Travel like a local.


Living Inspired with John O’Leary in St. Louis with John O’Leary

Best things to do in St Louis Missouri - John O'Leary - Busch Stadium by Ronni Kurtz on Unsplash

Busch Stadium, home of the St Louis Cardinals. Photo by Ronni Kurtz on Unsplash.

I’m really excited to interview John O’Leary of John O’Leary Inspires about St. Louis, Missouri. John’s tips for the best things to do in St. Louis are awesome because he was born and raised in the city. He loves that St. Louis has everything that a major city possesses without the traffic and expense.

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Best things to do in St Louis Missouri - John O'Leary - Missouri Botanical Gardens by Wolfgang Frick on Unsplash

Missouri Botanical Gardens. Photo by Wolfgang Frick on Unsplash.

St. Louis, Missouri

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Explore St. Louis, the local visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in St Louis Missouri - John O'Leary - St Louis Zoo by Alin Andersen on Unsplash

St Louis Zoo, which offers free admission for all visitors. Photo by Alin Andersen on Unsplash.

Getting around St. Louis

The local airport is St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL), which is very close to downtown.

John says that, if you’re staying downtown, there’s no need to rent a car. Uber and Lyft are excellent ways to get around. And I’ve personally found the downtown area very walkable.

If you need to rent a car, click here for the best offers from Avis, Budget, or Hertz.

If you only need a car for a couple of hours, you can rent by the hour with Zipcar. Join now to get $25 loaded into your account.

Best things to do in St Louis Missouri - John O'Leary - Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse by Brittney Butler on Unsplash

Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse. Photo by Brittney Butler on Unsplash.

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with John O’Leary about St. Louis, Missouri. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Green dots = best things to do in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in St. Louis, Missouri

Who is John O’Leary?

When John was a nine-year-old boy, he was burned on 100% of his body. He was in his garage playing with matches and gasoline—just like he had seen the older boys on his block do. A fire exploded, consuming his garage, sending him flying back against the wall and turning his whole world upside down.

He woke up in a hospital bed where doctors had given him a 1% chance to live. Through all the pain, he remembers hearing his mom’s voice and asking her if he would be okay. John’s mom had the courage not to comfort him with a lie, but to instead ask: “John, do you want to die? It’s your choice, not mine.” He thought for a moment and answered, “Mom, I don’t want to die. I want to live.”

Today, John inspires audiences worldwide with his story by speaking publicly and through his books. He has presented in front of more than one million people in 49 states and in 17 countries. In March 2016, he published his first book, “On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life,” which became an instant #1 national bestseller. His second book, “In Awe: Rediscover Your Childlike Wonder to Unleash Inspiration, Meaning, and Joy, was also an instant #1 national bestseller when published in May 2020.

Best things to do in St Louis Missouri John O'Leary on stage

John O’Leary on stage

Here are a few articles that were written by John:

You can connect with John on his website and on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Big thanks to today’s podcast partner – Bluffworks

This episode is brought to you, in part, by Bluffworks. Whether I’m traveling for business or pleasure, it’s important to have clothes that make me look good AND feel great. I wear Bluffworks jeans, slacks, dress shirts, and blazers because they’re wrinkle-free and are designed for the modern traveler. And if they get dirty, a quick spin in the washing machine and they’re good as new.

Go to and use the promo code from the image below to save 10% off your order. There are many styles to fit your needs so you can stay wrinkle-free when you travel.

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Stay tuned for our next episode

Best things to do in Guanajuato Mexico Tim Leffel headshotListen to the next episode when Tim Leffel of shares the best things to do in Guanajuato, Mexico. In this episode, Tim and I talk about the Mummy Museum, Boca del Infierno, and the Cervantino Festival. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of St. Louis, Missouri? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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To see which cities we’ve interviewed and scheduled, please visit If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please submit an application at

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