Whether it’s good brew, great sports, fantastic food or fun times for all, there’s all sorts of things to do. This month’s feature looks at ways to enjoy yourself in the city under the Gateway Arch.
Soaring to new heights.
The famous Gateway Arch is a must-see for everyone. Whether you’re traveling for business, entertaining a sweetheart, or showing the family around -- make plans to visit the popular attraction. Trams for the top leave every 10 minutes and hold up to five people in each one. Once you’re at the top, feel free to shoot video or catch pictures. Best time to go? Early in the morning, before it gets busy.
Gateway Arch * Washington Avenue at the Riverfront * (877) 982-1410 * gatewayarch.com
Enjoying the Riverfront.
Pair up your visit to the Riverfront with a stroll through Laclede’s Landing. This entertainment district north of the Arch is packed with interesting stores and restaurants and lots of events. Catch a ride in a horse-drawn carriage or walk the cobbled historic streets and investigate some of the many area venues.
Laclede’s Landing * North of the Gateway Arch * (314) 241-5875 * lacledeslanding.com
Relax at the Park.
One of the oldest parks in the United States, Forest Park is more than 500 acres larger than New York City’s Central Park. It’s home to many of the city’s best known attractions, including the Art Museum, History Museum, Science Center, and Muny Opera. It’s also where you’ll find the world-famous St. Louis Zoo, which is open free to the public.
St. Louis Zoo * One Government Drive * (314) 781-0900 * stlzoo.org
Take a Romantic Walk.
A 19th century brainstorm from Henry Shaw, the Missouri Botanical Gardens is considered one of the top three gardens of its sort in the world.
Among its 79 acres you’ll find everything from a Japanese paradise to an English Woodland Garden; the Climatron, which is home to 1500 types of rainforest plants; and an extensive children’s garden full of places to play.
Through October, the Gardens will feature artwork by Niki de Saint Phalle.
Missouri Botanical Gardens * 4344 Shaw Blvd. * (800) 642-8842 * mobot.org
What’s more romantic than a walk with butterflies? The Butterfly House in Faust Park celebrates the popular colored winged instrument with exhibits, a butterfly garden, and an extensive indoor tropical rainforest facility with hundreds of exotic flying creatures.
The Butterfly House * 15193 Olive Boulevard in Chesterfield * (636) 530-0076 * butterflyhouse.org
Fun for the Child at Heart.
It may surprise you to find that everything inside the City Museum is recycled -- from the art to the materials used to build the exhibits themselves. But the fun is all brand new. Take the kids or be one yourself for hours of fun as you investigate living creatures, fascinating sculpture, and working machines in a facility run entirely on power from renewable sources.
City Museum * 701 N. 15th Street * (314) 231-CITY * citymuseum.org
City of Sports
You can’t miss out on a good time watching the 10 time World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals. The popular Redbirds play at Busch Stadium, one of the newest in Major League Baseball, and they’ve been red hot these past few years.
Fans can splurge on great and unusual concessions like toasted ravioli, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, stir fried Asian dishes with peanuts, garlic fries, and turkey legs. The park offers all sorts of pricing options from suites to seats, from solo tickets to family packs.
For the more comprehensive Redbird experience, take the tour. Stadium tours are available every day of the week (except during special events) on the half hour between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Be sure to check out the Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum.
St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium * 700 Clark Street * stlouiscardinals.com
Football more your thing? The Saint Louis Rams take the field this fall for another great season. Marc Bulger, Steven Jackson, Torry Holt and the rest of this year’s team are primed for action at Edward Jones Dome, just across I-70 from Laclede’s Landing. If you’re planning to root for the Blue and Gold this year, purchase your parking when you purchase your ticket. Or park and ride the Metrolink.
St. Louis Rams at Edward Jones Dome * 901 North Broadway * (314) 342-5201 * stlouisrams.com
Hockey more your thing? Catch a game at Scottrade Center and hit the ice with the Saint Louis Blues. Jump in on the fun traditions -- like free tacos for attendees the day after a game where the Blues score five goals, or the “Towel Man” and the fist pump and towel throw every time the Blues score.
St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center * 1401 Clark Avenue * stlouisblues.com
Land of 1000 Dishes
St. Louis claims dozens of original dishes that have become part of the culinary lexicon in America. Among the more famous:
Toasted Ravioli (known locally as “T Ravs”)
Pork Steaks: pork butt sliced as a steak, often served with BBQ sauce
The Slinger: two eggs, hamburger patty, hash browns, and American cheese all topped with chili
St. Paul Sandwich: Egg Foo Young, lettuce, tomato, and pickle on white bread
Prosperity Sandwich: Open face sandwich with turkey, ham, bacon, melted cheese and a cream sauce.
Gooey Butter Cake: a very moist yellow cake topped with a mixture of cream cheese, eggs, and almond extract.
Peanut Butter: first packaged as a protein past in 1890 by George A. Bayle Jr.
The Concrete: A frozen egg custard mixed with candy, fruit, and or nuts that doesn’t come out of the cup when turned over.
City of Food
Who says breakfast can’t be fun? At Soda Fountain Square, you can have any breakfast, any time -- with an ice cream specialty to boot.
The Lafayette Square eatery has all the great food you’d expect from a good local diner -- and lots of local specialties like The Slinger (two eggs, hash browns, cheese and a hamburger patty all topped with chili) and T-Ravs (toasted ravioli). But breakfast really shines -- with great pancakes, terrific shakes, and savory country fried steaks.
Soda Fountain Square * 1801 Park Avenue * (314) 241-0099 * sodafountainsquare.com
It may be 697 miles from New Orleans, but Broadway Oyster Bar packs a mean Cajun punch.
The restaurant lives up to its name, with oyster selections ranging from Shooters to Bienville to Rockefeller.
Catch a bite of gator or dive into a Muffeletta.
And don’t miss the Cajun Chips -- a combination of Idaho russets and Louisiana sweet yams thinly sliced, fried, and coated with Cajun spices.
Broadway Oyster House * 736 Broadway * (314) 621-8811 * broadwayoysterbar.com
Looking for a fantastic upscale restaurant to celebrate that special occasion? Look no further than An American Place. Larry Forgione’s culinary efforts to return to true American cuisine with its unique blend of flavors and fresh and flavorful ingredients brings a new level of integrity to the table. Be sure to try a cheese tasting or the tasting menu itself, which includes a luscious and light Meuniere with almond salad and brown butter caper ice cream.
An American Place * 822 Washington * (314) 418-5800 * anamericanplacestl.com
Late night wanderings end happily at Tigin’s, an Irish Pub located in the Hampton Inn across from Laclede’s Landing and the Edward Jones Dome. Tasty treats like Corned Beef Cabbage Rolls and Smithwick’s Ale battered Mini-Burgers make great pub fare for watching the big game (and here, when the Redbirds aren’t in town, the game is soccer or cricket). Save room for the Black and Tan Brownie with Guinness Ice Cream, the perfect end to a relaxing evening with friends.
Tigin’s Irish Pub * 333 Washington Avenue * (314) 241-8666 * tiginsirishpub.com
Route 66 enthusiasts will enjoy a step back in the past at Ted Drewe’s Frozen Custard Shop. The custard comes in any flavor you want -- as long as it’s vanilla. It’s the add-ins that make each one unique and special. There are dozens of different add-ins available -- or you can go for one of the popular local favorites. The popular Concrete got its name from the fact that you can turn it upside down and the spoon won’t fall out!
Ted Drewe’s Frozen Custard * 6726 Chippewa * (314) 481-2652 * teddrewes.com
Planning a Visit?
The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission is available to help you with your plans and destinations. Check out explorestlouis.com or call (800) 916-0040.
City of Beer
St. Louis is well known for beer makers, both the large (Anheuser-Busch) and the small (dozens of microbreweries). Take time out of your trip to check out some of the tours and pubs in the area.
The big tour, of course, is at Anheuser-Busch, home of Budweiser, Busch, Michelob, and a host of other national and regional domestic beers.
On the tour, visitors are taken through the massive St. Louis complex, offered two free glasses of any Anheuser-Busch product in the Hospitality Room, and given a glimpse of some of the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales.
Tours are offered Monday through Saturday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and Sundays between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. The tours are free to everyone, but alcohol is only served to those 21 years of age or older.
Anheuser-Busch Brewery * 12th and Lynch Streets * (314) 577-2626 * budweisertours.com
The largest of the city’s microbreweries, Schlafly Bottleworks, is also a fabulous restaurant. What’s more, the beer maker is also involved heavily in the local community, hosting the Maplewood Farmers Market and local events like the Schlaflea Market (which benefits Goodwill). And Schlafly is heavily involved in improving the environment -- with extensive recycling in-house, a six-pack holder recycling program, and a commitment to purchasing energy only from renewable sources. Many of the dishes in the restaurant are augmented with ingredients grown in a garden right beside the Bottleworks! And with a wide variety of beer to sample (including a generous six-beer sampler you can order with your meal) there’s a lot to love about the place.
Schlafly Bottleworks * 7260 Southwest Avenue * (314) 241-BEER * schlafly.com
Nestled in the heart of Laclede’s Landing, the Morgan Street Brewery has a fine and diverse selection of beer, ales, and lagers on tap for the connoisseur. But it’s a more than complete beer-influenced menu that really draws in diners.
Dishes are served up with “coniques,” mashed potatoes formed into cones, battered, and deep fried. Try the Brew Burger -- a half pound burger stuffed with goat cheese and topped with caramelized onions, cooked to order.
And try not to pass up the Crème Brulee Trio -- flavors change every day.
Morgan Street Brewery *721 North Second Street * (314) 231-9970 * morganstreetbrewery.com
City of Relaxation
Why venture out into the unknown when you can enjoy a top rated resort in the middle of a city? The Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis is a full-service resort with every amenity covered, every convenience offered, and every courtesy extended.
The hotel itself begins on the eighth floor of its building -- to take advantage of the incredible view of the Arch and the Riverfront unobscured by the Lumiere Casino next door.
Visitors are welcomed to an airy, contemporary lobby and open plan bar and restaurant, with a full wall of windows exposing cabanas and a fantastic pool.
Rooms are spacious and minimalist, utilizing light colors and glass along with pale wood and fluffy white linens. There’s original artwork in guest rooms, and in guest baths.
The bathroom is large with separate toilet closet, rain-shower head glass shower, and an 80 gallon deep and luxurious bath tub.
The house staff is very attentive, and notes are made about your preference -- whether it be for a certain morning paper, ice and drinks in your room, or a particular type of pillow.
The hotel’s restaurant, Cielo, has a wide contemporary Italian menu, featuring housemade pastas and prime meats and seafoods.
Breakfast options cover almost any sort of diet -- from traditional country breakfasts to lox and bagels and even healthy hand mixed yogurts and granolas.
Guests have complimentary use of the spa’s facilities -- which include separate male and female suites containing large steam rooms and whirlpool tubs.
A wide selection of massages, facials, and ritual treatments are offered at prices comparable with other area spas.
Don’t miss the view from the co-ed relaxation lounge and its large whirlpool tub peering out over the Mississippi River.
The hotel also features a well-developed exercise room (with cold towels and refreshments available), a splash pool for children, and excellent concierge services.
And the Four Seasons is making a concerted effort to address environmental concerns -- with non-polluting cleansers, a composting program, and the use of power from renewable resources.
Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis * 999 North Second Street * (314) 881-5800 * fourseasons.com/stlouis