When you think of sightseeing in St. Louis, the city’s best-known attractions may pop into your head—the Gateway Arch, the St. Louis Zoo and the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, for example. Busch Stadium is a yearly destination for some Kansas City Royals fans who follow their team when the Royals meet the Cardinals in “the Lou.” Dog lovers can also find some fascinating canine-related places to visit in the St. Louis area. So if you’re planning a trip from the Kansas City metro to St. Louis before summer’s end, here are a few attractions that celebrate the dog, both wild and domestic … from fine art to simply fine fun.
American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog: The “Dog Museum,” located in west St. Louis County’s Queeny Park, is home to an incredible collection of dog-related art, including paintings, sculptures, figurines and artifacts. The museum’s gift shop offers dog books and many doggie items exclusive to the museum. Well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome. After your visit, take your dog on a stroll through beautiful Queeny Park.
- Location: 1721 S. Mason Road, St. Louis
- Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. (excluding holidays). Researchers wanting access to the museum library may do so by appointment.
- Admission: Adults $5, seniors $2.50, children ages 5 to 14 $1
- Phone: 314-821-3647
Endangered Wolf Center: The Endangered Wolf Center sits on more than 60 isolated, wooded acres within Washington University’s Tyson Research Center, about 20 miles southwest of St. Louis. Zoologist Marlin Perkins was among a group of individuals who founded the center in 1971 in order to save certain species of wild canids from extinction. Through its program of breeding and animal management, the center is able to coordinate its efforts with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to reintroduce wolves back into the wild. Take a guided walking tour of the facility, and see Mexican gray wolves, maned wolves, African wild dogs and a swift fox or two. Binoculars are recommended. Be sure to check the center’s schedule for upcoming special events. While the center does not exclude young children from tours, a lot of walking is required, and noise must be kept to a minimum. Also, leave your dogs at home.
- Location: 6750 Tyson Valley Road, Eureka
- Hours: Public tours are held at 10 a.m. (program/tour) and 1 p.m. (tour only) Friday through Sunday. Private tours can be scheduled any day of the week between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Check the EWC website for dates and times of special events. The EWC closes in April and/or May if there are new puppies, so that the little ones are not disturbed.
- Admission: Two-hour public program/tour $10, one-hour public tour $8. Reservations required. Check the website for pricing on private tours and special events.
- Phone: 636-938-5900
Purina Farms: This popular St. Louis-area attraction is about an hour’s drive from downtown. Just about anyone who shows dogs in the Midwest has been to—or at least knows of—the Purina Event Center, the 84,000-square-foot facility at Purina Farms made just for dog shows. There are also several outdoor competition venues on site. But you don’t have to have show dogs to enjoy all that Purina Farms has to offer. At the Visitor’s Center, you can see how dog food is made and check out the gift shop. In the Pet Center, meet the dogs that live at Purina Farms, including members of the Pro Plan Performance Team. These high-flying canines—most of them former rescues—wow the crowds during daily demonstrations of agility, diving and freestyle disc catching. Please note that you cannot bring your own dogs to Purina Farms unless they are registered for an ongoing event at the Purina Event Center or outdoor competition venues. Picnics are not allowed.
- Location: 200 Checkerboard Loop, Gray Summit
- Hours: Open mid-March through mid-November (excluding Mondays and holidays). Days and hours vary depending on the time of year; check the website for details.
- Admission: Free (parking is free as well)
- Phone: 314-982-3232
Prices listed are as of July 2011.
To find a pet-friendly hotel or off-leash dog park in the United States or Canada, try DogFriendly.com.
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