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The St Louis City Guide

If you're not one of the three million people who live in the greater St. Louis area, you may only think of the city as the host of the Gateway Arch. But, spend a few days in Eastern Missouri, and you'll see things through different eyes.

The St. Louis Story

St. Louis was founded in 1764 by French fur traders. It's located on the western side of the Mississippi and was named after Louis IX of France. As part of the Louisiana purchase, the United States acquired the area in 1803.
Currently, the St. Louis city limits host just over 300,000 residents, but the metro area expands to ten times that amount.

The St. Louis Highlights

We have to go back to the Gateway Arch because it is so well known. Plans initially started in the 1930s, but construction wasn't completed in 1965. It's the world's tallest arch standing 630 feet tall and signifies the westward expansion of the US.
The Gateway Arch is a National Historic Landmark. From the top, visitors have sightlines extended 30 miles in any direction.
If you're a resident, the Arch is commonplace to you. You're seeking other things to do, places to go, and people to see. We're going to be covering as much of that as possible in this city guide as there's certainly plenty of activity in your hometown.
St. Louis is known for its free attractions. You can visit the zoo or most of the museums and never have to pull out your wallet. You can use that saved money to treat your family to some authentic Italian food scattered throughout "The Hill" area or head over to Ted Drewes for frozen custard. The shop and recipe are St. Louis originals that have been around since 1929.


You'll Never Be Bored With All of the Things to Do

If you're visiting St. Louis, you'd better plan to spend quite a while if you want to take in as much as possible. St. Louis has plenty of museums and tourist attractions to have you racing all over the city to visit all of them.
But, even if you're a lifelong resident, you may forget just how much you have instant access to in the Gateway City. St. Louis has 40 professional theatre companies alone. That number doesn't even touch the musicians and comedians, dancers, and other performers at venues large and small.


On the Stage

We're looking forward to consistently providing you show updates in this city guide as there's a long list of venues and the performances change frequently.
Touring Broadway productions make their stop at the Fox Theatre, which was built in 1929. When you buy a ticket to show at the Fox, you're getting more for your money as you get to take in the beautiful ambiance of the historical theater known for its unique and intricate interior design.
The Stifel Theatre is in the downtown area and hasn't recently been renovated. If you're looking for those limited time engagements like family shows and holiday events that are annual traditions, you'll want to pull up the Stifel's calendar.
The St. Louis Black Repertory Company is in University City. It was founded in 1976 is distinguished as the largest professional African-American theatre company in the United States. Most performances are held from January through June.

Outdoor Theatrical Performances

When the weather heats up, the Municipal Opera Company (The Muny) comes out to play, or at least perform a play. The company performs musicals under the stars at Forest Park at the Muny Amphitheatre.
The Muny Amphitheatre is the biggest outdoor venue in the country with seating for 11,000. If you're on a budget and still want to catch one of their shows, 1,500 seats in the back rows are complimentary and issued on a first come, first served basis.


Museums and Other Free Attractions

No need to save your money to take your family for a weekend outing. St. Louis has more free attractions than any other place in the United States except Washington DC. While the Muny offers complimentary back row seats, you've got a front row ticket to some of the top venues in town.
The St. Louis Zoo, Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour, St. Louis Science Center, and the Missouri History Museum, and the St. Louis Art Museum all offer free admission.
It's unusual these days to have so many quality attractions just open their doors. Other cities may be charging $10 or even $20 for comparable experiences. So, by all means, get out there, and take advantage.

St. Louis Professional Sports

Major League Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals, and the National Hockey League's St. Louis Blues are currently the two top professional sports teams in the area.
St. Louis isn't a stranger to NBA or NFL action, though. In 1923, the St. Louis All-Stars was a member of the NFL. For 27 years, from 1960-87, the Cardinals belonged to the Gateway City before heading to Phoenix in '87. NBA's St. Louis Bombers played one season in 1949 to 1950. The St. Louis Hawks lasted longer with 13 seasons from 1955-68.

St. Louis Cardinals

When it comes to longevity in St. Louis, baseball's St. Louis Cardinals are unsurpassed. The team played its inaugural season in 1882 and has become one of the most successful teams in MLB history. Their 11 World Series Championships is second only to the New York Yankees. The Cardinals play at Busch Stadium.


St. Louis Blues

Hockey has been in the St. Louis area since the first puck dropped for the St. Louis Blues in 1967. The team that's named after a W.C. Handy song has an overall winning record, a Presidents' Trophy, and nine divisional titles, but is still competing for its first Stanley Cup victory.


Forest Park

We've already established that St. Louis has plenty of indoor activities to enjoy, and many of them are free of charge. But, let's not neglect the great outdoors either.
Forest Park on the west end of the city is known as the "Heart of St. Louis." It's not only home to the MUNY, but the Zoo, Art Museum, Science Center, and Missouri History Museum. The park was created in 1876 and attracts more than 12 million people each year.

Park Activities

Some activities depend on the time of year. But, there's always something going on at Forest Park. Boating, skating, and tennis just scratches the surface as there are multiple athletic fields, as well as hiking and biking paths.
Some of the area's biggest events take place in the park. Annual events include the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Wine Festival, St. Louis Micro-Fest, and outdoor film screenings hosted by the St. Louis Art Museum.


Italian Food and Gooey Butter Cake

Every region has its favorites that locals know and love, and tourists come to sample. St. Louis is known for a few tasty delights including its gooey butter cake. It was invented by mistake in the 1930s when too much sugar was added to a traditional cake recipe.
If you love super sweet, comforting desserts, you could pull up a recipe online and give it a try. But, it would be much more authentic, and less labor intensive) if you head over to one of Park Avenue Coffee's five locations. You can even take one to go or order one online.


St. Louis Style Pizza

Forget Chicago-style or New York-style when you're in the Gateway City. St. Louis-style is made on a super thin crust and uses a local custom blend called Provel cheese. It's a combination of swiss, provolone, and cheddar.
Imo's Pizza is a popular place for traditional St. Louis-style pizza. Imo's covers the St. Louis area with locations and even extends into Kansas and Illinois. Your pizza will be edge-to-edge in toppings and you can also get another St. Louis invention on the side, as Imo's makes toasted ravioli. If you're not in the area and you're having a craving, Imo's will deliver with out-of-town shipping.


The St Louis Miscellaneous


Panera Bread is Baking

Panera Bread got its start in St. Louis, Missouri when it was known as St. Louis Bread Company. The restaurant kept its original name in St. Louis only.


Arts and Culture at a Price You'll Like

Except for Washington DC, St. Louis has more free attractions than any other place in the United States. Most museums and the zoo are free for locals and tourists.


The "Italian" Hill

St. Louis' "The Hill" area is known for its Italian restaurants. Many serve St. Louis-style pizza with cracker-thin crust as well as toasted ravioli, another St. Louis culinary invention.


Cardinal Numbers

The St. Louis Cardinals are the second most successful team in Major League Baseball with 11 World Series Championships. The New York Yankees are practically untouchable with 27.


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