Home of the National Football League's Saint Louis Rams, the Edward Jones Dome is the centerpiece of America's Center convention complex. It was constructed mainly to attract a National Football League team back to Saint Louis (the former Saint Louis Cardinals left the city in 1988).
The stadium has also hosted National Collegiate Athletic Association football finals and Big 12 Conference football championship games.
In addition to sporting events, the 70,000-seat Edward Jones Dome has hosted major conventions, trade shows and exhibitions, religious convocations, rock concerts, motocross races, and monster truck rallies.
In 1999, it was the scene of the largest indoor gathering ever held in the United States, when 104,000 people gathered to celebrate mass held by the late Pope John Paul II.
Home of Major League Baseball's Saint Louis Cardinals, the new Busch Stadium opened in 2006 to replace the antiquated Busch Memorial Stadium. It has a seating capacity of 46,861 and covers 12 acres (five hectares). Its design was inspired by the historic architecture of Saint Louis and includes red brick, exposed steel, and glass. Its main architectural feature, the classic arched openings, are similar to those of the nearby Cupples Station warehouses.
The old stadium was enclosed and fans did not have any views of the surrounding area. However, in the new stadium, home plate was placed in the southwest corner of the ballpark, thus giving fans views of Gateway Arch and the downtown Saint Louis skyline in the distance.
My following review is of Busch Stadium I. Just a couple years after I was able to check it off my "Been There" list, they went and built a new one - Busch Stadium II. Now I have to go back, not that I'm complaining too much, it's just a little frustrating. One of my life's goals is to go to every professional baseball stadium. When they keep building new ones, it makes it a little difficult to ever accomplish my goal.
So! For nostalgia purposes, my review below is of Busch I except where otherwise noted.
1) Arrival & Departure
Despite the fact that the stadium was downtown, this aspect of the Busch Stadium experience was actually very nice. I give them a 5 (out of 5) because it was the easiest parking I've ever had at any downtown stadium.
Now this is true of Busch II as well because it is in almost the exact same spot as the first stadium. There are plenty of parking structures and lots available on the adjacent streets and Metrolink has a stadium stop. The best part about Metrolink is that normally they only run until midnight but if a game goes until after midnight, they will keep running until the platform at the Stadium stop is empty. That's terrific St Louis! Good for you.
If you drive, when you leave, you're right by 3 different interstates so it's just a block or two to an onramp and you're quickly out of the downtown traffic congestion.
I give this a 3. There wasn't anything memorable about it. I got a hot dog and a Coke and that's about all I remember. I must've eaten it but I don't have any specific memories, good or bad, about it, hence my score of 3.
Now again, this is the old Busch. I give this a 3. The place was shaped like a bowl (and from the looks of things, Busch II is the same way - so why build a new one, is what I'm wondering but, anyway...) and as such, it got VERY noisy because the sound didn't go anywhere. Plus the ramps up to the different levels were long and winding and a little confusing. I'm sure if the Cards are your home team and you've been there a zillion times before you move around easily but for those of us just visiting, I was a little lost.
I had a good time overall. I give this a 4. The fans are very enthusiastic and are obviously having a great time and it's infectious. My only reason for not giving it a 5 was that the way the stadium was, bowl-shaped, I mean, meant that from my seat rather high up, I felt like I was looking at the game from almost directly above. Kind of an odd angle. It was a good game though (despite getting beat by the Cubbies!) and I was enjoying the fact that I was even able to get a ticket at the last minute. I wasn't sure I would be able to do it, knowing how enthusiastic the Cardinals fans are.
So, all together I give it a 3 1/2. To have a 4 experience, the food might be something you do BEFORE you come to the game. I know that Busch II is in the process of having a little area built next door - a baseball village or something like that - that will probably have restaurants so it might be better to eat there or somewhere else near by and skip the barely memorable hot dog.
Just one more note - their minor league team, the Red Birds, are located just down the river in Memphis (it's not very far, I left an afternoon game at Busch and arrived in Memphis in plenty of time to have dinner on Beale St) in a terrific stadium right downtown close to all the action on Beale. So if you're a big baseball fan, I highly recommend making a stop in Memphis to catch some minor league action.
Equipment: Wear red! My goodness those Cards fans are nuts about wearing red to the games. I think I quite possibly was the only person in the ENTIRE stadium not wearing red. Oops! My bad. If you want to fit in, wear something red. It doesn't have to say St Louis and/or Cardinals on it, it just has to be red.
Here's yet another entry in my list of baseball stadiums.
Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City is the home to the Royals. Built in 1973, this stadium doesn't look its age.
1) Arrival & Departure
While I'm a fan of stadiums that aren't located right downtown (there's more parking when it's not downtown) and this stadium does have that going for it, it also has a HUGE parking lot and the walk in from the car in the hot Missouri summer was a killer. I give it a 4 overall.
Not bad but nothing extraordinary either. I give it a 3.
This is a 5. I thought the seats were comfortable, getting to bathrooms and the food venues was easy.
I had a good time. The game was relaxed and fun. Fountains in the outfield are a nice touch.
Overall, I give this stadium
Equipment: I have never been so hot in my life (except that one time I was in Mississippi in July) so be sure to bring sunscreen and drink lots of water or, if I may recommend, the frozen lemonade. Cool yourself off from the inside out. I know it helped me a lot.
Canoe / Kayaking Missouri Ozarks streams is a unique experience. You are transported through magnificent bluffs and past wildlife at rivers edge while canopied by lush greenery and blosoming trees on a crystal clear carpet of a spring fed stream.
My husband Allan and four of his friends go to Montauk State Park in Missouri twice a year to go fly fishing for Rainbow Trout. Montauk State Park offers some of the best trout fishing in the Midwest. It is located at the headwaters of the Current River in Missouri. Amazingly, the park's springs combine with Pigeon Creek and they supply 43 million gallons of water to the river each day! The water is so clear, ideal for rainbow trout.
The official trout season is from March 1 until Oct. 31. On winter weekends, you can "catch and release" only.
When you are there overnight or five days, as Allan as his friends are, you either use the campgroud or rent cabins (there are 28 units) with kitchens or in one of the 18 motel rooms.
There is a modern dining lodge which is open daily during the trout season and on weekends during the winter. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is famous for its fresh bread, rolls, homemade pies, seafood and steaks.
There's also a soda fountain and snack-bar counter that specializes in hand dipped ice cream. Also, the lodge has a store facility with fishing supplies, groceries, and camping supplies.
The name of the Lodge/Cabins is Dorman L. Steelman Lodge at Montauk State Park. James and Mary Coffman run the concessions of the lodge.
During the last two years, they have stayed in either Cabins 27 or 28 with air conditioning, hot tubs, TV (limited reception). They love the facilities in those rooms.
You can make reservations 365 days in advance.
These trips are really great; they make plans a year in advance and discuss it constantly because they cook elaborate meals...two of the guys do the cooking and two do the cleaning, and I don't know what the other guy does. Allan is on the clean-up crew (he's had lots of practice at home!)
Equipment: Missouri fishing license, Trout tags, Waders, Hat, Pole for fly fishing, hand-tied flies, back support wrap.
While staying at StoneBridge Village in a Townhouse (timeshare), Allan and I golfed several times on the resorts magnificent golf course. It was hilly with lots of streams, small ponds, sand traps and tee-off locations high up overlooking beautiful vistas.
It's a challenging course but not impossible. There is a really lovely Pro Shop with unique clothing for golf, but it is outlandishly expensive.
After playing golf, we ate at the StoneBridge Grill connected to the Golf Course. We had delicious "pulled Pork Sandwiches" (a favorite of mine).
Equipment: We took our own clubs, balls, shoes, tees, and gloves (the equipment necessary to play golf. If you cannot bring your own equipment, rentals are available.
Bennett Spring State park is the site of a Missouri fish hatchery that stocks this park and others with rainbow trout. Fishermen can fish different parts of the river with flys, artificial bait or live bait. The regular fishing season is March 1 through Oct. 31. See the State Park Web page linked below for a complete list of fishing regulations.
I have great memories of fishing this river from the campgrounds with my father. The river is so clear and cold you can see most of the trout swimming past your bait. If you catch a trout you can cook it yourself at the campground or the Park dining lodge--an old Civilian Convervation Corp. dining hall.
You may reserve a cabin or a campsite at the Missouri State Park web page below.
Equipment: You can bring your own fishing gear or buy anything you need at the park store. Or see my page on the Bass Pro Shop in Springfield.
These rivers are protected as a national park called the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. They are easy floats, Class I and occasionally Class II conditions. The natural scenery is gorgous. Alley Springs also features an old mill, pictured on my introduction for my VT Missouri page. See my travelogue for more photos.
Floating on these rivers is mostly peacefully drifting with the currents, occassionally stoping to swim or fish, and this would be suitable for a family adventure. The rapids are rather gentle except during high water in the spring. For multiple day floats, you can camp on the gravel bars along the river.
These rivers are fed by multiple large springs with frigid clear water pouring out at an amazing rate. The largest spring in the State, Big Spring averages 286 million gallons per day. In addition to floating, the park has some caves. The National Park leads cave tours of the Round Spring cave. Bring warm clothing and a powerful flashlight.
See, Steve King's informative website for photos and web links: http://www.geocities.com/thecurrentriver/. Also see the GORP website for more information about planning a trip ( http://gorp.away.com/gorp/resource/Us_river/mo_ozark.htm) and the National Park website below, for more information.
The river can be crowded on weekends and unfortunately some peple float and drink beer all day to the point of becoming obnoxious or a hazard to themselves and others. Weekdays are less likely to have these kinds of problems. Another safety issue is rock diving. Several fatalities have occurred where people have dived into water and hit underwater rocks.
Equipment: You may bring your own canoes or tubes or you may rent them at many canoe outfitters who have concessions with the National Park. For example, Akers Ferry Canoe rental which is on the current river.
Outfitters will rent you a canoe and drive you upstream to float back, or pick you up at a designated time down river. You should make reservations if you plan to float on a Saturday in the summer. Otherwise, you can probably find canoes as a walk-in.
An easy two day float is from Baptist Camp to the Pulltite Springs campground and then float the second day to Round Springs.
The Saint Louis Cardinals are the most successful Major League Baseball team in history other than the New York Yankees. The Cardinals are the defending National League Central Champions and were runners up for the 2002 National League Pennant.
Cardinals games are very fun and St. Louis has the best baseball fans in Major Leage Baseball. Cards games are one of a kind as are their fans.
The St. Louis Rams have been to the Super Bowl in 2 out of the last 4 years and were crowned NFL Champions in January 2000.
Every game in St. Louis Rams history has been a sellout and with their dominant success and powerhouse teams in the last few years, Rams tickets have been hard to obtain. 2003 looks to be another winning season for the 2001 NFC Champions.
The St. Louis Blues are a great hockey team who have the longest playoff run in all 4 major professional sports (NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA) Blues games are very entertaining and tickets can often be hard to get.
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