- For other places with the same name, see Saint Louis (disambiguation).
The Gateway City of St. Louis is the epitome of the modern Midwestern metropolis. Missouri's second-largest city is vibrant but laid-back, populous but navigable, historic but still relevant. The city's planners have created an aesthetically beautiful city, with plenty of green space amidst buildings both old and new, framed by the majestic Mississippi and Missouri rivers. And capping it all is the world's tallest man-made monument, the beautiful and iconic Gateway Arch.
St. Louis is a city of culture and surprisingly inexpensive. Among American cities, only Washington, D.C. has more free attractions for tourists and residents alike. Hotels, restaurants, and even parking garages avoid the premium pricing common in other big cities. Although often overlooked, St. Louis can be an affordable, educational, and fun family getaway.
The city is named after King Louis IX of France, but is pronounced "Saint Lewis", not "Saint Louie". St. Louis is known by the nickname of The Gateway to the West. The city was the last major stop before pioneers journeyed westward to the Pacific coast. The city also played a large part during the steamboat era due to its position at the confluence of the Mississippi River and the Missouri River. St. Louis was acquired from France by the United States during President Thomas Jefferson's term in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. The transfer of power from Spain was made official in a ceremony called "Three Flags Day." On March 8, 1804, the Spanish flag was lowered and the French one raised. On March 10, the French flag was replaced by that of the USA. In 1904, St. Louis hosted that year's World's Fair and the Summer Olympic Games. Many of the parks, buildings, and finer homes in St. Louis were built around this time period. While the Fair has passed out of living memory, it holds an important place in the modern development of the city.
Before Detroit became America's automotive capital, St. Louis was the largest producer of American automobiles in the early part of the 20th century. Midtown and Downtown still have many of the original warehouses and factories standing, but most have been converted to other purposes, such as loft apartments, shops and restaurants. St. Louis was also home to a bustling fashion manufacturing industry in the early 1900s, centered on Washington Avenue downtown. As with the auto industry, the last remnants of the fashion manufacturing industry can be found in the rehabilitated warehouses which contain new businesses and loft condominiums. In the late 20th century, St. Louis began a transformation from a manufacturing and industrial economy into a globally known center for research in medicine, biotechnology, and other sciences. Firms such as Bayer, Centene, Solae, Energizer, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Edward Jones, Wells Fargo Advisors, Nestle Purina, and Anheuser-Busch/Inbev are headquartered in St. Louis. AT&T and Bank of America operate major regional offices here. Two major private research universities, Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University, are an important part of the local economy and society.
St. Louis is truly a city of neighborhoods, each with its own distinct flavor and culture. There are 79 government-designated neighborhoods within the City of St. Louis, many of which have associations and councils that exercise wide control over development and subsidies from the highest to the very lowest local level. Some neighborhoods contain avenues of massive stone mansions built as palaces for heads of state visiting the 1904 World's Fair, and now occupied by some of the more wealthy families and individuals in the City of St. Louis. Other neighborhoods are predominantly middle class and working-class and have retained their singular cultural identity for 200 years. Today, most of them have endured as strong and cohesive communities for their residents.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
With neither mountains nor large bodies of water nearby to moderate the climate, St. Louis experiences extremes of temperatures at both ends of the scale. The Winter cold from December through March can be brutal to the unaccustomed body, as can the Summer heat from June through September. The Mississippi River makes this area humid, though temperatures are generally moderate. Storms can occur at any time of the year. July and August are hottest and most humid, and January and February are cold, with occasional snow. Normal temperatures range from 21°F in the winter to 90°F in the summer (-6°C to 32°C), but summer highs of 100°F and winter lows of 0°F are not uncommon (38°C and -18°C).
St. Louis is a freeway hub, connected to the following cities by freeway:
- connects to Kansas City to the west, and Indianapolis and Columbus to the east.
- connects to Louisville to the east.
- connects to Chicago to the north and Memphis to the south.
- connects to Springfield (Missouri), Tulsa, and Oklahoma City to the southwest.
- Locals may refer to Interstate 64 as "Highway 40" - US-40 is coincident with I-64 through St. Louis. Also, older or more traditional residents are likely to pronounce 40 as "Farty", which out-of-towners sometimes find humorous.
- 1 Lambert St. Louis International Airport (STL IATA). is the largest airport serving St. Louis, with annual passenger traffic of approximately 13 million people. The airport is 14 miles northwest of the city center and is directly served by the MetroLink light rail line. A 2-hour MetroLink transfer ticket costs $4 from the airport. Uber and Lyft are allowed at the terminal.
- 2 St. Louis Downtown Airport (CPS IATA). 3 miles east of the city center and serves charter and cargo flights.
- 3 MidAmerica St. Louis Airport (BLV IATA). 21 miles east and only serves Allegiant flights.
- See also: Rail travel in the United States
Amtrak (☏ , 551 S 16th St) offers five daily arrivals from Chicago, two daily arrivals from Kansas City, and one daily arrival from Los Angeles, San Antonio via Dallas, Little Rock and many smaller intermediate stops on each route. 4 Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center, 430 S 15th St, is the central train and bus terminal in St. Louis. It is directly linked to the Civic Center station on the MetroLink light rail system.
If you have time to spare when departing or arriving by train, take a seat at the Grand Hall at the nearby historic Union Station, now turned into a hotel and shopping arcade, to relive past glory of rail travel. St. Louis Union Station was also the site where President elect Truman was photographed holding the Chicago Daily Tribune with the erroneous headline "Dewey Defeats Truman".
The bus terminal, which is served by Greyhound and Megabus, is at 430 S 15th St, next to the train station.
- Greyhound, ☏ . Operates service to most cities including Chicago, Bloomington-Normal, Kansas City and Columbia.
- Megabus. Operates service to/from Chicago, Memphis, Dallas, and Little Rock. Fares from $1 when reserved very far in advance.
The Mississippi River forms the eastern boundary of the city, separating it from Illinois. The Missouri River runs into the Mississippi just north of St. Louis.
MetroLink, +1 314-231-2345 - A light rail system that runs to many of the metropolitan area's most popular destinations. There are two branches on the Missouri side of the river - the Red Line begins at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, while the Blue Line begins in the suburb of Shrewsbury. The lines merge at the edge of Forest Park, and travel through downtown and into Illinois. MetroLink stops at the Delmar Loop, Grand Center arts district, Forest Park, the Central West End, Downtown St. Louis, and Downtown Clayton, among other places. The campuses of University of Missouri-St. Louis, Washington University and St. Louis University each have stops on campus or nearby. A 2-hour transfer pass costs $3 ($4 if purchased at the airport station). Day pass, which includes trains and buses, is $5.
Metro St. Louis operates buses around the St. Louis metro area, although in many cases, they don't run as frequently as you would like. A single fare is $2.
Travel by car is the most common mode of transportation in St. Louis.
Taxis generally do not drive around looking for street hails; you must order service by phone or from an app. Uber is extremely popular and useful in St. Louis.
A 2015 accident in a taxi that did not have insurance has caused a controversy - make sure you choose a reputable taxi or ride-hailing company.
St. Louis is one of the more segregated cities in the nation, and is home to the country's first private gated street - Benton Place in Lafayette Square. In one minute you might be driving down tree-lined avenues with large houses, and the next minute you might be in a low-income neighborhood. Though the region is now more racially and economically integrated than it was, the road system still follows historic boundaries marking one area from the next. Hotels and most St. Louis guide books should have good maps of the layout of the neighborhoods of the City.
St. Louis City is separate from St. Louis County - the city is really a city without a county, with its own government, school system, and other services. St. Louis City has just under 294,000 residents while St. Louis County has just under one million residents. The entire St. Louis metropolitan region has approximately 3,000,000 residents.
Some of the more well-visited and larger neighborhoods in St. Louis City are:
- Downtown - The Central Business District of St. Louis, downtown is nearing the end of a decade-long multi-billion dollar revitalization. Featuring professional sports stadiums, dozens of hotels, corporate headquarters, trendy dining and shopping, entertainment, nightlife, and the Gateway Arch, downtown St. Louis is now also home to tens of thousands of residents, many living in warehouses that have been converted to apartments and condominiums.
- Laclede's Landing - Next to the Mississippi River, north of the Arch, this is one of the oldest standing neighborhoods of the city. A former industrial area, the Landing has original cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriage rides in the evenings, live music, and restaurants and bars in converted industrial buildings.
- Soulard - To the southwest of downtown lies St. Louis's oldest neighborhood. Today it is a perfect case study for traditional St. Louis red brick architecture, and also features the famous Soulard Farmers Market and many trendy restaurants.
- Lafayette Square - Although some may group this with Soulard due to proximity, Lafayette Square features its own distinct architecture (Victorian and French Second Empire) and demographics. Surrounding the oldest park in St. Louis are tree-lined streets with rehabbed townhouses, some shopping and dining, and bed and breakfasts.
- Old North St Louis - Just north of Downtown, the historic Old North neighborhood is in the midst of a dramatic revitalization that includes a significant number of historically rehabilitated brick, 19th Century structures; new businesses, such as Old North Grocery Co-op, Therapy Boutique, and La Mancha Coffeehouse; and a diverse community of residents, with a population that grew by 28% since 2000. The center of the neighborhood is at St. Louis Avenue & N. 14th Street, which is where the legendary Crown Candy Kitchen is found, along with the Crown Square, the $35 million redevelopment of the former 14th Street Pedestrian Mall. Crown Square is also the site of the North City Farmers' Market, which in 2010 was identified as one of "America's Favorite Farmers' Markets," according to American Farmland Trust.
- Benton Park/Brewery - Just south of Soulard, Benton Park has come back from decades of disrepair. The area contains the Anheuser Busch Brewery and the old Lemp Brewery, in addition to a small eponymous park and working-class versions of the townhomes of Lafayette Square.
- Forest Park Southeast - Forest Park Southeast is at the beginning of a revitalization. Younger professionals have been attracted to the area due to the popular bars, and have since settled down and contributed to the area's infrastructure.
- Grand Center/Midtown - West of Downtown down an area known as the Central Corridor (that includes Forest Park and the CWE), Grand Center is home to a booming performing arts, theatre, and museum district. St. Louis University is in this area.
- Tower Grove/South Grand - A few miles south of Grand Center is Tower Grove Park, a 19th-century Victorian walking park. The nearby South Grand strip has a variety of shops, coffeehouses, bars, service businesses, and the area's largest concentration of Asian restaurants and shops. An ethnically diverse, gay-friendly area with an active street life and turn-of-the-century architecture.
- Central West End - A very cosmopolitan neighborhood featuring stunning turn-of-the-century palace-like homes, upscale dining, and boutique shopping, the Central West End also contains an eclectic mix of antique shops, coffee houses, and art galleries. It's on the eastern edge of Forest Park, and includes the world-renowned Medical School of Washington University.
- The Hill - St. Louis's Little Italy is home to a large number of locally renowned Italian restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores. Its name is due to its proximity to the highest point of the city.
- North St. Louis - The historic African-American neighborhood known as "The Ville", and contains many historical sites relating to the history of Black Americans in the Midwest, including Sumner High School and Homer G. Phillips Hospital. This area extends north from Delmar Boulevard, and contains much of the industrial record of St. Louis and the migration of newcomers to the city.
- Cherokee Street - A long-time shopping district, created from the convergence of two streetcar lines, this 12 block stretch of antique stores, cafés, restaurants and bars is divided by Jefferson Avenue. Cherokee Street runs from the antique and vintage stores, starting at what remains of the old Lemp Brewery warehouses, east of Jefferson. It crosses over to host 5 blocks of hipster/grunge bars, capped by the city’s most celebrated collection of Hispanic bakeries & taquerias. All of it centered on the Cinco de Mayo festival, each weekend around May 5th. It's also the city center for burlesque, with the Casa Loma Ballroom hosting the annual Show-me Burlesque Festival each June. This neighborhood is having a resurgence, becoming a destination for shopping, dining and entertainment, south of Benton Park/Brewery.
The Gateway Arch's shape is what's known as a catenary arch. It looks similar to a parabola, but you might know it as the shape created when a chain or string is suspended from two points. (That makes the Gateway Arch an inverted catenary, of course.) In particular, it's a specific catenary arch with a width exactly equal to its height (both 630 ft (190 m)).
Cross sections of the Arch are triangular, a trait readily visible from within the tram pods during the trip to the top. The arch is constructed of carbon steel, clad with stainless steel, on a concrete and carbon steel core. Its foundation is anchored 60 feet (18 m) underground.
Obviously, the Gateway Arch is a must-see attraction; even if you can't handle the ride to the top, you should at least gaze upward and ponder the arch's majesty. But St. Louis has plenty else to see, too, and several of the attractions offer free admission. (That doesn't mean parking is free, or that you can do everything within the attraction without extra charges... but still: free!)
- 1 Anheuser-Busch Brewery, 1200 Lynch St, ☏ . The place where all Anheuser-Busch beers are made for the mid-west U.S. Free tour, with free beer samples for those 21+, of one of the world's largest breweries and bottling factories, housed in beautiful red-brick buildings. The Clydesdale horses and their historic truck and stables are one of the biggest attractions on the tour, as are the brew house and packaging facility. The adjacent beer garden serves really good food and offers cheap samples of most Anheuser-Busch branded beer, from Goose Island to Hoegaarden.
- 2 Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, 4431 Lindell Blvd (at Newstead Ave in the Central West End neighborhood), ☏ . 7AM-7PM. This Roman Catholic church contains the most mosaic art in one site in the world—83,000 square feet, installed by a family of artists who used more than 41 million tiles with more than 7,000 colors.
- 3 Citygarden, 801 Market St (walk down Market Street five blocks from the Arch). Sunrise to 10PM. Citygarden gives kids fountains to play in and sculptures they can related to (Pinocchio, big heads, etc.); art lovers the chance to experience 24 sculptures by some of modern art's great masters (Leger, Herring, etc.); and everyone an award-winning garden in the midst of the city where you can relax and beat the heat. If you'd like to eat in the gardens, there is a cafe that is open for lunch or you can pick up something from the many takeout places nearby. Free.
- 4 City Museum, 750 N 16th St, ☏ . M-Th 9AM-5PM, F Sa 9AM-midnight, Su 11AM-5PM; closed M Tu in winter. For the young, the young at heart, or anyone who thinks a five-story playground made of salvaged materials sounds awesome. Don't let the name fool you; this place is a blast! The City Museum is a huge playground built in an old 11-story warehouse made largely out of architectural artifacts from around St. Louis collected by an eccentric millionaire. There are concessions inside the museum as well as bar service by local brewery Schlafy. While there are plenty of artifacts on display, it's not so much a museum as it is a collection of mazes, obstacle courses, tunnels, airplanes suspended in midair, and chutes and ladders. There's a Ferris wheel on the roof, a ten-story spiral slide, an enormous pipe organ, and lots of ways to get lost. Take care when parking; lots of nearby lots tout the "City Museum" on their signs, but only the one on the east side of 16th street (guarded by huge snake sculptures) is officially associated with the museum. Expect to stay here for 3-4 hours. $12+tax ($10+tax F-Sa after 5PM), under 2 free; roof access +$5 (weather permitting).
- 5 Contemporary Art Museum, 3750 Washington Blvd (Near the hip 'loft district' downtown, in the Grand Center arts district), ☏ . W Sa Su 10AM-5PM, Th F 10AM-8PM, M Tu closed. Shares a courtyard with the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. Free.
- 6 Eads Bridge. This bridge was the first to cross the Mississippi at St. Louis, the first primarily steel structure in the world, and the longest bridge in the world at completion in 1874. This overlooked landmark is worth checking out for the Eiffel Tower-like steel lattice that still holds up cars and the MetroLink to this day. It connects to Washington Avenue, and is directly adjacent to Laclede's Landing, both are centers of St. Louis nightlife. The easiest way to access Eads Bridge is via the Laclede's Landing MetroLink stop. Well worth a walk across as one of the best places to see the sun setting with the Gateway Arch and city providing a very artistic view of the area.
- 7 Forest Park. One of the nation's largest city parks, with 1,293 acres, is open to the public for golf, tennis, baseball, bicycling, boating, fishing, handball, ice skating, in-line skating, jogging, cricket, rugby and more. The park is also home to the St. Louis Science Center, the art museum, the zoo, and a history museum, all with free admission. Forest Park is really at the heart of St. Louis. It was also the site of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase World's Fair, which lays claim to serving the first hot dogs, hamburgers, and ice cream cones. You cannot visit St. Louis without hearing about, driving by, or exploring Forest Park.
- 8 Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd, ☏ . W-M 10AM-5PM, Tu 10AM-8PM. Check out the Charles Lindbergh exhibit and see a life size replica of the original Spirit of St. Louis. Free.
- 9 Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM), 1 Fine Arts Dr, ☏ . Tu–Th Sa Su 10AM–5PM, F 10AM-9PM. It's in Forest Park atop a large lake and hill, and is one of the leading comprehensive art museums in the nation. It hosts visiting displays which in the past have included such exhibits as the Angels of the Vatican and the Royal Tombs of Ur. Free.
- 10 Saint Louis Science Center (SLSC), 5050 Oakland Ave, ☏ . M-Sa 9:30AM-4:30PM, Su 11AM-4:30PM. A fun, hands-on science museum. Equipped with an IMAX Dome theater, a planetarium, floors of interactive activities, and several traveling exhibits, the Science Center has something for everyone (though the majority is geared solidly toward the under-12 set; older teens and adults will find the exhibits somewhat elementary). The museum is actually just south of Forest Park; the planetarium, however, is within the park itself, and an enclosed walkway above I-64 connects the two. Base admission is free; parking $10; extra fee for planetarium, IMAX shows, and special exhibits.
- 11 Saint Louis Zoo, 1 Government Dr, ☏ . 9AM-5PM daily. Recognized as one of the top five zoos in the nation. The zoo has both indoor and outdoor exhibits. There are several centers for in depth exploration and learning. Free; fees charged for certain attractions.
- 12 Gateway Arch National Park (along the Mississippi River facing downtown St. Louis), ☏ . A large park with plenty of big lawns, wooded areas, and a few ponds. The park and the nearby parking garage are closed for renovation; however, the arch remains open.
- 13 Gateway Arch, toll-free: . Summer: 8AM-10PM daily; fall, winter, spring: 9AM-6PM daily (last tram 1 hr before closing). Designed by Eero Saarinen, this is the world's tallest national monument, built to be a symbolic gateway to the West. The icon of the city, the Arch is right on the bank of the Mississippi and offers an inspiring sight to travelers coming in from Illinois. There's a gift shop and a confectionery, as well as a inspiring film called "Monument to the Dream," about the building of the Arch; it is an exceptionally well-made and memorable tribute to how a vision was made tangible. But the main attraction is the Journey to the Top; you'll ride a unique tram/elevator—essentially a cross between a cable railway and a ferris wheel—up either the north or south leg to the top of the arch, where you can see for dozens of miles into Illinois and Missouri. The cars are very small; they hold five very close friends or relatives each, and are not suitable for the claustrophobic. Tickets sell out during peak season; expect a long wait on major summer holidays to go to the top. Entry only (incl film): adults $3, under 16 free; Journey to the Top (incl entry and film): adults $10, ages 3-15 $5.
- 14 Old Courthouse. The site of the historic Dred Scott slavery case which was one of the seeds of the Civil War. While the Park is under construction, you can buy tickets to the arch here. The Courthouse also holds exhibits from the now-closed Museum of Westward Expansion, which used to be underneath the Arch. Free.
- 15 Old Cathedral (Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France), 209 Walnut St, ☏ . The first cathedral built west of the Mississippi River (1834), this is the only building that was spared when the park was constructed. It's still an active Roman Catholic basilica.
- 16 Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, 1 Brookings Dr (Skinker Blvd and Forsyth Blvd, on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis), ☏ . W-M 11AM-5PM, Tu closed; 11AM-8PM first F of the month. It has been voted the best museum in St. Louis by the Riverfront Times. One of the world's finest university art collections, it is also the oldest art museum west of the Mississippi River - it was founded in 1881. It is now housed in a new facility designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect, Fumihiko Maki. Among the permanent collection are pieces by Pablo Piccasso, Rembrandt, Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Juan Gris, Alexander Calder, and a separate department dedicated to currency called the Newman Money Museum. Free.
- 17 Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd, ☏ , toll-free: . 9AM-5PM daily. You will never believe that you are in the middle of a very urban scene when you step behind the walls of this site. A place of serenity, beauty, and relaxation amid the bustle of the city, the Missouri Botanical Garden is open every day except Christmas Day (Dec 25). Stroll the grounds, explore the home gardening resources, or enjoy one of the many events throughout the year. This is a "must see." One of the main features is the Climatron, a very large geodesic dome that houses a good portion of the Garden's 80 acres of horticultural offerings. 2006 featured hundreds of glass sculptures around the park by glass artist Chihuly. $8; children 12 and under free.
- 18 Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, 3716 Washington Blvd, ☏ . W Sa 10AM-5PM, Th F 10AM-8PM. Experience modern art in a stunning avant-garde structure. A permanent installation titled Joe by Richard Serra is large enough for visitors to walk through and experience first-hand. The uber-modern concrete building was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando. Free.
- 19 Wainwright Building, 705 Chestnut St. Designed by Louis Sullivan and built in 1890, it is one of the world's first skyscrapers. Its current occupant is the Missouri Secretary of State.
- 20 St. Louis Union Station, 1820 Market St, ☏ . This 110-year-old National Historic Landmark has been restored and redeveloped as a dynamic mixed-use project that includes shopping, dining and entertainment. For history buffs, this is where the classic photo of Harry Truman holding the incorrect "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN" newspaper was taken.
- 21 HealthWorks Kids' Museum, 1100 Macklind Ave, ☏ . Tu-Sa 9:30AM-4:30PM, Su noon-4PM. An absolutely unique museum designed to teach kids proper tooth-care habits, though adults may find it amusing too. There is a complete set of three-foot tall fiberglass teeth which light up when the hostess brushes them with a six-foot-long toothbrush. A spirited presentation and a short video get kids excited about the subject. The theatre is much-visited by local elementary schools, and you can arrange to tag along with a group or schedule your own trip. This expanded museum replaces the previous Delta Dental Health Theatre Museum.
- Bridges along the Mississippi River – In addition to the historic Eads Bridge, listed above, St. Louis is home to many other beautiful and impressive bridges along the Mississippi River, with the newest being the modern Stan Musial Bridge. The bridges are, from south to north:
- 22 Jefferson Barracks Bridge.
- 23 MacArthur Bridge (railroad).
- 24 Poplar Street Bridge.
- 25 Eads Bridge.
- 26 Martin Luther King Bridge (informally the "MLK Bridge").
- 27 Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge (informally the "Stan Span").
- 28 McKinley Bridge.
- 29 Merchants Bridge (railroad).
- 30 Chain of Rocks Bridge (pedestrian and bicycle).
- 31 New Chain of Rocks Bridge.
- 32 Clark Bridge (sometimes called the "Super Bridge").
- 33 Scott Joplin House State Historic Site, 2658 Delmar, ☏ .
- 1 America's Convention Center. Over 500,000 square feet of exhibit space, also featuring formal reception rooms, presentation-style rooms, a theatre, and the Edward Jones Dome next door.
- 2 World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF), 4652 Maryland Ave, ☏ , [email protected]. St Louis has become the U.S. capital of chess, with many of the U.S.'s top players and university teams in the city. The U.S. and World Chess Halls of Fame are at this address. You can see exhibitions about the sport of chess.
- 3 The Central West End. An eclectic, cosmopolitan neighborhood home to soaring turn-of-the-century mansions on St. Louis's famous private streets, chic dining, and upscale boutique shopping with a great mix of cafés, independent bookstores (check out Left Bank Books on Euclid and McPherson), art galleries, salons, antique and modern furniture such as a Design Within Reach and Centro, coffee houses, and youthful energy. One of the more lively neighborhoods in St. Louis that borders Forest Park, the CWE is a great destination for a day of walking around or a weekend stay.
- 4 Laclede's Landing. Just north of the Arch and part of Downtown St Louis, and the second oldest neighborhood after Soulard, "the Landing" is what amounts to St. Louis' old town. You are likely to enjoy the cobblestone streets and the shops, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and a bizarre wax museum. Next to the Landing is a $400 million casino complex called Lumiere Place, featuring a Four Seasons hotel, nightclubs, 75,000 square feet of casino gaming, and an innovative multi-colored light feature spanning 24 vertical floors on the exterior of the building that lights up St. Louis' skyline. Not many original buildings on the Landing remain, as the area is constantly undergoing new developments and rehabilatation of older buildings. Nightly horse-drawn carriage rides take you around the Landing and much of Downtown.
- 5 Soulard Market, 730 Carroll St. Although strangely named ("un soulard " means "a drunk" in French.), the Soulard neighborhood, covering the waterfront for several miles south of the Arch, is the oldest in St. Louis. The Georgian (or should that be Louis XVI?) style houses surround a central farmer's market which supplies the city's residents, supermarkets, and restaurants with the freshest, and inexpensive, local produce. This is the oldest farmer's market west of the Mississippi, and is open year-round every weekend. There are a number of bars and restaurants in the neighborhood as well, and visitors can celebrate French heritage with the locals during Mardi Gras or on Bastille Day.
- 6 The Delmar Loop. Delmar Blvd. straddles the city limits and University City. This street was named in 2007 by the American Planning Association as one of the 10 Great Streets in America. This is the area known as The Loop to most locals, however, usage of the term outside of the St. Louis area is not as popular due to more famous Chicago loop. Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry performed every month at the historic Blueberry Hill restaurant until late 2014. Although most popular with the 20-something hipster crowd, something can be found for everyone. Boutique shopping, ethnic restaurants (including many Thai establishments), upscale dining, independent movie theatres, record stores, nightlife opportunities, a few music concert venues, and people watching are among the many things to do on the Loop. Many restaurants feature outdoor dining to take in the bustling street scene.
Parks and gardens
- 7 Lafayette Square and Park. A fashionable area with tree-lined streets, Victorian and Second Empire townhomes, and shopping and cafés surrounds the city's oldest park - chartered in 1836. In the warmer months, the park features small concerts, picnic locations, art fairs, and a team that recreates old-style baseball - but it is walkable all year round. Twice yearly are walking tours of the area that will take you inside some of the more remarkable Victorian mansions.
- 8 South Grand and Tower Grove Park. By day, visitors enjoy the numerous boutiques and coffeehouses of South Grand Ave., and the shaded walking paths and recreational amenities of Tower Grove Park, including bike paths, playgrounds, a wading pool, several restored Victorian pavilions, and a Farmer's Market (Saturdays, May-Oct.). The park is a frequent home to festivals, including the pan-ethnic Festival of Nations (August) and PrideFest (June). By night, they turn to the numerous bars and restaurants on South Grand: a wide variety of food and drink options, along with one of the best people-watching scenes within the city limits.
- 9 Moolah Lanes, 3821 Lindell Blvd #2 (in Midtown/Grand Center), ☏ . This refurbished former Masonic Temple once boasted a one-screen movie theatre called the Moolah Theatre and Lounge with leather couches, club chairs, and coffee tables. Although it closed in 2020, the Moolah still has a bowling alley in the basement, along with two bars and ample lounge seating . A very cool place for a night out!
Festivals and events
- Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration. The entire day is a major event in St. Louis under the Arch with concerts and festivities. Every year a major musical talent headlines the event; acts such as Cyndi Lauper, the Goo Goo Dolls, the Black Eyed Peas, and the Beach Boys have performed in the past. A dazzling fireworks spectacle caps off the night while tens of thousands of St. Louisans watch under the Arch lawn. This event kicks off a weekly concert series called "Live on the Levee", also taking place on the Arch grounds, and features a big-name musical act, food vendors, and games. The Veiled Prophet Parade is a St. Louis tradition for over 130 years, and is essentially the main parade with floats on the Independence Day holiday, starting at Washington Avenue and ending at Union Station.
- The Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire. Come, travel back in time as you step into the beautifully wooded, 16th century village, we call Petit Lyon! Immerse yourself in the costumes and mannerisms of the era. Thrill to the exploits of Jousting Knights on thundering steeds. Roam the village shops for unique crafts and goods as our artisans demonstrate period skills. Delight in comedy, music and feats of derring do. Feast on delicious food and drink while strolling minstrels entertain. Interact with the colorful villagers, nobles, peasants and personalities of ages past.
- 10 Riverboat Cruises. Take a cruise down the Mississippi River on the Tom Sawyer or Becky Thatcher riverboats. The boats have paddle-wheels (for display only) and a narrator with guide you around the industrial buildings on the Mississippi waterfront. They also offer cruises with dinner and live music at certain times and also a day trip to historic Kimmswick, Missouri. $20, $3 discount if purchased with a ticket to the top of the arch.
St. Louis' two major-league sports teams (the Cardinals and the Blues) play in downtown stadiums just a few blocks apart. St. Louis City SC, which began Major League Soccer play in 2023, plays at CityPark (stylized as CITYPARK) near Union Station. St. Louis City SC 2 (aka City2), City SC's reserve side, also plays home games at CityPark.
- 11 St. Louis Blues Hockey (NHL), Enterprise Center, 1401 Clark Ave. 2019 Stanley Cup Champions. The Blues play in the Central Division of the Western Conference.
- 12 St. Louis Cardinals Baseball (MLB), Busch Stadium, 420 S 8th St. Ballpark tours $10 adults, $8 seniors/military, $6 children. St. Louis' Major League Baseball team (and the 2011 World Series champions) has won 11 World Series titles, the most of any National League team, and second only to the New York Yankees. The Cardinals play in the Central Division of the National League. Behind-the-scenes tours of the ballpark are available daily all year (except for days with an afternoon home game) at 11AM and 12:30PM.
- 13 St. Louis City SC (MLS), CITYPARK, 2019 Market St. After more than a decade of trying to secure a MLS team for one of America's historic soccer hotbeds, St. Louis finally got its team for 2023. As noted above, City SC is playing at a brand-new stadium on the edge of downtown.
- St. Louis City SC 2 (Next Pro). A year before City SC started play, its reserve side started play in late March 2022 in the new third-level MLS Next Pro league. City2 played home games at two college stadiums in 2022 before City SC moved all City2 home games to CITYPARK.
- 14 Saint Louis Billikens, Chaifetz Arena, 3330 Laclede Ave, ☏ , [email protected]. Sports teams of Saint Louis University, competing in NCAA Division I in the Atlantic 10 Conference. With no football team, SLU's main sport is men's basketball, in which it often makes the NCAA tournament. The Billikens also have a rich tradition in men's soccer.
- Missouri Valley Conference Men's Basketball Tournament (Arch Madness), Enterprise Center, 1401 Clark Ave, toll-free: . Thursday–Sunday; ending 1st or 2nd Sunday in March. The nation's second-oldest Division I athletic conference, the MVC, has all conference members' men's basketball teams square off in a 4-day tournament. The winner automatically qualifies for the NCAA Men's Tournament ("March Madness"). Single-game ticket from $23, all-games ticket from $115.
- 15 Fabulous Fox Theater. Built in 1929 and restored to its glory, this rare gem seats 4,500. A performance at the Fabulous Fox Theater is a "must see." Only two of this design exist, the Detroit Fox Theater built in 1928 has also been restored and seats 5,000. Probably the two most ornate theaters ever built in the US, they were the first to have live sound. They were built for William Fox, the founder of Fox Film Corporation, the forerunner of Twentieth Century-Fox studios. These two original Fox Theaters are still among the largest in the US in terms of total seats and the size of the stage.
- 16 Jazz At the Bistro, 3536 Washington Avenue. No visit to the Gateway City is complete without experiencing its rich jazz and blues heritage.
- 17 The Muny. America's oldest and largest outdoor musical theater. A popular summer attraction show casing a variety of musicals throughout June, July and August. Tickets range from $6 to $50 or so, but the top several rows are always free. Come early (and bring binoculars) to the top entrance if you want to see a show for free.
- 18 Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. Boasting excellent acoustics, this comfy concert venue usually has blues, bluegrass, roots, and folk touring acts along with the occasional indie-rock and country performers.
- 19 The Pageant. A venue for concerts and national touring acts, the Pageant usually has an extensive schedule of events ranging from rock, pop, soul and comedy.
- 20 The Peabody Opera House. Formerly known as the Kiel Opera House, restored to its former magnificence.
- 21 Powell Symphony Hall. A magnificent performance center, home to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
- 22 The Shakespeare Festival. Each year, the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis produces professional Shakespeare theater, outdoors in Forest Park, free and for a diverse audience. Free shows are usually put on in the late spring and early summer. An excellent way to spend a summer evening in St. Louis. In addition it provides education through schools and community outreach.
- 23 Sheldon Concert Hall. The Sheldon's perfect acoustics earn it the reputation as the "Carnegie Hall of St. Louis". It features the best in jazz, folk, and classical music, and joins with the Sheldon Art Galleries to promote both music and visual arts.
- Whitaker Music Festival. Wednesday evenings in summer enjoy music in the beautiful Missouri Botanical Garden. Admission is free (after 5PM), and you can pack your own picnic basket and cooler. Genre ranges from jazz to folk-rock to world music. Bring folding chairs or a blanket to spread on the lawn.
In addition to these entries, there are a number of suburban shopping malls in St. Louis County.
- Delmar Loop. Funky, hip and great for people watching, the University City Loop is one of the best places in St. Louis to fulfill your "alternative" shopping needs.
- Downtown St. Louis. Revitalized Downtown St. Louis is now home to a number of local fashion-forward shops and several upscale furniture stores. For the latest in fashion trends in a non-mall environment, there is nothing like checking out the boutiques downtown St. Louis. Most are centered around Washington Avenue.
- The Hill. The city's Italian district, The Hill has a great selection of Italian restaurants, shops and businesses.
- 1 Washington Avenue, 900 - 2000 Washington Avenue. Washington Avenue encompasses the Washington Avenue Historic District, which used to be the garment district in St. Louis. It is full of warehouses and beautiful brick buildings. The area is now filled with artists, clothiers, hatters, and many restaurants and bars.
- Cherokee Street. Cherokee Street includes a 12-block stretch of art galleries, antique stores, cafés, restaurants and bars.
St. Louis has its very own magazine and accompanying website, Sauce, which is the definitive guide to dining in St. Louis. Visit for a searchable restaurant directory, news, and reviews.
Provel cheese, please
As you're gazing at a restaurant menu in St. Louis, you're likely to notice "Provel" listed as a topping choice for burgers or pizza, or as an ingredient in other dishes. It's not just a weird local abbreviation for provolone!
Provel is actually a processed cheese blend of provolone, Swiss, and cheddar cheeses, and St. Louisans put it on everything. Well, maybe not everything, but anyplace you'd expect to find provolone, or Swiss, or even mozzarella, you're likely to instead see Provel.
Provel cheese is, in fact, a key component of St. Louis-style pizza, which by default consists of a cracker-thin unleavened crust, with heavily oreganoed pizza sauce and plenty of Provel on top.
St. Louis original foods
- Barbequed pork steaks, St. Louis-style — Boston Butt sliced into steaks, basted with Maull's Barbecue sauce
- Gooey butter cake — a type of coffee cake with a bottom layer of buttery yellow cake and a top layer of either egg and cream cheese, or butter and sugar
- Toasted ravioli — breaded, then deep fried, these small meat, cheese, or veggie stuffed pasta pockets reflect local Italian influence; a favorite bar food in St. Louis
- Slinger — a large plate full of hash browns piled over with two eggs and a hamburger patty (or other meat) and then covered with chili and cheese (onions optional); a popular ultra-heavy diner food
- St. Louis-style pizza — made with Provel cheese on a super thin crust.
- St. Paul sandwiches — a fried egg and vegetable patty on white bread with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise; unique to the Chinese-American restaurants in St. Louis
- 1 Gus's Pretzels. great hot large pretzels about 1 ft long and 1 inh diameter!
- Maull's Barbecue Sauce — a spicy, semi-sweet tomato-based sauce unusual for containing pepper pulp and anchovies; available in eight varieties.
- Red Hot Riplets — a somewhat-spicy variety of potato chips made by local firm Old Vienna with St. Louis-style barbecue sauce.
- Ted Drewes Frozen Custard. Every St. Louis resident has had Ted Drewes at some point in their life. They have two locations in St. Louis, including one on the original Route 66. Featuring dozens of toppings for its famous frozen custard, it's a wonderful treat in the warmer months.
St. Louis' German heritage is evidenced in its vintage bakeries throughout the metro area:
If you are a fan of Italian, head over to a neighborhood known as the Hill[dead link]. Home of Yogi Berra, the Hill has more Italian restaurants than any other area in the city.
- 3 Adriana's, 5101 Shaw Ave, ☏ . Sicilian. Not open for dinner but can boast one of the best Italian veggie sandwiches out there. Lines are long but move quickly.
- 4 Cunetto's House of Pasta, 5453 Magnolia Ave, ☏ .
- 5 Favazzas, 5201 Southwest Ave, ☏ .
- 6 Guido's Pizzeria and Tapas, 5046 Shaw Ave, ☏ . Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight. Guido's blends the traditional Italian-American fare of the Hill District with distinctly Spanish-flavored tapas plates.
- 7 Zia's Restaurant, 5256 Wilson Ave, ☏ . One of the most popular restaurants on The Hill, Zia's pastas stand out in St. Louis.
- 8 Rigazzi's Restaurant, 4945 Daggett Ave, ☏ . High-quality Italian food, with lots of old-country atmosphere. Wait can be long, but food is good.
Central West End
- 9 Bar Italia, 13 Maryland Plaza, ☏ . Italian. Delightful venue for parties, drinking, picking up lovely ladies and happytimes. Refreshingly, ID's are rarely checked, although this tends to be a bit of a secret, so the crowd is actually happily devoid of drunken teenyboppers.
The Loop features award-winning dining, and has everything from sidewalk cafés to upscale restaurants. This is a great street to walk and find something that appeals to your palate. Many ethnic restaurants, including Lebanese and Thai, are on the Loop.
- 10 Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Blvd, ☏ . A true landmark restaurant and bar, open till 3AM. Chuck Berry used to play here frequently. Absolutely filled with pop-culture memorabilia spanning decades, including lunchboxes, concert posters, toys, sports trading cards, and other Americana. This place is definitely not one to miss.
- 11 Fitz's Rootbeer, 6605 Delmar Blvd, ☏ . American Bar and Grill, Family friendly, watch the bottle factory go to work as you dine.
- 12 Das Bevo (The Bevo Mill), 4749 Gravois Ave, ☏ . August Busch, of the Busch family and brewery, built this giant windmill as his private dining room in the early 1900s. Today it serves traditional German cuisine and amazing breakfast. Look for the giant windmill - you can't miss it if you're in South City. This restaurant closed abruptly in March 2009, reopening in early 2016 in time for Mother’s Day. Don’t miss the your chance to join the Beir-choir the First Thursday of each month.
- 13 Eleven Eleven Mississippi, 1111 Mississippi Ave, ☏ . Consistently on critic's Best Of list (if not at the top), Eleven Eleven features an interesting fusion of American and Mediterranean/Tuscan cuisine and the city's finest wine selection. Exposed brick walls, an open kitchen, and a busy dining room has made this place a St. Louis favorite for the past several years.
- 14 Lulu's Local Eatery, 3201 South Grand Blvd, ☏ . M-Sa 11:30AM-9PM, Su closed. A vegan restaurant with a great selection of draft beers.
- 15 Merb's Candies, 4000 S Grand Blvd, ☏ . Old-fashioned chocolates, candy, and other sweets. Try the 'bionic candy apple' and the delicious chocolate-dipped strawberries.
- 16 Sidney Street Café, 2000 Sidney St, ☏ . In a brick building over 100 years old, the inside features exposed brick and street lamps to be reminiscent of a New Orleans sidewalk café. The attentive wait staff always gives a verbal presentation of the entire menu, which has many tried-and-true favorites and seasonally changing newer items. A great place for a first date or anniversary.
- 17 Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company, 6740 Chippewa St, ☏ . Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company is an award-winning chocolatier founded in St. Louis, Missouri. The company was founded in 1981 after the founding chocolatier spend over a decade training with the finest chocolatiers in the world. They specialize in fresh, chocolate covered Strawberries, Premium Truffles, Gourmet Boxed Chocolates, holiday chocolates and chocolate molded novelties all made fresh daily.
- 18 Hodak's, 2100 Gravois Ave, ☏ . Hodak's has been St. Louis' premier stop for fried chicken lovers since 1962! Hodak's has been featured on Rachael Ray's "$40 a Day" on the Food Network. If you like chicken and a lot of food for a small price, this is the place to go. (If you are meeting a group, you will not be seated until all members of your party arrive.) ~$5-10 per person.
- 19 Blues City Deli, 2438 McNair Ave, ☏ . Some of the best Po-Boys from cities on the "Blues Highway", St. Louis, New Orleans, Memphis, and Chicago. Add in some Love with a little taste from Italy. Set it in a turn of the century store front in one of St. Louis' great historic neighborhoods (Benton Park. Drench your ears with some of the best Blues from the 1920s to the 50s.
- 20 Olympia Kebob House & Taverna, 1543 McCausland Ave, ☏ . Greek food.
- 21 Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway St, ☏ . Cajun Creole cuisine with live jazz and blues.
- 22 BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups, 700 South Broadway, ☏ . Name says it all.
- 23 Rooster, 1025 Washington Ave, ☏ . A small European-style café with great crepes, sandwiches, and salads. On the inexpensive side, this place is ideal for breakfast or lunch - or a weekend brunch.
- 24 Schlafly Taproom, 2100 Locust St, ☏ . Surprisingly good "European inspired pub food", and great microbrew beers on tap in a remodeled brick warehouse. Many tables have views of the beer being brewed in action, and as the building is quite old, you can feel the hum and vibrations of the brewery process through the floor.
- 25 Pappy's Smokehouse, 3106 Olive St, ☏ . Slow smoked Memphis style BBQ. Long line will form during the lunch rush but it moves fast.
- 26 The Fountain on Locust, 3037 Locust St, ☏ . Serves an extensive offering of decadent ice cream desserts. Everything is made in house except for the ice cream. Try the pineapple inside out cake in a cup. Or if you only have a small sweet tooth then the world's smallest sundae is just for you. They also have an abundance of adult only ice cream shakes and martinis. You should also give the signature Polish dill pickle soup a chance.
- 27 Kemoll's, 323 W Port Plaza Dr, ☏ . Superb Italian cuisine.
- 28 Tony's, 105 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton, ☏ . Opens 5PM. The only AAA-rated five-diamond fine restaurant in the State of Missouri, this is considered by most to be the city's finest restaurant. Make reservations, look nice, and appreciate the fine cuisine and outstanding service.
- 29 The Melting Pot, 294 Lamp and Lantern Village, Town and Country, ☏ . Fondue. Reservations are essentially required here.
Most tourists will be familiar with St. Louis' world famous Anheuser-Busch brewery, especially its signature variety Budweiser, or their best-seller Bud Light. However, unless you are accustomed to American style pilsners, it is unlikely you will find these and other Anheuser-Busch brands suit your palate. For those more familiar with European brews or who have been caught up in the domestic craft brewery explosion interested in sampling a local brewery's product, the Saint Louis Brewery's Schlafly craft brews are more likely to satisfy. Schlfaly is the largest craft brewery in St. Louis but not the only one. 4Hands, Civil Life, Urban Chestnut, Square One, Perennial Artisan Ales, and O'Fallon Brewery are just a few of the other breweries in town. They are definitely worth a look.
If you would rather explore rather than choose one specific establishment, two areas in St. Louis are great for wandering from location to location: The Central West End (featuring Sub-Zero Vodka Bar, the Drunken Fish, Tom's Bar, the Loading Zone, Mandarin Lounge, and Bissinger's Chocolate Lounge all off Euclid Ave), and Downtown centered around Washington Ave (featuring Kyo, Home, Pepper Lounge, Lucas Park Grille, Plush, Nectar, and rue13). St. Louis's MetroLink system is great if you prefer not to drive, but much of the line will stop running by 1AM.
St. Louis is also home to a number of gay and lesbian friendly nightlife options. From busy bars to energetic dance clubs, make sure to stop by rBar, Atomic Cowboy, Novak's, and the Complex. Much of these are on Manchester Rd in Forest Park Southeast.
- 1 Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Blvd (on the Delmar loop), ☏ . Restaurant, darts, bar open till 3AM.
- 2 Halo Bar, 6161 Delmar Blvd (In the music venue The Pagent), ☏ .
- 3 Hair of the Dog, 1212 Washington Ave (Downtown). Washington's only dive bar; great atmosphere and cheap drink prices. Cheers-type environment, where everybody knows each other's name, and strangers are warmly welcomed. Service is a strong point, and this place is perhaps St. Louis' best watering hole.
- 4 Heavy Anchor, 5226 Gravois Ave, ☏ . Bevo Mills favorite with the friendliest bar staff and huge selection of bottled beer and liquor. Featuring one of St Louis's greatest venues in the back where local bands can be seen every weekend and free movies are featured on Wednesdays
- 5 Pinup Bowl, 6191 Delmar Blvd. Bowling alley and martini lounge open till 3AM.
- 6 The Silver Ballroom, 4701 Morgan Ford Rd. Bevo Mills bar featuring 14 pinball machines and a punk rock juke box
- 7 Venice Café, 1903 Pestalozzi St, ☏ . South City area. A mosaic-covered bar with outside sitting features nightly music.
St. Louis does have the host of usual Marriott, Hilton, Holiday Inn and similar chains. Check out chain websites for exact locations throughout the metropolitan region. One great thing about the city is an abundance of hotel rooms, convention and meeting space, and amenities for travelers. Since the city has a low cost of living, even for the Midwest, you might find even the most expensive hotels relatively affordable; rooms at even the Ritz-Carlton start in the mid $200s per night.
In addition to the following listings, which are in St. Louis city, see St. Louis County for more listings.
- 1 Drury Pear Tree Inn (previously Hampton Inn), 2211 Market St, ☏ . Near the Union Station. Swimming pool.
- 2 Drury Inn Union Station, 201 S 20th St, ☏ . Indoor pool, restaurant. Restored historic hotel, near the magnificent Union Station.
- 3 Moonrise Hotel, 6177 Delmar Blvd (The Loop). An affordable, luxury boutique right on the Delmar Loop. True to its name, the entire hotel, and every room, is lunar-themed. Check out the roof-top bar with great views of downtown. Close to Clayton, University City, Washington University and tourist attractions.
- 4 The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta St. Louis, 212 N Kingshighway Blvd, St. Louis, MO, 63108, ☏ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon.
- 5 Four Seasons Hotel, 999 N Second St, ☏ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon. The Four Seasons' newest hotel, in Downtown St. Louis in the Lumiere Place casino and entertainment complex. The structure itself is an exciting and vibrant addition to the St. Louis skyline, and with being just steps from Laclede's Landing, there is plenty to do around this urban oasis.
- 6 Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, 1 S Broadway St (Right next door to the St. Louis Cardinals' Busch stadium), ☏ , fax: .
- 7 Marriott St. Louis Grand, 800 Washington Ave, ☏ . Luxury hotel, historic downtown flagship. $169 (Feb 2022).
- 8 Magnolia Hotel St. Louis, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, 421 N 8th St, ☏ . Luxury hotel. Formerly the historic Roberts Mayfair Hotel, where, since 1925, American notables like Irving Berlin, Cary Grant and Harry Truman made their headquarters and home away from home in St. Louis. Despite a change of ownership, you can relive the experience in this landmark building.
- 9 St. Louis Union Station Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, 1820 Market St, ☏ . A hotel in the heart of downtown with 550 rooms inside the historic train station lined with trendy tourist shops. Access to the metro link makes this a convenient place to stay. $157 (Feb 2022).
- 10 Ritz Carlton (Ritz Carlton Saint Louis), 100 Carondelet Plaza, ☏ , [email protected]. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon. Very upscale and exclusive hotel in the Clayton area of Saint Louis, often ranked the most elite in the greater Saint Louis area.
St. Louis' designation as the "most dangerous city in America" should not deter the potential visitor. In reality St. Louis is just as safe as any other Midwestern city - that is to say, extremely safe in suburbs and wealthy neighborhoods, and quite dangerous in inner-city slums. The statistical discrepancy is because, unlike most cities, St Louis' municipal boundaries include mostly slums and very few suburb-like areas. The areas of the city proper that are most often visited by tourists, such as Clayton, Downtown, the Central West End, and Forest Park, have quite low crime rates.
The northern suburb of Ferguson, Missouri gained widespread media attention in 2014 for riots against police brutality, but these are no longer ongoing.
Some economically depressed North County suburbs like Wellston, Pagedale and parts of Normandy and Jennings, as well as many parts of North St. Louis city are unsafe. The post-war exodus to the suburbs has taken a huge economic toll on these areas, leaving many buildings abandoned, decaying, or demolished. East St. Louis, in Illinois, is also noted for its high crime rate (this is not true of Alton or Belleville, in Illinois to the north and south). When in the city, a general guideline (though politically incorrect and somewhat simplistic) is that areas north of Delmar Blvd are unsafe, and should be entirely avoided after dark. Most tourists, however, will have little reason to visit any of these places, so it should not present reason for much concern.
Some Metrolink stations are in areas some may find questionable after dark as well. But most downtown areas around Busch Stadium, and Union Station, as well as the St. Louis University area and commuter lots near the airport, are generally safe and patrolled.
St. Louis sits on a fault line, whose last big earthquake changed the course of the Mississippi River. Another earthquake still remains a possibility today—albeit a remote one, according to most scientists.
St. Louis gets a lot of urban tornadoes, so make sure you understand tornado safety precautions.
- Germany (Honorary), 330 Wenneker Dr, ☏ , fax: , [email protected].
- Italy (Honorary), One Metropolitan Sq, 211 N Broadway Ste 3000, ☏ , fax: , [email protected].
- Ireland (Honorary), 1015 Locust St, Suite 710, ☏ , fax: .
- Netherlands (Honorary), ☏ , [email protected].
- Sweden, 7733 Forsyth Blvd., Ste 2300, ☏ , fax: , [email protected]. Serves Missouri and Kansas.
- Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is just across the river in Illinois. It is the site of the largest pre-Columbian city north of Mexico, with an estimated population of 10-20,000 people at its peak. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The top of the "Monk's Mound" offers amazing views of the city and the arch and the free museum is very well done and gives great insights into how the people of what is now America lived 1,000 years ago. It is hard, although possible, to reach the site via public transportation, but it is a $25 Uber ride from downtown.
- The Katy Trail State Bike Trail. The Katy Trail is a bike path built where a Kansas-Missouri-Texas railroad line formerly ran. It's over 200 miles long, and biking on a section (or the whole thing) and stopping on the small towns dotting the tree-lined trail is a worthwhile excursion. Great place for bikers, runners, and those who want to experience small town Missouri and the great outdoors.
- 1 Lewis and Clark State Memorial Park (Camp Dubois) (Where the Missouri River joins the Mississippi River. On the Illinois side, about 15 miles from the Gateway Arch. Take I-70 North to Exit #248A McKinley Bridge, then Hwy 3 north towards Alton, exit at New Poag Rd. (Hwy 203) and turn left). This is the location that explorers Lewis and Clark stayed at to begin their journey to the Pacific in 1803-04. Short hiking trails, 82 campsites, 1930s lodge, popular for family picnics.
- Alton is a historic river town just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Enjoy wineries, winter eagle watching, 50 antique shops, 9 golf courses, historic sites, fine dining, and elegant bed and breakfast accommodations. For a scenic day trip, take the Great River Road north from Alton to Grafton, Illinois, stopping for antique shops and then on to lunch at the Père Marquette Lodge in Père Marquette State Park. This drive is especially beautiful in the fall months, but in the winter you can see a number of bald eagles roosting along the river bluffs.
- St. Charles - nearby and makes a nice day trip.
- Jefferson City - Take a short trip to the state capital!
- Troy - only a short ride away.
|Routes through St. Louis|
|Chicago ← Alton ←||N S||→ END|
|Jefferson City ← Kirkwood ←||W E||→ END|
|Dallas ← Poplar Bluff ←||SW NE||→ Alton → Chicago|
|Springfield (Missouri) ← St. Louis County ←||W E||→ END|
|Memphis ← Imperial ←||S N||→ East St. Louis → Springfield (Illinois)|
|END ← Wentzville ← O'Fallon ←||W E||→ East St. Louis → Louisville|
|Columbia ← St. Louis County ←||W E||→ East St. Louis → Indianapolis|
|Springfield (Missouri) ← St. Louis County ←||W E||→ Edwardsville → Springfield (Illinois)|