Stroll among faux ruins, ornate pavilions, glassy ponds and unique sculptures in this impeccably designed Victorian walking park of St. Louis.
Walk back in time as you explore Tower Grove Park, which has been a St. Louis sanctuary since it opened in 1872. As one of the few remaining Victorian-era walking parks, it has remarkably well-preserved features. Many things you see, from the stone stables to the wooden bridges, date back to the mid-19th century. Take a break from the bustle of the city as you explore the park’s winding trails and open lawns.
Take your time to explore the park’s 2 miles (3 kilometers) of trails. Enjoy the bubbling symphony created by the Fountain Pond. Check out the famous ruins at its north end, which are actually fire-damaged blocks from when the nearby Lindell Hotel burned to the ground in 1867.
Discover Tower Grove Park’s 12 pavilions. Admire the chinoiserie opulence of the Chinese Pavilion. Meander through the identical Cypress Pavilions. Examine the intricate architecture of the Sons of Rest Pavilion, the largest of the group. Each pavilion has a distinct style and charm that makes it unique.
Visit the meticulously restored Piper Palm House. The airy space is filled with palm trees and sculptures. While you’re here, enjoy brunch or light refreshment at Café Madeleine inside. Relax at the adjacent lily pond. Go to the stone stables and park foreman’s residence. Much of the rustic complex actually predates Tower Grove Park.
Play tennis on grass courts in the city at the Tennis Center. If you prefer a more traditional game or a round of pickleball, head to the hard courts. The Henry Shaw Memorial Pavilion, which serves as the entrance to the courts, was built in 1931 to honor the park’s creator.
Visit Tower Grove Park daily throughout the year. Notable St. Louis philanthropist Henry Shaw donated much of its land. Find the park adjacent to the Missouri Botanical Garden, another of Shaw’s legacy gifts.