Wednesday, December 19, 2012
St. Louis, MO
St. Louis showed us a great time. Downtown has a lot of free attractions for visitors (and locals!) to enjoy: the Gateway Arch, which we marveled at from the ground in lieu of waiting in the long line to go to the top; views of the Mississippi River along the 91 acre park that houses the Arch; the Old Courthouse that is beautiful inside and has some great exhibits; and the urban park and sculpture garden that is Citygarden.
The city is also serious about their beer. Sure, it's the home of Anheuser-Busch, but the real excitement is about the microbreweries. After a BBQ lunch with friends at the famous Pappy's Smokehouse we all set out on a mini beer tour - Buffalo Brewing Co., Urban Chestnut Brewing Company, and Square One Brewery and Distillery. We topped off the indulgent afternoon with even more indulgence - Gooey Butter Cake at Park Avenue Coffee (and, omg, they taste like heaven). Thanks, John and Sam, for such a fun day!
We learned quickly that no matter what your mood, there is a neighborhood in the city to suit you (it helps that there are 79 to chose from). The Hill is the Italian district (we missed their soap box derby by one day, boo!); we loved walking through the neighborhood and later had pizza while watching bocce ball players at Milo's Bocce Garden. The Loop has a distinct hipster/eclectic/young vibe - I suggest grabbing Middle Eastern food at Ranoush before shopping the many boutiques and thrift stores or catching a live music show. There's also Cherokee Street, known for its antique shops and the newer cafes and shops that have been added to the area, or Soulard that has great restaurants and a farmers' market.