What to Do in St. Louis
Sometimes I go back through my posts to get ideas for what to write. And I suddenly realize I have never written a post on a place I’ve been to. Paris took me absolutely ages to get to, and I’ve never posted London either (someday!).
St. Louis simply wasn’t a place I could find a whole lot to do in. My favorite part of St. Louis wasn’t even in St. Louis (in fact, it was in the neighboring state). My conclusion, after my week spent there? If you aren’t interested in beer, sports, or ghost stories, St. Louis isn’t that interesting of a place.
I was in St. Louis preparing to leave for South Korea (where I now live and work). I was there for a week but found the activities only amounted for 2-3 days. So here’s a quick itinerary for that:
Day 1: Butterfly House and Old Town
The Butterfly House in Chesterfield is lovely. They have tons and tons of butterflies, and I fully enjoyed myself just sitting inside, watching various beauties flit past. If you can keep track of timing, they have butterfly releases, where the newly hatched butterflies are set free into the large greenhouse. They also have a few displays of other bugs, but that’s about it. You can spend an hour or two here, but not much more. The greenhouse can get really hot so beware if you start to feel dizzy. It’s clearly well-oriented towards children so if that’s a plus for you, you’re in luck 🙂
The Old Town of St. Louis is the best place to go in the city proper. The Peacock Diner is a perfect retro restaurant to stop in for lunch or dinner! Get yourself a classic shake and some delicious midwest food. I feel like you don’t see many good, old-fashioned diners these days. I kind of miss that bit of Americana. Walk down the street and see what else there is to see, I particularly enjoyed the vinyl record shop. In the half hour we spent in the shop there was such a variety of music being played! I wish I had bought something, but I am trying to downsize 😛
Day 2: Cahokia Mounds and Dinner
As I mentioned earlier, a lot of what I liked in St. Louis wasn’t technically in St. Louis. Although rated as one of the city’s top tourist attractions, the Cahokia Mounds are actually in Illinois and anywhere from 20-30 minutes away by car depending on where you’re staying. But they are so, so worth it. It’s probably one of the coolest places I’ve ever been in the US, and free. It really opened my eyes to just how developed the American Indian settlements were. Often times American history likes to gloss over the treatment of native tribes.
Seeing just how large and wide the Cahokia territory is was shocking. The wild deer hanging out up and down the mounds were also fun to watch. The free museum is also worth a look as it talks not only about Cahokia’s history, but the history of many other large mound sites across the USA. I had barely heard of even one of them! Now, when I go back to the US, I would like to take a roadtrip to see more of these amazing places.
If you did a lot of walking at Cahokia, you might want to head back for a frankly amazing dinner at Stony River Steakhouse and Grill. I am normally skeptical of hotel food, but this restaurant is detached from a Drury Hotel. It’s definitely expensive, but the quality of food is incredible. I wound up saving my cake to eat on the way to Korea the next day.
Now, if you are in town longer, there are some other options. I never made it to the Arch, for instance. (Although we did drive by it) If you enjoy beer, there are several breweries in the area and some offer tours. I have heard that Budweiser Brewery Experience is pretty good! Additionally, there are several ghost tours abound in St. Louis. St. Louis is often ranked as one of the most haunted cities in the US. While I enjoy towns like Salem in the day, a true tour at night with all the scary stories would probably be too much for my delicate sensibilities. And there’s some sports stuff so…catch a game at one of the stadiums? I don’t know 😛
I hope What to Do in St. Louis has helped you get some ideas!
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