help for St. Louis trip

Jul 17th, 2003, 08:19 PM
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help for St. Louis trip

Going to St. Louis to see son (15) compete in athletic events in early August. Will need to be at the St. Charles Family Arena (off Highway 70) and the Chesterfield Athletic ASsociation (off Highway 64). Will have time every day (alone) to sightsee. Where should I stay and what is good for adults to do? Can I get by without a car using public transit? Thanks!
boppiess is offline  
Jul 17th, 2003, 10:09 PM
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I'm from St. Charles area orignally and I can tell you that the biggest shortcoming of the St. Louis area is the lack of wide-spread public transit. You'll need a car. It's a fairly spread out suburban area in both St. Charles and Chesterfield.

I'd suggest staying near Chesterfield or Westport. St. Charles hotels tend to be of the budget (but not terrible) variety. Chesterfield is upscale and the Doubletree or the Hilton would make decent choices although no hotels there are really in walking distance of anything. It's a business office-y sort of area. On the other hand, Westport (it's an area, not a town... techinically Westport is within the city of Maryland Heights) is maybe 5-7 miles from both Chesterfield and St. Charles. It's a nice plaza area with shops, restaurants and a lake. The Sheraton has two hotels right in Westport Plaza - one a glass tower, the other a Chalet looking building on the lake. Overall, I think Westport is the best bet. On a map, the area is in St. Louis County, at the intersection of I-270 and Page Avenue.

As far as sightseeing, well, I'm not sure what you enjoy or how far you'd like to roam. Downtown St. Louis has the Gateway Arch, of course. Major attraction there. Forest Park area has the Art Museum, the History Museum, the Jewel Box Butterfly House, the St. Louis Zoo (top notch) and the Science Center. Zoo parking is $8 but all attractions listed are free entry.

Elsewhere in the city, there's Missouri Botanical Garden - with a geodesic dome rain forest and the best Japanese gardens outside of Japan.

Very near the Family Arena (5 mins drive) is Old Main Street, St. Charles. It was founded by the French in the 1760's and the Lewis & Clark expedition started there (it's fronts on the Missouri River. Many of the 200 yr old buildings and the cobblestone streets are still in place and is a crafts type area now.

Clifton is offline  
Jul 17th, 2003, 10:11 PM
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Oh, and there are 5 casinos in the St. Louis area. 1 is in St. Charles, another larger casino just across the river, on the way to Westport.
Clifton is offline  
Jul 20th, 2003, 01:21 PM
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check out the posting "where to stay in St. Louis" for lots of info
sofun1 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2003, 08:03 AM
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Thanks for your help everyone!
boppiess is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2003, 08:55 AM
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Anheuser-Busch Brewery is a must!!!
GenXer is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2003, 09:19 AM
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I thought I posted in this thread before but can't find it.

In Chesterfield Valley on the other side of Hwy 40/I-64, about a half mile from CAA is a Drury Inn and a Hampton Inn and Suites. Both are brand new. About a mile away is a Hilton Garden Inn that is brand new too.

Out of the valley in the Chesterfield Mall area, about a mile away, is a Doubletree that is about 20 to 25 years old but has been renovated a few times. There's also another Hampton Inn and a few suite style extended stay hotels.

Westport Plaza would be closer to St. Charles and 15 to 20 minutes to Chesterfield. In the plaza itself are two Sheratons.
dweebe is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2003, 09:24 AM
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I'm from St. Louis and there is a Doubletree hotel not far from the Chesterfield Ahtletic Association. You can usually get this hotel for a STEAL on Hotwire ($40 a night). And yes, you will need a car.

I'm not familiar with St. Charles, but I do know that Main Street in St. Charles seems to be popular with antique lovers.

Let me know what types of activities you enjoy and I'd be more than happy to make a reco.

siems1111 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2003, 08:00 PM
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PLEASE read my St Louis trip report, to find it easier click on my name and read it before you go....please.
ARKANSASNURSE is offline  
Jul 24th, 2003, 01:12 PM
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Thanks for the info everyone. Arkansasnurse, sorry about your mishaps - I'll know not to eat at Ninos or the Cheesecake Factory. Have booked a car. Julie, too chicken to use Hotwire since you don't know where you are going to have to stay, but did end up booking at the Doubletree. Sent away for St. Louis visitor's guidebook. I think I'd like to explore near the river and don't mind driving out of town a bit if there are some unusual things outside of town to see. I like historical things, but not necessarily standard museums. Are riverboat dinner cruises worth the money? Are there some unique shopping areas? I hate cookie cutter malls. Thanks for any help. Susan
boppiess is offline  
Jul 24th, 2003, 01:33 PM
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It's been a couple of years since I've been to St. Louis, but it's a town I like-- unpretentious and lovely. Besides the suggestions you've already gotten, I'd add Union Station; beautiful old train station (with a mid-level Hyatt attached) with a little shopping center to boot.

For good eats, Italian places on the Hill are the best in Missouri. Zia's is my favorite-- if I lived in STL, I'd be at Zia's every weekend (and I'd weigh even more than I already do). Nothing nouvelle, just great. Humphrey's, not far from Union Station, is another fine place. OK, I confess: I eat my way across this fine country....

The Anheuser-Busch tour is a lot of fun, once you get past the rather oppressive smell of fermenting barley and hops in the air. And samples!! You get samples!! You may want to get a cab for this one.

rjw_lgb_ca is offline  
Jul 24th, 2003, 01:59 PM
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If you want to get a little outside of St. Louis there are some lovely winerys in Augusta, MO about 30 minutes from St. Charles. Mount Pleasant ( is my personal favorite. Jazzy, Swingy music on most weekends and a nice little general store.

For shopping you might want to try the Central West End. Mostly high end antiques but very good for browseing.
sml4c2 is offline  
Jul 25th, 2003, 12:39 PM
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I'm not sure what type of activities you really enjoy--which is why I am usually hesitant about suggesting things to do on vacations...BUT, here are some St. Louis suggestions that come to mind. I'd be more than happy to answer any other questions you may have about STL...

First, I know nothing about the river boat cruises so I will go ahead and defer to another STL resident to give feedback.

The brewery is usually a nice tour and is usually very popular among adults and teenagers.

The science center and planetarium are both downtown and are actually connected. These two attractions seem to be popular among tourists.

We have a city museum which by the name is very deceiving. Basically it is a huge play area for adults and teenagers. They have slides and mazes and climbing is an amazing piece of art. Everything is made from recycled material from the city...hard to explain, but fun. If you search St. Louis City Museum on yahoo or google you can take a virtual tour.

The zoo is free and is right in the middle of forest park which is a popular area for runners, joggers, walkers, bikers. There is a 6.2 mile path around the park.

The Muny is also in Forest Park. That is an outdoor theater that holds really nice plays and performances throughout the summer/fall.

There is a place downtown called the Lemp Mansion that has lunch and dinner. It is an old house that is supposed to be haunted. Some people like hearing the stories and walking through the house...probably not on my "must see" list, but like I said, I'm not sure what you like.

We also have the old courthouse which has interesting information on the Dred Scott Case.

The Arch and the riverfront grounds are good for a walk around or a picnic lunch under the arch.

If you like plants and gardens, Shaw Gardens, or the Jewel Box in forest park are nice and the botannical gardens are first class (this was mentioned by another poster).

In terms of shopping...Central West End will have some upper end shops, but not too many. It is a nice place to walk around though. The loop is also another place for people watching. Teenagers seem to like the loop as it attracts all types of people...but, the shops are mostly geared toward teens. Old Main Street or Main Street in St. Charles is also supposed to be a great place to go for unique shops. There are also tea houses in St. Charles that are popular.

Someone else mentioned the wineries which is also a great idea if you have the time.

For have SO many choices. If you like Italian, I'd reco the hill just because everyone seems to love it...
There are great restaurants everywhere...Brentwood, Chesterfield, Soulard, Central West End, The Loop, South Grand have tons of choices. Let me know what kind of food you like and I'll let you know what I recommend.

For dessert...ted drewes custard!

I can give you more information on any of these items if you would like. I hope you enjoy your trip!

siems1111 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2003, 03:16 PM
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Wow - incredible information from all - thank you. I love the food suggestions and will definitely try the custard since that seems to be a regional treat. I love all of the suggestions and will just have to see how much time I have - probably mostly available in afternoons and evenings. I was afraid I'd be bored, but with all of these suggestions, I doublt I'll get to everything. Thanks!
boppiess is offline  
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