Whether you’re looking for a family-filled adventure, southern cooking, or modern architecture, you will catch all the feels and more in the sweet little city of St. Louis, Missouri. We found it was about a two-hour drive taking rt. 70 from Effingham, Illinois. We knew we were close, when we spotted the tip of the Gateway Arch in the distance hidden among the trees. Having not been to Missouri since we were school-aged children we found it was a whole different experience as an adult.
First stop, was of course the 630-ft. stainless steel and world’s tallest Arch. We took the stairs to the top of the base of the Arch and from there walked the newly renovated grounds and explored the area. The iconic Arch honors the early 19th century explorations of Lewis and Clark and the westward expansion in America.
Next, we had to check out the Washington Avenue Loft District which housed the City Museum. A giant play house museum for adults and children which consists of repurposed industrial objects. The City Museum featured 11 floors and a rooftop which housed a ferris wheel from the 1940’s as well as a 50 ft. slide which was definitely a thrill.
"Each floor features several unique themes including: an indoor cave complete with darkness and tunnels, ball pits, climbing obstacles, live music, taxidermy, aquariums, slides, bars, and with every turn leads you into the unknown."
We found that everything in the museum is recycled or donated and the building was originally the International Shoe Building.
If you haven’t been to Soulard in downtown St. Louis, you need to. Soulard, is a historic French neighborhood filled with culture, great restaurants and live music. The first stop was of course 1860’s Saloon. The scent of Cajun fare and live music every night of the week caught our attention right away. Molly’s In Soulard was next on our list of places to go. We ended up eating here and we were very happy with our decision, as this place accommodated us with our food allergies. If you find yourself here, we recommend Molly’s Smoked Wings which are cooked in a black garlic scallion vinaigrette and drizzled with lemon horseradish mayo, Flash-Fried Calamari with sea salt, chili oil, lime zest and served with a romesco sauce. The Flash-Fried Brussel Sprouts are delicious, they were served with bacon and a sweet chili sauce and the Bluepoint Oysters served with lemon, champagne mignonette and bloody mary cocktail sauce were just a few of our favorites. The International Tap House was just a short walk away and featured over 50 beers and ciders on tap, cornhole, and an outdoor beer garden. Two of our favorites were Stem's- A Salted Cucumber Apple Cider and the Great Divide Brewing Company's- Velvet Yeti Nitro Stout.
We are sad that our little trip to the Midwest is coming to an end, but we definitely enjoyed our time here and we will miss the sights, sounds and all the friendly Southern folks we met.
HERE ARE SOME MORE PLACES IN ST.LOUIS AND THE NEIGHBORING TOWNS OF SOULARD & KIRKWOOD WORTH CHECKING OUT!