Travels

St. Louis, MO // Travel Guide

Hi all-

Last week I took a trip out to St. Louis to visit a friend who is now living out there. I thought I would share the trip and everything we checked out in the city, and share some recommendations! If I did not have a friend out in St. Louis, the city would not have been at the top of my ‘must-see’ list, but let me tell you it far exceeded my expectations. There was so much to see & do (and eat & drink), and it had such a trendy aesthetic with string lights and rustic, converted old spaces around every corner. Being from the Northeast, the layout of the city was much different than what I would typically associate with a city setup. Things were more speed out, and it wasn’t as hustle-and-bustle as New York or Boston. But this change in pace doesn’t prevent St. Louis from being a super interesting city with tons of spots to explore. So here is a little taste of my trip:

Ballpark Village / The Arch / Some food spots

I took a super early flight out of Providence, so I was able to get to St. Louis by 10 am and have my whole first day to explore.

First things first, we went to grab lunch at a spot my friend recommended. We ate at Bailey’s Range, a modern burger joint with crazy good food and drinks, and they source everything locally. I got the Rosemary Paloma and the Buffalo burger – I highly recommend both but especially the Paloma. After lunch we went and check out Ballpark Village, right across from the park where the St. Louis Cardinals play. It’s basically a giant indoor bar with a glass ceiling and giant screens to watch the ball games on. There are other bars and restaurants all around the perimeter, and it was an awesome place to grab a drink. When there’s a game on, the energy in there is crazy! We came to kill some time before our ticket time to head up to the top of the Arch.

If you go to The Gateway Arch, I would recommend buying tickets online ahead of time. We bought ours ahead of time, and when we got there it was sold out so we were glad that we did. There is an interesting little video about the construction of the Arch, and then you climb into these little 5-person pods and head up to the top. Just a word of warning, if you are claustrophobic, maybe reconsider. It’s really tight in there! The top of the arch had some cool views, but was definitely a bit underwhelming. It’s only ten bucks, so check it out if you have time (and don’t want to die when you are in tight spaces with strangers), but seeing it from the outside is cool enough.

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Dinner that night was the coolest. One Friday a month in the Tower Grove area of St. Louis, they do Food Truck Friday. It was basically a giant park, with food trucks lined up serving pizza, burgers, noodles, taco, craft beer, and wine. It was heavenly – I tried an American Pale Ale from 4 Hands Brewery and grabbed some tacos from Mission Taco. Mission Taco has a full restaurant in the Central West End area of St. Louis and it has a really cool vibe, I would definitely recommend checking it out! We went out that night for a few drinks back at Ballpark Village and checked out Three Sixty, a rooftop bar in the area. Cool view, but very pricey and I wouldn’t say it is a must see on the list. Everything I have told you about so far was just the first day spent in St. Louis, and I am exhausted just writing about it all.

Missouri Wine Country

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The next day, we got up and headed out to try a few different wineries. I didn’t know this prior to my trip, but Missouri has a lot of wineries. We were able to hit 3 of them on our way to Farmington, MO, where my friend has family. Our first stop was Sainte Genevieve Winery in the town of Sainte Genevieve. This winery was really cute and quaint. They do free wine tastings, so we sampled about 5 or 6 wines, and they we each bought a bottle to take home and a glass to enjoy out on their porch. It was the perfect day, and it was so peaceful sitting out and sipping wine looking over the cute little town. We explored the historic town a bit, and did some shopping at a few little boutiques. Our favorite was called Simple & Sassy – it’s basically like a brick and mortar Easy shop where the woman who owns it makes everything herself right in the store.  I would definitely recommend heading to this area if you have the time – it’s only about 40 minutes outside of St. Louis and the town was so cute to explore!

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We also went to Crown Valley Winery where we paid $7 to select and sample 5 of their wines. Crown Valley was nice, but it didn’t feel as quaint and it was not my favorite. The wine didn’t do much for me either, however the views were incredible.

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Our last stop was Sand Creek Winery in Farmington, and we definitely saved the best for last. It was the perfect place to end the day, as the sun was setting and we were able to sit outside with a glass of wine and look out over their land. They have food you can order too, and the outside area where you can sit and eat & sip on your wine was so cute! They had a pergola with string lights, and a fire pit out back. The woman who owned it was very sweet, which made it that much better. I would highly recommend checking Sand Creek out, especially if you are looking for more of a laid-back experience.

Craft Breweries

We spent the next day (Sunday) relaxing at my friend’s aunt’s house and hanging out by her pool, and then we refreshed for some more exploring on my last day. We started the day by touring the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. We did the free tour, which included one sample and one free beer, so definitely worth it! You can see how they make Budweiser and look at the Clydesdales and grab a few things at the gift shops too. They have other tours where you can see a bit more, but you have to pay for them. I think the free one was great, but if you want to do one of the other, check the schedule online and plan around it. We would have had to wait about an hour and a half to do the other tour anyways, so we went for the free tour.

Afterwards, we went over to a local craft brewery called Schlafly. This place was awesome – really cute outdoor seating, yummy appetizers, and great beer. We each got a flight where you can choose 5 beers to sample, and then we split some apps. I would highly recommend checking it out, even if you just go for lunch or dinner. I am hoping I can find some of their beer around me!

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Lastly we went to Urban Chestnut, another local craft brewer that does all German beers. The place was really cute, but I didn’t like any of the beers that I tried there. Not a must on my list, but if you like German beer it would be worth checking out!

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We had dinner that night over in the Central West End area at Pi Pizzeria. They had really good pizza there, and it was an awesome place to eat outside. If you are looking for a great place to have a nice evening and some dinner, head to Central West End. It’s a trendy area with a ton of restaurants, so you will for sure be able to find something you like.

So that’s a wrap on my trip to St. Louis! We did a lot of eating and drinking, but we got to see a lot of the city (and state) while doing it. The trip was so much more fun than I was anticipating it would be, because who really dreams about going to Missouri? But I think it is totally a city worth spending a few days in. The only downside for me was traveling there alone. I have traveled alone many times before, and the more I do it the more I find myself bored out of my mind. It was great to be with my friend while in St. Louis, but the traveling to and from was so dull! Next time I will have to drag someone else along with me. I had a lay over in Charlotte where I was sitting next to a gate filled with people on their way to Paris and I thought, “No one is here to stop me from hopping on that plane for a spontaneous trip to Paris…” Ahhh, someday I will get back there. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed reading about my travels, and let me know about some of your favorite cities, too!

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