St. Louis trip - itinerary help?

Old May 27th, 2005, 02:46 PM
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St. Louis trip - itinerary help?

Hi, all - thanks to a strangely overwhelming affinity for Busch Stadium (I'm a San Francisco-area resident and a Giants fan...but always liked the look of Busch) and its impending demise, my husband and I will be spending a bit of time in St. Louis this summer. I'm hoping to get a little help in terms of what else to see in St. Louis other than the stadium

We'll arrive early afternoon of Sat. July 2, and must be at the airport to leave by around 5:30pm on Sun. July 3. We're staying at the Chase Park Plaza (all downtown hotels were sold out). We're going to the 6pm ballgame on July 2. The Fair St. Louis is also going on downtown, apparently, so I'm figuring it will be mighty crowded that weekend.

Here are the other things we'd like to do/see: the Arch, the Anheuser-Busch brewery, frozen custard at Ted Drewes, eat some BBQ (if possible), and maybe the Zoo or city museum? Of course, we're open to suggestions!

Any advice on if it's possible to do all these things in a day and a half? We will have a rental car, but I'm thinking Metrolink will be best for downtown trips since I've heard parking is a bear. Is it best to do the Arch early Sunday morning, given the heat and likely crowds from the fair, or should we head there before the ballgame instead?

Thanks in advance!
ez062718 is offline  
Old May 31st, 2005, 09:52 AM
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Keith is offline  
Old May 31st, 2005, 10:29 AM
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Wow, that's a LOT to cram into a day and a half. I'm not sure you can get all that in.

I would recommend going to the Arch early on Sunday morning. It is still going to be hot on Saturday before you go to the game and also probably crowded. If you have to wait to take the ride up, the movie on how the Arch was built is well worth watching.

The brewery tour will take you at least an hour, more like an hour and a half. But it is worth it, in my opinion. So is a visit to Ted Drewes! The zoo I would consider as optional. It's nice and free, but nothing spectacular. Just doing a drive through the park is nice in and of itself. I've never been to the City Museum so I can't give an opinion on it.

Having visited Busch Stadium myself and taken the tour, I can understand your affinity for it. We count our tour of Busch last summer as a highlight. The guy who led it was an older man who had a long memory about the place. He was there when the Beatles gave a concert. He also knew a lot about the Cardinals. So I hope you have a wonderful time at the game and experience the place before it is no more.

I cannot help you with BBQ places since we didn't have any while I was there. A St. Louis favorite is fried ravioli and it is pretty darned good.
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Old May 31st, 2005, 11:27 AM
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It looks like you're going to try and cram a lot in a little over 24 hours. You might have to pick and choose.

First: keep an eye on the gametime and mark sure Fox doesn't grab the Cards game and change the gametime to accomodate a national broadcast. I've been burned by that before.

Here is my recommended itinerary.
Arrive in St. Louis, head to the hotel and check in. That should be Saturday midafternoon and you're dealing with a 6pm start. Head out of the hotel and go to Ted Drewes. After that go I-44 east to downtown and the stadium.

Park on the southside of the stadium down by the Ralcorp headquarters. I've never had much problem finding parking in that area on Fair St. Louis/Cards in town weekends.

Go to the stadium and walk along the south side where you get a great view of Busch Stadium III being built. There's always tons of people walking along there taking tons of pictures.

Head into the stadium and go to the left-field side on the lower level. There is a Super Smokers party garden area there and have some BBQ.

After the game head a block or two south to either BB's Jazz Blues and Soups or to Broadway Oyster Bar. BB's (obviously) has blues and the Oyster Bar has a nice outdoor patio and has either Cajun or Blues music.

Get up Sunday morning early and have breakfast. The Chase has one of the nicest (and most expensive) Sunday brunches. Another choice would be head three blocks north on Euclid and have breakfast on the patio at Koppermans Deli. If you're wanting something quicker there are two St. Louis Bread Companys in the CWE. (the rest of the county knows them as Panera Breads. Panera started in St. Louis.)

After breakfast head down to the Arch as early as possible. You can now buy tickets in advance online and I would do it NOW. After the Arch head down Broadway to the A-B brewery and do the tour. That should get you to early afternoon.

Head a few blocks north into the Soulard neighborhood and have lunch at one of the many restaurants there. If the weather is nice: McGurks, Joanies and Hammerstones all have nice patios.

You should be into midafternoon and your time could be getting tight. Head from Soulard I-44 west to Hampton Avenue and go north into Forest Park. If time is tight drive around and get an idea of how big and nice the park is. If you have time, pay and park in the lot and head into the Zoo.

You'll probably have to spead walk the zoo. The Fragile Forest recently opened and the animals are still acclimating to the new enviroment. Went there last weekend and didn't see a single primate in their new area.

After that leave the zoo and head to the airport.

BTW: if you use any online direction tools or use a map one note. The Forest Park Parkway is still closed all the way from I-170 to the Central West End for reconstruction and the building of a new Metrolink line. You'll have to use Hwy 40/ I-64 as your east/west route in the mid-county/city area.

Hope this helps.
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Old May 31st, 2005, 11:35 AM
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If you are at the Chase, you will be in the beautuful Central West End and very close to Forest Park and the St. Louis Art Museum, with buildings from the St. Louis World's Fair. You might be crunched for time but the beautiful Union Station is worth a trip. As for eating, Balaban's is great and near the hotel. Alot of good Italian places in the hill area and yes, try the toasted ravioli. I'm not certain about BBQ in the city just a few places I know of in the suburbs. Get ready for the St. Louis humidity, it can be oppressive in July. Have a great trip.
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Old May 31st, 2005, 12:03 PM
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Try to catch the airshow at Fair St. Louis. You might see it going on during a ballgame.
You guys got my favorite player up there in S.F. now... Catcher, Mike Matheny. Hope you appreciate him as much as I did and still do.

I second the recommendation of visiting John D. McGurks Irish Pub in the Soulard area. Brewery is very nearby there, too.

For a short time to spend, you'll have plenty to keep you busy, especially with the Fair St. Louis going on. It's a great event. Check out the old Courthouse if you hear a drum and fife corp performing... it's beautiful inside. And speaking of beautiful... the St. Louis Cathedral Basillica has the largest mosaic collection in the world. Absolutely stunning! I think you'll be pretty close to the Basillica from your hotel.

I visit St. Louis quite a lot for baseball, but as to giving specific directions, etc. on other activities, I'm not the best. The posters before me have made excellent suggestions.

Have fun!
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Old May 31st, 2005, 11:29 PM
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dweebe is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 03:55 PM
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Excellent! You're all wonderful! I had little idea of how close together all the sights were, so this is a huge help.

Thanks for the parking suggestions. I don't think gametime will change from 6:15pm, but will keep an eye on it - the Cards are playing the Rockies, so it's not a great lineup for a national telecast I'll definitely get the Arch tickets now for Sunday morning - thanks for confirming that was a good time. My husband is a big blues fan, so BB's or the Oyster Bar would be a nice treat after the game. And the lunch suggestions for Sunday sound good, too - though we might just stroll around the Fair and see what's going on there. I'll keep an eye open for BBQ... and fried ravioli.

The zoo is definitely the most optional piece of the trip; I'd rather see the Bud brewery, I think, so we'll go for that over the zoo.

And yes, as a Giants fan, I definitely appreciate Matheny and his dedication. Calls a good game, and our pitchers seem to like him (ignoring the fact that our staff has been in some ugly outings of late and are getting little run support). Matheny's a heck of a lot better than Double-Play Pierzynski from last year... don't know if they'll keep him after the year's up, considering we've got a good backup catcher (Torrealba) who's itching to play - but we'll see.
Thanks again for all the advice - it's invaluable.
ez062718 is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 04:55 PM
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Dweebe has given you many good suggestions for cramming in alot of activities in a short amount of time. If you want to substitute AB tour for the zoo, the link is They are only available on Sundays from 11:30-5:00. Taking the tour after your Soulard area lunch should work out nicely.

And, even though they are fried, they are called "toasted" ravioli.
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