Greetings from the Gateway to the West! That’s St. Louis, Missouri by the way for those of you unfamiliar with the title. On Tuesday, we left Toronto to make our way to “The Show Me State” for a wedding. This is not the first time I’ve visited my boyfriend’s hometown however so I know a thing or two about St. Louis.
First things first, let’s get the negatives out of the way. While it’s true that St. Louis has been on the list of the most dangerous cities for the past few years, it’s really not the city’s fault. I’m not the best person to explain the situation so here’s a video from the people of St. Louis about their city and why you should visit despite the negative perception surrounding its crime rate:
So now that we’ve established St. Louis as no different from any other US city, let me tell you about all the great things you can do there.
Catch a Cardinals Game
St. Louis is first and foremost a baseball town. When it comes to sports, the whole city and county and even other surrounding areas are part of “Cardinal Nation”. They love and support the St. Louis Cardinals fiercely and come out to every game. As a Toronto resident and Blue Jays fan, I’m used to the Rogers Centre being half-full and people leaving before the end of the game. So I wasn’t prepared for my first Cardinals game. It was an afternoon game and Busch Stadium was packed. And this was near the end of the season when the Cards had almost no chance of going to the playoffs (of course, that was the year they actually made it and won the World Series). That kind of dedication is amazing to behold and fun to be a part of. You can also get St. Louis Blues tickets for cheaper than you can in Canada or watch the St. Louis Rams who just drafted the first openly gay player in the NFL.
Admire the Architecture
Simply put, St. Louis is one of the most beautiful cities when it comes to architecture. They have it all, French Colonial, German, early American, Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, modern…just by simply driving through the city and its surrounding areas, you’ll be able to see gorgeous houses and buildings. Be sure to visit the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis and go up the Gateway Arch.
Stroll through the Missouri Botanical Garden
This place is amazing. It’s the nation’s oldest botanical garden and everything is so pretty. Easily one of the highlights of any trip to St. Louis, you can spend an entire day here just admiring all the different types of gardens and conservatories. My favorite has to be the Japanese Garden. Plus admission is really cheap, it’s $8 for 13yrs+ and free for children.
Visit St. Louis’ Major Attractions for FREE
Yes, you did read that right. The world-class St. Louis Zoo, the Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, the Science Center, the Laumeler Sculpture Park & Museum and more are all free to the public. As someone who lives in a city where you have to pay for everything and where everything’s pretty costly, this is absolutely astounding to me. You seriously just walk right in. No one stops you. No ticket required. Plus the quality of these places is pretty high considering the zero price of admission.
Seriously if you’re looking for a fun and affordable vacation, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place to visit than St. Louis. Maybe I’m biased but decide for yourself. I’ll be posting about the food in St. Louis next week. Happy Thursday! Now go see X-Men Days of Future Past.