We traveled to St. Louis to see Koe Wetzel live. This was our second concert in one of my favorite cities. We ended up staying an extra night and enjoyed our time away together.
The first Thursday of this month (September), John and I made the 4 hour drive to St. Louis for a two night stay. Unlike usual, I didn’t have much planned and we were just winging it.
We got into St. Louis in the afternoon around two-ish and decided to visit the City Museum, as neither of us had ever been. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, looking at reviews online they were great but every time I saw pictures I just though ehhh. Had it not been for a couple of friends and coworkers of ours, we probably would not have visited… but we are SO glad we did! I questioned whether or not the ticket prices were worth it for about 15 minutes before deciding they were. This place was phenomenal!!
It’s basically an old warehouse building that was turned into this humongous museum, but not your typical museum. The work started in 1993 when artists Bob and Gail Cassilly acquired a 10-story, 600,000 square foot, former shoe company warehouse in Downtown St. Louis. Their vision was to transform it into “a city within a city” and they have been adding to it ever since!
We went ahead and did the combo ticket, which included the roof, and that’s where we started our exploring. There was a small ferris wheel on the rooftop, which we rode, as well as a couple different slides, which were fun. They also had a bar, snacks, and hangout area, with some pretty neat “chairs” we chilled in for awhile. There were a few things to climb, but we were doing the bare minimum this day, ha!
Making our way to what was advertised as their “10 story slide”, it spiraled down into a dark area. We felt lost but it was kind of funny because everyone around was just wandering too. There were things to climb, slides, and various statues.
We wandered up and down to different floors, but I am still not sure we saw all 10 stories in all it’s glory. You see, we only had a time slot of about 2ish hours to visit, and once getting there we quickly realized that wasn’t near long enough! I would probably recommend at least a good 4 hours to enjoy and see everything.
Outside there were several contraptions, sculptures, and things to explore. We skipped climbing through tunnels of any kind as it was relatively hot out and let’s face it, we’re kind of lazy (lol). We did, however, make our way to the castle they had in the parking lot. I joked that it was our first castle visit, as I long to one day visit many. In hindsight, although I’ve not yet visited any castles, it did seem realistic as it had a narrow spiraling staircase, small openings for windows, and a ‘roof’ and ‘tower’ you could walk out on.
After leaving the City Museum, we made our way to check in to our Airbnb. We chose to stay near Forest Park, as we planned to visit the zoo the next day and it was also close to our concert venue. I was quite pleased with our choice, it was even better in person than it looked in pictures. It was an upstairs renovated townhouse apartment, boasting exposed brick walls (which I seem to love). Here is the listing if you’re interested!
We quickly changed and got ready, then made our way to the Delmar Loop. This street has been voted one of the “Best 10 Streets in America” by the American Planning Association. The Loop offers eight blocks of one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants, art galleries, live music, café culture, and the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Although I didn’t get to explore it much, I was happy with what I saw.
For dinner we decided on Salt + Smoke, and we were very pleased with our choice. For an appetizer we had the burnt end toasted raviolis, and they were mouthwatering! We shared a “bestie combo” for our meal where we picked 3 meats and 2 sides. We had their pulled pork, wings, ribs (which John thinks are some of the best he’s ever had), and for sides went with their white cheddar cracker mac and fries.
Although we had to eat at the bar, because they were fairly busy, we received great service and enjoyed the atmosphere. 10/10 would recommend and go back again!
Right after our dinner, we really needed to quickly get to our concert venue. However, we walked past a Chuck Berry statue which I HAD to get a picture with, which reminded me I was wanting to see a mural of his on this road somewhere. I then realized we were parked right in front of Vintage Vinyl, which has Chuck’s mural on the side.
Growing up, my dad and I listened to Chuck Berry on the regular. We went through a couple of cassette tapes wearing his music out! My all time favorite song of his was “Little Queenie”, I knew every single word and would sing it at the top of my lungs. He made such an impact on the rock ‘n’ roll community, and I’m glad to have been introduced to his music at a young age. Hearing his songs come on the radio or out in public, now as an adult, makes me smile and reminisce on my childhood.
We hurriedly made our way down the road a bit to Delmar Hall to see Koe Wetzel in concert. We had been wanting to see Koe for quite some time, but kept putting it off because every time he would come near us it would be on a week night. We finally decided what the heck, took off work, and made a nice little trip of it.
After the concert was over we headed to a little place called Nick’s Irish Pub. Unbeknownst to us, it was college night and their specials were insane. We enjoyed talking with the bartender Chelsea, and made friends with others hanging around. Chelsea was so sweet, we got to talking about my blogging and she said she wanted to follow me and handed me her phone to navigate to my page (so if you’re reading this, hey girl!).
We took full advantage of sleeping in, as we had stayed up pretty late. After checking out of our Airbnb at 11, we headed to eat lunch at a local deli ‘On the Hill’ that John found called Gioia’s Deli. We got there right before the lunch crowd, got seated outside, and were enjoying our sandwiches and the weather when a line formed out the door. It was a hopping little place!! I had a simple turkey, cheese, lettuce sandwich (cause I’m so picky), and John had the special sammich of the day.
After lunch we headed to Forest Park. First we visited the Jewel Box, which was only $1/pp to go inside. The Jewel Box is a greenhouse with special floral displays during certain holidays. It looked like a place you would host an event or even a wedding, very fresh, cool, and clean.
Next up, we headed to the Saint Louis Zoo. It is one of the few free zoos in the nation and was voted America’s top free attraction in USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards. It is also a part of the AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction commitment.
It was a warmer than expected day for us, but not too bad. Since we parallel parked and didn’t have to pay for parking, we splurged and got tickets for the train to transport us around. This came in very handy, and I could see where someone with younger kids may opt in to get the train pass.
I was a bit disappointed not being able to see some of the animals out, like most of the monkeys and the polar bear, but overall we enjoyed our visit. We spent about 4 hours taking our time and seeing things. My favorite animals I saw during this trip were the elephants, out playing with a ball (see video), and the penguins.
The last time I visited the Saint Louis Zoo a couple years ago, the line into the penguin house was outrageous and we skipped it. This time being on a Friday afternoon it wasn’t very crowded at all. We chilled in the penguin house (literally, as it was 90ish out) for awhile and enjoyed watching them swimming around.
One of the neat things I found out about the penguin house, is that they change the lighting to reflect the actual season of their habitat which I thought was pretty cool! Also, one of the keepers said that they work with the Peruvian and Chilean governments to monitor over-fishing so their penguin populations can still thrive, and I thought that was so nice to hear.
After our visit to the zoo, we decided to stay another night in St. Louis. I got on Hotwire (first time using) and booked us the Hilton at the Ballpark Downtown for about half the normal price. While it was extremely conveniently located to everything downtown, we stayed in the “west tower” and it seemed quite outdated.
For dinner we scootered (yes, those electric scooters, I love them) to Bailey’s Range. They were pretty packed with it being later on a Friday night, so we decided to sit at the bar. I had the American on a pretzel bun which included a fried mac’n’cheese patty, bacon, and ipa cheddar sauce. John had the Dark Knight which included whiskey mushrooms, house slab bacon, pepper jack cheese, and steak sauce. All of it was SO GOOD!! They also had homemade ice cream, but we were just too full for even one scoop.
Following dinner we rode the scooters around and stopped in Kiener Plaza Park for a little bit, enjoying the night-time arch and courthouse view.
When we got back to our hotel we made our way up to the rooftop to check out 360 STL, a highly rated rooftop bar. It was very crowded with a private event, leaving no room to even have a seat. However, the views (from what we could see) looked pretty great.
After checking out of our hotel, we scootered to brunch at The Wheelhouse. Apparently on weekends they have $15 bottomless mimosas, but we weren’t planning on spending long there.
I got the French Toast which was rice krispie crusted and served with orange butter, powdered sugar and fresh fruit. It was made from Texas toast and crunchy, delicious but different. John had the Truck Stop, which had breakfast potatoes layered with scrambled eggs, crumbled bacon, peppers, american cheese, and smothered in sausage gravy and Wheelhouse chili topped with scallions (basically everything on a plate).
On our scooter ride back to the car, we stopped by Busch Stadium for a couple minutes to check it out.
Following brunch we headed to Four Hands Brewery to check out their selection of local brews, and to pick John up some of the city museum pilsner that he tried when we were there and liked. The ambiance was nice, a chill place to hangout, however we did not feel the most welcome. Could have been an off day, could have just been the people working, either way we got what we came for and headed out.
Next, we made our way to Cherokee street to explore the Cherokee Lemp Historic District. It was around lunch time when we got there, and according to some of the locals the street isn’t really hopping til around 4-5ish in the afternoon.
We stopped in Saint Louis Hop Shop, and John was able to get a mix six of local beers. The guy working was super friendly and gave us some good recommendations for local places to go.
One of the more interesting things we came across down Cherokee street, was multiple cakes (somewhat like statues). I took pictures of several and the whole time just wondered why on earth they were there and what their purpose was.
As we were walking out of one of the antique stores, there was a man cleaning one of them so John stopped and asked him. He let us know that these cakes were made in 2014 and spread out across the city to celebrate 250 years of St Louis, in their “Cakeway to the West”. They were working on cleaning/preparing them for an event that actually took place just this last weekend called Cat & Cake Walk. The man we spoke to (and I didn’t catch his name) was one of the original artists and he was asked to do about 10 cakes, when he finished those they loved his work so much that he was asked to do even more.
Our next stop was Lafayette Square, which wasn’t too far away, to check out Square One Brewery & Distillery. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places in St. Louis, it had a lot of character having originally been a tavern in 1883. We sat there for an hour or so, John enjoyed a flight of beer while I tried one of their employee inspired drinks. According to a local, they have bloody mary flights, but with it being later in the afternoon we passed on that.
At this point I was craving something sweet, and asked the bartender for recommendations. He suggested Clementine’s Naughty and Nice Creamery, which I had seen a little ice cream truck for earlier and wondered about. It was right down the road from us, and their menu had me sold.
I had the molten lava cake, topped with maple bourbon ice cream, mixed with salted candied pecans, and drizzled with a salted caramel sauce, it was SOOOO good!!! John had the boozy banana rum which was swirled with homemade butterscotch caramel sauce, and his was also DELICIOUS!!
After our ice cream, I had one more thing on my list I wanted to see before heading home… MURALS! If y’all don’t know by now, I’m kind of obsessed with scoping them out everywhere I visit.
The Greeting’s from St. Louis Mural is one of many “Greetings from…” murals across the country. They are painted by a couple who travel full time via their RV, and you can find them on instagram here.
We had a great time in St. Louis, and enjoyed just going with the flow for once. It was a relaxing trip, not too fast paced, and good to just get out of town.
We have basically checked off everything we desire to do in St. Louis for now, the only thing we were really looking forward to is the new St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station. According to their website, it looks like it will be opening up this winter sometime!
St. Louis has LOTS to do for every age, and so many of their attractions are free. In case you missed it, here‘s my post from our last trip there about a year ago.
“New York, Los Angeles, oh, how I yearned for you. Detroit, Chicago, Chattanooga, Baton Rouge. Let alone just to be at my home back in ol’ St. Lou.” – Chuck Berry