What is St. Louis like?

Nov 17th, 2005, 04:53 AM
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What is St. Louis like?

I notice that nobody really mentions or talks about St. Louis as a good place to visit or live...any reasons why?
claw123 is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 05:20 AM
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If they don't talk about St. Louis, maybe they are just keeping a good thing to themselves. It is a terrific city. I love to visit. Beautiful walking space down by the river, gorgeous views, and some of the best Italian restaurants in the country. I love St. Louis.
cmcfong is online now  
Nov 17th, 2005, 05:52 AM
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It's in the Midwest, and not in coastal association for travel and location that is the primary reason you don't hear about it. IMHO, almost all Midwest, and especially Plains Midwest and Western Plains places are vastly underestimated because of all kinds of perceptual criteria from media and everything that markets American business, especially the entertainment and news businesses.

St. Louis is one of my all time favorite places in the USA for a 3 or 4 day visit. Be it indoor or outdoor activities, and especially if you are a Sports person, St. Louis has immense choices.

Actually the most beautiful room and nicest hotel stay I have ever experienced in my life was in St. Louis. And that includes old and new Europe, Caribbean, Canada, Mexico etc.

This hotel was the Westin Cupples Station (it was a train station and is/ was semi-attached to the St. Louis Cardinals Stadium- the one they are just now knocking down.) It has changed hands several times and has other owners but is still called by the Cupples Station designation. I would love to be rich enough to hire that designer. Best combination of the old 15 to 18 foot windows and the eclectic modern that I have ever seen. I'm sure that it is not in the wreckage/redo for the new stadium going on now- but would be right on top of it.

In St. Louis you have good walkability, very helpful and friendly/courteous Midwestern people, many good restaurants, and spectacular surroundings. There is even a wine growing area for tasting and concerts that is not far from St. Louis. Zoo was good, cultural opportunities good, and casino gambling on the Big River if that's your speed.
JJ5 is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 06:16 AM
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I found downtown ST. Louis quite dull. I walked for 15 minutes through downtown in the middle of the day without walking by a single person. If you are used to a vibrant central city like Boston/Philly/DC etc... you won't find it in St. Louis. It seems that no one lives in the central city.

I loved the west side college area with its funky cafes and shops. The Art Museum (which is free) had a remarkable collection. The park the museum is in is full of all types of activity. The St. Louis Cathedral is gorgeous. If you are a baseball fan the crowd at the games is great and it will be even better when the new park opens.
TKT is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 08:03 AM
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We really enjoyed our family trip to the St. Louis area a few years back. We visited the arch, the zoo, the Kahokia (spelling) Mounds, ate at the spaghetti factory, went to the Raging Rivers water park, got a frozen concrete at Ted Drews, and didn't have time to do the other things we wanted to do before heading off to Niagara Falls. It was awesome.
ajcolorado is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 09:21 AM
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What about the City Museum? I have not yet visited St. Louis but I plan to in the next year just to see this masterpiece!
suzanne is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 09:50 AM
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Saint Louis is a wonderful city. We went up to the top of the Arch , toured the Anheuser Busch Brewery , went to a Cardinal ball game , ate at a restaurant formerly owned by Yogi Berra , stayed at a hotel overlooking the Mighty Mississippi. I'm hoping to go back soon. At the ball park a man spoke up and said , "I'm going for dogs anyone want one ?" So I gave him my request. Not only did he bring the dogs back but he even gave me my change. At the restaurant I ate rather quickly , the waitress said , You must be hungry let me get you some more." She refilled my plate with pasta and a wonderful sauce at no additional cost. The people there are simply great Americans !!!
bobrad is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 10:10 AM
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In the 19 years I lived in STL, my favorite place was the Missouri Botanical Garden, a beautiful, peaceful place to visit. Tourists also might enjoy the Anheuser-Busch brewery, the Arch, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard.

Is St. Louis a good place to live? Well, it wasn't my hometown, which I missed and finally returned to, but it had a lot to offer: a world class symphony, great restaurants, interesting neighborhoods, professional sports teams and fine universities. The weather can be a bit extreme - hot and humid in the summer, bitter cold in the winter (with more ice than snow, as I recall). There is a certain snobbishness; folks are not as friendly as other places I have lived.
flsd is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 10:46 AM
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This is such an open-ended question, and therefore, hard to answer. Are you thinking about traveling/visiting St. Louis? Or stopping here on the way to some other mid-west destination? I grew up in NYC but have happily settled in St. Louis.

Like many other places, it has some great things, and some not-so-great things. It's certainly not a destination city like NY, Boston, Chicago, San Fran., LA, Philly, etc. but there are many reasons to visit. These include: The Arch, zoo, Botanical Gardens, AB Brewery, St. Louis Symphony (playing at Carnegie Hall this weekend), St. Louis Repertory Theatre, Opera Theater, Grant's Farm, Six Flags, Old Cathedral, New Cathedral, many excellent restaurants...And, of course, our Cards (we have this years MVP AND the Cy Young award winner!!!!) My son and I went to the last Cards game. Sat in front of four Houston fans, in Astro's jerseys, who spent much of the game calling friends at home talking about how nice St. Louisans were, why are they tearing down Busch Stadium, it's a great place for baseball, and how cute Mark Muldar's wife is (we were sitting in front of her). All the Cards fans sitting around them were giving them gentle grief, but it was all taken as intended. They didn't gloat too much, and there were no bad feelings. That doesn't happen it too many other sports-crazed cities.

St. Louis has an interesting history including that the city boundries were set in 1876. When people refer to "St. Louis" they usually are also talking about all of St. Louis County, yet when you read statistics about St. Louis (population, crime, horrible school district...), it usually only includes the city proper not St. Louis County. This can be difficult to understand and very misleading.

If you have any specific questions, please come back to the thread, and I'll do my best to help answer them.
Liz5959 is online now  
Nov 17th, 2005, 11:04 AM
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Hey, welcome to Missouri! I've lived in St. Louis and every so often we drive up from Springfield for some event. Posters have already mentioned some places and in fact a few I hadn't known about.

Liz5959 is right...it is not a destination city like Chicago or San Francisco or Boston but it does have many things as she and others have listed...such as the Cardinals, the Zoo, the Arch and riverfront, the Art Museum, Muny Opera in Forest Park, Botanical Garden, etc...all worthwhile.

Ozarksbill is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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I live in StL (as if you couldn't tell) and love it. We have all the seasons, without hurricanes or earthquakes, and there are so many different neighborhoods with their own feel.

The Hill - for some of the best Italian food. This area was also featured in the movie Game of Their Lives.

Downtown - where all the sporting events take place and many businesses are located (esp Law firms)

Soulard - my favorite area (probably b/c I live there) which has somewhat of a French Quarter feel (maybe only for Mardi Gras though!) and plenty of restaurant and jazz/blues bars to check out

Richmond Heights and Ladue - for upscale shopping

The Grand area - Great ethnic restaurants

The U. City Loop - Fun place to people watch or pick up an album at Vintage Vinyl

I'm younger, so what I think is cool in the area may not be what everyone else thinks is great. But like Liz pointed out, there is a ton of stuff to do! Our Zoo is free, and so is the Science Center (not including parking). We have the City Museum, AB, Grant's Farm, Union Station, the Botanical Gardens, Ted Drewes, and Forest Park is beautiful. If you haven't visited the city at least once, you should. And if you think you can't find enough to do, just come back to this thread, or ask any of us a question, we all would be happy to give you suggestions! I have played tour guide 3 times this past year for out of town friends. I always had trouble making sure I could fit everything in!
StLgrrl is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 12:50 PM
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Sorry StLgrrl but St Louis does get earthquakes. Not as often as California but it does happen. You're near the New Madrid fault.


And sadly don't forget the tornadoes.
indytravel is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 07:00 AM
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We stopped in St. Loius for about 24 hours on our way to Denver. We enjoyed it. We stayed at the Drury Plaza (be aware of similarly named hotels). We were only a couple of blocks from the Gateway Arch/Jefferson Expansion Center. We visited the Visited the Expansion Center & viewed the Lewis & Clark movie the afternoon/evening we arrived. The next morning we went back viewed the movie on the building of the Arch & went to the top. This touring schedule worked well for us - our boys were 10 & 11 at the time. They loved it. We have fond memories of St. Louis.
mom2boys is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 07:51 AM
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StLgrrl...so you live in the Soulard area? How interesting. That was a wonderful open air market long before the present day farmer's market. Is this still going on? Has this become a more agreeable near downtown residential area now?

Ozarksbill is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 12:58 PM
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We were in St. Louis last March for a basketball tournament. We stayed downtown (Drury Plaza, which is quite nice) and really enjoyed our time there. We mostly just went to the basketball games, but we also went to the Arch and to the Missouri History Museum. We found downtown to be very walkable, and we rode the subway (Metro?) and found that easy to use as well. We enjoyed our time there.
kansasmom is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 04:12 AM
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Ozarksbill, yes, the Market is still there. I love that atmosphere! I try to go every weekend, but, I bought a house that is .5 miles from it, so making the walk in cold weather isn't as much fun. I think the area has really come around. When I was in college I wouldn't go down there because it was the "city." But several Mardi Gras celebrations later, I love it. I know my neighbor as well as others living in the area, I joined the Soulard Restoration Group as well as the Mardi Gras committee. We still have our share of crime, but what area doesn't? There are more cops patrolling the area, and I feel safe. And the area must be desirable because some of the houses are priced quite outrageously!
StLgrrl is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 07:29 AM
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I've been to St. Louis twice now to visit friends and loved it! Not so much for downtown, although we did hit the Arch, but for all the things already listed by the others. Forest Park is fantastic. How can you beat free museums and a free zoo? I love Atlanta but here you pay for everything, and pay a lot. One of our favorites was touring the Cardinals stadium. Our guide was top notch, had grown up going to the park and loved sharing stories.

We hope to go again next year and discover even more. And enjoy eating more Ted Drewes concretes!
atlswan is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 07:40 AM
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I went to high school in Belleville, which is on the Illinois side. My parents still live there and my sister lives in urban St. Louis. They all enjoy the city and I like to visit there.

One thing that I'll say (since no one else has mentioned it) is that when I go back to visit, I hear more racial discussions than I do here in Dallas (and Dallas certainly has its share of racial issues). Don't know how to explain it...In the St. Louis area I hear more people (liberals and conservatives) talk about "the blacks" than I do here in very conservative north Texas. I don't know if that means that in St. Louis people are just more comfortable talking about racial issues, or if they have more negative racial feelings...I don't know, but hearing talk about "the blacks" always kind of surprises me when I go back.
missypie is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 08:09 AM
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That's because people in Dallas (and Texas) don't talk about race at all.
MikeT is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 08:16 AM
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This is true, missypie.

But don't judge these contexts wrongly from another and very different economic and housing pattern perspective where you are now. You may hear the language and not get the "sense" at all. You sound like you are taking that phrasing in the sense of hearing a high level of prejudice in it.

It has more to do with high crime rates in pockets and much, much more that occurs/ relates to Northern migrations in mass numbers from the South and its/ their legacy.

The crime reports/stats for the whole country came out today and St. Louis was #3 for "worst" in the entire nation. That does not mean that all of St. Louis has bad crime rates. One small area or several small areas can be so high that they indite the "entire" on statistics taken that way. A dialog is important and it isn't going to be the same dialog that takes place in a part of the country with a different history of industrial mass population migration and subsequent on-going housing realities.

Some cities in the South may have something similar occur in 30 or 50 years with long standing Hispanic communities that prefer or can't assimulate /disperse into the larger housing and economic arena of the entire city base. Maybe not, but most probably it will.

I'm been in East St. Louis and I've been in St. Louis proper lots of times. It still would not keep me from visiting St. Louis at all.
JJ5 is offline  

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