2015 BGCI Congress – Explore St. Louis
Gateway Arch Since 1859, St. Louis has been home to the Missouri Botanical Garden, considered among the city’s gems. Today, the greater St. Louis metropolitan region boasts more than 2 million people, diverse neighborhoods, world-renowned cultural institutions, nationally ranked universities, thriving entertainment and shopping districts and hundreds of parks and outdoor recreation areas.

Learn more about all that St. Louis has to offer
Learn how the Garden came to be in St. Louis
Gateway Arch.
Photo courtesy Explore St. Louis.


Downtown Attractions

For those staying at the Congress's official host hotel, the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, these must-see attractions are located at your doorstep:

Gateway Arch
The nation’s tallest monument at 630 feet, the Gateway Arch will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2015. The vision of renowned architect Eero Saarinen, the iconic, awe-inspiring Arch has beckoned visitors for decades. A visit to St. Louis isn’t complete without standing at its base and playing professional photographer and the view from the outside is only half of the experience. At the time of the Congress, work will still be underway to complete “CityArchRiver 2015,” a massive redevelopment project aimed at connecting downtown St. Louis with the national monument and the Mississippi River and infusing more accessible, thriving green space for visitors to enjoy. But the construction will in no way diminish the experience.

Located adjacent to the Hilton is Citygarden. This urban oasis is a vibrant and serene blending of lush landscaping and internationally renowned sculptures intermingled between elements of water, stone, architecture and design. Open and accessible year-round, until 10 p.m. daily.

St. Louis Cardinals Baseball
Catch exciting Major League Baseball action and cheer for the St. Louis Cardinals, 11-time World Series Champions. Be advised: Wear red!

Old Courthouse
Experience a significant part of U.S. history during a visit to the Old Courthouse, the site where an enslaved husband and wife, Dred and Harriet Scott, sued for their freedom and Virginia Minor sued for a woman’s right to vote in 1872. Embrace history in restored courtrooms and view exhibits and murals depicting historic events.

The Mighty Mississippi River
Discover a new perspective of St. Louis on a riverboat cruise. Replica 19th-century paddle steamers ferry the Mississippi, inviting you to travel to the mouth of the Missouri River and pass through the epic Mississippi lock system, or enjoy a romantic dinner on a twilight cruise.
Downtown St. Louis attractions
From top: Citygarden, Busch Stadium,
Old Courthouse, Riverboat on Mississippi River.
Top two photos courtesy Explore St. Louis.
Bottom two photos courtesy Gateway Arch.


Other Local Attractions

City Museum and Anheuser-Busch Brew HouseCity Museum
Housed in the former International Shoe building in Downtown’s Loft District, this one-of-a-kind museum is hugely popular among both residents and tourists. Billing itself as an “eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion and architectural marvel,” the City Museum has been named one of the “great public spaces” by the Project for Public Spaces, and has won several local and international awards as a must-see destination. Fun for big kids, too!

Anheuser-Busch Brewery
Visit this iconic and historic St. Louis brewery to experience the King of Beers first-hand. Complimentary tours are offered year-round, inviting you to peek inside the Brew House, sample a beer, meet the world famous Clydesdales, and stop by the recently opened Biergarten.

Forest Park
At more than 1300 acres, Forest Park is one of the largest urban parks in the U.S. It contains some of the city's major cultural institutions, all of which are free to the public: the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, the Saint Louis Science Center and James S. McDonnell Planetarium and the Saint Louis Zoo.

Additional Forest Park attractions include an amphitheater, an art deco greenhouse and boat rentals. It also houses golf courses, tennis courts, ball fields, biking and walking trails and an ice-skating rink. Natural areas include forest, prairie, savannah and wetlands. Saint Louis Science Center and World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park
Counter-clockwise from top: City Museum, Anheuser-Busch Brew House, Saint Louis Science Center and World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park. Photos courtesy Explore St. Louis except Anheuser-Busch Brew House photo, which is courtesy Mike King.


Dinner on Your Own with a Group

On Monday and Tuesday, you’re on your own for dinner. You’ll find that St. Louis is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own distinctive style and characteristics. If you want to experience a little of St. Louis away from downtown, plan to join us on either or both nights for dinner with a group.

After a long day of learning and networking, we’ll leave from the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark and walk two blocks to the MetroLink station, which will take us to our destinations. (The cost of MetroLink is $5 round trip.) When we arrive at our designated neighborhood, we may all decide to go to one restaurant, or we may prefer to split off and go in different directions. We’ll plan to meet at a specific spot, at a specific time, to head back to the hotel as a group. For those who may be having way too much fun, just let the group leader know that you’ll take a cab back to the hotel.

There’s no need to plan ahead now. There will be a “sign-up” sheet at the Delegate Relations Desk at the Missouri Botanical Garden on Monday and Tuesday. You can decide the morning of, if you like.

Central West End
Photo courtesy Explore St. Louis.

Monday, April 27
The Central West End
(.8 mile walk from MetroLink to restaurants)
Perched on the eastern edge of Forest Park and over a century old, the chic Central West End is full of charming sidewalk cafes, galleries, antique shops, restaurants, boutiques and pubs. It’s a little European, a little New York and totally St. Louis. The Central West End is the perfect place to relax and people-watch. With a wide range of restaurants and eating options to choose from, you’re sure to find the cuisine you’re craving.
See a sampling of restaurants

Photo courtesy Explore St. Louis.

Tuesday, April 28
The Delmar Loop
(.61 mile walk from MetroLink to restaurants)
The Loop offers six blocks of exhilarating retail, restaurants, live music, café culture and even a Walk of Fame. A century ago, streetcars from downtown “looped around” to return to the city at this location giving the area its name. That movement and momentum continues today with the exciting growth and development that has made it a destination. Whether you’re hungry for Chinese, Japanese, Lebanese, Mexican, Italian, Thai, Indian or just a really good hamburger, you’re sure to find your favorite foods at the Loop.
See a sampling of restaurants

Botanic Gardens Conservation International, the world’s greatest force for plant conservation is co-organizing its 9th Education Congress in partnership with Missouri Botanical Garden.
Learn more about BGCI

2015 BGCI Education Conference Logo
April 26–May 1, 2015
Missouri Botanical Garden
St. Louis, Missouri


Local Discounts for BGCI Delegates

Show your Congress badge at cash register to receive discount:

Missouri Botanical Garden