I think it’s safe to say that Mr. Handsome and I are officially “zoo people.” So far, I have written posts about our trips to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere (including Little Buddy’s first visit), the New Orleans Audubon Zoo, and the Memphis Zoo. Recently, we took a St. Louis vacation with Mr. Handsome’s family (altogether, there are almost 20 of us!), where we visited the St. Louis Zoo and Grant’s Farm, which is basically a zoo.
Grant’s Farm is a family attraction that has free admission and is enjoyable for all ages. The tour starts with a tram safari ride through a prairie that is home to several unique species of deer, as well as zebra and long-horned cows. The farm also has a pond filled with koi fish. Did you know that koi can live a couple hundred years? Apparently, there was a koi fish called Hanako that died in 1977 at the age of 226.
Grant’s Farm is named after Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president of the United States, because a portion of the land was a wedding gift from his wife’s parents in the mid-1800s. The farm was purchased by the Busch family about 50 years later, after Grant filed for bankruptcy.
While there is a Busch family mansion on the grounds, there is also a cabin (called “Hardscrabble”) that was built by Grant. According to the tour guide, the cabin is one of only a few remaining residences that were built and lived in by United States presidents. At Grant’s Farm, we also saw camels and watched a live show in which an employee showed off a baby hedgehog and a beautiful macaw.
Like Grant’s Farm, the St. Louis Zoo is also free. I expected it to be small and underwhelming, but it was surprisingly large and impressive and certainly feels like the type of zoo that would have an admission price. We were most enthralled by the polar bears, hippos, and elephants. (You can visit my Facebook page for an entertaining video of an elephant going for a swim.)