Travel Information

In this section:

  • Conference Location
  • Transportation
  • Getting Around Downtown St. Louis
  • About the Conference Venue
  • About St. Louis
  • Travel Safety Guidelines
  • Visa Information

Conference Location

St. Louis Union Station Hotel
1820 Market St.
St. Louis, MO 63103

The first train pulled into Union Station on September 1, 1894 at 1:45pm, ushering in a new and exciting time for St. Louis. The city known for being the gateway to the West suddenly became a gateway to all of America. Over the next several years, Union Station would become one of the largest and busiest passenger rail terminals in the world. Today, Union Station is a balance of nostalgia and renovation.  Standing in the hotel lobby, you can almost hear the trains coming into the platform.


Getting to St. Louis and the St. Louis Union Station Hotel


St. Louis's location makes it possible for visitors to fly to St. Louis from most major U.S. cities in three hours or less. St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) is situated 13 miles from Downtown St. Louis and is connected to Downtown and much of the region by MetroLink light. 

By Train

If you’d rather travel to St. Louis on the ground, Amtrak is an ideal solution.  Your final desination would be the Gateway Transportation Center located on South 15th Street, which is conveniently located one block from St. Louis Union Station.

Rail Service from STL to St. Louis Union Station Hotel

  • From St. Louis Lambert International Airport  (STL) travel on the Metrolink from Terminal 1 or Terminal two on the red line, to the Union Station stop; loated directly in front of the St. Louis Union Station Hotel. Certain MetroLink tickets come pre-validated with a time stamp, but some do not. Double check your ticket to make sure it has a time stamp, and if it doesn’t, insert it in one of the red validation machines located at all MetroLink station platforms.
  • From the metrolink Union Station stop, The Drury Inn is located one block past the St. Louis Union Station Hotel.
  • From the metrolink Union Station stop, The Courtyard Downtown West is located 0.5 miles (10 minute walk) past the St. Louis Union Station Hotel.

Rental Car

Free shuttle service is provided 24/7 by all rental car companies to off-airport facilities. Please return vehicles directly to off-site locations. Customer service counters are located in the lower level of Terminal 1 between exit doors 12 and 17, and are staffed during peak times.

For more information regarding rental cars at STL, visit their rental car page.

Ride Apps

Ride app companies Lyft and Uber are approved to operate at St. Louis Lambert International Airport. Pickup zones are located at Terminal 1 outside exit 6, and at Terminal 2, outside exit 15.

Getting Around Downtown St. Louis

MetroLink Light Rail

St. Louis's light-rail network, MetroLink, is a modern, efficient public amenity that has been called one of the best mass transit systems in the country.  The rail system offers multiple lines and stops through St. Louis County and City and the Metro East stopping at or near many of St. Louis attractions. Those attractions include, Busch Stadium, America’s Center, Union Station, Forest Park, the Gateway Arch and more. Metro generally operates from 4 a.m. to 1 am. during the week and on weekends. Certain MetroLink tickets come pre-validated with a time stamp, but some do not. Double check your ticket to make sure it has a time stamp, and if it doesn’t, insert it in one of the red validation machines located at all MetroLink station platforms.

  • A MetroLink One-Ride Ticket. is good for two hours in one direction. Fare cost is $2.50.
  • A MetroLink Two-Hour Pass gives you unlimited use of the Metro system, on both MetroLink and MetroBus, in any direction, for two hours. Fare cost is $3.00.
  • A Metro One-Day Pass gives you unlimited use of the Metro system, on both MetroLink and MetroBus, for an entire day. Fare cost is $7.50
  • A Metro Weekly Pass gives you unlimited use of the Metro system, on both MetroLink and MetroBus, for an entire week. Fare cost is $27.00



St. Louis Union Station 

There's so much to do at St. Louis Union Station; you could stay on-campus all week and never run out of things to do!

  • The Wheel: The St. Louis Wheel™ is a 200-foot high observation wheel with 42 fully enclosed, climate controlled  gondolas that seat up to six adults each. Wheel passengers will take three to four rotations high over the St. Louis skyline during the 15-minute ride. 
  • Carousel: Located beneath the historic Union Station trainshed, this is an experience you will not want to miss! 
  • Mini Golf: This beautifully-landscaped 18-hole course features a variety of interactive elements, a fun yet challenging design and is ADA-accessibility
  • St. Louis Aquarium: This aquarium boasts 13,000 animals from 257 species, housed in 44 exhibits -including a 250,000 gallon shark tank!
  • Mirror Maze: Navigate your way through the labyrinth of mirrors, test your World’s Fair knowledge with interactive experiences, and explore the curiosities in this reimagined version of the iconic attractions of the 1904 World’s Fair.
  • Rope Course: Do you have what it takes to soar 3-stories up? Test your agility, strength and nerves on this indoor Ropes Course overlooking historic Union Station.
  • Dine at the Station Grille, Grand Hall, Landry's, the train Shed, 1894 Cafe and the Union Station Soda Fountain
  • Experience the outdoor Fire and Lights show, and the indoor Grand Hall Light Show

St. Louis Union Station Campus Map:

St. Louis Campus Map

About St. Louis

Welcome to St. Louis, the Gateway City!  Have some time before or after the meeting? There's so much to do in St. Louis!

Visit Gateway Arch National Park and 630-foot ride to the top of the famous Gateway Arch, which memorializes St. Louis as the Gateway to the West. Head to the National Blues Museum and the historic significance of the Blues as the foundation of modern American Music.  If live music is your thing, Soulard boasts some of the best blues venues in town.

Looking for a fun night out? Check out the new sports-anchored entertainment district in the heart of downtown Ballpark Village St. Louis.  Visitors can also go for dinner, drinks and a show at Westport Plaza’s 42-acre entertainment district, or check out the trendiest boutiques and upscale dining establishments in Clayton and the Central West End. You can also take a tour of the historic Anheuser-Busch Brewery, where you can visit the Budweiser Clydesdales and sample a variety of premium brands. 

Brining your family with you? They can get up close and personal with the furry, the flying and the fishy creatures of the Saint Louis Zoo, or visit the newly built Aquarium located right at St. Louis Union Station. They can also explore the City Museum’s unique all-ages playground filled with caves, slides and climbing apparatus made from recycled and found objects. 

Need some fresh air? Once home to the 1904 World’s Fair, Forest Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. It attracts 12 million visitors a year with world-class attractions and scenic walking and biking trails. Or, enjoy a fusion of sculpture and landscape architecture at Citygarden, an urban oasis featuring works of modern and contemporary art, native plants, six rain gardens and a café overlooking the beautiful scene. Or discover the stunning  Laumeier Sculpture Park with over 70 outdoor sculptures, a music amphitheater for special events and a traveling series of exhibitions.

Downtown St. Louis Map:

St. Louis Map


St. Louis sees an average September high of 81F (27 C).

Attendee Safety Guidelines

As a general rule, please use common sense when traveling to and attending the event. If you need assistance at any time, please reach out to the ION at 703-366-2723 or

Before the Event: Travel Safety Considerations

  • Be sure to write down the name and contact information for all key venues:

  Conference Venue/
  Headquarters Hotel

  St. Louis Union Station Hotel
  1820 Market Street, St. Louis, MO 63103
  Phone: 314-231-1234


  Courtyard St. Louis Downtown West
  2340 Market Street., St. Louis, MO 63103
  Phone: 314-241-9111


  Drury Inn St. Louis at Union Station
  201 South 20th Street, St. Louis, MO 63103
  Phone: 314-231-3900

  • Share travel plans with a friend or family member, including dates, flight (or other transport) information, and your lodging information.
  • Research your destination and familiarize yourself with requirements for entry/exit, visas, local laws, customs, medical care etc. 
  • If traveling abroad, note the location of the embassy or consulate of your home country. 
  • Inform your financial institutions of your travels and familiarize yourself with the local currency.
  • Keep a sufficient supply of medications in your carry-on luggage
  • Make at least two photocopies of all your travel documents (passport, driver’s license, etc.). Leave one set with a trusted person at home and carry the other separately from your original documents.
  • Keep your passport separate from your wallet; do not carry your passport in your back pocket.

During the Event: Safety Considerations

  • Protect your identity. Wear your name badge only inside the meeting and convention facility
  • Plan for an emergency. Be aware of your surroundings. Know where the nearest exists are located. Use the buddy system. Exchange contact information with another meeting attendee. In the event of an emergency, agree where you will meet up. Call for help if your buddy doesn’t meet up at the agreed location within a reasonable amount of time.
  • See something, say something. If you see something that raises a safety or security concern, please say something
  • Keep a close eye on your belongings at all times.  Avoid leaving bags out of sight
  • Report any lost/stolen items immediately to local authorities. Promptly cancel any lost or stolen credit cards.
  • Do not leave beverages unattended; do not accept food or drinks from people you do not know
  • Lock your vehicle and secure any valuables 
  • Do not write your room number on your hotel key

To Report an Emergency (Medical or Other)

  • If an emergency occurs within St. Louis Union Station Hotel, please pick up the nearest house phone and dial 55 so that hotel security may efficiently direct emergency services to your location. If you are not able to quickly locate a house phone, please notify the nearest hotel staff member that there is an emergency.
  • If an emergency occurs outside the conference venue, please call 9-1-1.

Emergency Evacuations

  • If you hear an alarm, please listen to the PA system for instructions. If evacuation is necessary, please evacuate the facility immediately in a calm and orderly fashion. Pay close attention to your surroundings.
  • Follow all directions from emergency personnel and event staff.

Local Medical Facilities

Below is a list of the closest hospital and urgent care centers to the conference venue.


  SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital
  3635 Vista Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110 (2.4 mi.)
  Phone: 314-577-8000

  Barnes Jewish Hospital
  1 Barnes Jewish Hospital Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63110 (3.7 mi.)
  Phone: 314-747-3000


  Concentra Urgent Care
  3100 Market St, St. Louis, MO 63103 (1.1 mi.)
  Phone: (314) 421-2557
  Open Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

  Total Access Urgent Care 
  3114 S Grand Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63118 (3.9 mi.)
  Phone: (314) 696-2178
  Open daily, 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.



Visa Information for International Participants

Visa Waiver Countries

Visa waiver travelers from ALL 27 Visa Waiver Program countries must present either a machine-readable passport or a U.S. Visa. To learn more about the Visa Waiver Program & Machine Readable Passports see

Non-Visa Waiver Countries

We recommend that you apply for your Visa at least three months in advance. Currently there is a mandatory security check period of 30 days for people whose passports are issued from several countries. U.S. consular offices now interview most applicants as part of the application process. Please ensure you arrive at the embassy with all required documentation at the time of your interview. Note that the ION does not intervene in U.S. State Department’s issuance of Visas.

Conference attendees requesting a visa letter to attend a conference must:

  1. Submit the visa letter request form using the button below.
  2. Register and pay all conference registration fees BEFORE a letter of invitation will be sent.

Exemptions to this policy apply only to those authors whose papers have been accepted for presentation, company personnel working in the exhibit area or trade associated press.

If the attendee is unable to secure a Visa, he/she will need to apply for a refund according to the printed refund rules of the event. Visa letter requests will only be reviewed AFTER you have submitted the Visa letter request form for your desired conference.

Request a Letter of Invitation