"St. Louis is a classic and classy city that is constantly changing but manages to maintain it's great treasures. The list of things to do in St. Louis will point you in a good direction, but that list will be different during different seasons! I guess the only answer is just stick around a little longer or come back often."
1. Go to a Brewery: St. Louis is a beer town, and even if everybody lives in the shadow of the King, we get the benefits of the historic Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Those benefits include a ton of local craft beers that are exploding locally and nationally. If you get a chance to visit a brewery, try to take a tour of Schlafly Bottleworks
, or 4 Hands
. These breweries also have tasting rooms and some have food offerings to help make the trip to the next brewery tour.
2. Cultural Gems: There are quite a few high and low cultural treasures in St. Louis, and where you go might depend on how you are traveling. My family loves going to the (free) St. Louis Zoo
and date nights are sometimes to the Fox Theatre
for a show. One of the most eclectic museums on earth is the City Museum
with multiple levels and exhibits and randomness. A different type of cultural fun would be going to a baseball game (or hockey game if you come during the winter), or some live local music, especially if you come during LouFest
(September 6-7, 2014). Of course, it's a little hard to miss the Gateway Arch
; just make sure you go to the museum underneath the Arch.
4. Get Some Coffee. The world as a whole is experiencing the post Starbucks coffee resurgence, and that wave has a stronghold in St. Louis. The venerable Kaldi's Coffee
has recently re-modeled their Demun coffee house to focus on single origin coffees and pour-overs. Newer to St. Louis' coffee scene is Blueprint Coffee
and Comet Coffee (and micro bakery)
who feature coffees from small roasters around the country. A definite don't miss would be Sump Coffee
and a conversation with Scott Carey, the owner, about the great coffee beans he brings in and that he roasts himself.
5. Donuts. I think everyone was surprised when Alton Brown came to St. Louis for Feasting on Asphalt
and went to donut shops. But in all honesty, I would go for a donut from St. Louis any day of the week. There are a lot of great shops around St. Louis, and saying you prefer one over the other shop is like declaring your football allegiances! My favorite is World's Fair Donuts
but my sous chef's favorite is Mr. John's
. New to the donut scene is Strange Donuts
, who have been making new age donuts and collaborating with area chefs.
1. Mass Transit: there is a light rail system and buses, but it's tough to get where you want to go. A bright spot is that the Metro doesn't charge for fares between downtown and the Arch weekdays.
2. Stay local, not chains: When I first moved to St. Louis, the big debate was between chain restaurants and local restaurants. Now the debate has moved toward 'what local restaurant are we going to tonight.' There is a local shop for everything that you could possibly be looking for.
3. Don't be mean. People in St. Louis are nice and it's the Show Me State, so locals are down-to-earth and humble.
4. Driving is a must, so rent a car. BUT, don't drive everywhere! There are plenty of walking neighborhoods that are fun to visit like Cherokee Street
's edgy shops and classic Mexican restaurants or the Central West End
for sightseeing or people watching.
5. Don't bring any stereotypes of the Midwest with you on this trip. We're not all meat and potatoes simple.