When most people think about taking a great vacation, the first thing that comes to most minds is: beach. Rarely would you think, “Let’s go to the Midwest!” That used to be my opinion, until I realized that the Midwest actually has quite a bit to offer. One city on my shortlist, and one that should definitely be on yours: St. Louis, MO.
Centrally located, and a quick 5 hour drive from my home in Nashville, St. Louis makes for a great weekend getaway with your spouse or the whole family! But figuring out what to do and eat can be overwhelming, so I’ve broken it down into my top 5!
See the Arch.
This might seem obvious since it’s the landmark for the city, but I know too many people who thought, “Oh I can see it from the highway…so I saw it.”
Park your car, get out, and walk all the way up to it.
There is a beautiful park surrounding the Arch that you can walk, run, and picnic in. Once you’ve seen it from the outside? Go up to the top (630 ft in the air!) for the best view of the city! It’s not a waste of money by any stretch of the imagination! I have gone up on multiple occasions with different people, and it’s always an experience.
Go to City Museum
This is no ordinary museum people. It’s the most amazing indoor playground on earth! Filled with tunnels, caves, tree houses, a rooftop Ferris wheel, and a 10-story slide, you could spend half the day here and still not see it all! This is another one of those places that we have been to multiple times with different people, and everyone is always amazed at what is inside its walls.
If you think that this is only a place for families and kiddos…you are wrong! After 8, this place becomes a playground for adults only.
You heard me : adults only.
There are several bars and restaurants inside, and with no kids hogging all the space, you can feel free to enjoy yourself!
Eat at Any Bailey’s Restaurant
I am a fan of great food, and Bailey’s Restaurants never disappoint. My current favorites are Bailey’s Range and Rooster.
Tucked back on Locust Street in the center of town is Rooster. Here you can have a lazy and casual breakfast/brunch every day of the week. (No more waiting until the weekends for great brunch!) This place has been voted “Best Breakfast in Missouri”, so you know what you’re getting will be ridiculous.
My breakfast suggestion? “Mo. Made German Style Sausage #2” crepe which is loaded with fresh sausage, cheddar, and apples. My mouth is already watering. Just go.
As for Range, get ready to be blown away with fresh, gourmet burgers with house-made everything. (even the ketchup!) Located down the street from Rooster on Olive Street, Range has some wicked good burgers and homemade ice cream. I want to try every burger on their menu, and I’ve never had anything bad.
For my Gluten Free friends, never fear! They even have GF buns that are good! I’m a sucker for a homemade pretzel bun, but to each his own. Again…just go.
Go to the Zoo
It DOESN’T SUCK!
These are 2 things that make for somewhere great since “free” typically means “won’t be awesome”. But the St. Louis Zoo is one of the best in the country! They have it all…lions, reptiles, monkeys, and an impressive elephant area. (I love elephants.) We recently took my 9 month old son there, and he was in love with the Children’s Discovery area that allowed him to be hands-on with the animals. Oh, and he loved the giraffes. They were up close and personal and had very long tongues!
Eat at FarmHaus
Remember when I told you that I love food? I also love foodie havens. Places where the food is amazing and different. FarmHaus is such a place. It’s a tiny little restaurant with tables jammed together and dozens of people waiting to try something amazing. This is not beginner food, and if you aren’t the adventurous type, this would not be somewhere you would love. I, however, went crazy for their butcher’s plate (charcuterie and cheese to die for!), roasted Ozark forest mushroom salad, and grouper.
Oh man…so good.
If you are interested in an off-the-beaten-path restaurant that stretches your palate, this is the place to go. But make sure to get a reservation so you can get in!
There are obviously tons of other things to do in St. Louis, these are just my top 5. Want to add to the list? Tell us about your favorite spots! The more you share, the more amazing our trips can be!