OT: St Louis travel

Hans Sprungfeld

Too spicy for the Cesspool
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
3,330
Likes
4,177
#1
We are taking advantage of Southwest's new direct flights from Bradley and flying into/out of St Louis to visit family in north central Arkansas the second week of September. Current plans are for 3 Airbnb nights in St Louis tacked onto the back end.

Any recommendations/heads up for a site- and sightseeing trip with a BBQ, blues, baseball, balloon race vibe?

Exposition Grounds & Arch, City Museum, Blues Museum, Soulard Farmers Market, Botanical Garden seem most interesting at first glance. Where to hear music?

Busch Stadium will have a Pirates day game or a Dodgers night game, and seemingly low ticket prices.

Sub-Reddit defenders have to battle the metro/suburban haters who make the place sound as scary as our beloved Hartford & New Haven, both of which I like.

Pappy's, Bogart's, Sugarfire, or other? (kind of like Pepe's, Sally's, Modern, or other)

Best neighborhoods to stay in or to explore or avoid? We'll have a car, but walkable & bikeable both appeal.

Forest, Tower Grove, Benton, or Lafayette Square parks?

Anywhere special to stop along the 5 hr trip heading southwest on I-44 and then south toward Bulls Shoals Lake in the Ozarks?

Thanks in advance for any and all.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2011
Messages
20
Likes
14
#3
Used to go STL for work several times a year. Delmar Blvd. near Washington University is worth a visit with good restaurants and shops (also goes by name Delmar Loop). Several specializing in barbeque but plenty of variety.

Owners of the Cardinals developed area across street into massive Ballpark Village with a variety of restaurants and bars to choose from. Additional options are now available in that same area.

I found downtown to be a wasteland for the most part.
 

HuskyHawk

Hoping to see something that looks like basketball
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
11,825
Likes
12,184
#4
We are taking advantage of Southwest's new direct flights from Bradley and flying into/out of St Louis to visit family in north central Arkansas the second week of September. Current plans are for 3 Airbnb nights in St Louis tacked onto the back end.

Any recommendations/heads up for a site- and sightseeing trip with a BBQ, blues, baseball, balloon race vibe?

Exposition Grounds & Arch, City Museum, Blues Museum, Soulard Farmers Market, Botanical Garden seem most interesting at first glance. Where to hear music?

Busch Stadium will have a Pirates day game or a Dodgers night game, and seemingly low ticket prices.

Sub-Reddit defenders have to battle the metro/suburban haters who make the place sound as scary as our beloved Hartford & New Haven, both of which I like.

Pappy's, Bogart's, Sugarfire, or other? (kind of like Pepe's, Sally's, Modern, or other)

Best neighborhoods to stay in or to explore or avoid? We'll have a car, but walkable & bikeable both appeal.

Forest, Tower Grove, Benton, or Lafayette Square parks?

Anywhere special to stop along the 5 hr trip heading southwest on I-44 and then south toward Bulls Shoals Lake in the Ozarks?

Thanks in advance for any and all.
I'm no expert, but was there in June and visit my brother and sister in law, nieces and nephews fairly often. I also visited back when I lived in KC.

From a crime point of view, St. Louis has a much higher murder rate than Hartford or New Haven. Top 3 in the country I believe. There are places to avoid, but many of them are easily avoided. In my mind it is much more scary than Hartford.

The metro is decent. Busch Stadium is nice. Grant's farm can be fun for kids. Gotta do the Arch, and Laclede's landing is a touristy area along the river nearby. Lots of bars and restaurants. For Pizza, try some St. Louis style, like Imo's. The Beale on Broadway gets good reviews for Jazz, but I have not been. Bogart's is good for BBQ.

Not much help, sorry. I always have local guides when I'm there. Most of the inner region suburbs, like Webster Groves and Brentwood, have interesting little quasi-urban downtown areas.
 

Drew

Its a post, about nothing!
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
5,197
Likes
6,748
#5
born and raised in St. Louis and have tons of family still there.

First off- go to The Hill for your dinners at night. Yes, the Italian food is on par with any that I've had in the states. Old Italian immigrant neighborhood directly off the highway. Rigazzi's, Charlie Gitto's, Zias, Dominic's are my favorites. Toasted Ravioli with meat in the middle is one of my favorite dishes in the world. Can get it from any Italian place in the city. Crave it regularly.

The Arch is pretty cool and honestly worth going to the top. If you're a history buff, there are tons of museums and whatnot inside it as well. Very cool.

The downtown area of St Louis is a place that is pretty lively during the day but ultimately post 5/530 fizzles out very quickly.

You must try St. Louis style pizza from Imos. They cut it real thin into squares and use provel cheese. They too have pretty good toasted ravioli.

The St. Louis Zoo is free and is one of the best in the country. Can't suggest it enough.

Ballpark Village is pretty cool. If you're a baseball guy theres a Cardinals museum in there highlighting some of the greatest moments of the team's history and they have a ton of bars and whatnot. Obviously this is better when there is a Cardinals game going on at home but they pack the place to watch the Red Birds on the road as well.

Would definitely suggest touring the Anheuser Busch brewery. Really cool to see the operations behind their beers.

Other fantastic restaurants that aren't Italian: Pappy's Smokehouse, Chili Mac's, Twisted Ranch (seriously this place is so cool), Gioia's Deli, and no matter what you have to wait in line to get a frozen custard from Ted Drewes.

If you want any other suggestions or to bounce ideas off me feel free to send a PM. I go back regularly and love the area.
 

Hans Sprungfeld

Too spicy for the Cesspool
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
3,330
Likes
4,177
#6
I'm no expert, but was there in June and visit my brother and sister in law, nieces and nephews fairly often. I also visited back when I lived in KC.

From a crime point of view, St. Louis has a much higher murder rate than Hartford or New Haven. Top 3 in the country I believe. There are places to avoid, but many of them are easily avoided. In my mind it is much more scary than Hartford.

The metro is decent. Busch Stadium is nice. Grant's farm can be fun for kids. Gotta do the Arch, and Laclede's landing is a touristy area along the river nearby. Lots of bars and restaurants. For Pizza, try some St. Louis style, like Imo's. The Beale on Broadway gets good reviews for Jazz, but I have not been. Bogart's is good for BBQ.

Not much help, sorry. I always have local guides when I'm there. Most of the inner region suburbs, like Webster Groves and Brentwood, have interesting little quasi-urban downtown areas.
More helpful than you think.

Plus, we've further identified that KC (and Memphis) can be non-stop flights from NYC for future trips, which beats 6-hour one-stop flights to Springfield followed by 2.5 hours to Mountain Home.
 
Last edited:

HuskyHawk

Hoping to see something that looks like basketball
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
11,825
Likes
12,184
#10
More helpful than you think.

Plus, we've further identified that KC (and Memphis) can be non-stop flights from NYC for future trips, which beats 6-hour one-stop flights to Springfield followed by 2.5 hours to Mountain Home.
Well I certainly know KC better than I do St. Louis. But @ZooCougar has more up to date knowledge.
 

ZooCougar

Shut Up Carl.
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
18,755
Likes
13,534
#11
We are taking advantage of Southwest's new direct flights from Bradley and flying into/out of St Louis to visit family in north central Arkansas the second week of September. Current plans are for 3 Airbnb nights in St Louis tacked onto the back end.

Any recommendations/heads up for a site- and sightseeing trip with a BBQ, blues, baseball, balloon race vibe?

Exposition Grounds & Arch, City Museum, Blues Museum, Soulard Farmers Market, Botanical Garden seem most interesting at first glance. Where to hear music?

Busch Stadium will have a Pirates day game or a Dodgers night game, and seemingly low ticket prices.

Sub-Reddit defenders have to battle the metro/suburban haters who make the place sound as scary as our beloved Hartford & New Haven, both of which I like.

Pappy's, Bogart's, Sugarfire, or other? (kind of like Pepe's, Sally's, Modern, or other)

Best neighborhoods to stay in or to explore or avoid? We'll have a car, but walkable & bikeable both appeal.

Forest, Tower Grove, Benton, or Lafayette Square parks?

Anywhere special to stop along the 5 hr trip heading southwest on I-44 and then south toward Bulls Shoals Lake in the Ozarks?

Thanks in advance for any and all.
On I-44? I did a bike race in Rolla once. I thought it was an interesting little town.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
6,524
Likes
4,909
#13
born and raised in St. Louis and have tons of family still there.

First off- go to The Hill for your dinners at night. Yes, the Italian food is on par with any that I've had in the states. Old Italian immigrant neighborhood directly off the highway. Rigazzi's, Charlie Gitto's, Zias, Dominic's are my favorites. Toasted Ravioli with meat in the middle is one of my favorite dishes in the world. Can get it from any Italian place in the city. Crave it regularly.

The Arch is pretty cool and honestly worth going to the top. If you're a history buff, there are tons of museums and whatnot inside it as well. Very cool.

The downtown area of St Louis is a place that is pretty lively during the day but ultimately post 5/530 fizzles out very quickly.

You must try St. Louis style pizza from Imos. They cut it real thin into squares and use provel cheese. They too have pretty good toasted ravioli.

The St. Louis Zoo is free and is one of the best in the country. Can't suggest it enough.

Ballpark Village is pretty cool. If you're a baseball guy theres a Cardinals museum in there highlighting some of the greatest moments of the team's history and they have a ton of bars and whatnot. Obviously this is better when there is a Cardinals game going on at home but they pack the place to watch the Red Birds on the road as well.

Would definitely suggest touring the Anheuser Busch brewery. Really cool to see the operations behind their beers.

Other fantastic restaurants that aren't Italian: Pappy's Smokehouse, Chili Mac's, Twisted Ranch (seriously this place is so cool), Gioia's Deli, and no matter what you have to wait in line to get a frozen custard from Ted Drewes.

If you want any other suggestions or to bounce ideas off me feel free to send a PM. I go back regularly and love the area.
The Hill
Isn't that the Italian area where Yogi Berra and Joe Garragiola grew up?
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
2,316
Likes
2,408
#14
Ive been looking to visit cousins outside St Louis from NYC and go to a Cardinals game but the flights are way too expensive to justify flying to St Louis for a weekend
 

Hans Sprungfeld

Too spicy for the Cesspool
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
3,330
Likes
4,177
#17
On I-44? I did a bike race in Rolla once. I thought it was an interesting little town.
Perfect.
When the same relatives lived in Amarillo, we flew directly to Albuquerque, and spent the first night in Tucumcari, another Rt 66 town. I think we've got a lunch stop along the way.
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2011
Messages
780
Likes
1,092
#19
My short business trips didn't leave me with a strong desire to spend a lot of time in St. Louis, but I'm a get-in-get-out business traveler so I don't get a great taste for a city. I'm a believer that every city can make for a good visit. My only tip for St. Louis is try not to spend much time at the airport. I've gotten stuck there twice (once with my family (two kids)). Horrible restaurant/lounge options. Just not a comfortable place to be for any more time than is absolutely necessary. J. Buck's Sports Bar (Joe and/or his dad's place) was pretty bad, but that was at least 10 years ago.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
44
Likes
107
#20
We are taking advantage of Southwest's new direct flights from Bradley and flying into/out of St Louis to visit family in north central Arkansas the second week of September. Current plans are for 3 Airbnb nights in St Louis tacked onto the back end.

Any recommendations/heads up for a site- and sightseeing trip with a BBQ, blues, baseball, balloon race vibe?

Exposition Grounds & Arch, City Museum, Blues Museum, Soulard Farmers Market, Botanical Garden seem most interesting at first glance. Where to hear music?

Busch Stadium will have a Pirates day game or a Dodgers night game, and seemingly low ticket prices.

Sub-Reddit defenders have to battle the metro/suburban haters who make the place sound as scary as our beloved Hartford & New Haven, both of which I like.

Pappy's, Bogart's, Sugarfire, or other? (kind of like Pepe's, Sally's, Modern, or other)

Best neighborhoods to stay in or to explore or avoid? We'll have a car, but walkable & bikeable both appeal.

Forest, Tower Grove, Benton, or Lafayette Square parks?

Anywhere special to stop along the 5 hr trip heading southwest on I-44 and then south toward Bulls Shoals Lake in the Ozarks?

Thanks in advance for any and all.
Avoid St Louis style pizza. It's literally the worst food I have ever tasted.
 

HuskyHawk

Hoping to see something that looks like basketball
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
11,825
Likes
12,184
#21
Avoid St Louis style pizza. It's literally the worst food I have ever tasted.
I guess you have not had RI Pizza. Or pan pizza. Or most New England Greek "house of" pizza. Or Dominoes. Because it's better than those.
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2011
Messages
1,280
Likes
1,002
#22
We are taking advantage of Southwest's new direct flights from Bradley and flying into/out of St Louis to visit family in north central Arkansas the second week of September. Current plans are for 3 Airbnb nights in St Louis tacked onto the back end.

Any recommendations/heads up for a site- and sightseeing trip with a BBQ, blues, baseball, balloon race vibe?

Exposition Grounds & Arch, City Museum, Blues Museum, Soulard Farmers Market, Botanical Garden seem most interesting at first glance. Where to hear music?

Busch Stadium will have a Pirates day game or a Dodgers night game, and seemingly low ticket prices.

Sub-Reddit defenders have to battle the metro/suburban haters who make the place sound as scary as our beloved Hartford & New Haven, both of which I like.

Pappy's, Bogart's, Sugarfire, or other? (kind of like Pepe's, Sally's, Modern, or other)

Best neighborhoods to stay in or to explore or avoid? We'll have a car, but walkable & bikeable both appeal.

Forest, Tower Grove, Benton, or Lafayette Square parks?

Anywhere special to stop along the 5 hr trip heading southwest on I-44 and then south toward Bulls Shoals Lake in the Ozarks?

Thanks in advance for any and all.
Busch Stadium is great venue. I would take the night game as it might be hot during the day plus I think they still send off fireworks after the game.
 

OkaForPrez

Really Popular Poster
Joined
Aug 28, 2011
Messages
4,070
Likes
7,556
#23
I live in Columbia now so in and out of STL a lot. You should definitetly venture out to the Forrest park area (where the zoo is). It's worth the trek away from downtown.
 
.



Top