Things like Peanut Butter, Waffle Cones, Iced Tea, Dr. Pepper, and 7UP were all invented in this Midwestern City
And they also love their beloved baseball team!
I arrived in St. Louis with very few expectations. Being from Kansas City, I was used to cities of the Midwest. Why would St. Louis be any different? Or, at least, that’s what I thought.
As it turns out, my 48-hour subsiding in St. Louis turned out to be very pleasant and I couldn’t ask for more. Even though it’s a “big city”, its neighborhoods have the mild charm of an East Coast small-town neighborhood.
I can’t quite put a finger on what exactly that charm was. Whether it was the red brick buildings, the blend of colors, or the trees lining each street. Something about it did not feel very Midwestern at all.
Things to do
There’s also a lot to do in St. Louis! Plenty to keep me entertained for 48 hours, that is.
Bird’s-eye view from the Arch
Everyone and their mom know about the great Gateway Arch. The main attraction of St. Louis and even the symbol of the Midwest. I remember my first time going to the top. I squeezed in the small elevator shaft thinking that any moment the skinny line pulling us up would snap. It’s a unique elevator experience.
While there in the winter of 2017, the elevator was under repair. So, I couldn’t get to the top this time. Hopefully, they have architected a better system to get to the top. So visitors feel as though their life is not at risk going to the top of the Gateway Arch.
It didn’t matter to me that I couldn’t make it to the top of the Arch this time, though. There are no better views in St. Louis than the one of the Arch itself. So, being at the top seemed to kind of defeat the purpose of getting a view of the city for me.
Immerse in the culture of Forest Park
Forest Park is one of the world’s largest urban parks. It has plenty to keep you entertained and engaged for an afternoon.
Want to go on a hike? There’s a nature trail for that. Want to get an exercise in? There are several athletic fields for that. Practice your golf game? Check out the surprisingly large course inside the park. Want to see zoo animals? You guessed it, there’s even an entire zoo inside Forest Park!
Besides all this, there’s plenty of people-watching inside park limits.
Visit one of several St. Louis breweries
I bet you didn’t know Anhueser-Busch’s brewery is right in the heart of the Midwest! Visit the world-famous Clydesdales and sample a few beers while you’re at it.
There are other breweries to check out, too, in the area; Schlafly’s Tap Room and Square One Brewery to name a few.
Have a fun afternoon at the City Museum
This place is perfect for kids but is even fun for adults!
The museum itself is always changing. It can be quite exhilarating as you climb through obstacles. Most obstacles have either been found or recycled throughout the museum’s existence.
St. Louis features some of the best barbeque in the world (second only to my beloved Kansas City barbeque, that is).
When it comes to St. Louis barbeque, you must decide where your loyalties lie. Either with Bogart’s Smokehouse or Pappy’s Barbeque.
Both are tasteful, but a personal recommendation drove me to Bogart’s.
It’s a small, friendly, hometown joint. With fast service and tables pushed together to make everyone a familiar face.
Bogart’s is famous for its fall-of-the-bone ribs and fire and ice sweet pickles.
I also received a few Italian recommendations in St. Louis.
Charlie Gitto’s downtown was delicious. It’s a bit pricey but gave off a very authentic Italian feel as far as the atmosphere goes.
With classic Italian music playing, real flowers in the vases, and tables fitted so tight it’s hard imagining squeezing by on a busy night.
Their cream chicken and bacon penne is to die for. Also, Zia’s on the Hill is a local favorite. I don’t think you could go wrong with either.
Night on the town
In general, I don’t think you could go wrong with a night out in Ballpark Village. It’s right outside of Busch Stadium. And seems like it could get pretty rowdy — especially after a Cardinals’ win!
Check out the Delmar Loop (or “The Loop” as locals refer to it). It’s full of entertainment whether it be shopping, art, or hip bars. From what I gathered, it’s a cheaper alternative to a night out at Ballpark Village.
More attractions, bars, restaurants. . .
- Six Flags Amusement Park
- Ted Drewee’s — Signature St. Louis ice cream custard.
- St. Louis Zoo — It’s free
- Laclede’s Landing — some of the best bars and nightclubs in The Lou!
- St. Louis Cardinals baseball action — whether in Busch Stadium or any other establishment around the city. You’re likely to find a TV on with some diehard fans tuned in.
As I said, St. Louis was a pleasant surprise. Being interstate rivals with my hometown, I arrived with a distaste for the place. However, now, I will make the four-hour drive from Kansas City much more often.
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** This article was originally published at www.adamcheshier.com **