St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri…the Gateway City

          Whether this is your main destination or you are just passing through, St. Louis, Missouri is a great place to visit, especially in the Spring and Fall. Situated on the west bank of the Mississippi River, St. Louis was founded in 1764 by Pierre Laclede and named after Louis IX of France. To this day the French influence can be seen everywhere throughout this beautiful Midwestern city, as evidenced by the ever present fleur-de-lis. There are many cultural, historic and architectural points of interest that you will want to see during your visit and most of them are either within the city or just a short drive from St. Louis. St. Louis is home to Busch Stadium and the St. Louis Cardinals, the internationally acclaimed St. Louis Symphony, the world class St. Louis Art Museum and one of the finest Zoos on the planet. There are many other areas to visit during your stay, including the ginormous Forest Park, the Italian restaurants on The Hill, shopping at St. Louis Union Station and the beautiful campus of Saint Louis University in midtown. And you won’t regret splurging on a stay at the historic and beautifully renovated Chase Park Plaza Hotel.

The St. Louis Gateway Arch in Fall

The St. Louis Gateway Arch in Fall

Old Courthouse, St. Louis

The Old Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri Where the Dred Scott Case Was Heard

Historic St. Louis

          The St. Louis region was an active center of Native American culture dating back to 900 AD and a side trip to Cahokia Mounds across the river in Illinois is a must. The United States acquired St. Louis along with the rest of Missouri from France in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. A year later, Lewis and Clark embarked on their expedition of exploration from the fledgling metropolis of St. Louis. Soon after, steamboats began plying the waters of the mighty Mississippi, making this region a major hub of commerce and the starting point for many pioneers heading west. A self-guided walking tour down by the river will take visitors to the Gateway Arch, constructed in 1965, the Eads Bridge completed in 1874, the riverboats moored nearby and the old courthouse where the historically pivotal Dred Scott Case was heard.

The Beautiful Campus of Saint Louis University

The Beautiful Campus of Saint Louis University

The Hill, St. Louis, Missouri

The Italian Neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri Known as The Hill

Day Trips from St. Louis

          Just outside the city you can visit the cabin built by Ulysses S. Grant in 1855 on land that he was given by his bride’s family as a wedding gift. The area is now known as Grant’s Farm and is a reserve for animals, including the awesome Budweiser Clydesdales. Just west of St. Louis there is the Museum of Transportation, most notable for its outstanding collection of locomotives and rail cars. Just a few miles further west across the St. Charles River is the Daniel Boone Home and Heritage Center in Defiance, Missouri. Boone was in his sixties when he moved to Missouri and he died in the house in 1820, although the actual location of his grave is somewhat of a mystery. A scenic 116 miles drive north along the Mississippi River brings you to the quaint little town of Hannibal, Missouri, the boyhood home of Mark Twain. In addition to Twain’s home, there is a replica of Tom Sawyer’s fence and several other period buildings. Walking up the nearby hill affords a wonderful view of the Mississippi River. As you can see, there is much to see and do in St. Louis and Eastern Missouri, so what are you waiting for!

Grant's Cabin, St. Louis

General Ulysses S. Grant’s Cabin Near St. Louis, Missouri

Tom Sawyer's Fence in Hannibal, Missouri

Tom Sawyer’s Fence in Hannibal, Missouri

Union Station, St. Louis

Union Station Shopping Center in St. Louis, Missouri with Gateway Arch in Background

The Mighty Mississippi River Near Hannibal, Missouri

The Mighty Mississippi River Near Hannibal, Missouri