St. Louis, Missouri
I love traveling out of the country. To me, there’s nothing better than experiencing different cultures and world class cities. Unfortunately, I don't have the time or means to go out of the country every time I want to travel. While in school, I am living the vida broke. I try to make the most out of the places around me. So, one of my favorite things to do is go to St. Louis, MO, with my best friend Alex.
St. Louis is home of the Gateway Arch, Busch Stadium, Cardinal's Baseball, Blues Hockey, and much much more! It is an hour drive away so we always make a day trip of it. We love driving into the city and taking a break from the rural life. There’s no better sight than driving into the city and seeing the Arch. We feel at home. This is our city. We wanted to share some of our favorite things about St. Louis. Some of our favorite things to do are go to Forest Park, playing at St. Louis City Museum, attending a St. Louis baseball game, and visiting Soulard district.
Forest Park is the country’s largest urban park. It houses several free cultural and athletic activities. The main attraction in Forest Park is the St. Louis Zoo. This FREE, yes I said free, zoo has been named Best Zoo in the nation! Not only does it fit my budget, but it’s a beautiful home to giraffes, penguins, a polar bear, lions, and so much more. The St. Louis Zoo is by far the best zoo that I have ever visited and I am not just saying that because it's my hometown zoo. It is very well maintained as well as very clean. There are a lot of options at the zoo such as an underwater tunnel for you to walk through while sea lions swim over you! Although it is free to visit, there are extra OPTIONAL fees like parking, train rides, the sea lion show, and the children's zoo. You can park for free not far down the street along the road. The train ride has multiple stops and things to see around the zoo. There are also multiple options for food, drink and souvenirs but coolers are allowed as well. So bring the whole family!
Also in Forest Park is the Art Museum. Now I am not usually a big art museum person. I find art museums interesting, but usually not something I choose to do for fun. However, The St. Louis Art Museum is a world class museum with a beautiful collection. European masters, ancient sculptures, modern artists. What a diverse collection! Did I mention that it is free too? St Louis knows how to make culture accessible.
Another museum, which really isn't your typical museum, is the St. Louis Children's Museum. This museum whose exhibits consist largely of repurposed architectural and industrial objects, housed in the former International Shoe building. It basically is a giant playground. The museum is constantly finding things and accepting donations, the space is always growing and changing. The newest space is a series of tunnels underneath the building, a giant indoor treehouse, and a slide that goes into the museum's pump room, called "The Fungeon." This museum has cranes, old bridges, a human-sized hamster wheel, vintage opera posters, a room of preserved insects, a bank vault, a fish tank full of turtles, and at least one alien dressed like Elvis in a coffin—all accessible via stairs, elevator, tunnel, or slide. (The museum also houses an aquarium and an old-fashioned shoelace-making facility.) Some other cool things you will find here are: the 10 story slide, a 30 foot ferris wheel on the roof that you can actually ride, a school bus on the roof that you can go in and make it bounce, the world's largest pencil, the largest pair of underpants, and a pipe organ! This museum has so many hidden treasures, don't hesitate to visit it for yourself!
Another FREE, yes FREE attraction we often enjoy is the St. Louis Science Center. The Saint Louis Science Center, founded as a planetarium in 1963, is a collection of buildings including a science museum and planetarium which is connected to the museum via bridge that goes over the highway. If you park on the planetarium side, parking is free! Otherwise, parking costs $10. This Science Center has 3 floors of mostly interactive exhibits ranging from dinosaurs, earthquakes, energy, and space. The Science Center has a few amount of hands on activities in maker space where kids can experiment with wind and a ball tunnel. They also offer (for a an additional fee) science, history & kid-friendly films on a 5-story domed screen which I highly recommend!
If you’re anything like me, then you’re not a big sports fan. You will never catch me watching football or hockey or even basketball on TV, but I have gone to Cardinal’s Baseball games since I was a little girl. Busch Stadium is home of Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals. Where I am from, you grow up watching baseball. The atmosphere at a Major League baseball game is something I can't describe very well. They are constantly showing people on the jumbotron, throwing out t-shirts, and playing music. It doesn't feel like you're just watching a sport, there's so much more going on. So this is perfect even for those who aren't into sports! Alex always finds baseball tickets under $30 and the seats aren’t nosebleed. The ticket pricing is very reasonable. Plus, nothing gives you American pride other than experiencing one of baseball’s best teams surrounded by tens of thousands of screaming fans. And what’s more American than delicious fried food, beer, and baseball.
Soulard District in St. Louis is a historic French neighborhood. Some compare this district to New Orleans, but let's be honest New Orleans is a classic that can't be beat. But comparing Soulard to New Orleans hopefully gives you an idea of what Soulard is all about! Soulard Market and the churches have beautiful architecture. And like I said above, St. Louis knows how to do culture and Soulard definitely has a historic feel. It has lots of different options as far as bars and restaurants along the streets. One thing that is very popular in Soulard is the Farmer’s Market. From gourmet cheeses and spices, organic honeys and meats, gluten free grains and hygiene products, buying has never been so fun. You will be surrounded by streams of other shoppers, and live musicians. Even exploring my own backyard I am attracted to the cities and the towns with the most culture.
We both have a common love for musicals at the Fabulous Fox Theater. The Fox Theater is a well maintained historic venue to take in a Broadway style show, concerts and other performances. From the main floor to the balconies...this is an amazing theatre! The walls and ceilings are breathtaking. The carvings, jewels, statues, hangings, carpets, and staircases were all beautiful. I hadn't even got seated yet and I was already in love with the place. When it was finally time to be seated, I got to see the chandelier and it was just as beautiful. My seat was comfortable enough and the lower balcony seats offered a good view of the stage. You can even go on a back stage tour! It is a gorgeous venue and has refreshments available should you need them. They have built a parking structure across the street specifically for the Fox and it is wonderfully convenient! There are also several high quality restaurants within walking distance. You'll find it's money well spent to see a production at the Fabulous Fox!
If I haven't convinced you to visit St. Louis yet, here are are a few more reasons you should visit:
- St. Louis is home to two major professional sports teams, St. Louis Cardinals (baseball) and St. Louis Blues (hockey)
- Many local attractions can be enjoyed … for free, such as St. Louis Zoo, Missouri History Museum, St. Louis Science Center, Grant's Farm, St. Louis Art Museum, Anheuser Busch Brewery Tour, Citygarden, to just name a few.
- It’s a cultural “melting pot,” home to thousands of immigrants from 40 countries.
- Free outdoor concerts and events in the spring and summer such as Fair St. Louis, Missouri History Museum's "Twilight Tuesdays," St. Louis Zoo's "Jungle Boogie" and "Jammin' at the Zoo," Missouri Botanical Garden's "Whitaker Music Festival," free theater at the Muny and the Shakespeare Festival.
- It is one of the most affordable major metropolitan areas to live in the U.S. - St. Louis has been voted a "best buy" city for affordable living by Forbes magazine and Expansion Management magazine.
- Enjoy tasty delicious entrees, including toasted ravioli, gooey butter cake, Gus’ Pretzels, Ted Drewes frozen custard and Sweetie Pie's
There are many more things do in this beautiful city, these are just a few of our favorite things. We are constantly finding new things to do in St. Louis. Everyone visit St. Louis, home of the Arch, at least once! If you have any questions or want any pointers, please let me know!