St Louis City Guide
About St Louis
Saint Louis is the second largest city in the Midwestern US state of Missouri. Saint Louis, which is located near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, is the main urban center of the Greater St Louis metropolitan area.
The Greater St Louis Area is an important educational and corporate center in the US, which hosts prominent educational institutions like the St Louis University and the Washington University in St Louis as well as whole gamut of private and public sector corporations like Enterprise-Rent-A–Car , Scottrade, Edward Jones, Anheuser-Busch, Inc, Boeing Defense, Space & Security, Purina and many more.
St Louis is also often called ‘North America’s Best Sports City’ for it is home to successful sporting outfits like the St Louis Cardinals (Major League Baseball team based at Busch Stadium), St Louis Blues(hockey team based at the Scottrade Center) and St Louis Rams(American Football team based at the Edward Jones Dome).
Where to stay in St Louis
Saint Louis is a city that is made up of charming and diverse neighborhoods. Vacations to this city are therefore never dull or boring since there is so much to explore here.
Downtown Saint Louis
The downtown area of Saint Louis, which contains attractions like the Gateway Arch, the new City Garden and the sports stadiums, is the business hub of the city that has a huge concentration of business and luxury hotels; though it also offers a decent amount of discount hotels and various budget accommodation options. This is where you might want to stay during your vacations to Saint Louis if you are after luxury.
However this area gets quite desolate at night and if you would rather be close to eateries, nightclubs and bars then you are better off choosing a hotel located in a Saint Louis neighborhood that offers many nightlife options as well.
Forest Park, which is located six miles west of downtown, is another favored accommodation choice in Saint Louis. Forest Park was the site of 1904 World’s Fair and it encompasses a wonderful 1,293-acre park along with several cultural attractions like the Saint Louis Zoo, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Saint Louis Science Center, and the Missouri History Museum. Also, located within the Forest Park neighborhood are many hotels, restaurants and nightspots.
Yet, another popular accommodation choice for visitors is the Saint Louis neighborhood of Clayton, which lies west of Forest Park and hosts several luxury hotels and a wealth of fine dining outlets that keep the neighborhood buzzing until the early hours of the morning.
Central West End
A similar upscale enclave of Saint Louis that is yet another favored accommodation choice is the Central West End, which lies east of Forest Park. This neighborhood hosts several stately mansions and quaint cobbled stone streets that lead to luxe hotels, trendy boutiques, cafes, restaurants and nightclubs.
If you would rather stay at a hip, boutique hotel rather than a luxury or budget hotel property, then the Saint Louis neighborhood of Delmar Loop should figure in your choice of where to stay in Saint Louis during vacations for it hosts some of the trendiest boutique hotels in Saint Louis along with many bars, restaurants, boutiques and galleries.
Places to see in St Louis
This tall imposing structure is the most prominent landmark in Saint Louis. This arch symbolizes the historic role the city played as it served as a major gateway to the west for explorers and pioneers during the Westward Expansion during 1807 to 1912.
This commemorative arch, which is the tallest manmade monument in the US, was designed by Architect Eero Saarinen and was inaugurated in 1967. The Gateway Arch continues to be a focal point in Saint Louis until this day for it is from this arch that the four main interstate highways that traverse Saint Louis radiate outwards. The Gateway Arch is equipped with an observation gallery at its summit and it also hosts the museum of Westward Expansion at its base.
The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
Saint Louis is a major center for Roman Catholicism in the USA and the Romanesque Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, which is located in the city’s Central West End neighborhood, is its most prominent symbol. This gorgeous and imposing structure was constructed and adorned with 42 million pieces of colored glass arranged in the form of Byzantine mosaics for over 75 years. The place should be considered as a must-do attraction for all visitors on vacations to Saint Louis, who appreciate art and architecture. The Cathedral offers free daily guided tours for visitors.
The Magic House, which is located in the suburb of Kirkwood, has long been regarded as one of the best museums for children in the US. The museum extends over 50,000 square feet and offers a whole host of interactive attractions and displays that are housed in its more than fifty galleries. The Magic House museum and its attractions like the Electrostatic Generator, the Shadow Wall, the Bubble Room and more should be included as a must-do attraction if you are visiting Saint Louis with your kids.
Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM)
The famous Saint Louis Art Museum is housed in beautiful beaux-arts style building in the city’s Forest Park district. This building was originally constructed for the 1904 World’s Fair that was held in Saint Louis. It was designed by the architect Cass Gilbert and today it hosts 30,000 works of artists from all corners of the globe, which display all styles, genres and time periods.
The Anheuser-Busch Brewery was founded in Saint Louis in 1852 and is a landmark institution of the city. The brewery offers various guided tours of its facilities including its brew house. These guided tours should be considered a must-do on the itinerary of any beer loving visitor to Saint Louis for they usually also include free beer tastings at the factory’s hospitality center..
The Missouri Botanical Gardens
The Missouri Botanical Gardens were founded in 1859 by a local philanthropist Henry Shaw. These verdant gardens extend over 79 acres and are the oldest Botanical gardens in the country that host a wide array of attractions like the Children’s Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Kresko Family Victorian Garden and the Climatron and the Linnean House conservatories. The garden is a favored destination for festivals, music and cultural events and parties. The Missouri Botanical Gardens also conduct several workshops throughout the year for enthusiastic gardeners.
St Louis Zoo
If you are visiting Saint Louis with your children in tow, then the Saint Louis zoo located in the Forest Park neighborhood of the city should be considered as a top attraction in your to-do list. This zoo is considered to be one of the top zoos in the country and is a free public access zoo that hosts 18000 animals that belong to over 700 species. The Saint Louis zoo is also renowned for its many conservation programs.
Best time to visit St Louis
The location of Saint Louis in the Midwest of the US gives it a weather pattern that is characterized by hot, muggy summers during which temperatures record average highs of around 89°F(32°C) and chilly, snowy winters which usually experience temperatures in the low 20s.
Accordingly, the peak tourist season for Saint Louis seems to be during the months of June to September when the weather is warm and the city hosts several festivals and events like the Fair St. Louis over the July 4th holiday, the Circus Flora (June), the Great Forest Park Balloon Race (September) and the St. Louis Art Fair (September) all which coincide with baseball season which features the Saint Louis Cardinals in action.
Getting around in St Louis
Saint Louis is well served by three airports and therefore reaching the city is an easy task. Unless you want to ride the way to the city, you may want to explore the cheap air tickets Fare Buzz has for Saint Louis. With cheap airline deals, you would not only save time but money as well.
Saint Louis has four main interstate highways passing through it and this makes renting a car in Saint Louis well worth it as the city is not only easy to get to, it is also laid out in an efficient grid system, which is extremely easy to navigate.
Parking in the downtown and other parts of the city is quite plentiful and cheap. We at Fare Buzz offer a wide variety of affordable car rentals for Saint Louis, which can be booked either through our online reservation platform or on the telephone with the aid of our customer services department. Both booking methods are at your disposal seven days a week.
Saint Louis also has a public transit system, which is made up of the Metrobus and MetroLink subway system. Both these modes of public transport are used extensively by tourists who need to commute between the downtown and Forest Park attractions of the city.
The MetroLink operates two lines within Saint Louis. Both these lines start off from the vicinity of the Gateway Arch and serve the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport along with the southwest suburbs of the city.
In addition to the train and the bus, Saint Louis is also served by a fleet of taxis that are operated by various cab companies, which are regulated by the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxi Commission.
Where to shop in St Louis
If serious shopping is what you want, then St Louis ticks all the boxes with its plentiful shopping options that take the form of malls shopping districts and atmospheric retail enclaves. An example of the last mentioned term is the city’s historic St Louis Union Station, an old-world Romanesque building, which once served as the country’s busiest passenger terminal. Today this magnificent building with its tall arched ceilings, skylights and exposed beams, is an enchanting retail hub home to eighty stores, a hotel and many restaurants and bars.
Mall shopping is much favored in St Louis, and the city aims to cater to both high-brow and low-brow tastes, by way of its diverse malls like the Saint Louis Galleria, Plaza Frontenac, the West County Center, Crestwood Court, Brentwood Square and Chesterfield Mall. Fans of outlet shopping will also be delighted with the bargain hunting options offered by the various St. Louis outlet malls like the St Louis Outlet Mall, the St Louis Premium Outlets and the Taubman Prestige Outlets located in the nearby town of Chesterfield.
Also worth perusing are the various shopping districts in St Louis, like Central West End, this upmarket neighborhood is located in central St. Louis and hosts several stylish boutiques, lifestyle, antiques and specialty stores along with high-end restaurants and sidewalk cafes. Another such enchanting enclave is ‘the Loop’, a six-block long shopping, dining and nightlife hub situated near Washington University, which hosts more than a hundred stores offering apparel, wine, housewares, books, furniture and more. The Cherokee-Lemp Historic district located just off downtown St Louis, provides fans of antiquing , much opportunity to forage through the ever-changing collections of vintage apparel, jewelry, pottery, glassware and other knick-knacks offered by the thirty-odd antique stores located here.
Where to eat in St Louis
St Louis is home to a rich amalgamation of cultures and cuisines. It’s no wonder then the city is characterized by a rich, diverse dining scene offering a smorgasbord of cuisines at all price points.
Much loved and highly regarded restaurants in the city currently include eateries like The Tenderloin Room and Fleming’s Steakhouse and Wine Bar(Steakhouses), Bogart’s Smokehouse(barbecue), Tony’s Restaurant, Roberto’s Trattoria and Sauce on the Side(all Italian restaurants), La Tropicana Market(Cuban), The Kitchen Sink(Burgers), Blood and Sand (American) and Sameem Afghan Restaurant.
Nightlife in St Louis
St Louis comes alive after dark as it offers numerous options for a night on the town. Bars, Karaoke pubs, pool halls, dive bars, wine bars, all feature on the city’s nightlife scene which features current favorites like Saratoga Lanes (bowling, dive bar), The Sports Page, The Post sports bar and grill, Lester’s (all sports bars), Vino Nadoz wine bar, Il Bel Lago, The Ritz Carlton Cigar Lounge and Bar (all lounges) Michael’s bar and grill and Mile 277 Tap and Grill (bars).