Going down I-44 and need a break? Get off at the Hwy 100 - Gray Summit exit and right there is the entrance to Shaw Park which is affiliated with the Botanical Gardens. A small donation fee and you can walk the grounds for miles.
This park highlights natural botanical wildlife. The trails are first rate and not difficult. However, as aways in the summer, be ready for hot and humid weather. Best to go in the morning. Spring and Fall are fantastic times to hike here.
If you like exercise, give this place a try!
We visted the oldest Lutheran congregation west of the Mississippe. It was very nice and we liked the service. The church itself has been rebuilt but still looks old ( well, not as old as churches in Europe, but old by U.S. standards...)
Note: if you just want to go look at it, but do not wish to worship there, I am sure they will let you....everyone there was very friendly and they told us they get a lot of visitors.
A large, beautiful sculpture park is located within St Louis. Aboiut 15 minutes outside of downtown, Laumeier Sculpture Park has sculptures for everyone. Works shown are by Vito Acconci, Alice Aycock, Mary Miss, Dennis Oppenheim and Robert Stackhouse and many other artists. The grounds are breathtaking -- large grass fields with trees and hiking trails. There is a museum that has changing exhibits and concerts are given in the summer.
Park daily 8 a.m.-dusk. Museum Tues.-Sat. 10-5, Sun. noon-5
The Katy Trail is not really "off the beaten path" - especially if you like to bicycle. But many people travelling to St. Louis may not be aware of it's existence, or that bikes can be rented.
The Katy Trail is part of the Rails-to-Trails project in the US where old railroad tracks are being converted to hike/bike trails. The Katy Trail runs across the state of Missouri and is over 200 miles long, with towns spaced every 5 to 10 miles (from the old railroad days). Many towns have trailheads and parking right near the trail. And Bike rental is available near most trailheads.
The official trailhead that is nearest to St. Louis (farthest east) is in St. Charles, just across the Missouri River.
When I lived in St. Louis, I would often start at St. Charles, about 1/2 hour out, then turn around. On visits over the past couple of years I have ridden between Defiance and Augusta (where there is a great brew pub - see my Augusta page - and winery). Of course, you have to limit your alcohol consumption for the 7 mile return trip : ) You can rent bikes in Defiance, and on my last ride my friend and I tried out a tandem - which was fun!
Take a drive and get off the beaten path. Take a ferry ride over to Grafton or the Golden Eagle Ferry. There are some great restaruants and some really neat historical places to see. If you do the Golden Eagle Ferry, you will end up at one of our favorite restaurants on the river, Kinders ("On and sometimes in the Mississippi") . Great bar food, a nice little shop and be sure to get one of their t-shirts. Take the River Road over the Grafton and spend the day at the Flea Market, Pere Marquette Lodge, or have lunch at the Loading Dock and watch the boats and see some beautiful Harleys. When you are ready to get back, just take the Grafton Ferry back or drive a short distance to Alton and take the Clark Bridge back.
The here is the phone number for Kinders 618-396-2535 and the number for the Golden Eagle Ferry is below along with a website that gives you all kinds of information about the ferries and The Great River Road.
A Byzantine style cathedral that is just stunning. It has the world's largest collection of mosaic art. Visited by Pope John Paul during his stay in St. Louis.
Cathedral Visiting Hours
Daily 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Cathedral Shop & Mosaics Museum Hours
Daily 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday - Friday: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
*Special tours are arranged on request for groups of 10 or more. To schedule a special tour, call (314) 373-8241
Monday - Friday: 7:00 AM - 8:00 AM - 12:05 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM - (Vigil) 5:00 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM - Noon - 5:00 PM
Eucharistic Adoration: Saturday 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM Followed By Evening Prayer & Benediction (Blessed Sacrament Chapel)
Evening Prayer: Sunday 4:30 PM (Blessed Mother Chapel)
Confessions: Saturday 3:30 - 4:50pm Wednesday 7:30 - 8:00am
If you are visiting St. Louis and would like to escape for a day trip you could choose a shooping excursion to outlet malls at the Lake of the Ozarks, a wine tasting experience in rural Missouri, OR if you love history you could walk in the foot steps of a historical giant.
Springfield, Illinois was he home to Abraham Lincoln and is only an hour and a half drive north of St.Louis on highway 55. There you can visit his Presidential Museum & Library, and see the sites of his life and his tomb while in death.
If you enjoy visiting the Presidential Libraries then you may also consider making a trip west to Independence, Missouri (outside of Kansas City) to visit the Harry Truman Presidentail Museum, which is thus far my favorite out of the half dozen I have visited.
Ebsworth Park, in Kirkwood Mo. on 10.5 acres was designed by Frank LLoyd Wright and can be toured by reservation. Russel Kraus who had Wright design the house was a stained glass and mosaic artist. Some of his work and work by other artists is also on display
The reaon I list this as an off the beaten path tip, even though it is in the Cathedral of Saint Louis, is that if you don't know the story of the Infant of Prague, this will have little interest to you whatsoever. If you do know the story and would like to see the figurine, it's in the back. The cathedral itself I didn't think was all that special or even all that old, but it is next to the arch if you wanted to go.
One of the most interesting activities I experienced on my trip to Saint Louis was to observe the incredible architecture. I probably enjoyed the homes surrounding Forest Park the most. I think that it's termed, "Millionaire's Row".
It's difficult to take photographs if you are in a car; therefore, I suggest that you walk the neighborhoods and stand in awe, as I did, when I saw, for the first time, the elegance, grandeur, and magnitude of these homes
. Most are more like mansions than mere homes.
The Muny (Municipal Theatre) is located in Forest Park and presents a series of musicals on an outdoor stage throughout the summer. Interestingly, it is America's oldest and largest outdoor musical theatre.
Appropriately, this summer "Meet Me In St. Louis" is playing in celebration of the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. It plays June 21-30.
All performances start at 8:15 PM.
The rest of the season: "Cats" (July 5-11); "Annie" (July 12-18); "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (July 19-25); "The Music Man" (July 26-August 1); "Guys and Dolls" (August 2-8);
and "42nd Street" (August 9-15).
The Muny Box Office is in Forest Park or you may purchase tickets at any Metro Tix Outlet such as Famous Barr, Streetside Records, and Selected Schnucks Video Outlets. You may also order online at: www.muny.com
When visiting the Saint Louis Union Station, stop at the sculpture fountain across the street. You will be delighted with what you see and hear. This popular fountain is called "Meeting of the Waters", which symbolizes the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. I notice that almost all of the tourist sites have to do with the rivers or the history of the westward expansion. This site is no exception.
Take your time to view carefully this lovely piece of art; stress will melt away.
It is difficult to take a good photo of this beautiful place because it is usually surrounded by so many people and because it covers so much territory. I took three shots of it, and none of them do it justice at all.
Plagued with a dust problem in the early 1970s due to its 23 miles (37 km) of dirt roads and lack of pavement funds, the city of Times Beach hired waste hauler Russell Bliss to oil the roads in the town in 1971. From 1972 to 1976, Bliss sprayed waste oil on the roads. The roads were later paved.
Bliss had first used the technique of spraying waste oil to control dust in horse stables. When a March 1971 spraying resulted in the death of 62 horses, the owners of the stable suspected Bliss, who assured them it was just used engine oil. But Bliss had mixed the NEPACCO waste with waste oil. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began investigating.
The EPA visited Times Beach in mid-1982, and in November 1982, test results showed dioxin levels some 300 times higher than the one part per billion generally considered to be safe.
On December 23, 1982, the EPA announced it had identified dangerous levels of dioxin in Times Beach's soil. Panic spread through the town, with many illnesses, miscarriages, and animal deaths attributed, rightly or wrongly, to the dioxin.
On February 23, 1983, the EPA announced the town's buyout for $32 million. By 1985, the town was evacuated except for one elderly couple who refused to leave, and the site was quarantined. Many of the town's citizens sued Bliss, NEPACCO, and its various subcontractors. Although the ethics and legality of Bliss' practices has been questioned, Bliss was never implicated or convicted of any crime.
About 265,000 tons of contaminated soil and debris from Times Beach was incinerated from March 1996 to June 1997 in an incinerator built and operated on the site by Syntex, the parent company of NEPACCO. The cleanup cost the government a total of $110 million, $10 million of which was reimbursed by Syntex.
Today, the land that was once Times Beach is now Route 66 State Park. One building from the town still exists: the park's visitor center was once a roadhouse from Times Beach's glory days, and was the EPA's headquarters for the area
On the campus of this magnificent university is the Graham Chapel, named for Benjamin Brown Graham.
The Chapel was given to the University by his widow, Christine Blair Graham, as a memorial to him. Dedicated in 1909, Graham Chapel is used for concerts, plays, and the University's weekly lecture program, the Assembly Series.
The Assembly Series has brought more than 800 prominent figures in politics, academia, religion, the arts, and the sciences to Washington University since 1949. 15 years after his birth in December of 1840 in Ohio, Benjamin Graham moved to St. Louis and began his first job. After years of hard work and corporate advancement, he became president of Graham Paper Company. During his years as president, his company became the chief paper distributor for American, Canadian, Mexican, South American, and Australian paper product factories. He was a Director of Merchant's National Bank and St. Louis Union Trust Company, the President of St. Louis Mercantile Library, active in the work of Christ Church Cathedral, and a charter member of the University Club, the oldest club of its kind in America.
An especially beautiful feature of the Chapel is its stained glass window, which depicts the dedication of King Solomon's temple. The window was designed by the firm of Clayton and Bell, London, England.
The inscription at the base of the stained glass window comes from 1 Kings, Chapter 8, verse 58 and reads: The Lord God be with us, as He was with our fathers, that He may incline our hearts into him, to walk in all his ways and to keep His commandments.
The inscription in the wood paneling beneath the stained glass window reads:
To make undying music in the world
When we were in St Louis we went to see the Scott Joplin House. We came upon these Sea Serpent fences surrounding parking lots.
We figured they were a part of St Louis' revitilization project, possibly by the same develoment assoication that saved the Scott Joplin house.
Anyway they are really cool looking and worth a look-see. Come to find out the area they surround is the City Museum.
701 North 15th St, St. Louis, MO 63103 ·