Is St. Louis on your short list for domestic travel this year? If not, maybe it should be. The city is super affordable and offers some very unique options for art, music, or food lovers.
A Great Destination for Art Lovers
The Saint Louis Art Museum offers free admission every day, except for special exhibits. The museum has an incredible breadth of options for a free museum, including everything from pre-Columbian artifacts to post-modern art.
If you prefer an edgier approach, check out City Museum. This space is a massive urban playground that houses caverns, tunnels, five- and 10-story slides, a rooftop with more climbing equipment, an indoor circus, and quiet places to sip a beer or snuggle a date. The city’s surprisingly accessible arts scene includes gallery openings and art shows nearly every weekend, too.
A Spectacular Park
St. Louis’s Forest Park is 50 percent bigger than Central Park in New York City. The park offers grassy spaces, wooded walking trails, paths for jogging and rollerblading, an award-winning zoo with free admission, and the Saint Louis Art Museum. The Muny is an outdoor amphitheater that serves up live musicals all summer long. The Boathouse is the perfect spot to grab a bite or a drink and rent a paddleboat to tool around the lake. Shakespeare Glen offers massive free productions in early summer, and The Jewel Box is a sparkling greenhouse where you can visit tropical blooms any time.
A Vibrant Theater Scene
Would you have guessed that St. Louis is home to four opera companies? The theater district is located on North Grand and anchored by The Fabulous Fox, a historic architectural marvel that brings touring productions to the Heartland. All around the city, you’ll find traditional and experimental shows for adults and kids alike. Check The Riverfront Times‘ calendar of events for current productions.
Party at Soulard
The Riverfront Times is also the best place to see what’s happening at local music venues. The Soulard neighborhood is where locals go to drink beer, eat Cajun food, and listen to live music in intimate venues. You can walk from bar to bar along the cobblestone streets or rent a bicycle bar and pedal with your friends. Soulard is most famous for its Mardi Gras, which is second only to the one in New Orleans, but the party here happens year round.
Great Food and Beer
St. Louis is home to Anheuser-Busch and Lemp Brewery and has been a beer town for generations. Today, microbreweries rule these streets. Schlafly is the largest of the local breweries, but Urban Chestnut and a few others are growing rapidly. The food scene here is diverse. Barbecue is considered a local specialty, but residents also love steaks, locally sourced delicacies, and ethnic eateries. Pick up a free Sauce or Feast magazine at your hotel to find the most exciting eateries in town.
When you book your trip, you’ll be surprised how affordable St. Louis hotels are compared to their coastal counterparts. St. Louis is too much city to experience in just one visit, so expect to return and be surprised again and again.