St. Louis is a city that I’ve got to call home (or kind of home, don’t argue this with me) for most of my life. It’s been where I grew up, learned how to do everything, and have worked, played, and eaten for over twenty years. This city has a soft spot carved out in my heart. So today I am sharing my complete travel guide to this city that I call home. The idea came to me when I was visiting St. Louis a few weeks ago, and here we are! And while I no longer live here, it will always be a sort of home base for me.
I’ve decided to cut the city down into a few sections. Since there’s so much to do, see, and eat, I am breaking things down into jus that. I’ve done a “Best of” list before, but this is the next level. With a few added bonuses of course! First up is the food, and you’re in for a treat.
Food. I love food and the food in St. Louis is amazing. There are so many places that I love to frequent and I am sharing my top choices in this post. However, if you really want more recommendations, I have posts on each of these: Ice cream, doughnuts, and Italian.
My Favorite Places to Eat:
- Ted Drewe’s – Best frozen custard
- Cunnetto’s – Italian on the Hill, get the toasted ravioli. Trust me I’m from St. Louis.
- Blueberry Hill – A classic, with classic American food. Check out all their memorabilia.
- St. Louis Bread Co. – Yes it’s Panera. But it started here and it’s better than Panera. It’s Bread Co.
- Mission Taco Joint – Amazing tacos, but go for the queso.
- Central West End – A great little area that houses my favorite bookstore, Left Bank Books.
- The Loop – Great, eclectic shops plus plenty of place to grab dinner or a snack.
- Plaza Frontenac – So this is a mall, but it’s fun and fancy plus there’s a movie theater that shows indie films and the best popcorn!
- Cherokee Street – Some of the best vintage and antique shopping!
- Soulard Market – Go to the market and get produce or go to the surrounding shops.
- Tower Grove Farmer’s Market – My favorite farmer’s market in St. Louis.
Museums. The museums in St. Louis are great because the general admission is free for all of them! If you want to go to the special exhibits, that’ll cost ya. But even without those you’re pretty much golden. You could spend two or three days in Forest Park alone going from museum to museum to zoo!
- St. Louis Art Museum – Totally free but special exhibits cost money. My favorite pieces in the museum are Degas’ Little Dancer and Ellsworth Kelly’s Spectrum II.
- Missouri History Museum – They have a lot of great exhibits that tour through, plus a St. Louis World’s Fair history exhibit.
- St. Louis Science Center -Say hi to the animatronic dinosaurs or me!
- St. Louis Zoo – One of my favorite zoos. Don’t forget to go through the sea lion tunnel!
- City Museum – This one isn’t free, but it’s worth the money. It’s totally worth it because it’s one giant jungle gym made out of recycled products.
- Missouri Botanical Garden – This one isn’t free either, but it’s a big and beautiful garden you could spend all day getting lost in.
- The Pulitzer and Contemporary Art Museum – Both free, both right next to each other. Head into one then the other!
Entertainment. When it comes to entertainment, there are plenty of ways to be entertained all year long. In the summer, there’s the Muny and Cardinals games, but there’s much more during the cooler months!
- The Muny – A Forest Park staple, go outside and enjoy some musical theater. There’s even free seats you can line up for, but get there early!
- St. Louis Cardinals Games – You can snag come pretty cheap seats if you’re lucky, and grab a dog and a beer and enjoy some baseball!
- The Fabulous Fox Theatre – This is the theatre in town that has national tours of musicals, signers, and everything in between! I’m going to Hamilton (finally!) here in the spring.
- Opera Theatre St. Louis – Their season is May-June but their opera are in English with subtitles and spectacularly done. Plus they do four shows in repertory!
- Shakespeare in the Park – Shakespeare St. Louis does a show in Forest Park every summer in May and June. They also have other shows throughout the year so check them out!
- Repertory Theatre St. Louis – Their season is during the school year, but they do knockout plays and musicals. I saw Follies here last year and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.
- St. Louis Blues Games – If you’re into hockey, they’re fun games to go to!
Hotels and Getting Around. As far as hotels and getting around goes, there’s a lot of options but here are my favorites. You really do need a car for this city, so I suggest using yours or renting one. There is MetroLink but it is limited on where it can take you in the city.
Hotels. Some of these hotels can get pretty pricey, so if you’re on a budget I suggest somewhere like a Marriott or Holiday Inn and driving into the city. Here it doesn’t really matter about location since you’re login to be driving everywhere anyway, and I’d steer clear of a hotel downtown. You won’t be spending much time down there unless you go to the Arch or the Courthouse.
- Chase Park Plaza – It’s beautiful and pricey, but if you can swing it it’s so worth it! Plus there’s a movie theater and pool.
- Magnolia Hotel
- Moonrise Hotel – Located in the historic Loop.
- The Cheshire – A great
- Clayton Plaza Hotel
- Airbnb – I actually suggest this because you get to see a cool part of the city and live like a local for a week. Plus there are so many cool houses and residential areas in the city!