Private Streets in the Central West End
St. Louis was one of the cities that pioneered the concept of the private, gated street. Some of the most famous were developed in the first decade of the 20th century as private enclaves for the well-to-do. This is Kingsbury Place, just off Union Boulevard, near Forest Park.
Antiques in Alton
For a nice excursion from St. louis, head up the Mississippi to Alton. There are good antique stores for every price range, as well as a variety of places to knosh. (Not to mention riverboat gambling, if that's your thing.)
Because Alton isn't as touristy as some other "excursion places" from St. Louis (i.e. St. Charles), you're more likely to find bargains and a variety of unusual items for sale.
- Road Trip
Third Degree Glass Factory
While I was in Saint Louis I went dayly to this factory, where the conference of GAS helded several live demonstrations.
I know that, all year long, they provide private demonstrations, and glass is a spectacular art, not to be missed.
(If you are distant from Saint Louis you better know that you may have glass work demonstrations in Crisform - Portugal, another non-proffit school)
- Arts and Culture
The Infant of Prague
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.
The Katy Trail
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!
- National/State Park
Fast Eddie's Patio
Fast Eddie's is located in Alton, IL and has a very lively weekend bar scene. Food and drinks are all reasonably priced for a cheap, fun night out.
NO CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED, so bring cash (but again, you won't need a lot of it)
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Laumeier Sculpture Park
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
Catherdral Basilica of St. Louis
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
- Arts and Culture
- Religious Travel
- Budget Travel
Chase Park Plaza Cinemas
Inside the really posh Chase Park Plaza hotel is a set of 5 small cinemas.
The hotel/cinema is in the Central West End, on Lindell between Kingshighway and Euclid.
Matinee showtimes are only $5 and free parking is available. They serve beer at the concession stand. Nice!
St Francis Xavier Church
Included in the splendid complex of Saint Louis university, this modern church (built in 1984) follows British models, but, as long as it seems doesn't try to copy anything.
It's nice, well decorated, and favors the area around it.
There are two places that...
There are two places that shouldn't be left out but often are overlooked by sports nuts. One is the Loop, in Delmar. The Loop is lined with head shops, record stores, and tattoo parlors. There is so much to do here: meet cute girls with green mohawks, get your face pierced, buy new clothes, or find music you can't get at regular stores.
The second place is Forest Park. Forest Park has an art museum and the zoo. The zoo is probably the best place to go if you have young children.
Land Of Lincoln
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.
- Road Trip
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
The Butterfly House
A walk-through exhibit with thousands of butterflies. Great displays. A wonderful place for taking photos.
Daily 9 am - 5 pm - Memorial Day thru Labor Day (late May til early Sept). 9am - 4pm the rest of the year. Closed Mondays.
Admission charged. Handicapped accessable.
Located at 15193 Olive Blvd in Faust Park in western St. Louis area.
- Road Trip
Castlewood State Park
You wouldn't think of St. Louis as a place for hiking. There are no mountains, and few hills. But Castlewood State Park, just outside of St. Louis, has some trails and nice overlooks. While there aren't many trails, they are also not marked well, and it's easy to get lost. So stop at the office and pick up a free map.
- Hiking and Walking
Take a day trip to Augusta,...
Take a day trip to Augusta, about an hour south. It's nestled in the foothills of the Ozarks and is a beautiful old town with wineries and antique shops. There are lots of cute little towns like that to the south.
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