutch goodies and tulip-lines streets on this trip.

As you make your way, you'll pass Springfield before arriving in Chicago. A great place to rest, exploring sites including Millennium Park.

Aerial View of Davenport, Iowa, Quad Cities

St Louis to Quad Cities Region

πŸš— 280 miles ⏱️ 4 hours, 50 minutes

Explore the Quad Cities Region from St Louis, where the Mississippi River meets rich cultural landmarks. The Quad Cities, or QC, is an area of five cities sitting along the Mississippi River between Iowa and Illinois, and an interesting place to head.

Between Rock Island, Moline and East Moline, Davenport and Bettendorf, you have plenty of choices for food and entertainment on your trip.

Longer road trips from St Louis

Night view of the strip with the buildings lit-up

πŸš— 1,730 miles ⏱️ 25 hours

An epic road trip via New Mexico, passing desert wilderness ahead of the glittering lights of the Las Vegas Strip.

Downtown Los Angeles, California, USA skyline during rush hour at sunset.

πŸš— 1,980 miles ⏱️ 31 hours

Pass memorable landscapes and the Rockies, before entering a bustling metropolis famous for film and entertainment.

Steaming water with foreground lit up pink and blue in sunrise light. Hills behind.

πŸš— 1,460 miles ⏱️ 23 hours, 25 minutes

Head to Yellowstone, America's first national park known for its wildlife, geysers, and vast natural beauty.

Brass jazz band plays in front of Jackson Square in the New Orleans French Quarter

πŸš— 1,230 miles ⏱️ 19 hours

Expect a culturally rich journey through Nashville, toe tapping your way towards vibrant and historic New Orleans.