St. Louis is a major city in Missouri along the Mississippi River. Its iconic, 630-ft. Gateway Arch, built in the 1960’s, honors the early 19th-century explorations of Lewis and Clark and America’s westward expansion in general.
The first weekend of October, John and I took a little trip to St. Louis, Missouri for our anniversary. I had been there a few times growing up, but John hadn’t. We enjoyed our time together and did lots while we were there.
We drove up on Saturday morning and our first stop was Stacked STL, their food was phenomenal! This was not only a recommendation by a friend, but a place featured on the Food Network as well. For our appetizer we got the Mac & Cheese balls (oh my gosh, SO good), and for our entrees we both got burgers. John got the En Feugo and I got the Wakey Wakey.
We then drove over to Anheuser-Busch for a complimentary tour. When we arrived they were very busy and weren’t doing another tour for close to 1.5 hours. We decided to hop on some Lime Scooters (I love these) since John had not experienced them yet, and ride around the neighborhood. We were close by the Cherokee-Lemp Historic District so we took a look around at the historic homes, churches, and the well known Lemp Mansion. This mansion, built in 1868, has been featured on several ghost shows due to it’s history of family deaths in the home.
As we were finishing up our exploring in the neighborhood, it started thundering and lightning, we could see the rain coming. We scootered as fast as we could back to the brewery, but were not fast enough. We got SOAKED. I looked as if I’d had a shower with my clothes on.
We took the complimentary tour at Anheuser-Busch, simple yet informing. I was mostly excited to see the Clydesdales, but they were eating when we went and all I got to see was their hind ends. We got free beer tokens, but still stuffed from lunch we passed on it. It’s definitely worth a stop if you’re in the area, and there are more advanced tours available if you so wish to take one of those.
After our tour, we headed to our Airbnb to check-in. We have became huge fans of Airbnb instead of staying in hotels just because of the homey feeling. Our Airbnb was delightful. Very nice and detailed, included everything we needed including extras of coffee and chocolates. It was a nice central location to everything we were doing/attending over the weekend.
For dinner, after much research, we had reservations at Charlie Gitto’s On the Hill. If you’ve never heard of the Hill, it’s a well established Italian-American neighborhood in St. Louis. I had always heard of it, but never been. The ambiance was perfect for our anniversary dinner, not too fancy but just enough to feel nice without being overwhelming. We had the toasted raviolis for an appetizer and they were mouth watering. For our dinner I had a simple dish of Chicken Alfredo while John had a special which included Red Snapper and various veggies. At the end of our dinner they brought us out a complimentary cake for our anniversary, needless to say we both left there stuffed.
Following dinner we made our way to Off Broadway to see one of our favorite bands, Shane Smith and the Saints. They’re a folk-rock band based out of Austin, Texas and we thoroughly enjoy their music. This was the concert that our St. Louis trip was hinged on, and it was spectacular! Not only was the venue amazing and intimate, but they put on quite a show! If you’ve not heard of them, I highly recommend listening to some of their music.
First thing Sunday morning, John and I made our way downtown to the Gateway Arch.
It was recommended that we purchase tickets in advance (which we did) and also to get there early to avoid the crowds. I had been in the Arch 2 other times growing up, close to 20 years ago, and I still have memories of that stuffy little pod you ride up in. I wasn’t looking forward to it very much, but wanted John to experience it. Hooray for technology, my fears from my childhood were no longer an issue. They have updated the Arch so much in these last 20 years that the pod is now air conditioned and the ride to the top is easier to handle. (John told me I was working myself up for no reason, HA!)
After our tram ride to the top, we browsed the newly renovated museum underneath. There were a great deal of historic artifacts as well as six themed exhibit areas.
For lunch we headed to CJ Muggs in Clayton, Missouri (not far from St. Louis). Here, we met up with a couple of my cousins that I’d been wanting to meet. I have recently been digging into my family tree and came across these family members who I’d never had the pleasure of meeting before this trip.
We had an excellent brunch, the food was great and the visit was wonderful. I opted for the breakfast pizza and it was like nothing I’d ever had before, amazing! John got a Cajun Omelette which he enjoyed.
There were a few more hours left in the day for us to explore St. Louis, we decided on going to Grant’s Farm. I was excited to get a better look at the Clydesdales after not getting to see much of them the day before. We were able to pet them and see them up close.
At Grant’s Farm there were other animals, including some exotic animals. We took a tram ride through Deer Park to observe most of these in their natural habitat. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend going! Admission is completely free for all ages, you only pay for parking. PLUS, adults get 2 free beers each.
Nearing the end of our day, we stopped at Ulysses S. Grant Historic Site (right beside Grant’s Farm). Here we were able to see White Haven, family home of Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia Grant. Although the name doesn’t suggest it, the color of the plantation house is actually green. Back then, bright paint colors were a sign of wealth which is why Grant had the house painted green. It was very interesting to learn about the Grant family and see their home with artifacts from their life inside.
Our last stop was for frozen custard at Ted Drewes, a family owned business out of St. Louis that has been selling custard for over 80 years. John had the Hawaiian concrete and I had a turtle sundae, they were both delicious!!
There were so many other things to do in St. Louis that we just didn’t have the time for. A couple of my other favorite things to do/see:
St. Louis Zoo – Free admission, only pay parking
St. Louis Science Center – Free Admission. They have a planetarium and it is spectacular!
And a couple things I’d like to do/see:
St. Louis Union Station – We actually stopped here but they are closed for renovations until 2019. They are turning the “Grand Hall” into an aquarium, which I cannot wait to see!
City Museum – My cousin recommended this place and said it was great for all ages. The pictures of it looked really neat!
What I love most about St. Louis is how budget friendly everything is, most of their large attractions are free. There’s plenty to do for anyone whether it be a family or couple, and we will definitely be back again in the future. If you’re ever in the area, or want to make a trip out of it, I highly recommend any of the restaurants or stops we made.
We have one more getaway coming up this year, and I cannot wait to share it soon.
“Meet me in St. Louis, Louis, meet me at the fair. Don’t tell me the lights are shining, any place but there.” – Judy Garland