Back in 2011-2013, I lived in St. Louis. Went to grad school up in the pink castle (which is my term of endearment for Washington University in St. Louis). I also learned to appreciate the city for its history, it’s incredible festivals, and not to mention, good food. St. Louis may not always get the rep it deserves. It’s had a glorious past, but has also seen difficult times. Its hay day may have been back in the early 1900s, but the city is slowly gaining back its momentum.
I recently got to visit after a 4-year hiatus for a friend’s wedding and I was so excited to visit my old stomping grounds. St Louis is a fun town and it’s a great place to visit for a three-day weekend, or if you can manage to drive down for a quick little getaway.
The great thing about St Louis is that there is a lot to do for FREE! Almost ALL of the museums (art, history, zoo) have free admission. Any special exhibits require paid admission, but they are usually worth it. (We once had the opportunity to see all of Monet’s Water Lilly panels side by side)
Transportation Note: If you’re planning on staying close to the metro train line, then I would opt for a pass. Most main attractions are along the line. Uber is also a good option, BUT if you really want the mobility through the entire city, I would definitely rent a car! It will save you lots of precious time! Parking is not always too much of a hassle.
For a quick weekend trip, I’ve highlighted a few activities and places to eat!
You just made it into town, presumably after work/school, etc. Go check-in to your hotel and grab some dinner at the Wild Flower in Central West End.
Afterwards, grab some chocolate martinis or warm white chocolate bread pudding with a glass of wine at Bissinger’s, before calling it a night!
Get back home and get some rest!
Breakfast- Start your day off right at Kayak’s. Have a good cup of their coffee to set you right for the rest of the day. You’ll definitely feel like you’re back in your college days at this coffee shop located right across the street from Forest Park and WashU.
Morning excursion- After breakfast, venture into Forest Park! There is LOADS to do just within this park: My absolute favorites include visiting the St. Louis Art Museum, walking up to the top of the World’s Pavilion, and if the weather is just right- renting a paddleboat at the Boathouse.
The St. Louis Zoo is also located here- great for kids and it’s actually an AWESOME zoo! (2-3 hours)
Lunch- hop on over to Café Osage. This quaint restaurant is connected to the dreamiest indoor nursery. Pick up a succulent or air plant while you wait for your table and then enjoy some of the best brunch/lunch in the city (in my humble opinion).
Afternoon excursion- The Gateway Arch! The Arch is a must if you go to St. Louis. There’s a decent park that is near the bottom. The park is also right on the Mississippi River. If you’re feeling up for it, take the journey up to the top. It’s definitely one of the more touristy things to do, so I don’t always see it as a must. Personally, the Arch is much more beautiful from the outside. (1-2 hours)
Snack time- If you’re feeling hungry for an afternoon snack, The London Tea Room is the perfect pit stop. A pot of tea with some scones + clotted cream/jam usually do the trick, but if you’re really feeling fancy you can opt for a High Tea Service. If you want to do a High Tea, then you have to make a reservation at least one day in advance! This little café is the perfect place to just take a little break and relax while you recharge after such a long day!
Option 1: If you’re tired and just want to take a stroll, Delmar Loop is a great place to be! St. Louis has its own Walk of Fame with Stars on the sidewalk of famous St. Louisans. You can also hit up Blueberry Hill– which is famous for being Chuck Berry’s stomping grounds, get some fresh soda from Fritz. There also tons of places to eat and some pretty awesome record stores as well! They’re still working on getting the Delmar Trolley up and running, but it should be a fun little addition to the already popular spot in town!
Dinner– If you end up eating on Delmar, I won’t be mad at you, BUT you have to save one meal for Mango. Mango is an awesome Peruvian restaurant situated in Downtown St. Louis. It may seem a little random, but Mango has been a St. Louis staple for a long time!
Breakfast– Rooster’s is a great little breakfast/crepe place in St. Louis. They have a few locations, so pick the closest to you!
If you have a few hours left before heading to the airport or driving back home, I would go back in Forest Park. Drive around and get a good feel for the massiveness of the place. Park the car and take a little stroll, just to engrave your experiences in St. Louis in your memory forever.
Happy Travels! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any St. Louis questions!!