Many people recognize St. Louis as the city where the Gateway Arch exists, a massive arch structure built in the 1960s to reflect the 19th century explorations traveling west in this region. St. Louis sits on the Mississippi River, providing an important transportation hub for much of the region. This is a vibrant city, home to over 304,000 people.
There are many things St. Louis is known for, including the invention of the ice cream cone, and it is the home to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. As the second largest city in the state, it is one of the big cities in the region but maintains some of that smaller town feel. There's a lot to know about the city, such as that it is home to four research universities, including The Washington University Medical Center and Saint Louis University. It's home to four professional sports teams, including the MLB's Saint Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis CITY SC of the MLS. It is also home to the Missouri Botanical Gardens and the Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum.
For those that love history and architecture, a quick look at St. Louis shows the vast number of beautiful structures here. That includes the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, City Hall itself, and the Central Library. City Museum is an excellent example of the city's passion for beautiful stone-inspired architecture. The Old Courthouse is a 19th century building that has a long history to it.
Beautiful parks, tree-lined subdivisions, and numerous rivers and creeks help to make this area quite green. It enjoys a subtropical climate that gets hot during the summer months and has violent spring weather due to thunderstorms. The city's economy is one based on manufacturing, health care, social services, and retail trade, though it is also a growing tourism district as well. Numerous large companies call the city home.
When visiting St. Louis, there are dozens of attractions to explore. The arts and culture here are diverse, including everything from opera to jazz and ragtime. It's home to the St. Louis Symphony, the oldest in the U.S.
For those who love the outdoors, the I-44 corridor is a good place to start. It's a pathway that features numerous places to stop, including Tower Grove Park, a Victorian park that's a National Historic Landmark, and the Missouri Botanical Garden, which sprawls 79 acres. There's also the Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in this area, which features 112 acres of forested area that's quiet and beautiful. The World Bird Sanctuary is yet another option along the corridor for those who love birding.
It's also possible to get in a paddleboat and travel down the Mississippi River or to do some fishing off one of the area piers. The Grafton Riverfront is an excellent place to walk along the water (be sure to look for eagles perched above). The Lewis & Clark State Historical Site is also located here and tells the story of these explorers.
Have some fun at Raging Rivers Waterpark, which overlooks the river. You could also visit the Saint Louis Zoo and the St. Louis Aquarium while you explore the city.
For those visiting St Louis, there are dozens of restaurants to explore, but more specifically, there are a few regional favorites to try including gooey butter cake and the St. Paul Sandwich, which is typically found in Chinese take-out restaurants that offers an egg foo young patty with a dill pickle on white bread. The area is also home to numerous artisan bakeries, and there's a strong local produce and farmer's market passion among residents.
Don't forget to pay a trip to the Soulard District, where some of the best Blues are played, and the very best barbecue restaurants exist.
There's no doubt you'll find all cuisines represented here. The Loop area of the city is an excellent choice for those looking for more trendy foods and bistros. A few craft brew bars are in this area, too. For those who are looking for more elegant foods and innovative options, Downtown could be an exceptional choice. Still, in just about every neighborhood, there's a small sandwich shop or deli that offers some of the best local cuisines you can find.