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From sprawling city getaways and sculpture gardens to small neighborhood green spaces, St. Louis’ local parks – all 105 of them – are nothing short of inviting, not to mention a welcome break in the city’s tangle of streets. And we hear there are very few better ways to unwind from the work of planning a wedding than to pack a picnic, hold hands with the one you love, and wander through an urban wilderness.

The city’s most well-known park may well be the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. A riverfront park with the refuge of nearby restaurants, these grounds are great for walking, boat-watching and catching up on a little bit of local history – and the view from the city, which is great from the ground and even better at the top of the Gateway Arch. Forest Park is close in renown, and even closer to the hearts of locals. This park is the largest in the city and dates back to the decade just after the end of the Civil War, although it wasn’t until the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis that park started to become the unique public space it is today. With its sprawling acreage and natural forest, as well as attractions like the St. Louis Art Museum, World’s Fair Pavilion and St. Louis Zoo, we think we can safely say that Forest Park has all the entertainment you’ll need for an afternoon in the outdoors.

Citygarden, local park and sculpture garden, is hailed as the city’s best place for that picnic we mentioned. 24 different sculptures and several interactive water features and fountains can be found at home in this three-acre park. Meanwhile, the Missouri Botanical Garden is home to various hands-on and hands-off exhibits. One of our favorites is the Climatron, a geodesic dome conservatory – or greenhouse – that combines exotic architecture with exotic plant life and a highly controlled climate system.

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