The Cultural Arts Centre offers a variety of bus tours throughout the year. Escorted trips include motorcoach transportation and admission to the scheduled activities. Meals are also included with planned stops at restaurants unless otherwise stated. Most tours are narrated.
All tours are guided by Linda Koenig and meet in the west parking lot at City Hall, One St. Peters Centre Blvd. See below for a list of upcoming motorcoach tours that the Cultural Arts Centre has scheduled. For more information on current tours, call 636-397-6903, ext. 1624.
CLICK HERE to register for a Bus Tour! Or call 636-939-2386, ext. 1400.
2020 BUS TOURS
All tours include transportation, lunch, donations, gratuities and admissions unless otherwise noted.
CLICK HERE for a PDF download with information about 2020 Bus Tours.
- PERE MARQUETTE AND EAGLES: Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020
- ST. LOUIS STEEPLECHASE TOUR: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020
- FULTON, MO.: WINSTON CHURCHILL AND AUTO WORLD: — CANCELLED
- ILLINOIS AMISH: QUILT FEST AND MORE: Saturday, April 25, 2020 – POSTPONED TO AUG. 20, 2020
- HISTORIC NEW HARMONY, IND.: Wednesday, May 20, 2020
- IN THE ARMY NOW: Thursday, June 25, 2020
- ARROW ROCK AND THE LYCEUM THEATRE: Wednesday, July 22, 2020
- ST. LOUIS HIGHLIGHTS: Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020
- HISTORIC WEST ST. LOUIS COUNTY HOMES: Friday, Sept. 18, 2020
- TOUCHSTONES TO OUR PAST: Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020
- KIMMSWICK HOLIDAY SHOPPING AND ANHEUSER MANSION: Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020
- TREE-MENDOUS ST. LOUIS HOLLY-DAY TRIP: Friday, Dec. 11, 2020
WALKING LEVEL: The stars shown indicate how much walking is involved with each trip.
* Little walking. Mostly on the bus or sitting.
** Some walking.
*** Quite a bit of walking, but mostly at your leisure.
**** Mostly walking.
PERE MARQUETTE AND EAGLES
Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 • 9 a.m.-4 p.m. • $79 • CLICK HERE TO REGISTER *
Spend the day exploring the Great River Road, a popular United States scenic byway. We’ll first stop to admire and discuss the Melvin Price Locks and Dam, a gigantic structure critical for navigation. Eagles, white pelicans and trumpeter swans wintering near the dam find fishing to be easy here. Next, we will visit the Audubon Visitors Center to enjoy a brief film and use telescopes to watch eagles and other waterfowl. Then we will cross the 4,600-foot Clark Bridge that spans the river between Illinois and Missouri. We will pass through the charming Illinois towns of Elsah and Grafton, stopping to view eagles when we spot them. Our destination will be Pere Marquette State Park, where we will warm up at 12:15 p.m. with an all-you-can-eat fried chicken dinner at the beautiful lodge overlooking the Illinois River.
Take the lovely ride back down the Great River Road, stopping wherever eagles or other wildlife beckon. Visit the Great Rivers Center, inside the Melvin Price Locks and Dam. There is a wonderful film for tourist, and interactive exhibits on rivers, wildlife and geography.
Be sure to bring your binoculars. We will be viewing the eagles and other waterfowl from INSIDE the bus and buildings, not outside.
ST. LOUIS STEEPLECHASE TOUR
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020 • 9 a.m.-4 p.m. • $77 • CLICK HERE TO REGISTER **
Tour Trinity Lutheran Church in the Soulard neighborhood. Founded in 1839, Trinity is the mother church of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, and is the oldest Lutheran church west of the Mississippi River. Visit the interesting sanctuary of St. Raymond’s Maronite Catholic Church. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious lunch at St. Raymond’s.
The buffet line will have mouth-watering entrees and dessert choices. It is downtown St. Louis’ favorite Wednesday lunch spot. Visit Christ Church Cathedral. Episcopal services were first held there in 1867. The stained glass windows were created by many different artists, and the gorgeous stone reredos was sculpted by Harry Hems of England.
Visit the sanctuary of St. Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church (the “Rock” Church). This was the first big stone church in St. Louis. The magnificent stained glass windows are the finest work of Franz Mayer and Co. of Munich. Marvel at the largest collection of mosaics in the world at the Basilica of St. Louis the King (The New Cathedral). This early 1900s stunning Byzantine church interior leaves one speechless.
FULTON, MO.: WINSTON CHURCHILL AND AUTO WORLD
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 • 9 a.m.-5 p.m. • $96
THIS BUS TOUR HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
A visit to the Auto World Museum in Fulton, Mo., will spark your curiosity. From an 1800s doctor’s buggy to Ford Model A’s and T’s to Pierce Arrows, this collection of 87 vintage and modern
automobiles will fascinate you. Enjoy a generous and delicious lunch
buffet at Westminster College in Fulton. Visit the 12th Century church,
redesigned by Christopher Wren in 1677 and left in ruins by a German
bomb during World War II. Rebuilt on the campus of Westminster College,
it serves as a reminder of Sir Winston Churchill’s visit to the college
and his famous “Iron Curtain” speech. Under the church, we will visit
the museum, which is filled with a priceless treasury of artifacts and
information relating to the life and times of Churchill.
We also will view the sculpture celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall, created from eight massive sections of the actual Berlin Wall. Visit Crane’s Country Store to treat yourself to ice cream and cobbler, an amazing museum and an iconic mid-Missouri stop.
ILLINOIS AMISH: QUILT FEST AND MORE
POSTPONED TO AUG. 20, 2020
Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020 • 7 a.m.-7 p.m. • $106 • CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ***
Visit the Arthur Quilt Show, where we will view gorgeous quilts made by the Amish and their neighbors. There will be lots of craft vendors here, too. Head out to the countryside. Watch for buggies on the roads, clothes on the line, home gardens and Amish farmers in the fields. Stop and shop at Beachy’s Amish Grocery Store for jams, noodles, baked goods, spices, cheese and more.
Bring a hearty appetite, as we will enjoy an Amish meal served family-style in an Amish home. The meal will consist of salad, chicken and another meat, mashed potatoes and gravy, a vegetable, noodles or dressing and homemade bread. Save room for homemade pie for dessert. After the meal, take a look around the outside grounds. Tour another Amish house and out buildings. The lady of the house will show us her appliances, lights, bedrooms and a variety of conveniences that differ from the ones we’re used to. Check out the quilts on the beds. Don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Conclude our Amish Day with a visit to Arthur to do some last-minute shopping. Stitch and Sew is a wonderful shopping stop for quilters, but there are also furniture and quilt shops, a bakery, fudge shop and more. Perhaps you may choose to visit a greenhouse instead to purchase beautiful spring plants.
HISTORIC NEW HARMONY, IND.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020 • 7 a.m.-7 p.m. • $109 • CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ****
Spend a wonderful day exploring the historic sites and village of New Harmony, Ind. Site of the 1820s Harmonie religious society’s commune, the town was sold in 1825 to Robert Owen, who attempted to create an intellectual utopia here. We will begin our visit at the ultra-modern Atheneum to view exhibits there. Begin our guided tour of the town historic sites: the roofless church, log cabins, Harmonist homes, doctor’s office, opera house, community house, marble labyrinth, granary, boxwood labyrinth and more.
Lunch at the famous Red Geranium Restaurant will consist of Kentucky Hot Brown (turkey and ham), salad, beverage and dessert. Continue our guided tour of New Harmony’s historic sites. Main and Church Streets also house antique and specialty shops, bookstores and art galleries for browsing and shopping.
IN THE ARMY NOW
Thursday, June 25, 2020 • 8 a.m.-5 p.m. • $78 • CLICK HERE TO REGISTER **
Visit one of the most important Army bases in the United States. Located in the rolling hills of Missouri, 60,000-acre Fort Leonard Wood is home to training and education services and facilities vital to the safety and security of our country. This largest basic and specialty training base in the country is home to the Army’s structural and combat engineers, military police, and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear schools. Over 50,000 service personnel are trained here every year. The bonus surprise is how beautifully this modern base is situated and landscaped.
Take a driving tour of the base and visit buildings and facilities and activities as selected by the Fort Leonard Wood staff. Depending on the base activity schedule, we may be treated to as-yet unscheduled events. Enjoy lunch, dining with soldiers in one of the post dining facilities. Visit the John B. Mahaffey Museum of Engineering, Military Police and Chemical Warfare. Stroll among heavy equipment, barracks, a mess hall, and a POW facility from the World War II era. Continue touring the base, observing actual engineering, artillery and HAZMAT training sites.
Each person must have proof of residency in Missouri or any other state to get onto the base (a driver’s license with photo). We will ask you for this information at the time of registration.
ARROW ROCK AND THE LYCEUM THEATRE
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 • 8 a.m.-7 p.m. • $123 • CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ***
Visit the tiny restored town of Blackwater, Mo. Stroll Main Street and enjoy the gardens and antique shops. Check out the Iron Horse Hotel and the telephone museum. Enjoy lunch at the J. Huston Tavern in Arrow Rock. Our meal will consist of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, cole slaw, biscuit, dessert and beverage. Afterwards, explore the 1840 Huston Store, summer kitchen and upstairs ballroom and bedrooms.
Explore the wonders of Arrow Rock on your own. Visit the excellent state museum, boardwalk shops, the old courthouse and the George Caleb Bingham Home (pictured above). Walk the streets of this beautiful restored town. Experience the exciting theatre performance of Sister Act at Arrow Rock’s award-winning Lyceum Theatre. Brief stop at the Russell Stover outlet store for candy and ice cream. Next door is a Hardee’s, if some people prefer a snack to go.
PLEASE NOTE: The last day to register for this tour is Saturday, June 20.
ST. LOUIS HIGHLIGHTS
Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 • 9 a.m.-4 p.m. • $87 • CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ****
Constructed in 1936, we will tour the massive Kiel Opera House and Auditorium, former home to the St. Louis Symphony and many performers like the Rat Pack. Today the building has been restored to the beautiful Stifel Opera House, and once again hosts outstanding performances of all kinds. Enjoy a cafeteria-style home-cooked lunch at the popular and plentiful Sweetie Pie’s Restaurant in the restored Grand Avenue Theater District. There is a delicious array of entrees and vegetables from which to choose.
Visit the magnificent Grand Hall of St. Louis Union Station and marvel at the famous “whispering arch.” Stop by the stunning Basilica of St. Louis to view the largest collection of mosaics in the world. Pope John Paul II spoke at this church in 1999. Treat yourself to a concrete or other specialty frozen custard delight at the famous Ted Drewes on Route 66.
HISTORIC WEST ST. LOUIS COUNTY HOMES
Friday, Sept. 18, 2020 • 9 a.m.-4 p.m. • $99 • CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ****
Frank Lloyd Wright, the most famous American architect, designed a Usonian Kirkwood home for artist Russell Kraus and Ruth Kraus. Tour this famous home, as well as the historic Victorian Mudd’s Grove home, in Kirkwood. Enjoy lunch at the Sappington Barn Restaurant in Crestwood. Browse the gift shop afterwards. Tour the oldest brick house in St. Louis County, the 1808 Sappington House. Built by Thomas Sappington for his bride, the house was erected by slaves, with bricks made on site. Visit the historic Hawken House in Webster Groves. Built in 1857, this Federal-style home was the first in Missouri to receive federal funds for restoration.
TOUCHSTONES TO OUR PAST
Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020 • 9 a.m.-4 p.m. • $75 • CLICK HERE TO REGISTER **
Tour (mostly riding) beautiful Bellefontaine Cemetery. Established in 1849, the cemetery sprawls over 327 acres in north St. Louis. See the gravesites of William Clark, Adolphus Busch, Thomas Hart Benton and other notables. Admire the large family mausoleums, learn the history of the rural garden cemetery movement and hear lots of interesting stories. Tour (mostly riding) the 1857 magnificently landscaped Calvary Cemetery. Visit the gravesites of William Tecumseh Sherman, Tennessee Williams, Dred Scott and others. Learn about many burial customs and traditions.
Enjoy a delicious lunch at the Bissell Mansion. Your entree choice of fish, turkey or chicken, with vegetables, potatoes, bread, dessert and beverage. Enjoy yet another rural garden cemetery, New Mount Sinai, the largest Jewish cemetery in the region. See the large family mausoleums of the St. Louis department store magnates and learn about Jewish burial customs and traditions. Tour Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, one of the largest military cemeteries in the United States. Over 150,000 servicemen and their spouses are buried among the rolling hills and rows of white marble headstones.
KIMMSWICK HOLIDAY SHOPPING AND ANHEUSER MANSION
Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020 • 9 a.m.-4 p.m. • $88 • CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ****
Time for holiday shopping in historic and quaint Kimmswick. This “town that time forgot” has many shops for all interests: antiques, crafts, clothing and Christmas. Enjoy lunch at the renowned Blue Owl Restaurant. Featured on many national TV shows, the Blue Owl is most famous for its mile-high apple pie. We will order from the “Trio” menu, picking three from the following: several choices of soup, salad, sandwich, quiche and dessert.
Visit the restored Anheuser Mansion. This historic 1867 23-acre estate on the Mississippi River was gifted to Fred and Mabel Ruth Anheuser by Fred’s parents in the 1940s. Lots of interesting Anheuser memorabilia are on display, including some of the dresses Mabel Ruth wore to St. Louis society functions.
TREE-MENDOUS ST. LOUIS HOLLY-DAY TRIP
Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 • 9 a.m.-4 p.m. • $82 • CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ****
Visit the magnificent Romanesque Cupples House on the St. Louis University campus. Completed in 1890 at a cost of $500,000, this Victorian mansion would cost about $20 million today. Lavishly furnished and decorated, Cupples House has been featured in many documentary films and TV shows. Shop for one-of-a-kind novelties and gifts at Gringo Jones and the Bug Store.
Enjoy a meal of salad, chicken Spedini, pasta, bread and beverage at Zia’s, one of the finest and most popular Italian restaurants on The Hill. Afterward, shop for baked goods at Missouri Baking Company, and sausages and more at Volpi’s on The Hill. Pay a visit to Walter Knoll’s on Wholesale Floral Row. Purchase gorgeous holiday plants and decorations at deep discounts and watch the floral designers create beautiful displays.