Top 10 Things to Do in St. Louis

Every once in a while, people visit St. Louis (it’s true!) People who have never been here before. Depending on who they are or how the weather is, we do different things. I can’t say that I’m a great tour guide…I kind of just go along with what the person wants to do while retaining some semblance of my normal life.

One of the top posts on this blog is 10 Fun Facts About Puerto Rico, a place I’ve only been once. So I figured it’s about time to write about the place I’ve come to love over the last 10 years (I was partially inspired by a fellow blogger’s post about why you should visit Louisiana). So if you ever come to St. Louis, here are the top 10 things you should do.

  1. Have a burger for lunch with me at Liluma. Seriously. You might as well meet me if you’re here, and we’re talking about the best burger ever made. If you don’t like burgers, I’d say that Pappy’s Smokehouse is next on the list.
  2. Go to a Cardinals game. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like baseball. Cardinals games are a ton of fun.
  3. Don’t go up the Arch. Instead, walk around the base of the arch. There’s a nice riverfront park there (FYI, the Arch runs perpendicular to the Mississippi River, not across it. As some of us may have originally thought), and you’ll get a much better idea of the architectural feat that is the Arch than actually going up inside of it, which is probably the most anticlimactic thing you’ll ever do.
  4. Go on the Budweiser Brewery tour. It’s interesting, there are horses (complete with horse anatomy and feces!), and free beer at the end. Get a pretzel at St. Louis mainstay Gus’s Pretzels while you’re down there. However, if you want to go to the largest St. Louis brewery (Bud isn’t American-owned anymore), go to the delightful Schlafly Bottleworks.
  5. Get dessert. St. Louis has some legendary desserts. I’m recommend going to Crowne Candy Kitchen for milkshakes and the Cupcakery for (can you guess?) cupcakes. There are also a number of great gelaterias. If you want a traditional St. Louis food, get some gooey butter cake or some Ted Drewes frozen custard.
  6. Go to Forest Park and the zoo. Burn off those calories from the dessert by taking a run in the beautiful Forest Park. Run by the fountains and keep going over to the zoo, which I think is the second-best public (free) zoo in the U.S. Don’t leave until you hang out with the penguins and puffins for a while. (If you’re in the mood for a walk instead of a run, try the Botanical Gardens.)
  7. Treat yourself to dinner. There are plenty of great places to eat in St. Louis, but I’d put Atlas Restaurant and Iron Barley up there as a great combination of service, experience, and delicious food. If you want to eat Obama’s favorite pizza at a cool ambiance, hit up Pi Pizza.
  8. See a movie at the Moolah. I know, some people might think it odd to go see a movie when you could see a movie anywhere. But you really haven’t ever seen a movie in a place like the Moolah. One huge screen, leather couches, great popcorn…it’s a great theater.
  9. See a concert at The Pageant. This is one of the coolest concert venues I’ve ever been to. It just…works. In the summer, though, I’d recommend the UMB Bank Pavilion (or whatever it’s called now). They have a huge sloped lawn where thousands of people crowd for the biggest acts.
  10. End your night with drinks at the Chocolate Bar. Have you ever fantasized about living in a place where everything is made of chocolate? That’s the Chocolate Bar. It gets very crowded, but it’s worth it.

Of course, I’ve left many things off the list (the City Museum, the Muny, the casinos, the amazing crepes)…but that is how Top 10 lists work. What do you think, fellow St. Louisans? What would you add to the list?