I’ve got some St. Louis travel tips to share with you after our recent 3-day getaway to celebrate a promotion I received at work.
Once again we flew Southwest with one of their sales. They have their own terminal (#2) at the airport, which is located a bit outside of the city. A one-way Uber ride was about $30 from STL to downtown. While we were in town, we predominately utilized Lime and Bird electric scooter rentals to get around town. Mike has used them before but this was my first time. It was great! These companies are popping up in major cities across the US. The free app will help you to find them nearby. Unlike Social Bicycle, these can be parked most anywhere versus only at a hub. We found them at the street corner just outside our AirBnB most every morning. They are $1 to start and $0.15 per minute.
We always like to be near downtown when we travel and selected the Soulard district for this trip. I had no idea how much French and Mardi Gras influence was in St. Louis but later learned the town was originally settled by French Fur Traders. There were quite a few restaurants, bars, and hangouts in this quaint but bubbling neighborhood.
We selected this Eclectic Apartment in the heart of Historic Soulard. It’s a 2-story loft with the living are and kitchen downstairs with bedroom and bath upstairs. The bedroom had a small balcony overlooking the main street. There’s also a shared backyard area with a firepit. The location was everything! The owners also have an apartment in the building and were super nice and helpful. I loved their book of food suggestions and things to do.
My favorite part of traveling and St. Louis did not disappoint. One thing we did notice is that they really like their wine and spirits in this town. Everywhere we went had a bar including breakfast venues, ice cream shops, and even the family museum. Patio dining is also a thing. Almost every restaurant we went to had an outdoor seating section, which we took advantage of because the weather was glorious in late September!
Rooster cafe.crepe.sandwich – I selected the Egg Scramble, which is their specialty. There were several options and flavor combinations to choose from. It was amazing!
Soulard Coffee Garden – I love a good omelet and they had a menu full of them or you could create your own. I finally decided on the Portabella and Swiss. Mike went a la carte and got two HUGE fluffy biscuits and gravy, as well as the spiked cherry limeade.
Joanie’s Pizza – We had just landed and were starving but didn’t want a full meal to ruin our dinner so we ended up at this little restaurant right next door to our AirBnb. We sat outside in the courtyard and had appetizers. They have a little bit of everything and I wish we would have had time to order more.
Pho Grand – After Atlanta, I have been craving more Pho. This Vietnamese restaurant had quite an extensive menu and I was tempted to try something new but I stuck with traditional Pho with steak. Boy, the broth is just so delicious! Mike also loved his chicken Mi Xao. We are predictable if nothing else.
City Museum – Yes, even the museum had a bar – on every level – and food. There were several quick-service restaurants to choose from with various options. I went to a little stand on the 4th floor that was similar to a food truck. I selected the vegan brat with peppers and onions and he cooked it to order.
Broadway Oyster Bar – We went here our first night. Once you’ve had cold water oysters, you’ll never eat a gulf oyster again. Whey they told us their baked oysters were from the gulf we vetoed that pretty quickly and opted for a half dozen oysters from Connecticut. I ordered shrimp & grits which was tasty but not traditional by any sense of the word. The grits were baked into a breaded “cake” and the shrimp and cheese sauce was poured over the top. Mike had gator and liked it as well!
Mission Taco Joint – Never have I ever had corn tortillas like these. They were amazing! I can’t figure out how they got them so soft and pliable. It’s an impressive feat. We opted for chorizo queso + chips and ordered tacos from the a la carte menu. They were all fabulous! This place was also in walking distance from where we were staying.
Three Kings – We didn’t make it to the original location but we grabbed dinner at the airport location before we left town. I had the Three Kings Burger which Sweet has a balsamic onion relish, thick double-cut smoked bacon, and bleu cheese. They don’t have a GF bun option but it was fantastic sans bun and this was a great way to end our trip!
Clementine’s Naughty and Nice Creamery – Out of all the food we ate, I think this might have been our favorite. For starters, I love ice cream. They have flavors that have been infused with beer and liqueurs (naughty) and traditional style including vegan options (nice). They also have flavored waffle cones or a gluten-free sugar cone option. Holla! Best of all, the staff talked to us like we were locals even through we readily admitted we were visiting. The whole place has a great vibe!
The Sweet Devine – Apparently they competed on Cupcake Wars and won! Mike wasn’t a fan of their award-winning flavor but I can vouch for the gluten-free salted caramel – it was so amazing that I’m still dreaming about it.
St. Louis Arch – The Gateway Arch is the iconic piece of the St. Louis skyline but I had no idea that you could actually go up inside the Arch. When Mike suggested it, I was like “what?!?!” This may not be appropriate for people who don’t like tight spaces or heights, including me, but I survived and was really proud of myself for doing it. You ride up to the top in a small capsule with 4 other people. It’s 4 minutes up and 3 minutes to get back down. I just closed my eyes the whole time and went to my happy place in my mind. Once you reach the top there is a gallery viewing area. Ask one of the staff members to tell you some fun facts about the angle the arch was built at or take a leaning picture. There is also a museum that you can go through on the bottom level. It explains the history of why St. Louis was the “gateway” to the west and talks about the contest that was held to select the architect of the monument. Cool stuff!
City Museum – I seriously do not even know how to describe this place. It’s amazing! The whole family will love it. Just go! The City Museum uses a plethora, and I mean plethora, of recycled and upcycled building materials – along with buses, planes, excavators, and more – to create a unique combination of things to climb over, under, through, and to slide your way to various floors in this 11-story building. Both kids and adults alike will have a blast. Note they do sell knee pads for $6 in the gift shop or you can bring your own but they aren’t required. We did fine without them. We stayed for 4-5 hours but we easily could have stayed the whole day and still not have seen or did everything available. Be sure to do the 10-story slide and pay the $5 extra for the rooftop, especially on a beautiful day.
Anheuser-Busch – This was conveniently located to us. We actually walked there from our AirBnB in Soulard. This is the original brewery for the brand and it was impressive. There are several different tours to choose from including a free tour. We opted for the Bud Light tour for $10 which included seeing the Clydesdales, stables, complete brewing process, packaging facility, 2 generous samples, and a freshly brewed (from that day) take-home gift bottle. I’m not a beer fan at all but this was something really neat to do! There were kids on the tour too so it can be family friendly as well.
St. Louis Zoo – The zoo in St. Louis is fabulous and it’s also free (they do charge for parking). All of the habitats were really nice and we got to see several new animals that we don’t have in Nashville like an 850-pound polar bear and penguins. I also got to see my favorite animal, the giraffes. Mike likes the monkeys and the big cats and they had several species of both. In the middle of the zoo they also have a fudge shop that is very tasty and affordable. We got 6 BIG pieces of fudge for only $16!
While this trip was to celebrate a promotion I received at work, this trip will actually go down in time as “the trip where Mike made me do all the things with heights.” Thank you CBD oil! It calms my anxiety so much! We can’t wait to visit here again. We said over and over that we wished our daughter was with us. She would have loved it too. I hope these St. Louis travel tips help make your next getaway amazing!