I guess if I had to pick my favorite Midwest city it would be St. Louis, Missouri. I have a lot of history with that town and good memories. I must confess it was hard picking a favorite spot in this vast country of ours because I have lived in several spots and enjoyed seeing a lot of towns all through United States but St. Louis hold some memories for me.
St. Louis is the largest metropolitan area in Missouri and it is second only to Washington D.C. in the number of free activities that it holds for visitors. The Gateway Arch forms a triumphant monument over the skyline. An open mall with reflection pools leads up to the historic court house facing the Gateway Arch. St. Louis is commonly referred to as the “Gateway to the West”, because the city was the last major city before pioneers traveled west. It has also played a big part in waterway travel because of it’s connection to the Mississippi and the Missouri River.
St. Louis has hosted a historic World’s Fair in 1904 and later the summer Olympic games. Although it is well known as a city of commerce with several big companies calling it headquarters, St. Louis is a city filled of culture and neighborhoods that each have a distinct flavor. It holds neighborhoods with massive mansions, some of which were built around the 1904 World’s Fair time and now are owned and lived in by some of the elite St. Louis families. The roads follow historic boundaries and are marked respectfully showing distinctive changes in the districts. It is also well known for having the first private gated street “Benton Place in Lafayette Square”.
The Cathedral Basilica is a catholic church and contains the most mosaic art in the world.
The city’s museum is a blast for the young at heart with tunnels, mazes, concessions, obstacles, airplanes suspended and chutes and ladders. It has artifacts that were collected by an eccentric millionaire and is like a huge playground.
Forest Park is one of the nation’s largest parks and is home to the St. Louis Science Museum, an art and historic museum and the St. Louis Zoo. Forest Park was the site of the World’s Fair in 1904, it is in the heart of St. Louis and you cannot visit St. Louis without exploring Forest Park.
The Gateway Arch is probably the most visited and well known attractions of St. Louis and has to be a favorite picture sight for visitors. It is located by the “Riverfront” in the Jefferson Expansion National Park. You can ride a very unique elevator to the top of the arch and look out over the city and river.
St. Louis has a vast array of parks and museums other than the one’s that I have mentioned and is full of architecture and culture at every turn.
Other sites that cannot be left unnoticed are:
Anheuser’s Busch Brewery – which has long been a vacation must see in St. Louis, it has a free tour and free samples for anyone over the legal age and is one of the world’s largest breweries and bottling factories. It is also well known for it’s Clydesdale stables and horses, they have long been a staple in history and have long been the mainstay of the tour.
The Central West End is a eccentric neighborhood with a vast array of chic boutiques, cafes, coffee houses and garden spots. It also has many galleries and is located next to Forest Park.
There is a St. Louis Renaissance Faire, where visitors can travel back in time to a 16th century village. You can immerse yourself in the era with costumes and the mannerisms. You can partake in the unique crafts, food and drink along with hearing strolling minstrels. It is a sure fire way to entertain and enjoy merriment for all ages.
There are riverboats, fairs, museums and markets all around St. Louis and it is a real pleasure to visit as many of them as you can, several of them are within walking distance of each other.
Sports don’t go unnoticed in St. Louis either with the St. Louis Cardinals Baseball , St. Louis Blues Hockey and the St. Louis Rams Football teams. They also have a women’s professional soccer team.
There are many performing arts venues and the nightlife in St. Louis is extraordinary with a mixture of every music imaginable and an array of shows to go see.
Shopping is a main attraction also, St. Louis has a very flourishing fashion area and large malls and shopping districts that are scattered throughout the city.
I have many memories of St. Louis and visiting it when I was younger and as I grew into an adult with my own family. The main attraction for me over the years was Six Flags over St. Louis, which is a very large amusement park full of rides and attractions for all ages to visit and enjoy. Over the years it has been a popular vacation spot for all of the Tri-State area in which I live. There is also a large water park adjacent to Six Flags called Hurricane Harbor. I can remember visiting the park several times since it opened in 1971, when I was eleven.
Another big draw for my family back and even today has always been the Brewery with the Clydesdale horses well known for the size and stature along with the Cardinal Baseball Stadium. I remember on my first visit to Cardinal Stadium it was very traumatic for me since I was only 11 years old and was having female problems. I can still remember how horrified I was to be stuck in a stadium for that length of time watching a baseball game with my family when I wanted to be home laying down. I also remember the game was great and the food for fantastic but my mother couldn’t console me for having to endure a game that went into extra innings.
I still love to this day St. Louis and all the fabulous sights, culture and activities.
If you are wondering about where to go on vacation and you have the ability to get to St. Louis, I urge you to see all that you can and I promise you won’t be disappointed.