Jason and I just got back from celebrating my Grandpa's 90th birthday. It was so great to see my family that lives all across the US. The party was an amazing celebration of his life. He has 6 kids and 13 grandkids (not including inlaws) - what a legacy! It was extra great because we got to celebrate two engagements.
For those of you that don't know, I grew up in the Midwest - across the river from St. Louis in Illinois. I absolutely loved growing up there. In so many ways, I feel like I had the perfect childhood. I know things are idealized, but I really miss it sometimes. Since I spent a large part of my life there, I thought I would give a guide to a few of my favorite things to do in the St. Louis area.
The Arch (obviously): There is a neat museum underneath that you can go to for free, but you do have to pay to get to the top. This is a fun experience if you aren't claustrophobic or afraid of heights. You ride up in these little pods for 6-7 people and the ride takes about 4 minutes. You get a great view of the city once you're on the top!
(These pictures are from when B came up with me to St. Louis for my wedding shower in 2009.)
Everything is FREE! The Zoo, Science Center, Art Museum, even outdoor shows at the Muny, are all completely free of charge. I love this about St. Louis. Obviously, there are paid exhibits, but you can definitely go here on a budget. Now you do have to pay to go to the City Museum, but I would advise anyone to go - tons of fun! When it's not as cold out, they open an "adult playground" on the roof made of...well, see for yourself.
(These next ones of Jason and I are from 2006 - aw, we're so young and TAN!)
Cardinals games and a concrete: The new stadium has a great view of the arch. Also, Cardinals fans are the best fans! No trip to a cardinals game is complete without a trip to the original Ted Drewes for a concrete afterwards. We always make a trip here no matter the weather. I've stood in lines 20 people deep when it was below freezing! It's a historic spot along Route 66, so make sure you stop here!
Breweries: Obviously the Anheusher-Busch brewery is here, but there are a lot of other local breweries that are great. Schlafly Bottleworks and Square One Brewery are my suggestions.
Imo's Pizza: This pizza has incredibly thin crust, but the thing that it's best know for is the use of provel cheese instead of mozzarella. Provel is a combination of swiss, cheddar, and provolone cheeses and it makes the pizza super creamy. You either love this pizza or hate it, but you HAVE to try it. There are locations all over the city, so find your closest one and try it out!
Pick your own: In the mood for some old-fashioned fun? Venture out across the river to Eckert's farm in Belleville, IL (my home town!) for some great produce. There are beautiful orchards where you can pick strawberries, apples, pumpkins, and even cut your own Christmas tree. It's so quaint and wonderful. Their sarsaparilla and homemade peanut coffee cakes are to die for.
There are really SO many more things to do in St. Louis. Grant's Farm, the Botanical Gardens, exploring the Delmar loop, eating some Italian food on the Hill, I could go on and on... It's not typically a "destination" city, but I really think it should be.
Our next trip will be for Jason's birthday in March. He would love to go tour the Kentucky Bourbon trail or go skiing in Tahoe. We'll see where we end up!