St. Louis: Wikis


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City of St. Louis
—  Independent City  —
From top left: The Cathedral Basilica, Saint Louis Art Museum, Gateway Arch, St. Louis skyline, Washington University, Apotheosis of St. Louis, Forest Park Jewel Box


Nickname(s): Gateway City, STL, Gateway to the West,[1] Mound City,[2] The Lou[3]
Location in the state of Missouri
Coordinates: 38°37′38″N 90°11′52″W / 38.62722°N 90.19778°W / 38.62722; -90.19778
Country United States
State Missouri
County Independent City
Metro Greater St. Louis
Settled 1703
Founded 1764
Incorporated 1822
 - Type Council-manager government
 - Mayor Francis G. Slay (D)
 - Independent City 66.2 sq mi (171.3 km2)
 - Land 61.9 sq mi (160.4 km2)
 - Water 4.2 sq mi (11.0 km2)
Elevation [4] 466 ft (142 m)
Population [5][6]
 - Independent City 354,361 (2,008)
 Density 5,724.7/sq mi (2,209.2/km2)
 Metro 2,816,710 (2,008)
 - Demonym St. Louisan
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 314

St. Louis (pronounced /seɪnt ˈluːɪs/ or /sænt ˈluː.i/; French: Saint-Louis or St-Louis, [sɛ̃ lwi]  ( listen)) is an independent city[7] in the U.S. state of Missouri. The city itself has an estimated population of 354,361[6] and is the principal municipality of Greater St. Louis, population 2,879,934, the largest urban area in Missouri and 16th-largest in the United States.[8]

The city was founded in 1764 just south of the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers by colonial French traders Pierre Laclède and René Auguste Chouteau, who named the settlement after King Louis IX of France. The city, as well as the future state of Missouri, became part of the Spanish Empire after the French were defeated in the Seven Years' War. In 1800, the land was secretly transferred back to France, whose leader, Napoleon Bonaparte, sold it to the United States in 1803. Nicknamed the "Gateway to the West" for its role in the westward expansion of the United States, the city gave the moniker in 1965 to the new Gateway Arch built as part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial; the arch has become the iconic image of St. Louis.

Once the 4th-largest U.S. city, St. Louis proper has seen its population slip to 52nd.[9] At the peak of the city's influence, St. Louis hosted the 1904 World's Fair and 1904 Olympic Games, both the first of their kind held in the Western Hemisphere.

In the 19th century, immigration from Italy, Germany, Bohemia, and Ireland flooded St. Louis, coloring the cuisine and architecture of the city. Many African-Americans moved north to the city during the Great Migration.

St. Louis has been at the forefront of the 21st-century wave of urban revitalization, receiving the World Leadership Award for urban renewal in 2006.[10] In 2008, the U. S. Census Bureau reported St. Louis had a net population gain of 6,172 from the 2000 Census, to 354,361, the first gain the city has had since 1950.[6]

The city contributed to the musical styles of blues, ragtime, and jazz. The St. Louis Cardinals, one of the most successful Major League Baseball teams, make their home at Busch Stadium. Other professional teams include the St. Louis Rams (football) and St. Louis Blues (hockey). A diversity of successful sports franchises has led to St. Louis being called "North America's Best Sports City."[11] The city's many 19th-century breweries shaped beer in the United States, most notably Anheuser-Busch, Falstaff Brewing Corporation, and Lemp Brewery. The vestiges of French and Spanish colonization make St. Louis one of the largest centers of Roman Catholicism in the United States.

St. Louis lies at the heart of Greater St. Louis, a metropolitan area of nearly three million people in Missouri and Illinois. The Illinois portion is commonly known as the Metro-East. The region is known as an academic and corporate center for the biomedical sciences and is home to some of the country's largest privately held corporations, including Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Graybar, Scottrade, Edward Jones, and is also home to some of the largest public corporations and corporate divisions, including Emerson, Energizer, Anheuser-Busch InBev (North American Headquarters), Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, Purina, Express Scripts, Charter Communications, Monsanto Company, and Wells Fargo Advisers.



Before the arrival of French explorers in 1673, the area that would become St. Louis was a major center of the Mississippian mound builders. The presence of numerous mounds, now almost all destroyed, earned the later city the nickname of "Mound City".

European exploration of the area had begun nearly a century before the city was founded. Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette, two French explorers, traveled through the Mississippi River valley in 1673, and five years later, La Salle claimed the entire valley for France. He called it Louisiana after King Louis XIV; the French also called their region Illinois Country.

In 1699 the French established a settlement at Cahokia, across the Mississippi River from what is now St. Louis. They founded other early settlements downriver at Kaskaskia, Prairie du Pont, and Fort de Chartres, Illinois, and Sainte Genevieve. In 1703, Catholic priests established a small mission at what is now St. Louis. The mission was later moved across the Mississippi, but the small river at the site (now a drainage channel near the southern boundary of the City of St. Louis) still bears the name "River Des Peres" (French Rivière des pères, River of the Fathers).

In 1763, Pierre Laclède de Liguest, his 13-year-old stepson Auguste Chouteau, and a small band of men traveled up the Mississippi from New Orleans to found a post to take advantage of trade coming downstream by the Missouri River.[12] In November, they landed a few miles downstream of the river's confluence with the Missouri River at a site where wooded limestone bluffs rose forty feet above the river. The men returned to Fort du Chartres for the winter, but in February 1764, Laclède sent Chouteau and thirty men to begin construction at the new site, laid out in a grid pattern as an imitation of New Orleans.

Apotheosis of Saint Louis, a bronze statue of the city's namesake on horseback, was widely used as a symbol of the city before construction of the Gateway Arch

The settlement began to grow quickly after word arrived that the 1763 Treaty of Paris had given Britain all the land east of the Mississippi. Frenchmen who had earlier settled to the river's east moved across the water to "Laclède's Village." Other early settlements were established nearby at Saint Charles, the independent village of Carondelet (later annexed by St. Louis and now the southernmost part of the current City), Fleurissant (renamed Saint Ferdinand by the Spaniards and now Florissant), and Portage des Sioux. In 1765, St. Louis was made the capital of Upper Louisiana.

From 1766 to 1768, St. Louis was governed by the French lieutenant governor, Louis Saint Ange de Bellerive, who was appointed not by French or Spanish authorities, but by the leading residents of St. Louis. After 1768, St. Louis was governed by a series of governors appointed by Spanish authorities, whose administration continued even after Louisiana was secretly returned to France in 1800 by the Treaty of San Ildefonso. The town's population was then about a thousand. During the period when commandants appointed by Spanish authorities governed St. Louis, meetings of leading residents were also held from time to time, and "syndics" were sometimes elected to carry out certain governmental tasks. In 1780 St. Louis was attacked by the British during the American Revolution.[13] A combined Spanish and French Creole force protected the city.

St. Louis was acquired from France by the United States under President Thomas Jefferson in 1803, as part of the Louisiana Purchase. The transfer of power from Spain was made official in a ceremony called "Three Flags Day." On March 8, 1804, the Spanish flag was lowered and the French one raised. On March 10, the French flag was replaced by the United States flag. Until the 1820s French continued to be one of the major spoken and written languages in St. Louis, along with English. The Lewis and Clark Expedition left the St. Louis area in May 1804, reached the Pacific Ocean in the summer of 1805, and returned on September 23, 1806. Both Lewis and Clark lived in St. Louis after the expedition. Many other explorers, settlers, and trappers (such as Ashley's Hundred) would later take a similar route to the West. After Missouri became a state in 1821, St. Louis was incorporated as a city on December 9, 1822. The city elected its first municipal legislators (called trustees) in 1808. A U. S. arsenal was constructed at St. Louis in 1827.

City of St. Louis, 1872, a steel engraving drawn by A. C. Warren

The steamboat era began in St. Louis on July 27, 1817, with the arrival of the Zebulon M. Pike. Steamboats signified significant progress in river trade, as steam power permitted much more efficient and dependable river transportation. Unlike the hand-propelled barges and keel boats that preceded the steamboat as the choice vehicle of Mississippi River trade, steamboats could travel upriver, and against the current, just as easily as downriver.

Rapids north of the city made St. Louis the northernmost navigable port for many large boats. The Pike and her sisters soon transformed St. Louis into a bustling boom town, commercial center, and inland port. By the 1830s, it was common to see more than 150 steamboats at the St. Louis levee at one time. By the 1850s, St. Louis had become the largest U. S. city west of Pittsburgh, and the second-largest port in the country, with a commercial tonnage exceeded only by New York.

Immigrants flooded into St. Louis after 1840, particularly from Germany, Bohemia, and Ireland, the last driven by persecution from the English and secondary a potato famine. During Reconstruction, rural Southern blacks flooded into St. Louis as well, seeking better opportunity. The population of St. Louis grew from less than 20,000 in 1840, to 77,860 in 1850, to more than 160,000 by 1860. At this time, public transit developed in order to effectively transport the numbers of new residents in the city. Omnibuses began to service St. Louis in 1843, and in 1859, St. Louis's first streetcar tracks were laid. Later in the 19th century, Italian immigrants began to arrive in the city and farming areas. They helped expand wine making to the Rolla area.

Militarily, the Civil War barely touched St. Louis. The area saw only a few skirmishes, in which Union forces prevailed. The most important action might have been the Camp Jackson Affair. However, the war shut down trade with the South, as Union troops blockaded the Mississippi River from 1861 through the end of the war. Trade in St. Louis declined to about one-third its average, as the economy of the South, one of the markets St. Louis depended on, was devastated. Missouri was nominally a slave state, but its economy did not depend on slavery. It remained loyal to the Union throughout the Civil War. The arsenal at St. Louis was used during the war to construct ironclad ships for the Union, and shipbuilding continued at the Port of St. Louis even into the latter half of the 20th century.

Eads Bridge

Eads Bridge, the first road and rail bridge to cross the Mississippi River, was completed in 1874.

On August 22, 1876 the City of St. Louis voted to secede from St. Louis County and become an independent city. At that time the County was primarily rural and sparsely populated, and the fast-growing City did not want to spend its tax dollars on infrastructure and services for the inefficient county; the move also allowed some in St. Louis government to increase their political power. This decision later haunted the City, as the results of that separation are still problematic today.

Washington Avenue Loft District

As St. Louis grew and prospered during the late 19th and early 20th century, the city produced a number of notable people in the fields of business and literature. The Ralston-Purina company (headed by the Danforth Family) was headquartered in the city. Anheuser-Busch, the world's largest brewery, remains a fixture of the city's economy. The City was home to International Shoe, the Brown Shoe Company, and the St. Louis Division of the Curtiss-Wright Aircraft Company.[14] Several important aircraft were built or first tested at St. Louis, including the CD-25 Coupe business aircraft (later the AT-9 Jeep in wartime service), the CW-20 twin-engine airliner, the C-76 Caravan, and the C-46 Commando of the Second World War.[15]

St. Louis was also one of the cities to see a pioneering brass era automobile company, the Success;[16] despite its low price, the company did not live up to its name. St. Louis is one of several cities claiming the world's first skyscraper. The Wainwright Building, a 10-story structure designed by Louis Sullivan and built in 1892, still stands at Chestnut and Seventh Streets. Today it is used by the State of Missouri as a government office building. By the time of the 1900 census, St. Louis was the fourth-largest city in the country.[17] In 1904, the city hosted its second World's Fair, which led the Olympic Games to be moved from Chicago, originally selected to host the games, to St. Louis to coincide with the Fair.[18] With these games, the United States became the first English-speaking country to host the Olympics. However, many countries failed to participate owing in part to a misconception that the city was located in the undeveloped West, subject to Indian attacks. There were several events held in 2004 to commemorate the centennial.

Souvenir of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition

St. Louis developed a lively immigrant gang culture by the early 20th century, leading up to much bootlegging activity and gang violence. One gang leader, from an Irish part of the city referred to as "Kerry Patch", was named "Jelly Roll" Hogan. Hogan's gang is mentioned in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie. In the 1920s there were shoot outs on Lindell Boulevard between Hogan's Gang and the gang known as Egan's Rats. A priest was brought in to broker peace between the gangs in 1923, but this truce only lasted a few months before two more people were killed in a public shoot out. In 1923, Egan's Rats made off with $2.4 million in bonds from a mail truck. Hogan during this time was a state representative. He was elected in 1916, eventually became a state senator, and spent forty years in elected office. The Kerry Patch is now part of the Old North St. Louis neighborhood.

Although St. Louis did not segregate people on street cars like other cities, racial discrimination in housing enforced by municipal laws and covenants was commonplace, and discrimination in employment was common before World War II. During World War II, the NAACP successfully campaigned, through protests and picket lines, to persuade the Federal government to allow African Americans to work in war plants. Some 16,000 jobs were gained in this way. State court rulings and local civil rights campaigns in the two decades after the war challenged the legality of race-based restrictions on real estate ownership and opened clerical positions in local banks, etc. that had been more common prior to WWII.

St. Louis, as did many other Midwestern cities, experienced major expansion in the early 20th century due to the formation of many industrial companies and reached its peak population at the 1950 census. The Gateway Arch, a monument to the city's vital role in the country's westward expansion, was built in the mid-1960s. In the postwar era, suburbanization in conjunction with the GI Bill, interstate highway construction, and changes in housing preferences shifted the population out of the city and into newly formed suburbs. Although the overall population of the St. Louis metropolitan area has consistently grown, the St. Louis city population has decreased for decades, especially after job losses due to restructuring of railroad and other industries.

File:Lacledes Landing Blvd st louis.jpg

Attempts to revitalize Downtown St. Louis and along a corridor extending to the west through Midtown and the Central West End neighborhoods has had mixed success since 1980. The St. Louis Cardinals' new Busch Stadium opened in 2006. Ballpark Village would have been built where the northern half of the former Busch Stadium stood, but those plans have been put on hold. For several years, the Washington Avenue Loft District has been gentrifying with an expanding corridor along Washington Avenue from the Edward Jones Dome westward almost two dozen blocks. Revitalization continues, including new construction, as the corridor extends to the west to Forest Park.[19]

Because of the major upturn in urban revitalization, St. Louis received the World Leadership Award for urban renewal in 2006.[10] In 2008, the U. S. Census Bureau reported St. Louis had a net population gain of 6,172 from the 2000 Census, to 354,361, the first gain the city has had since 1950.[6] However, since then, the State of Missouri released census estimates projecting the city will lose 3,000 residents by 2030.[20]




A simulated-color satellite image of the St. Louis area taken on NASA's Landsat 4

According to the United States Census Bureau, St. Louis has a total area of 66.2 square miles (171.3 km²), of which 61.9 square miles (160.4 km²) is land and 11.0 km² (4.2 sq mi or 6.39%) is water. The city is built primarily on bluffs and terraces that rise 100–200 feet above the western banks of the Mississippi River, just south of the Missouri-Mississippi confluence. Much of the area is a fertile and gently rolling prairie that features low hills and broad, shallow valleys. Both the Mississippi River and the Missouri River have cut large valleys with wide flood plains.

Limestone and dolomite of the Mississippian epoch underlie the area, and parts of the city are karst in nature. This is particularly true of the city south of downtown, with numerous sinkholes and caves. Most of the caves in the city have been sealed shut, but many springs are visible along the riverfront. Significant deposits of coal, brick clay, and millerite ore were once mined in the city, and the predominant surface rock, the St. Louis Limestone, is used as dimension stone and rubble for construction.

The rivers around St. Louis

Near the southern boundary of the City of St. Louis (separating it from St. Louis County) is the River des Peres, virtually the only river or stream within the city limits that is not entirely underground.[21] Most of River des Peres was either channelized or put underground in the 1920s and early 1930s. The lower section of the river was the site of some of the worst flooding of the Great Flood of 1993.

Near the central, western boundary of the city is Forest Park, site of the 1904 World's Fair, the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904, and the 1904 Summer Olympics, the first Olympic Games held in North America. At the time, St. Louis was the fourth most populous city in the United States.

The Missouri River forms the northern border of St. Louis County, exclusive of a few areas where the river has changed its course. The Meramec River forms most of its southern border. To the east is the City and the Mississippi River.


St. Louis lies on the transition between humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfa) and humid subtropical climate (Koppen climate classification Cfa), with neither large mountains nor large bodies of water to moderate its temperature. It is subject to both cold Arctic air and hot, humid tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico. The city has four distinct seasons. Spring is the wettest season and produces erratic severe weather ranging from tornadoes to winter storms. Summers are hot and humid with only occasional and brief respite, and the humidity often makes the heat index rise to temperatures feeling well above 100°F. Fall is mild with lower humidity and can produce intermittent bouts of heavy rainfall with the first snow flurries usually forming in late November. Winters are cold with periodic snow and temperatures often below freezing, however thaws are usually frequent. Winter storm systems, such as Alberta Clippers and Panhandle hooks, can bring days of heavy freezing rain, ice pellets, and snowfall.

The average annual temperature for the years 1970–2000, recorded at nearby Lambert-Saint Louis International Airport, is 56.3 °F (13.5 °C), and average precipitation is 38.9 inches (990 mm). The normal high temperature in July is 91 °F (33 °C), and the normal low temperature in January is 21 °F (−6 °C), although this varies from year to year. Temperatures of 100 °F (38 °C) or more occur no more than five days a year and temperatures of 0 °F (-17.8 °C) or below occur 2 or 3 days a year on average. The official record low is -22 °F (-30 °C) on January 5, 1884, and the record high is 115 °F (46.1 °C) on July 14, 1954.[22]

Winter (December through February) is the driest season, averaging about 6.7 inches (170 mm) of total precipitation. Average annual snowfall is 19.8 inches (500 mm) per year.[23] Spring (March through May), is typically the wettest season, with approximately 11.4 inches (290 mm) of precipitation. Dry spells lasting one or two weeks are common during the growing seasons.

St. Louis experiences thunderstorms 48 days a year on average. [23] Especially in the spring, these storms can often be severe, with high winds, large hail and tornadoes. St. Louis has been affected on more than one occasion by particularly damaging tornadoes.

A period of warm weather late in autumn known as Indian summer can occur – roses will still be in bloom as late as November or early December in some years.

Climate data for St. Louis, MO
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 77
Average high °F (°C) 38
Daily mean °F (°C) 31.2
Average low °F (°C) 21
Record low °F (°C) -22
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.01
Snowfall inches (mm) 5.3
Sunshine hours 51% 52% 53% 56% 59% 66% 68% 64% 63% 59% 46% 43% 57%
% Humidity 71 69 67 63 66 66 67 68 68 66 68 72 68
Avg. rainy days 8 8 11 11 11 9 9 8 8 8 10 9 110
Source: Average Temperature and Precipitation[24]   Daily Mean[25]

Record Hi/Lo, Snowfall, Sunshine, Rainy Days, Relative Humidity[23] October 15, 2009

Flora and fauna

Before the founding of the city, the area was prairie and open forest maintained by burning by Native Americans. Trees are mainly oak, maple, and hickory, similar to the forests of the nearby Ozarks; common understory trees include Eastern Redbud, Serviceberry, and Flowering Dogwood. Riparian areas are forested with mainly American sycamore. Most of the residential area of the city is planted with large native shade trees. The largest native forest area is found in Forest Park. In Autumn, the changing color of the trees is notable. Most species here are typical of the Eastern Woodland, although numerous decorative non-native species are found; the most notable invasive species is Japanese honeysuckle, which is actively removed from some parks.

Female bald eagle nesting near Chain of Rocks Bridge

Large mammals found in the city include urbanized coyotes and usually a White-tailed deer. Eastern Gray Squirrel, Cottontail rabbit, and other rodents are abundant, as well as the nocturnal and rarely seen Virginia Opossum. Large bird species are abundant in parks and include Canada goose, Mallard duck, as well as shorebirds, including the Great Egret and Great Blue Heron. Gulls are common along the Mississippi River; these species typically follow barge traffic. Winter populations of Bald Eagles are found by the Mississippi River around the Chain of Rocks Bridge. The city is on the Mississippi Flyway, used by migrating birds, and has a large variety of small bird species, common to the eastern U.S. The Eurasian Tree Sparrow, an introduced species, is limited in North America to the counties surrounding St. Louis. Tower Grove Park is a well-known birdwatching area in the city.

Frogs are commonly found in the springtime, especially after extensive wet periods. Common species include the American toad and species of chorus frogs commonly called spring peepers that are found in nearly every pond. Some years have outbreaks of cicadas or ladybugs. Mosquitos and houseflies are common insect nuisances; because of this, windows are nearly universally fitted with screens, and screened-in porches are common in homes of the area. Invasive populations of honeybees have sharply declined in recent years, and numerous native species of pollinator insects have recovered to fill their ecological niche.

Metropolitan statistical area

The St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area is the largest Metropolitan Area in Missouri, and the 18th largest in the United States, and has an estimated total population of 2,813,912 as of July 1, 2008. This area includes the independent City of St. Louis (354,361).[5] and the Missouri counties of St. Louis (991,830), St. Charles (349,407), Jefferson (217,679), Franklin (100,898), Lincoln (52,775), Warren (31,214), Washington (24,548), plus the Illinois counties of Madison (267,038), St. Clair (261,409), Macoupin (48,143), Clinton (36,470), Monroe (32,335), Jersey (22,451), Bond (18,253), and Calhoun (5,101).[26][27]

Adjacent counties


A panoramic view of St. Louis Skyline. The large building on the right side of the arch is One Metropolitan Square. The tallest building to its left is One AT&T Center. The tallest building on the right is One US Bank Plaza. The domed building to the left of the arch is the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse. The domed building beneath the arch is the Old Courthouse. The cylindrical building to the left of the arch is the Millenium Hotel.
Downtown at night
Benton Park West Streetscape
Soulard Homes
Old footbridge in Forest Park
Missouri Botanical Garden

The city is divided into 79 government-designated neighborhoods. The divisions have no legal standing, although some neighborhood associations administer grants or hold veto power over historic-district development. Nevertheless, the social and political influence of neighborhood identity is profound. Some hold avenues of massive stone edifices built as palaces for heads of state visiting the 1904 World's Fair. Others offer tidy working-class bungalows or loft districts. Many of them have endured as strong and cohesive communities.

Among the best-known, architecturally significant, or well-visited neighborhoods are Downtown, Midtown, Benton Park West, Carondelet, the Central West End, DeBaliviere Place, Skinker/DeBaliviere, Clayton/Tamm (Dogtown), Dutchtown, Forest Park Southeast, Grand Center, The Hill, Lafayette Square, LaSalle Park, Old North St. Louis, Compton Heights, Princeton Heights, Shaw (home to the Missouri Botanical Garden and named after the Garden's founder, Henry Shaw), Southampton, Southwest Garden, Soulard, Tower Grove East, Tower Grove South, Hortense Place (one of the city's private places, home to many grand mansions), Holly Hills, St. Louis Hills, and Wydown/Skinker.

Parks and gardens

The city operates 105 parks that serve as gathering spots for neighbors to meet, and contains playgrounds, areas for summer concerts, picnics, baseball games, tennis courts, and lakes. Forest Park, located on the western edge of the central corridor of the City of St. Louis, is one of the largest urban parks in the world, exceeding Central Park in New York City by 500 acres (2 km²).

The Missouri Botanical Garden, also known as Shaw's Garden, is one of the world's leading botanical research centers. It possesses a collection of flowering plants, shrubs, and trees, and includes the Japanese Garden, which features gravel designs and a lake filled with koi; the woodsy English Garden; the Kemper Home Gardening Center; a rose garden; the Climatron; a children's garden and playground; and many other scenic gardens. Immediately south of the Missouri Botanical Garden is Tower Grove Park, a gift to the City by Henry Shaw. Tower Grove Park is one of the oldest "walking" parks in the United States, and hosts annual outdoor concerts free to the public.

The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is a 90.96-acre (368,100 m2) national park located on the downtown riverfront where the city was first founded in 1764. It commemorates the westward growth of the United States between 1803 and 1890. The centerpiece of the park is the stainless steel Gateway Arch, which is the most recognizable structure in the city. It was designed by noted architect Eero Saarinen and completed on October 28, 1965. At 630 feet (192 m), it is the tallest manmade monument in the United States. Located below the Arch is the Museum of Westward Expansion, which contains an extensive collection of artifacts. It tells the details of the story of the thousands of people who lived in and settled the American West during the nineteenth century. Nearby and also part of the memorial is the historic Old Courthouse, one of the oldest standing buildings in St. Louis. Begun in 1839, it was here that the first two trials of the Dred Scott case were held in 1847 and 1850. This park is also the location of the annual July 4 festival, Fair Saint Louis.

The Citygarden is a two-block (2.9-acre (12,000 m2)) urban sculpture park, located in Downtown St. Louis.[28] Citygarden is a joint project between the city and the Gateway Foundation, with the former paying for landscaping, water, and electricity, and the latter paying for construction and the art in the park. The landscaping includes plants native to Missouri and water fountains; featured art at the garden include those from artists such as Fernand Leger, Aristide Maillol, Julian Opie, Tom Otterness, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Mark di Suvero.[29] The park is also divided into three sections, each of which represent a different theme: river bluffs; flood plains; and urban gardens. The park also has a restaurant - The Terrace View.[30]



There are many museums and attractions in the city. The St. Louis Art Museum, located in the City's premier park, Forest Park, and dating from the 1904 World's Fair, houses an impressive array of modern art and ancient artifacts, with an extensive collection of master works of several centuries, including paintings by Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Pissarro, Picasso, and many others. Forest Park is bigger than New York's Central Park, and it also is home to the St. Louis Zoo, the Muny, and many other attractions. The privately owned City Museum offers a variety of interesting exhibits, including several large faux caves and a huge outdoor playground. It also serves as a meeting point for St. Louis's young arts scene.

The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, located in Grand Center, is an arts institution in a world-renowned building designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Tadao Ando. Also located in Grand Center is the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, this non-collecting museum is recognized nationally for the quality of its exhibitions and education programs. The Eugene Field House, located in downtown St. Louis, is a museum dedicated to the distinguished children's author. The Missouri History Museum presents exhibits and programs on a variety of topics including the 1904 World's Fair, and a comprehensive exhibit on Lewis and Clark's voyage exploring the Louisiana Purchase. The Fox Theatre, originally one of many movie theatres along Grand Boulevard is now a newly restored theater featuring a Byzantine facade and Oriental decor. The Fox Theatre presents a Broadway Series in addition to concerts. The St. Louis Union Station is a popular tourist attraction with retail shops and a luxury hotel.

Laclede's Landing is a downtown entertainment district with restaurants and nightclubs
Bald Eagle at the St. Louis Zoo
Lewis and Clark sculpture on the riverfront

There are several notable churches in the city, including the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis (more commonly known as "the New Cathedral"), a large Roman Catholic cathedral designed in the Byzantine and Romanesque styles. The interior is decorated with mosaics, the largest mosaic collection in the world. In January 1999, Pope John Paul II spoke in the Cathedral Basilica as part of a two day visit to St. Louis.[31] The Cathedral Basilica is the mother church and seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Louis, the principal see of the Province of Missouri. Archbishop Robert James Carlson is the current Archbishop of St. Louis; he succeeded Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke in April of 2009. Archbishop Burke had been named the Prefect of the Vatican's Supreme Court, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, by Pope Benedict XVI in mid-2008 (meaning he will eventually be named a Cardinal).

The Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (1834) (more commonly known as the "Old Cathedral") is the oldest Roman Catholic cathedral west of the Mississippi River. The Old Cathedral is located adjacent to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Also notable is the abbey church of Saint Louis Abbey, whose distinctive architectural style garnered multiple awards at the time of its completion. Among other notable churches is St. Francis de Sales Oratory, a neo-Gothic church completed in 1908 and the largest church in the city aside from the cathedral.

The Gateway Arch, part of the Memorial, is easily the city's best-known landmark, as well as a popular tourist site. This Memorial commemorates the acquisition and settlement by the citizens of the United States of America of all of the lands west of the Mississippi River that are part of the nation today. The Arch, and the entire 91 acres (370,000 m2) of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial park, occupy the exact location of the original French village of St. Louis (1764–1804). Unfortunately, no buildings from that era exist today.

The Hill is an historically Italian neighborhood where many of the area's best Italian restaurants can be found. The Hill was the home of Yogi Berra, Joe Garagiola, and many other noted athletes. The boyhood homes of Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola, and broadcast legend Jack Buck's first home were all located on the same block of Elizabeth Avenue. Today, three granite plaques mark the location of each home as well as the dates when their most famous residents were inducted into the Hall of Fame. In addition to these baseball greats, The Hill was home to five soccer players from the 1950 U.S. World Cup soccer team that upset top-ranked England. A stretch of Dagget Avenue, in the heart of The Hill, was renamed Soccer Hall of Fame Place, to honor these players.

Forest Park offers many of St. Louis's most popular attractions: the Saint Louis Zoological Park; the Municipal Theater (also known as The Muny, the largest and oldest outdoor musical theater in the United States); the St. Louis Science Center (with its architecturally distinctive McDonnell Planetarium); the Saint Louis Art Museum; the Missouri History Museum; several lakes, and scenic open areas. Forest Park completed a multi-million dollar renovation in 2004 for the centennial of the St. Louis World's Fair. The Zoo, Art Museum, and Science Center are all world-class institutions. The Zoo-Museum Tax District provides operating funds, so admission is free to them and the History Museum.

The Saint Louis Zoological Park, one of the oldest and largest free-admission zoos in the country, is home to an Insectarium, River's Edge, Fragile Forest and more. The St. Louis Zoo has been named #1 zoo by Zagat Survey's U.S. Family Travel Guide in association with Parenting magazine. The zoo is located in Forest Park, adjacent to the St. Louis Art Museum.

The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum is located near Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis. Laclede's Landing, located on the Mississippi River front directly north of the historic Eads Bridge, is popular for its restaurants and nightclubs.

St. Louis possesses several distinct examples of 18th and 19th century architecture, such as the Soulard Market District (1779–1842), the Chatillon-de-Menil House (1848), the Bellefontaine Cemetery (1850), the Robert G. Campbell House (1852), the Old Courthouse (1845-62), the original Anheuser-Busch Brewery (1860), and two of Louis Sullivan's early skyscrapers, the Wainwright Building (1890-91) and the Union Trust Building.

On the Riverfront two sculptural groups have been designated a National Lewis and Clark site by the National Park Service. This includes a twice life-sized grouping of Lewis and Clark on the St. Louis Riverfront which commemorated the final celebration of the bicentennial of the expedition. These sculptures were done by Harry Weber.

The Lemp Mansion, home of the ill-fated Lemp family, brewers of Falstaff Beer and others, is considered one of the most haunted places in the nation. It is open to the public as a restaurant, murder-mystery dinner theater, and bed and breakfast.

Entertainment and performing arts

St. Louis is home to the world-renowned Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra which was founded in 1880 and is the second oldest orchestra in the nation. The orchestra has received six Grammy Awards and fifty-six nominations.[32] The Historic Powell Symphony Hall on North Grand Boulevard has been the permanent home of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra since 1968. Leonard Slatkin, largely credited with building the orchestra's international prominence during his 17-year tenure as Music Director, is Conductor Laureate. The current Music Director of the orchestra is David Robertson.

The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is an annual summer festival of opera performed in English, originally co-founded by Richard Gaddes in 1976. Union Avenue Opera, formed in the early 1990s, is a smaller company that performs opera in their original languages. A $74 million renovation of the Kiel Opera House was approved in June 2009.[33] Other classical music groups of note include the Arianna String Quartet,[34] the quartet-in-residence at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus,[35] and the Young Catholic Musicians, a group for young choir and band members made up of kids from over 60 parishes all over Saint Louis.

St. Louis has long been associated with great ragtime, jazz and blues music. Early rock and roll singer/guitarist Chuck Berry is a native St. Louisan and continues to perform there several times a year. Soul music artists Ike Turner and Tina Turner, Fontella Bass, and jazz innovator Miles Davis began their careers in St. Louis or on the 'East Side' (East St. Louis, Illinois). Additionally, the city was home or adopted home of a number of notable R&B and bluesmen including Little Milton, Oliver Sain, Albert King, Henry Townsend (musician), Johnnie Johnson (musician), and Bennie Smith. It was here that Scott Joplin wrote what was perhaps his most famous song, "The Entertainer (rag)". Louis Jordan was buried here (his last wife's home town) when he passed away. St. Louis has also been a popular stop along the infamous Chitlin' circuit. It is because of this musical tradition that the city's National Hockey League team, added in the 1967 NHL expansion, was named the St. Louis Blues.

Popular music and entertainment in St. Louis peaked in the 1950s and 60s due to the popularity of Gaslight Square, a thriving local nightclub district that attracted nationally known musicians and performers. This area was all but extinct by the early 1970s and today is the site of a new housing development.[36]

St. Louis is also the home to successful modern musical artists, including Living Things, Sheryl Crow, Barbara Carr, Gravity Kills, Story of the Year, Modern Day Zero, Stir, Strawfoot, Cavo, Greenwheel, Ludo, 7 Shot Screamers, MU330 and The Urge. In the 1990s, the metro area produced several prominent alt-country artists, including Uncle Tupelo — a Belleville, Illinois trio often considered the originators of the style, whose members went on to found Wilco and Son Volt in 1994 — and The Bottle Rockets. As of 2007 the alt-country scene has celebrated a resurgence, producing a burgeoning St. Louis Twang Scene, consisting of bands, burlesque dancers and roller derby queens. Rap and hip-hop artists include Nelly, The Saint Lunatics, Ali, Murphy Lee, Chingy, Huey, J-Kwon, Jibbs, FLAME and others.

The theater district of St. Louis is in midtown, which is undergoing a major redevelopment and building boom. This district of the city is known as Grand Center, St. Louis. The phrase can refer to the district itself (which is located within Midtown), or to the not-for-profit agency, Grand Center, Inc. (GCI), which possesses certain quasi-governmental powers and administers arts and urban-renewal programs in the area. The district includes the Fox Theatre, one of the largest live Broadway theaters in the United States, the Powell Symphony Hall, home of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Louis University Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art, The Sun Theater (under redevelopment), The St Louis Black Repertory Theater Company,[37] the Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts,[38] the Sheldon Concert Hall, the Grandel Theatre and many others.

The Muny (short for The Municipal Opera Association of St. Louis) is an outdoor amphitheater located in Forest Park. Seating capacity for every performance is approximately 11,000 people. Per the city charter, 1,500 seats at the top of the amphitheater are free to the public on a first-come-first-serve basis for every performance. In 2010, The Muny will present its 92nd season. The theater is influential with Actors' Equity Association.

St. Louis is home to over 81 theatre and dance companies and one of the largest theatrical production companies in the U.S.A. known as The Fox Associates.[39] Fox Associates, L.L.C., was formed in 1981 to purchase, renovate and operate the 4,500-seat Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri. The Fox, which had once been at the center of the St. Louis "movie" theater district,[40] had been closed since 1978 and was in need of both a major restoration and new entertainment programming to elevate it once again to its rightful position as the major venue for entertainment in St. Louis. The restoration was completed and in 1982 the Fox reopened as a major entertainment venue for Broadway productions, country stars and rock, pop and jazz artists. It has since become one of the highest grossing theatres in the country. Today, The Fox Associates group has helped produce some of Broadway's biggest hit musicals and has been influential in St. Louis's theater productions. Other theaters in St. Louis include The Pageant[1], The Repertory[2] and The Roberts Orpheum Theater[3].


Team Sport League Established Venue(s) Championships
St. Louis Blues Hockey National Hockey League 1967 Scottrade Center 0
St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Major League Baseball 1882 Busch Stadium 10
St. Louis Rams Football National Football League 1936 (1995 for STL) Edward Jones Dome 1
Saint Louis Billikens various NCAA-Atlantic 10 1915 Chaifetz Arena, Robert R. Hermann Stadium Men's Soccer 10 (9-outright, 1-co-championship)
River City Rascals Baseball Frontier League 1999 T.R. Hughes Ballpark 1 (As Zanesville Greys)
Gateway Grizzlies Baseball Frontier League 2001 GCS Ballpark 1
St. Louis Aces Tennis World TeamTennis Pro League 1994 Dwight Davis Memorial Tennis Center
St. Louis Bandits Hockey North American Hockey League 2003 (STL since 2006) Hardee's Iceplex 3
Washington University Bears various NCAA Division III 1976 Washington University Field House Women's volleyball 10, Women's basketball 4, Men's basketball 2
A.C. St. Louis Soccer North American Soccer League 2009 Anheuser-Busch Center
Saint Louis Athletica Soccer Women's Professional Soccer 2009 Anheuser-Busch Center
St. Louis Slam Women's football Women's Football Alliance 2003 Christian Brothers College High School & Oakville High School 1
Arch Rival Roller Girls Roller Derby Women's Flat Track Derby Association 2005 All American Sports Mall
St. Louis Lions Soccer USL Premier Development League, Heartland Division 2006 Tony Glavin Soccer Complex
St. Louis Jr. Blues Hockey Central States Hockey League 1998 Affton Ice Rink 4
River City Rage Indoor Football Indoor Football League 2001 Family Arena


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is the region's major daily print newspaper. Founded by Joseph Pulitzer in the 1800s, the paper was owned by Pulitzer, Inc. until 2005, when the company was acquired by Lee Enterprises. The company also owns the Suburban Journals, a collection of community newspapers that serve many St. Louis neighborhoods in addition to numerous suburban cities. On December 8, 2009, The St. Louis Globe-Democrat launched online serving the city with a second daily newspaper online resource. The St. Louis Globe-Democrat returned after a 23 year hiatus launched a new online format serving as a daily online newspaper for the city.

In 1900, St. Louis had at least five daily newspapers: the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and the St. Louis Republic in the morning, and the Post-Dispatch and Star-Chronicle in the afternoon, as well as the German-language Westliche Post. One by one, these papers, already consolidated as evidenced by the hyphenated names, folded or further consolidated. The Post-Dispatch bought out its last remaining afternoon competitor, the Star-Times, in 1951. Until the mid-1980s, the morning Globe-Democrat, which was editorially more conservative than the Post-Dispatch, served as the Post's main rival. Although the Post-Dispatch and the Globe-Democrat began a joint operating agreement in the late 1970s, the Globe-Democrat folded shortly after the Post-Dispatch switched from afternoon to morning publication. An attempt to revive the Globe-Democrat as an independent paper went bankrupt, and a separate attempt to start a new evening paper in 1989, the St. Louis Sun, failed in less than a year.

The city's main weekly newspapers are the various neighborhood papers which together form the "Suburban Journals" and the primary alternative weekly publication is the Riverfront Times. Three weeklies – the St. Louis Argus (est. 1912), St. Louis American (est. 1928), and St. Louis Sentinel (est. 1968) – serve the African-American community. A variety of glossy monthly and quarterly publications, including St. Louis Magazine, cover topics such as local history, cuisine, and lifestyles. The St. Louis Business Journal, published weekly on Fridays, covers the region's business news. Additionally, St. Louis is also home to the nation's last remaining metropolitan journalism review, the St. Louis Journalism Review, based at Webster University in the suburb of Webster Groves. Additionally, a group of veteran reporters, many of whom used to work for the Post-Dispatch, started an online-only news publication in 2007 called the St. Louis Beacon. The Beacon, according to its website, seeks to deliver "news that matters" by focusing on in-depth, regional reporting. The Beacon operates in partnership with KETC 9 and shares buildings with the TV station.

The St. Louis metro area is served by a wide variety of local television stations, and is the 21st largest designated market area (DMA) in the U. S., with 1,522,380 homes (1.51% of the total U.S.). The major network television affiliates are KTVI 2 (Fox), KMOV 4 (CBS), KSDK 5 (NBC), KETC 9 (PBS), KPLR-TV 11 (CW), KDNL 30 (ABC), WRBU 46 (MNTV), and WPXS 51 Retro Television Network.

The region's radio airwaves offer a variety of locally produced programming. KMOX (1120 AM), which pioneered the call-in talk radio format in 1960, retains significant regional influence due to its 50,000-watt, clear-channel signal and an unusually active newsroom operation. Public radio station KWMU (90.7 FM), an NPR affiliate, also provides extensive, locally produced programming treating social issues, politics, and the arts. St. Louis is one of only a handful of U. S. cities to have its own independent community radio station, KDHX (88.1 FM), which features a wide range of music and talk from local residents. Saint Louis is also home to the world's first rock-radio station on the FM dial, KSHE 95 [KSHE-FM] 94.7FM. Broadcasting since 1967, Emmis Communications-owned KSHE is the longest running rock-radio station without a format change.


Anheuser-Busch Brewery on the Anheuser-Busch headquarters site
One City Centre in Downtown St. Louis, which at one time served as the headquarters of Trans World Airlines

With a Gross Metropolitan Product of $80.94 billion in 2004, St. Louis' economy makes up 39.8% of the Gross State Product of Missouri.[41]

Many well-known U.S. corporations make St. Louis their home. St. Louis has 8 Fortune 500 companies. Beer commercials have made the city well known as the home of Anheuser-Busch Breweries, however Anheuser-Busch was acquired by the Belgium based beer company Inbev in the summer of 2008. (Recent legislation has even proposed making Budweiser the official beer of the State of Missouri.[42]) Local brokerages Stifel Nicolaus and Edward Jones, as well as online brokerage firm Scottrade plus Wells Fargo Advisors (formerly A.G. Edwards) are major players on the national financial landscape. It is also the site for the world headquarters of Energizer, the battery and flashlight company as well as parent company of Playtex and Schick. Neighboring suburbs host Monsanto Company, formerly a chemical company and now a leader in genetically modified crops, and Solutia, the former Monsanto chemical division that was spun off as a separate company in 1997. Express Scripts, a pharmaceutical benefits management firm, has its corporate headquarters in the suburbs of St. Louis, near the campus of the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Hardee's corporate headquarters lies in the metro area. Enterprise Rent-A-Car is headquartered in Clayton. Emerson Electric is headquartered in the north side of St. Louis. Charter Communications, the nation's fourth largest broadband communications company, is also headquartered in suburban St. Louis. The corporate headquarters of Medicine Shoppe International a subsidiary Katz Group of Companies makes its home in the western suburbs. Perficient, a national, publicly traded Information Technology consulting firm with 18 North American offices and over 1,000 employees, has its headquarters in Town & Country, a west county suburb of St. Louis. [43]

During the late 20th and early 21th century several corporate pillars left the city. Anheuser-Busch was acquired by the Belgium based beer company Inbev in 2008. Mallinckrodt, headquartered in the St. Louis region for more than 130 years, was purchased by Covidien in 2000, though most of the former Mallinckrodt facilities remain in operation as Tyco Mallinckrodt in suburban Hazelwood, Missouri. In the Retail industry The May Department Stores Company, which owned Famous-Barr as well as the legendary Marshall Field's, was purchased by Federated Department Stores in 2005. Federated now maintains its Midwest headquarters in St. Louis, known as "Macy’s Midwest" it operates 110 stores in nine states. Southwestern Bell Corporation (SBC), now AT&T, relocated from St. Louis to San Antonio, TX in 1993, maintaining their AT&T Advertising Solutions Directory/Yellow Pages headquarters and Southwest operations center in St. Louis. Ralston Purina, was acquired by the animal human-food maker Nestle, in 2001 to make the world's largest food company and renamed the new subsidiary Purina. Many of the Ralston Purina divested business still remain in headquartered St. Louis including the aforementioned Energizer, and Ralcorp.[44]

St. Louis remains home to railway car plants; two DaimlerChrysler plants in the nearby suburb of Fenton, where minivans and pickup trucks are built; a General Motors plant in suburban Wentzville. In 1997, Berkeley, Missouri-based McDonnell-Douglas merged with Boeing. With the new corporate world headquarters in Chicago, St. Louis became the divisional headquarters for Boeing's $27 billion-per-year Boeing Integrated Defense Systems unit and home for the company-wide R&D unit, Phantom Works. Boeing manufactures the F/A-18 Super Hornet, F-15 Eagle, and JDAM smart bombs in St. Louis region, and has developed — at times secretly — several unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs).[45]

The Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis in downtown is one of two federal reserve banks in Missouri.[46]

The region has built up a formidable health care industry. This is dominated by BJC HealthCare, which operates Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital, plus eleven others. BJC benefits from a symbiotic relationship with Washington University School of Medicine, which is a major center of medical research. Other major players include SSM Health Care, St. John's Mercy, and the Tenet Healthcare Corporation chain. In addition there is Saint Louis University School of Medicine which is a leader in several areas of medical research and works with hospitals including Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital and Saint Louis University Hospital. St. Louis is also home to a company that produce radiation therapy planning software: Multidata Systems International.

St. Louis housing costs ($99,940) are 50.6% below the national average of $202,300.[47] From the mid-1990s onward, the City of St. Louis itself has seen a major surge in housing rehabilitation as well as new construction on cleared sites.


St. Louis remains a center of medicine and biotechnology. Barnes-Jewish Hospital, in conjunction with the Washington University School of Medicine, is the fifth largest in the world. The School of Medicine is also affiliated with St. Louis Children's Hospital, listed as one of the country's top pediatric hospitals. In addition, the School of Medicine consistently ranks in the top five nationally. Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital also operate the new Siteman Cancer Center]. The Genome Sequencing Center, also part of the Washington University School of Medicine, played a major role in the Human Genome Project. Pfizer, the world's largest pharmaceutical company, operates one of its three major US research sites in western St. Louis County where it is completing work on an additional 330,000-square-foot (31,000 m2) building. Additional biotechs include the Danforth Center, the Solae Company and Sigma-Aldrich. Saint Louis University Medical School awarded the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River; it formerly operated the Saint Louis University Hospital(now Tenet owned) as well as a cancer center and a bioethics institute, and is affiliated with SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1830 4,977
1840 16,469 230.9%
1850 77,860 372.8%
1860 160,773 106.5%
1870 310,864 93.4%
1880 350,518 12.8%
1890 451,770 28.9%
1900 575,238 27.3%
1910 687,029 19.4%
1920 772,897 12.5%
1930 821,960 6.3%
1940 816,048 −0.7%
1950 856,796 5.0%
1960 750,026 −12.5%
1970 622,236 −17.0%
1980 452,801 −27.2%
1990 396,685 −12.4%
2000 348,189 −12.2%
Est. 2008.[5] 354,361 1.8%

Like other large American cities, St. Louis experienced a large population shift to the suburbs in the twentieth century; first because of increased demand for new housing following the Second World War, and later in response to demographic changes, namely white flight, in existing neighborhoods.[48] The long standing population decline of the city has begun to reverse itself in recent years. Although recent census reports show population growth, St. Louis has had a long history of population decline. Between 1950 and 2000, the city has lost people at a rate faster than any other major American city, losing more than half its population: in 1950, it had a population of 856,796; in 2000, the population was 348,189. As of July 1, 2008, the population of St. Louis has shown a small increase to 354,361.[5]

At the 2005–2007 American Community Survey Estimates, the city's population was 47.2% White (44.2% non-Hispanic White alone), 50.4% Black or African American, 0.9% American Indian and Alaska Native, 2.4% Asian, 0.8% from some other race and 1.6% from two or more races. 2.6% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[49]

According to the 2000 United States Census[50], there were 348,189 people, 147,076 households, and 76,920 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,622.9 people per square mile (2,171.2/km²). There were 176,354 housing units at an average density of 2,847.9/sq mi (1,099.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city of St. Louis (as separate and distinct from St. Louis County and the rest of the MSA) was 51.20% African American, 43.85% White, 1.98% Asian, 0.27% Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.80% from other ethnic groups, and 1.88% of two or more ethnicities. Hispanic or Latino of any ethnic group were 2.02% of the population. Historically, North St. Louis City has been primarily African American and South St. Louis City has been primarily European American. Since the mid-1990s, an estimated 50,000 - 70,000 Bosnian immigrants have settled in and around in the Bevo neighborhood of south St. Louis,[51] making St. Louis one of the largest Bosnian diaspora communities in the country.[52]. Ancestries of St. Louis residents are German (14.5%), Irish (8.6%), English (3.9%), Italian (3.6%), and French (2.4%).[53]

There are 147,076 households, out of which 25.4% have children younger than 18 living with them, 26.2% were married couples living together, 21.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.7% were non-families. 40.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.7% younger than 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 88.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and older, there were 84.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,156, and the median income for a family was $32,585. Males had a median income of $31,106 versus $26,987 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,108.

Law and government

The City of St. Louis has a mayor-council type government, with the legislative authority vested in a Board of Aldermen and the mayor having primary executive authority. The Board of Aldermen is made up of 28 members (one elected from each of the city's wards) plus a board president who is elected city-wide. Unlike many other cities, the mayor shares some executive authority with 9 other independent citywide elected officials, including a treasurer, comptroller, and collector of revenue. These officials have significant influence. By custom and tradition the individual aldermen have a great deal of influence over decisions impacting the ward they represent on matters ranging from zoning changes, to street resurfacing.

Municipal elections in St. Louis city are held in odd numbered years, with the primary elections in March and the general election in April. The mayor is elected in odd numbered years following the United States Presidential Election, as are the aldermen representing odd-numbered wards. The President of the Board of Aldermen and the aldermen from even-numbered wards are elected in the off-years. The Democratic Party has dominated St. Louis city politics for decades. The city has not had a Republican mayor since 1949 and the last time a Republican was elected to another city-wide office was in the 1970s. As of 2006, 27 of the city's 28 Aldermen are Democrats.

Although St. Louis City and County separated in 1876, some mechanisms have been put in place for joint funding management and funding of regional assets. The St. Louis Zoo-Museum district collects property taxes from residents of both St. Louis City and County and the funds are used to support cultural institutions including the St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis Art Museum and the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Similarly, the Metropolitan Sewer District provides sanitary and storm sewer service to the city and much of St. Louis County. The Bi-State Development Agency (now known as Metro) runs the region's MetroLink light rail system and bus system.

The City of St. Louis is split roughly in half north to south by Missouri's 1st and 3rd U.S. Congressional districts. The 1st is represented by Lacy Clay and the 3rd by Russ Carnahan. Both are Democrats; a Republican has not represented a significant portion of St. Louis in the U.S. House since 1949. Each district also includes a significant portion of St. Louis County.

The City of St. Louis includes all of 9 Missouri House of Representatives districts and a portion of two others. Two Missouri State Senate districts are entirely within the city's boundaries and a third district is split between St. Louis City and County.

There are 257,442 registered voters.[54]

Crime and social issues

St. Louis County reported an average drop of 19% in crime for the first half of 2009 compared to the same time frame in 2008. Categories include: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, vehicle theft, and arson. Burglaries had the sharpest drop: down 35%, with arson down 33%, vehicle theft down 17%, robbery down 15%, and larceny down 15%. There were only two murders, compared to the six in 2008[55]

According to CQ Press's "Cities Crime Rankings 2008–2009", the St. Louis metropolitan area ranks 127th,[56] and the city of St. Louis (1/8th of the metro area by population) ranks 4th.[57] In the year between 2006 and 2007, overall crime in the city dropped 15.6%, reaching a 35-year low, but homicides increased by seven to total 138 in 2007, and 167 in 2008.[58] In the 2009 Forbes list of America's Most Dangerous Cities, St. Louis is not listed in the 15 worst metro areas for crime.[59]

For the past 25 years, St. Louis has a number of successful integrated neighborhoods in the "Central Corridor" stretching from Soulard, home of the annual Mardi Gras Festival and Parade, to Lafayette Square near the Mississippi River and the Central West End near Forest Park. Overall, however, the city's African American population is concentrated in north St. Louis city. Since the upheavals in the Balkans, many Bosnian refugees have been settled in south St. Louis City, particularly in the Bevo neighborhood.

Federal representation

The United States Postal Service operates post offices in St. Louis. The St. Louis Main Post Office is located at 1720 Market Street in Downtown St. Louis.[60] The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri are based in the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse - the largest single courthouse in the United States - in St. Louis. The city is also represented by two Congressmen in Washington, DC: Russ Carnahan and William Lacy Clay, Jr. The Federal Reserve maintains a regional bank in St. Louis. In St. Louis County, outside the city proper, is the National Personnel Records Center, but its Civilian Personnel Records Center is in the city itself. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) also maintains major facilities in the St. Louis area.[61]


For a complete list of high schools in the St. Louis Metropolitan area, see St. Louis Metro Area High Schools

Public education

Within the city proper, the 168-year-old St. Louis Public School District[62] controls the 92 schools in the public school system. With more than 38,000 students, the district is the largest in the state of Missouri and the 107th largest in the nation.[63] Many smaller public districts are defined throughout the wider St. Louis area.

Private education

St. Louis has an abundance of private high schools, both secular and religiously affiliated, including a multitude of Catholic high schools.

Higher education

For a complete list of colleges and universities in the St. Louis Metropolitan area, see Colleges and Universities in Greater St. Louis

Brookings Hall at Washington University in St. Louis
Dubourg Hall, the administration building of Saint Louis University

According to the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey 21.4 percent of the adult population in St. Louis holds a bachelors degree compared with the national average of 27 percent. Almost 209,000 students are enrolled in the area's nearly 40 colleges, universities, and technical schools. According to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education St. Louis area has three national research universities, Washington University in St. Louis being the largest followed by, Saint Louis University and University of Missouri–St. Louis. Most of Washington University is in St. Louis County, and UMSL is located in the city's northern suburbs. St. Louis is also home to Concordia Seminary, the oldest and largest Lutheran seminary in the United States and Fontbonne University, a private university in Clayton, Missouri.

In 2006 approximately 5,287 associates degrees were granted, almost a third of these from the St. Louis Community Colleges. As the largest Community college system in the state of Missouri, more than half of the households in St. Louis have at least one member who attended or attends the college.


Interstate 70 in downtown St. Louis

Roads and highways

St. Louis is serviced by many interstate freeways (I-70, I-55, I-44, I-64, I-255, I-170, and I-270), as well as numerous state and county roadways.

The city in 2006 was listed as having the ninth worst traffic commutes in the country.[64] However, the city has a new traffic monitoring system: The Gateway Guide.[65] This system informs commuters of drive times and accident/road construction via message boards throughout the metropolitan freeways. Also, the main east/west interstate, I-64 known as Hwy 40 locally, was completely closed down and rebuilt over 2 years reopening in early December 2009. Preparing for the shutdown, the traffic signaling was upgraded by permanently coordinating the timing on many of the main roads to be used as detours as well.


St. Louis' Largest Airports:

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is located in suburban northwest St. Louis County, but is owned and operated by the city of St. Louis. Southwest Airlines has the greatest number of flights serving the airport.[66] In 2003, the number of flights operated at the airport was sharply reduced with the acquisition by American Airlines of TWA and the reduction of service by the combined airline.[67] American Airlines retains Lambert-St. Louis International Airport as its fourth largest hub worldwide.[68] In 2007, many of the reduction in flights and non-stop services have been added again by American Airlines and new carriers to STL.[69] Today, non-stop service to over 80 cities throughout the country and world are available from Lambert.[70] Southwest Airlines and Great Lakes Airlines also use St. Louis as focus hubs today.[71] According to a report by the St. Louis Beacon on June 17, 2008, "A tentative agreement announced Monday marks a step toward making Lambert St. Louis International Airport a cargo and passenger hub for Air China, China's state-owned carrier. Political and business leaders hope it will eventually result in a big economic boost for the region. As a first stage of making the tentative agreement final, feasibility studies will be conducted to decide what needs to be done at and around the airport... ."

MidAmerica St. Louis Airport is located 25 miles (40 km) east of the city[72] in Illinois adjacent to Scott Air Force Base. Constructed as a reliever airport to Lambert, it has failed to attract any major airlines, primarily due to its distance from downtown and low population in its immediate vicinity in spite of free parking and proximity to the light rail system. Today the airport primarily transports cargo.[73] Shortly after its opening, it was used by some smaller airlines, including Pan Am, an airline operating a few Boeing 727s and not related to the original Pan American World Airways.[74]

St. Louis Downtown Airport is located across the Mississippi River from Downtown St. Louis and the Central Business District. It provides service for business commercial and non-commercial air traffic.

Public transportation

St. Louis has a metropolitan public transit network which includes inner city and regional buses, rail, and taxi services.

Local and regional bus transit

Public bus transportation serving the St. Louis City and metropolitan area is predominantly provided by Metro (formerly known as the Bi-State Development Agency). Metro is a bi-state agency that operates most of the region's bus system and MetroLink, the region's light-rail system. Madison County Transit also provides bus service to downtown from nearby Madison County, Illinois.

Rail transit

MetroLink map Oct2008.svg
Westbound platform for the U-City/Big Bend Metro subway station

St. Louis light rail consists of two lines, both running through the city center with 73.3 kilometers (46 miles) of system. All of the system is in independent right of way, mostly at surface level, but includes several miles of subways and elevated track as well. St. Louis's light rail system has no street or traffic running trains. The system runs more similarly to a heavy rail rail system than most light rail systems in North America. All stations are independent entry and platforms are all flush level with trains providing passengers easy access on/off. In downtown, the system uses historic railway subway tunnels built in the 19th century. The downtown subway stations have an ancient appearance with rough-hewn rock walls. The Blue Line also has a few portions in subway tunnels, which are large and of modern concrete construction. Since it opened expansion has continued, and the transit agency has future lines in planning stages. Ridership, at more than 16 million yearly, has always exceeded expectations. St. Louis's rail system has been lauded one of the finest light rail systems built in North America and is one of the largest light rail systems in the United States in terms of ridership.[75]

Metro's Red Line has direct rail connections to two stations at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center

The Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center is the new hub station in St. Louis, serving the city's rail system, regional bus system, Greyhound Buses, Amtrak, and city taxi services. The transportation center is in downtown St. Louis, two blocks east of the St. Louis Union Station complex. It is the largest rail transportation station in the St. Louis metropolitan area and the State of Missouri. St. Louis Union Station is easily accessible by foot or Metro rail from the transportation terminal station. It is open 24 hours a day.

Amtrak rail lines

Amtrak offers many daily trains to/from St. Louis, at the Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center downtown:

Amtrak also offers daily Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach service to Carbondale, Illinois, connecting with the City of New Orleans. Amtrak train service is also available in the suburbs of Kirkwood, Missouri, west-southwest of downtown; and Alton, Illinois northeast of downtown.

Greyhound Bus Lines

Navigable rivers near St. Louis

Greyhound Bus Lines offers more than six national routes from St. Louis.


Though long-since abandoned as a means of transporting people, the rivers of St. Louis continue to play a large role in moving goods, especially bulk commodities such as grain, coal, salt, and certain chemicals and petroleum products. The Port of St. Louis in 2004 was reported to be the third-largest inland port by tonnage in the country, and the 21st-largest of any sort.[76]

Sister cities

St. Louis has fourteen[77] sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:[77]


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See also


  1. ^ "Visiting the Gateway to The West". Globosapians. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  2. ^ St. Louis Public Library on "Mound City".
  3. ^ on "The Lou".
  4. ^ "St. Louis City, Missouri - Population Finder - American FactFinder". U.S. Geological Survey. 1980-10-24. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  5. ^ a b c d St. Louis city QuickFacts, U.S. Census Bureau (July 1, 2008)
  6. ^ a b c d "Missouri County Officials" (PDF). Missouri (Secretary of State). p. 145. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
  7. ^ Missouri QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau.
  8. ^
  9. ^ U.S. Bureau of the Census - Table 13. Population of the 100 Largest Urban Places: 1900.
  10. ^ a b Spence Jackson (2006-12-08). "Steinhoff Congratulates St. Louis on Receiving Urban Renewal Award". Missouri Department of Economic Development. Retrieved 2008-02-18. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Hoffhaus. (1984). Chez Les Canses: Three Centuries at Kawsmouth, Kansas City: Lowell Press. ISBN 0-913504-91-2.
  13. ^ Attack On St. Louis: May 26, 1780.
  14. ^ Centennial of Flight, Curtiss-Wright Corporation.
  15. ^ Centennial of Flight, Curtiss-Wright Corporation.
  16. ^ Clymer, Floyd. Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877–1925 (New York: Bonanza Books, 1950), p. 32.
  17. ^ "Population of the 100 Largest Urban Places: 1900". U.S. Census Bureau. June 15, 1998. Retrieved 2007-01-29. 
  18. ^ "1904 Summer Olympics". International Olympics Committee. 
  19. ^ "St. Louis: From Carthage to Rising Phoenix" (PDF). Rental Car Tours (Demographia). Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  20. ^ "State of Missouri Report" (PDF). 
  21. ^ St. Louis - News - A Sewer Runs Through It.
  22. ^ St. Louis weather records at NOAA.
  23. ^ a b c "Historical Weather for St. Louis, Missouri". Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  24. ^ "Average Weather for St. Louis, MO - Temperature and Precipitation". Retrieved July 27, 2009. 
  25. ^ "Climatological Data for St. Louis - 'Monthly and Seasonal Temperatures', 1870-Feb. 2010" (XLS). National Weather Service. Retrieved 2010-03-06. 
  26. ^ "White House MSA Definitions" (PDF). 
  27. ^ "Missouri Population Estimates". 
  28. ^ Tim Bryant, "Citygarden an immediate hit with visitors." St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Jul. 01, 2009.
  29. ^ David Bonetti, "Spectacular Citygarden is opening on schedule in St. Louis." St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Jun. 28, 2009.
  30. ^ Joe Bonwich, "Eatery will round out sculpture garden." St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Jun. 12, 2009.
  31. ^ "John Paul II Travels Mexico-St. Louis 1999". The Holy See. 
  32. ^ Saint Louis Symphony History.
  33. ^ (by Kara Krekeler - June 24, 2009) (2009-06-24). "City approves Kiel Opera House redevelopment". West End Word. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  34. ^ Arianna String Quartet.
  35. ^ Saint Louis Chamber Chorus.
  36. ^ Gas Light Square history.
  37. ^
  38. ^ The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts.
  39. ^ Fox Associates.
  40. ^ The Fabulous Fox Theatre - St. Louis - The Fox Empire.
  41. ^ "The Role of Metro Areas in the U.S. Economy" (PDF). U.S. Conference of Mayors. March 2006. p. 119. Retrieved 2009-12-26. 
  42. ^ "Bill would make Budweiser Missouri's official beer". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  43. ^ IT firm makes St. Louis home St. Louis Post Dispatch Jan 6, 2010
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^ "St. Louis, Missouri," Sperling's Best Places Retrieved on Mar. 6, 2010.
  48. ^ Gibson, Campbell (June 1998). "Population of the 100 largest cities and other urban places in the United States: 1790 to 1990". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved December 12 2007. 
  49. ^ "St. Louis city, Missouri ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates: 2005–2007". US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  50. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  51. ^ Exhibit details Bosnia ethnic cleansing, Newsweek, January 18, 2008.
  52. ^
  53. ^
  54. ^ Registered Voters in Missouri 2008
  55. ^ "St. Louis County reports drop in crime". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 2009-08-03. 
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^ "St. Louis reports 15.6 percent drop in crime". Associated Press. 2008-01-13. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  59. ^, April 23, 2009
  60. ^ "Post Office Location - Saint Louis." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 5, 2009.
  61. ^ "Who We Are". National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 2008-08-04. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  62. ^
  63. ^
  64. ^
  65. ^
  66. ^
  67. ^
  68. ^
  69. ^
  70. ^
  71. ^
  72. ^
  73. ^
  74. ^
  75. ^ "Metro - Inside MetroLink". Metro. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  76. ^ "River Transportation through and to St. Louis". St. Louis Commerce Magazine. 2005. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  77. ^ a b "St. Louis Sister Cities". St. Louis Center for International Relations. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 

External links

Coordinates: 38°38′N 90°12′W / 38.63°N 90.20°W / 38.63; -90.20

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

The view from the Gateway Arch. (Note the shadow of the Arch in the foreground!)
The view from the Gateway Arch. (Note the shadow of the Arch in the foreground!)

St. Louis [1], the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, is a major midwestern metropolis filled with culture. St. Louis planners have created an aesthetically beautiful city with green space at the street level. It is said that St. Louis is second only to Washington, D.C. in the number of free activities available in an American city. The Gateway Arch, the world's tallest man-made monument, forms a triumphant city skyline. An open mall surrounded by reflecting pools leads up to the historic court house facing the Gateway Arch.


The city is named after King Louis IX of France. St. Louis is known by the nickname of, The Gateway to the West. The city was the last major stop before pioneers journeyed Westward to the Pacific coast. The city also played a large part during the steamboat era due its position at the confluence of the Mississippi River and the Missouri River. St. Louis was acquired from France by the United States during President Thomas Jefferson's term in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. The transfer of power from Spain was made official in a ceremony called, "Three Flags Day." On March 8, 1804, the Spanish flag was lowered and the French one raised. On March 10, the French flag was replaced by that of the USA. In 1904, St. Louis hosted that year's World's Fair and the Summer Olympic Games. Many of the parks, buildings, and finer homes in St. Louis were built around this time period. While there are few, if any, living residents who attended the Fair, it holds an important place in the modern development of the city.

Before Detroit, Michigan became America's automotive capital, St. Louis was the largest producer of American automobiles in the early part of the 20th century. Midtown and Downtown still have many of the original warehouses and factories standing, but most have been converted to other purposes, such as loft apartments, shops and restaurants. St. Louis was also home to a bustling fashion manufacturing industry in the early 1900's, centered on Washington Avenue downtown. As with the auto industry, the last remnants of the fashion manufacturing industry can be found in the recently rehabbed warehouses which now contain new businesses and loft condominiums. In the late 20th century, St. Louis began a transformation from a manufacturing and industrial economy into a globally known center for research in Medicine, Biotechnology, and other sciences. Firms such as Monsanto, Centene, Solae, Energizer, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Edward Jones, Wachovia Securities (formerly A.G. Edwards), Anheuser-Busch/Inbev are headquartered in St. Louis. AT&T and Bank of America operate major regional offices here. Two major private research universities, Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University, are an important part of the local economy and society.

Forest Park from above
Forest Park from above

St. Louis is truly a city of neighborhoods, each with its own distinct flavor and culture. There are 79 government-designated neighborhoods within the City of St. Louis, many of which have associations and councils that exercise wide control over development and subsidies from the highest to the very lowest local level. Some neighborhoods contain avenues of massive stone mansions built as palaces for heads of state visiting the 1904 World's Fair, and now occupied by some of the more wealthy families and individuals in the City of St. Louis. Other neighborhoods are predominantly middle class and working-class and have retained their singular cultural identity for 200 years. Today, most of them have endured as strong and cohesive communities for their residents.

Get in

By car

St. Louis can be accessed by Interstate 70 West from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and points eastward, I-64W from Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and points southeastward, I-55N from Arkansas, Tennessee, and points southward, I-55S from Illinois, I-44E from Tulsa, and I-70E from Kansas City. There is a loop around St. Louis which is I-270 (I-255 on the Illinois side). Don't be surprised if locals refer to I-64 as Highway 40; US40 is coincident with I64 through St. Louis, and it's not uncommon to speak of "40" rather than "64."

By plane

Most visitors fly into Lambert St. Louis International Airport (IATA: STL) [2], which is served by most major US carriers. The airport is directly served by the MetroLink light rail line.

There are non-stop flights to Lambert-St Louis Airport from the following cities (some cities may be seasonal or only offer service certain days of the week): Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Birmingham, Boston, Cancun, Cape Girardeau, Cedar Rapids, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas Fort Worth, Dayton, Decatur, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Fayetteville, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Leonard Wood, Fort Myers, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Louisville, Madison, Marion, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis St Paul, Montego Bay, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, Quincy, Raleigh Durham, Richmond, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Ana, Seattle, Springfield, Springfield, Tampa, Toronto, Tulsa, Washington and Wichita [3].

Spirit of St. Louis Airport [4] in Chesterfield serves general aviation.

  • Greyhound Bus Lines, 1450 N 13th St., +1 314 231-4485 [6].

By boat

The Mississippi River forms the eastern boundary of the city, separating it from Illinois. The Missouri River runs into the Mississippi just north of St. Louis.

Get around

By train

MetroLink, +1 314 231-2345 [8] - A light rail system with much room to grow. It runs from Lambert-St.Louis Int'l Airport (STL) in Missouri to Scott AFB in Illinois. The MetroLink has stops in many of the metropolitan area's most popular destinations, such as Delmar Loop, Grand Center arts district, Forest Park, the Central West End, and several in Downtown St. Louis. The campuses of University of Missouri-St. Louis, Washington University and St. Louis University each have stops on campus or nearby. The Metro recently expanded, and now includes a second line that goes to the St. Louis Galleria (a shopping center) and farther out to Shrewsbury.

By bus

Metro Buses [9] - Crisscross the bi-state metropolitan area.

By car

A car is extremely useful here.

Please note that the City of St. Louis does have taxi cabs - but they do not drive around the city looking for pedestrians to hail service. You must call a cab company for pick-up. Hotels and phonebooks have the numbers of the most commonly used cab services in the area.


St. Louis is one of the more segregated and boundaried cities in the nation, and is home to the country's first private gated street - Benton Place in Lafayette Square. In one minute you might be driving down tree-lined avenues with large houses, and the next minute you might be in a low-income neighborhood. Though the region is now very racially and economically integrated, the road system still follows historic boundaries marking one area from the next. Hotels and most St. Louis guide books should have good maps of the layout of the neighborhoods of the City.

Note that St. Louis City is separate and distinct from St. Louis County - the City is really a city without a county, with its own government, school system, and other services. The City has just under 400,000 residents while the St. Louis County has just over 1,000,000 residents. The entire St. Louis metropolitan region has approximately 3,000,000 residents. Any study of St. Louis neighborhoods can be complicated and is bound to leave out some small (yet distinct) areas, but some of the more well-visited and larger neighborhoods in the metropolitan region are:

St. Louis City

  • Downtown - The Central Business District of St. Louis, downtown is nearing the end of a decade-long multi-billion dollar revitalization. Featuring all three professional sporting teams' stadiums, dozens of hotels, corporate headquarters, trendy dining and shopping, entertainment, nightlife, and the Gateway arch, downtown St. Louis is now also home to tens of thousands of residents, many living in warehouses that have been converted to affordable and luxurious apartments and condominiums.
  • Laclede's Landing - On the city's eastern edge, this is one of the oldest standing neighborhoods of the city. A former industrial area, the Landing has original cobblestone streets, horse drawn carriage rides in the evenings, live music, and restaurants and bars in converted industrial buildings.
  • Soulard - To the immediate southwest of downtown lies St. Louis's oldest neighborhood. Today it is a perfect case study for traditional St. Louis red brick architecture, and also features the famous Soulard Farmers Market and many trendy restaurants.
  • Lafayette Square - Although some may group this with Soulard due to proximity, Lafayette Square features its own distinct architecture (Victorian and French Second Empire) and demographics. Surrounding the oldest park in St. Louis are tree-lined streets with rehabbed townhouses, some shopping and dining, and bed and breakfasts.
  • Benton Park/Brewery - Located just south of Soulard, Benton Park has recently come back from decades of disrepair. The area contains the Anheuser Busch Brewery and the old Lemp Brewery, in addition to a small eponymous park and working-class versions of the townhomes of Lafayette Square.
  • Forest Park Southeast - Situated just where the name suggests, Forest Park Southeast is at the beginning of a revitalization. Younger professionals have been attracted to the area due to the popular bars, and have since settled down and contributed to the area's infrastructure.
  • Grand Center/Midtown - Located going West of Downtown down an area known as the Central Corridor (that includes Forest Park and the CWE), Grand Center is home to a booming performing arts, theatre, and museum district. St. Louis University is in this area.
  • Tower Grove/South Grand - a few miles south of Grand Center is Tower Grove Park, a 19th-century Victorian walking park. The nearby South Grand strip has a variety of shops, coffeehouses, bars, service businesses, and the area's largest concentration of Asian restaurants and shops. An ethnically diverse, gay-friendly area with an active street life and turn-of-the-century architecture.
  • Central West End - A very cosmpolitan neighborhood featuring stunning turn-of-the-century palace-like homes, upscale dining, and boutique shopping, the Central West End also contains an eclectic mix of antique shops, coffee houses, and art galleries. Located on the eastern edge of Forest Park, it also includes the world-renowned Medical School of Washington University.
  • The Hill - St. Louis's Little Italy is home to a large number of locally renowned Italian restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores. Its name is due to its proximity to the highest point of the city.

St. Louis County

  • Clayton - The county seat of St. Louis county, Clayton has an important downtown business district that is also home to several hotels, many coffeehouses, and upscale dining. It is one of the older suburbs of St. Louis, and has many large 100 year-old-homes wonderfully preserved by old-monied families, while the area's nouveau riche help keep the area trendy. It has a great school system and is home to the main campus of Washington University. Clayton begins where Forest Park ends on the west.
  • Delmar Loop/University City - Located just north of Clayton and beginning at the northwest edge of Forest Park is this culturally, ethnically, and economically diverse neighborhood of St. Louis. One of the more liberal areas of the city, it is a popular area for college students and post-graduates to live and interact. The Loop itself is one main street of storefronts, restaurants, music venues, bookstores, and a great independent movie theatre.
  • North St. Louis - Home to Lambert International Airport and the historic African American neighborhood known as the Ville, much of North St. Louis is in great need of economic and infrastructure development.
  • West County - This expansive, largely undefined region of St. Louis includes most areas west of Clayton, especially ritzy Frontenac, Ladue, Huntleigh, Town and Country, and Creve Coeur. Depending on the study, the area may include newer suburbia such as Chesterfield and Wildwood. The area has one of the highest concentrations of wealth in the Midwest, and home to the best (well, most upscale) shopping area in St. Louis - Plaza Frontenac.
  • South County - A nebulous region primarily served by I-55, most of the towns dotting South County are largely indistinguishable and include a lot of new development. It is home to Webster Groves, a picture-perfect white-picket-fences kind of town that provides a nice small-town atmosphere great for families.
The Gateway Arch
The Gateway Arch
  • Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, 4431 Lindell Blvd. (at Newstead Avenue in the Central West End neighborhood), +1 314 373-8200 [10] - Open 7AM-7PM. This Roman Catholic church contains the most mosaic art in one site in the world--83,000 square feet, installed by a family of artists who used more than 41 million tiles with more than 7,000 colors.
  • The City Museum, 701 North 15th Street, [11]. For the young or young at heart. Don't let the name fool you--this place is a blast! The City Museum is a huge playground built in an old warehouse made largely out of architectural artifacts from around St. Louis collected by an eccentric millionaire. There are concessions inside the museum as well as bar service by local brewery Schlafy. Not really much of a museum as it is mazes, obstacle courses, tunnels, airplanes suspended in midair, and chutes and ladders.
  • Contemporary Art Museum, [12]. Sharing a courtyard with the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, this is a contemporary art museum located near the hip 'loft district' downtown, in the Grand Center arts district.
  • Eads Bridge - This bridge was the first to cross the Mississippi and represents one of the greatest engineering achievements of its time. This overlooked landmark is worth checking out for the Eiffel Tower-like iron lattice that still holds up cars and the Metro-link to this day.
  • Forest Park [13] - Is one of the nation's largest city parks with 1,293 acres, open to the public for golf, tennis, baseball, bicycling, boating, fishing, handball, ice skating, roller blading, jogging, cricket, rugby and more. The park is also home to the St. Louis Science Center, the art museum, the zoo, and a history museum. Forest Park is really at the heart of St. Louis. It was also the site of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase World's Fair, which lays fame to serving the first hot dogs, hamburgers, and ice cream cones. You cannot visit St. Louis without hearing about, driving by, or exploring Forest Park.
The Old Courthouse
The Old Courthouse
  • Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, +1 314 655-1700, [14]. A large park located along the Mississippi River facing downtown St. Louis, with plenty of big lawns, wood areas, and a few ponds.
    • Gateway Arch, +1 877-982-1410, [15] - Daily 9AM-6PM, (Summer 8AM-10PM). Designed by Eero Saarinen, it's the world's tallest national monument, built to be a symbolic gateway to the west. The icon of the city, the Arch is in the Jefferson Expansion National Memorial Park by the Riverfront. You can ride a unique elevator - essentially it's a cross between a cable railway and a ferris wheel - up to the top. There is also an innovative historical museum under the Arch. Don't miss the movie, "Monument to the Dream," about the building of the Arch--it is an exceptionally well-made and memorable tribute to how a vision was made tangible. The Arch was designed as an inverted catenary curve (a shape similar to a parabola) scaled from 21 inches of string held 7 inches apart. Its foundation is anchored 60 feet underground.
    • Museum of Westward Expansion, underneath the Gateway Arch, +1 314 655-1700, [16].
    • Old Courthouse, [17]. The site of the historic Dred Scott slavery case which was one of the seeds of the Civil War.
    • Old Cathedral, 209 Walnut Street, +1 314 231-3250, [18]. The first cathedral built west of the Mississippi River.
  • Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, [19] Skinker Blvd and Forsyth Blvd. Located on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis, this museum was recently voted the best Museum in St. Louis by the Riverfront Times. One of the world's finest University art collections, it is also the oldest art museum west of the Mississippi River - it was founded in 1881. It is now housed in a new facility designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect, Fumihiko Maki. Among the permanent collection are pieces by Pablo Piccasso, Rembrandt, Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Juan Gris, Alexander Calder, and a separate department dedicated to currency called the Newman Money Museum.
  • Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, +1 314 577-9400, +1 800-642-8842 [20] - A place of serenity, beauty, and fun amid the bustle of the city, the Missouri Botanical Garden is open every day except Christmas Day (Dec 25). Stroll the grounds, explore the home gardening resources, or enjoy one of the many events throughout the year. This is a "must see." One of the main features is the Climatron, a very large geodesic dome that houses a good portion of the Garden's 80 acres of horticultural offerings. 2006 featured hundreds of glass sculptures around the park by glass artist Chihuly.
  • Missouri History Museum, [21]. Also located in Forest Park off of Lindell Blvd, it is free and open to the public as well. Check out the Charles Lindbergh exhibit and see a life size replica of the original Spirit of St. Louis.
  • Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, [22]. Experience modern art in a stunning avant-garde structure. A permanent installation titled Joe by Richard Serra is large enough for visitors to walk through and experience first-hand. The uber-modern concrete building was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando.
  • Saint Louis Art Museum, One Fine Arts Drive, Tel: 314-721-0072, [23]. Tu–Su, 10AM–5PM; F 10AM-9PM. Located in Forest Park atop a large lake and hill, it is one of the leading comprehensive art museums in the nation. They host visiting displays which in the past have included such exhibits as the Angels of the Vatican and the Royal Tombs of Ur. Free.
  • Saint Louis Science Center, [24], in Forest Park, is a fun hands on learning experience for the entire family. Equipped with an IMAX Dome theater, a planetarium, floors of interactive activities, and several traveling exhibits, the Science Center has something for everyone. The museum is free and open to the public daily. The museum consists of two buildings joined by a walkway.
  • Saint Louis Zoo, 1 Government Drive, +1 314 781-0900 [25] - Daily 9AM-5PM. Recognized as one of the top five zoos in the nation. The zoo has both indoor and outdoor exhibits as well as a children petting zoo. There are several centers for in depth exploration and learning. Free.
  • Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, 7400 Grant Rd, (314) 842-3298 ext. 245, [26] - One time home of Ulysses S. Grant. Known as "White Haven" was intially the home of the family of Julia Dent, Grant's wife. Free.
  • Wainwright Building, 705 Chestnut Street [27] - Designed by Louis Sullivan and built in 1890, it is one of the first skyscrapers.
  • America's Convention Center, [28]. Over 500,000 square feet of exhibit space, also featuring formal reception rooms, presentation-style rooms, a theatre, and the Edward Jones Dome next door.
  • Anheuser-Busch Brewery, 12th St and Lynch, 314-577-2626. A Free tour (with free beer samples for those of legal age) of one of the world's largest breweries and bottling factories. The Clydesdales and their historic truck and stables are one of the biggest attractions on the tour, as are the brew house and packaging facility.
  • The Central West End, [29]. An eclectic, cosmopolitan neighborhood home to soaring turn-of-the-century mansions on St. Louis's famous private streets, chic dining, and upscale boutique shopping with a great mix of cafes, independent bookstores (check out Left Bank Books on Euclid and McPherson), art galleries, salons, antique and modern furniture such as a Design Within Reach and Centro, coffee houses, and youthful energy. One of the more lively neighborhoods in St. Louis that borders Forest Park, the CWE is a great destination for a day of walking around or a weekend stay.
  • Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration. The entire day is a major event in St. Louis under the Arch with concerts and festivities. Every year a major musical talent headlines the event; acts such as Cindy Lauper, the Goo Goo Dolls, the Black Eyed Peas, and the Beach Boys have performed in the past. A dazzling fireworks spectacle caps off the night while tens of thousands of St. Louisans watch under the Arch lawn. This event kicks off a weekly concert series called "Live on the Levee", also taking place on the Arch grounds, and features a big-name musical act, food vendors, and games. The Veiled Prophet Parade [30] is a St. Louis tradition for over 130 years, and is essentially the main parade with floats on the Independence Day holiday, starting at Washington Avenue and ending at Union Station.
  • The Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire, [31] Come, travel back in time as you step into the beautifully wooded, 16th century village, we call Petit Lyon! Immerse yourself in the costumes and mannerisms of the era. Thrill to the exploits of Jousting Knights on thundering steeds. Roam the village shops for unique crafts and goods as our artisans demonstrate period skills. Delight in comedy, music and feats of derring do. Feast on delicious food and drink while strolling minstrels entertain. Interact with the colorful villagers, nobles, peasants and personalities of ages past.
  • Laclede's Landing, [32]. Just north of the Arch and part of Downtown St Louis, and the second oldest neighborhood after Soulard, "the Landing" is what amounts to St. Louis' old town. You are likely to enjoy the cobblestone streets and the shops, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and a bizarre wax museum. Recently constructed right next to the Landing is a new $400+ million dollar casino complex called Lumiere Place, featuring a Four Seasons hotel, nightclubs, 75,000 square feet of casino gaming, and an innovative multi-colored light feature spanning 24 vertical floors on the exterior of the building that lights up St. Louis' skyline. Not many original buildings on the Landing remain, as the area is constantly undergoing new developments and rehabbing of older buildings. Nightly horse-drawn carriage rides take you around the Landing and much of Downtown.
  • Lafayette Square and Park. A fashionable area with tree-lined streets, Victorian and Second Empire townhomes, and shopping and cafes surrounds the city's oldest park - chartered in 1836. In the warmer months, the park features small concerts, picnic locations, art fairs, and a team that recreates old-style baseball - but it is walkable all year round. Twice yearly are walking tours of the area that will take you inside some of the more remarkable Victorian mansions.
  • Laumeier Sculpture Park. [33] Accredited by the American Association of Museums, Laumeier Sculpture Park is one of a handful of open-air museums around the world and a unique compliment to the cultural landscape of St. Louis. Free to all and well worth a visit.
  • The Moolah Theatre and Lounge, [34] 3701 Lindell Blvd, 314-446-4500. This refurbished former Masonic Temple now boasts a one-screen movie theatre. The single screen is essentially a giant living room that forgoes traditional theatre-seating; instead, it features leather couches, club chairs, and coffee tables. The Moolah also has two bars, ample lounge seating, and a bowling alley in the basement. A very cool place for a night out! Located in Midtown/Grand Center.
  • The Museum of Transportation, [35]. Planes, trains, and automobiles! Take a step back into history and explore this unique collection of cars, locomotives, trolleys and airplanes. Train rides, car shows and even boats are on offer here. Good fun for adults and kids alike.
  • Riverboat Cruises, [36]. Take a cruise down the Mississippi River on the Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher riverboats. They offer dinner and music cruises and also a day trip to historic Kimmswick, Missouri.
  • Soulard Market, [37]. Although strangely named ("un soulard " means "a drunk" in French.), the Soulard neighborhood, covering the waterfront for several miles south of the Arch, is the oldest in St. Louis. The Georgian (or should that be Louis XVI?) style houses surround a central farmer's market which supplies the city's residents, supermarkets, and restaurants with the freshest, and inexpensive, local produce. This is the oldest farmer's market west of the Mississippi, and is open year-round every weekend. There are a number of bars and restaurants in the neighborhood as well, and visitors can celebrate French heritage with the locals during Mardi Gras or on Bastille Day.
  • South Grand and Tower Grove Park. By day, visitors enjoy the numerous boutiques and coffeehouses of South Grand Ave., and the shaded walking paths and recreational amenities of Tower Grove Park, including bike paths, playgrounds, a wading pool, several restored Victorian pavilions, and a Farmer's Market (Saturdays, May-Oct.). The park is a frequent home to festivals, including the pan-ethnic Festival of Nations (August) and PrideFest (June). By night, they turn to the numerous bars and restaurants on South Grand: a wide variety of food and drink options, along with one of the best people-watching scenes within the city limits.
  • St. Louis Athletica (WPS) [38]. Women's Professional Soccer inaugural season. Games played at Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in Fenton.
  • St. Louis Blues Hockey (NHL) [39].
  • St. Louis Cardinals Baseball (MLB), Busch Stadium, 420 South 8th Street, [40]. The 2006 World Series champions.
  • St. Louis Rams Football (NFL), [41].
St. Louis Union Station
St. Louis Union Station
  • St. Louis Union Station, 1820 Market St., +1 314 421-6655 .[42]. This 110-year-old National Historic Landmark has been restored and redeveloped as a dynamic mixed-use project that includes shopping, dining and entertainment. For history buffs, this is where the classic photo of Harry Truman holding the incorrect "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN" newspaper was taken.
  • The University City Loop, Delmar Blvd., [43]. Straddles the city limits and University City. This street was named in 2007 by the American Planning Association as one of the 10 Great Streets in America. This is the area known as The Loop to most locals, however, usage of the term outside of the St. Louis area is not as popular due to more famous Chicago loop. Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry performs every month at the historic Blueberry Hill restaurant. Although most popular with the 20-something hipster crowd, something can be found for everyone. Boutique shopping, ethnic restaurants (including many Thai establishments), upscale dining, independent movie theatres, record stores, nightlife opportunities, a few music concert venues, and people watching are among the many things to do on the Loop. Many restaurants feature outdoor dining to take in the bustling street scene.
  • West Port Plaza, [44]. Over 18 restaurants, bars and entertainment spots in Suburban St. Louis.
  • Fabulous Fox Theater, [45]. Built in 1929 and restored to its glory, this rare gem seats 4,500. A performance at the Fabulous Fox Theater is a "must see." Only two of this design exist, the Detroit Fox Theater built in 1928 has also been restored and seats 5,000. Probably the two most ornate theaters ever built in the US, they were the first to have live sound. They were built for William Fox, the founder of Fox Film Corporation, the forerunner of Twentieth Century-Fox studios. These two original Fox Theaters are still among the largest in the US in terms of total seats and the size of the stage.
  • Jazz At the Bistro, [46]. No visit to the Gateway City is complete without experiencing its rich jazz and blues heritage.
  • The Muny, [47]. America's oldest and largest outdoor musical theater. A popular summer attraction show casing a variety of musicals throughout June, July and August. Tickets range from $6 to $50 or so, but the top several rows are always free. Come early (and bring binoculars) to the top entrance if you want to see a show for free.
  • Off Broadway, [48]. Boasting excellent acoustics, this comfy concert venue usually has blues, bluegrass, roots, and folk touring acts along with the occasional indie-rock and country performers.
  • Opera Theatre of St. Louis, [49]. Opera festival every May and June at the Loretto-Hilton Center in Webster Groves.
  • The Pageant, [50]. A venue for concerts and national touring acts, the Pageant usually has an extensive schedule of events ranging from rock, pop, soul and comedy.
  • Powell Symphony Hall, [51]. A magnificent performance center, home to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
  • The Shakespeare Festival, [52] The mission of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis is to produce professional Shakespeare theatre, outdoors in a city park, free and for a diverse audience, and to provide education through schools and community outreach. Free shows are usually put on in the late spring and early summer. An excellent way to spend a summer evening in St. Louis.
  • Sheldon Concert Hall, [53]. The Sheldon's perfect acoustics earn it the reputation as the "Carnegie Hall of St. Louis". It features the best in jazz, folk, and classical music, and joins with the Sheldon Art Galleries to promote both music and visual arts.
  • Whitaker Music Festival, [54]. Wednesday evenings in summer enjoy music in the beautiful Missouri Botanical Garden. Admission is free (after 5pm), and you can pack your own picnic basket and cooler. Genre ranges from jazz to folk-rock to world music. Bring folding chairs or a blanket to spread on the lawn.
  • Chesterfield Mall, [55]. Large suburban mall in Chesterfield, MO.
  • The Delmar Loop, [56]. Funky, hip and great for people watching, the University City Loop is one of the best places in St. Louis to fulfil your "alternative" shopping needs.
  • Downtown St. Louis, [57]. Revitalized Downtown St. Louis is now home to a number of local fashion-forward shops and several upscale furniture stores. For the latest in fashion trends in a non-mall environment, there is nothing like checking out the boutiques downtown St. Louis. Most are centered around Washington Avenue. There is also a six-story Macy's department store in the company's Midwestern headquarters on Olive St.
  • The Hill, [58]. The city's Italian district, The Hill has a great selection of Italian restaurants, shops and businesses.
  • Hullabaloo, 1908 Washington St., +1 314 241-1969, [59]. One of the two or three biggest vendors of used clothing and costumes in the US, Hullaballoo does most of its business by mail order, or at shows in San Francisco, Seattle, and Las Vegas. They keep a store in the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis, however, so if you are into vintage or goth clothing you should definitely stop in.
  • Plaza Frontenac, 1701 S. Lindbergh, [60]. Exclusive shopping in an upscale mall. Featuring stores such as Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus, Sak's Fifth Avenue, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Tiffany & Co, Talbot's, and Williams and Sonoma. A small, six-screen independent movie theatre shows the latest non-blockbuster releases.
  • Saint Louis Galleria, [61]. The city's largest mall in Richmond Heights, MO.
  • St. Louis Mills, huge shopping center, with some outlet stores. The Mills includes an ice rink, a NASCAR speed track, over 175 stores, and a 130,000 square foot Cabela's super store.
  • South County Mall, [62]. Suburban shopping mall.
  • West County Mall, [63]. Suburbs, featuring the only Nordstrom department store in the region until 2010 when a new Nordstrom opens at the St. Louis Galleria.


St. Louis has its very own magazine and accompanying website, Sauce, which is the definitive guide to dining in St. Louis. Visit [64] for a searchable restaurant directory, news, and reviews.

  • Barbequed Pork Steaks, St. Louis Style Boston Butt sliced into steaks, basted with Maull's Barbecue sauce.
  • Gooey butter Cake, a type of coffee cake with a bottom layer of buttery yellow cake and a top layer of either egg and cream cheese, or butter and sugar.
  • Gus's Pretzels, [65] great hot LARGE pretzels about 1' long and 1" diameter!
  • Maull's Barbecue Sauce, [66] a spicy, semi-sweet tomato-based sauce unusual for containing pepper pulp and anchovies. Eight varieties.
  • Provel Cheese, a soft, white processed cheese made from cheddar, swiss and provolone. Mainly found on the pizzas at local favorite Imo's Pizza. You either love it, or you hate it; either way, it's worth trying!
  • Red Hot Riplets, [67] a somewhat-spicy variety of potato chips made by local firm Old Vienna with St. Louis-style barbecue sauce.
  • St. Louis Style Pizza, made with Provel cheese on a super thin crust.
  • St. Paul sandwiches, a fried egg and vegetable patty on white bread with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. Unique to the Chinese-American restaurants in St. Louis.
  • Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, [68]. Every St. Louis resident has had Ted Drewes at some point in their life. They have two locations in St. Louis, including one on the original Route 66. Featuring dozens of flavors of its famous frozen custard, it's a wonderful treat in the warmer months.
  • Toasted Ravioli, or really, breaded and deep-fried. It can be found at most Italian restaurants in St. Louis.


St. Louis' German heritage is evidenced in its vintage bakeries throughout the metro area:

  • Federhofer's Bakery, 9005 Gravois St., +1 314 832-5116.  edit
  • Lubeley's Bakery, 7815 Watson Rd., +1 314 961-7160, [69].  edit

The Hill

If you are a fan of Italian, head over to a neighborhood known as "the Hill", [70]. Home of Yogi Berra, the Hill has more Italian restaurants than any other area in the city.

  • Adriana's, +1 314 773-3833. Sicilian. Not open for dinner but can boast one of the best Italian veggie sandwiches out there. Lines are long but move quickly.  edit
  • Cunetto's House of Pasta, +1 314 781-1135, [71].  edit
  • Favazzas, +1 314 772-4454, [72].  edit
  • Zia's Restaurant, +1 314 776-0020, [73]. One of the most popular restaurants on The Hill, Zia's pastas stand out in St. Louis.  edit
  • Bar Italia, [74]. Italian. Delightful venue for parties, drinking, picking up lovely ladies and happytimes. Refreshingly, ID's are rarely checked, although this tends to be a bit of a secret, so the crowd is actually happily devoid of drunken teenyboppers.  edit
  • Coffee Cartel, 2 Maryland Plz, +1 314 454-0000, [75]. 24 hour coffee shop with free wi-fi.  edit
  • Dressel's, 419 N. Euclid Ave, +1 314 361-1060. Possibly St. Louis's only Welsh pub, Dressel's features wood panel walls, original artwork from floor to ceiling of literary and jazz legends, and a central bar that makes this quite a cozy establishment. Try the homemade pretzel, anything with their beer and cheese sauce, Ruben sandwich, or Welsh rarebit.  edit
  • Eau Bistro and Cafe, 232 North KingsHighway, +1 314 454-9000. Trendy, avant-garde cuisine and a great wine list, this place is great for a date or night out before a movie or the nightlife options in the CWE. Located in the historic Chase Park Plaza hotel.  edit
  • Rigazzi's Restaurant, 4945 Daggett Ave, +1 314 772-4900. High-quality Italian food, with lots of old-country atmosphere. Wait can be long, but food is good.  edit

Delmar Loop

The Loop features award-winning dining, and has everything from sidewalk cafes to upscale restaurants. This is a great street to walk and find something that appeals to your palate. Many ethnic restaurants, including Lebanese and Thai, are on the Loop.

  • Brandt's, 6525 Delmar Blvd, "+1 314" 727-3663, [76]. A bustling cafe and market during the day, turns into upscale dining with live music at night. Outstanding outdoor patio in the warmer months, and home to the best crab cake burger in the city.
  • Riddles Penultimate Cafe and Wine Bar, 6307 Delmar Blvd, +1 314 725-6985, [77]. A place to eat, drink, and listen to music on the Loop. A constantly changing menu features only food from local farmers and producers.
  • Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Blvd, +1 314 727-4444, [78]. A true landmark restaurant and bar, open till 3AM. Chuck Berry frequently on the calander to play. Absolutely filled with pop-culture memorabilia spanning decades, including lunchboxes, concert posters, toys, sports trading cards, and other Americana. This place is definitely not one to miss.
  • Fitz's Rootbeer, 6605 Delmar Blvd, [79]. American Bar and Grill, Family friendly, watch the bottle factory go to work as you dine.
  • The Melting Pot, 6683 Delmar Blvd., +1 314 725-4141, [80]. Fondue. Reservations are essentially required here.
  • Pi, 6144 Delmar Blvd, +1 314 727-6633, [81]. The crowds don't lie - this is terrific pizza.
  • The Bevo Mill, 4749 Gravois, +1 314 481-2626, [82]. August Busch, of the Busch family and brewery, built this giant windmill as his private dining room in the early 1900s. Today it serves traditional German cuisine and amazing breakfast. Look for the giant windmill - you can't miss it if you're in South City. This restaurant closed abruptly in March 2009, and it is not known when or if it will reopen.
  • Eleven Eleven Mississippi, 1111 Mississippi, +1 314 241-9999, [83]. Consistently on critic's Best Of list (if not at the top), Eleven Eleven features an interesting fusion of American and Mediterranean/Tuscan cuisine and the city's finest wine selection. Exposed brick walls, an open kitchen, and a busy dining room has made this place a St. Louis favorite for the past several years.
  • Merb's Candies 4000 S Grand Blvd, +1 314 832-7117. Old-fashioned chocolates, candy, and other sweets. Try the 'bionic candy apple' and the delicious chocolate-dipped strawberries.
  • Sidney Street Cafe, 2000 Sidney St., +1 314 771-5777, [84]. In a 100+ year old brick building, the inside features exposed brick and street lamps to be reminiscent of a New Orleans sidewalk cafe. The attentive wait staff always gives a verbal presentation of the entire menu, which has many tried-and-true favorites and seasonally changing newer items. A great place for a first date or anniversary.
  • Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company, 6740 Chippewa St., +1 314 832-2639, [85]. Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company is an award-winning chocolatier founded in St. Louis, Missouri. The company was founded in 1981 after the founding chocolatier spend over a decade training with the finest chocolatiers in the world. They specialize in fresh, chocolate covered Strawberries, Premium Truffles, Gourmet Boxed Chocolates, holiday chocolates and chocolate molded novelties all made fresh daily.
  • Hodak's, 2100 Gravois, +1 314 776-7292, [86]. Hodak's has been St. Louis' premier stop for fried chicken lovers since 1962! Hodak's has been featured on Rachael Ray's "$40 a Day" on the Food Network. If you like chicken and a lot of food for a small price, this is the place to go. (If you are meeting a group, you will not be seated until all members of your party arrive.) ~$5-10 per person.
  • An American Place 800 Washington Ave, +1 314 418-5800. [87]. Contemporary American, this is celebrity chef Larry Forgione's restaurant. Known for its locally supplied and grown food, the restaurant is in an the impressive, elegantly restored former lobby of the Statler Hotel downtown.
  • Broadway Oyster Bar 736 S. Broadway, +1 314 621-8811, [88]. Cajun Creole cuisine with live jazz and blues.
  • BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups 700 South Broadway, +1 314 436-5222, [89]. Name says it all.
  • Hannegan's Restaurant and Pub, 719 N. 2nd St., +1 314 241-8877, [90]. On Laclede's Landing, uniquely St. Louis in nature.
  • Harry's Restaurant and Bar, 2144 Market St, +1 314 421-6969, [91]. Adjacent to historic Union Station, serving fine food and hosting local live music on the patio.
  • The Gelateria, 1327 Washington Ave, 314-621-8838. The best Gelato outside of Florence, Italy, this small storefront on Washington Ave is sophisticated and a great place to stop in for an inexpensive treat after a long day of touring Downtown. All flavors are made fresh in-house same day.
  • Kemoll's, 1 Metropolitan Sq., +1 314 421-0555, [92]. Superb Italian cuisine in a stunning setting atop 1 Metropolitan Square.
  • Kitchen K, 1000 Washington St. +1 314 241-9900, [93]. Fine dining at night, with lighter fare for lunch. All about contemporary American food with a twist. Swanky decor inside from local artists in an open concept space.
  • Mike Shannon's Steaks & Seafood 620 Market St. +1 314 421-1540 [94] On Market Street within eyeshot of Busch stadium, overlooking Keiner Plaza. Worth the visit for the aged steaks alone. Outdoor patio dining available, comprehensive wine list, and a pretty good chance to meet a local legend.
  • Mosaic, 1101 Lucas Ave, 314-621-6001 [95]. One of downtown's more recent hotspots for food, festivities and fun, Mosaic is a fantastic modern fusion tapas-style restaurant featuring more than 40 wines by the glass.
  • Robert E. Lee Riverboat restaurant docked beneath the Gateway Arch.
  • Rooster, 1104 Locust St, 314-241-8188. A small European-style cafe with great crepes, sandwiches, and salads. On the inexpensive side, this place is ideal for breakfast or lunch - or a weekend brunch.
  • Schlafly Taproom, 2100 Locust St., +1 314 241-BEER, [96]. Surprisingly good "European inspired pub food", and great microbrew beers on tap in a remodeled brick warehouse. Many tables have views of the beer being brewed in action, and as the building is quite old, you can feel the hum and vibrations of the brewery process through the floor.
  • The U., 3108 Olive St. +1 314 371-1718. Open 11AM - 3:30AM Monday-Saturday. [97]. Great sandwiches, salads, wings and some fantastic burgers. Open late-nights and delivers from the CWE to Downtown until 3:00AM.
  • Tony's, 410 Market St. +1 314 231-7007. Opens 5PM. The only AAA rated five-diamond fine restaurant in the State of Missouri, this is considered by most to be the city's finest restaurant. Make reservations, look nice, and appreciate the fine cuisine and outstanding service.
  • Top of the Riverfront, 200 South 4th St. at the Millennium Hotel, +1 314 241 9500, [98] 28 stories up on top of the Millennium Hotel the restaurant revolves 360 degrees around while you eat. A wonderful view of the city and riverfront.
  • BARcelona, 34 N Central, 314-863-9909. One of the best places in St. Louis for tapas, this place is great for large parties and hanging out with friends. One of the louder places in the city, expect a long wait - but it's worth it.
  • City Coffeehouse and Creperie, 36 N. Brentwood Blvd, 314-862-2489. Always busy and crowded for a reason. Best crepes in the city - and about two dozen of them. A Clayton landmark.
  • Benito's Gelato #14 North Central Avenue +1 314 863-3366 A friendly staff and a colorful and chilled-out atmosphere only make the handmade gelato taste better. Try the blood orange and dark chocolate combination: yum.
  • Pomme, 40 N Central, +1 314 727-4141. A very small, very intimate French restaurant. On the pricy side, this is a great place to have a romantic, elegant, amazingly delicious dinner in Clayton.
  • Harvest, 1059 S Big Bend Blvd, +1 314 645-3522. [99]. Outstanding and unique seasonal menus, a great wine list, amazing foie gras appetizer, and perhaps the best bread pudding in the midwest. If you're kind to your server, they may provide you a photocopy of the recipe on request.
  • J. Buck's, 101 South Hanley Rd. +1 314 725-4700. [100]. Jack, Joe and Julie Buck broadcasting family restaurant.
  • Kaldi's Coffee, 187 Carondelet Plaza, +1 314 726-2900. "[101]. St. Louis's finest coffee roaster. Delicious vegetarian food, bottomless coffee cups, and a relaxed atmosphere.
  • The Fatted Calf, 12 S. Bemiston Avenue, +1 314 726-1141. "[102]. Welcome to Hamburger lovers' heaven. The Fatted Calf is a St. Louis landmark, and dare I say the home of the best burger in town. The Fatted Calf features a mall style dining experience with fast service.
  • Bellaluna Ristorante, 451 S Kirkwood Rd, Kirkwood, +1 314 909-0455. Fine Italian cuisine.
  • Imo's Pizza, multiple locations. St. Louis style thin crust pizza. Locals favorite.
  • Kobe Steak House of Japan, +1 314 434-2600. Japanese Steak house.
  • Olympia Kebob House & Taverna, 1543 McCausland Ave, +1 314 781-1299. Greek food near University City.
  • Pointer's Delivery, 1023 S. Big Bend Blvd., +1 314 644-2000. "[103]. Featuring the Pointersaurus, the world's largest regularly delivered pizza, measuring in at 28" in diameter. Pointer's has been featured on the Food Network and the Travel Channel.
  • Robust Winebar, [104]. Excellent wine bar with good food and tapas in Webster Groves.
  • Woofie's, [105] 1919 Woodson Road, Overland, +1 314 426-6291. A St. Louis landmark featuring Chicago-style Hotdogs.


Most tourists will be familiar with St. Louis' world famous Anheuser-Busch brewery, especially its signature variety Budweiser, or their best-seller Bud Light. However, unless you are accustomed to American style pilsners, it is unlikely you will find these and other Anheuser-Busch brands suit your palate. For those more familiar with European brews or who have been caught up in the domestic microbrewery explosion interested in sampling a local brewery's product, the Saint Louis Brewery's Schlafly microbrews are more likely to satisfy.

If you are would rather explore rather than choose one specific establishment, two areas in St. Louis are great for wandering from location to location: The Central West End (featuring Sub-Zero Vodka Bar, the Drunken Fish, Tom's Bar, the Loading Zone, Mandarin Lounge, and Bissinger's Chocolate Lounge all off Euclid Ave), and Downtown centered around Washington Ave (featuring Kyo, Home, Pepper Lounge, Lucas Park Grille, Plush, Nectar, and rue13). St. Louis's MetroLink system is great if you prefer not to drive, but much of the line will stop running by 1:00AM.

St. Louis is also home to a number of gay and lesbian friendly nightlife options. From busy bars to energetic dance clubs, make sure to stop by rBar, Atomic Cowboy, Novak's, and the Complex. Much of these are on Manchester Rd in Forest Park Southeast.

  • Bailey's Chocolate Bar, 1915 Park, 314-241-8100. A chocolate lover's wet dream, and home to the martini voted best in St. Louis - the Signature Chocolate Martini, served hot or cold. Rich red walls, dark woods, and a rose on each table make this a great after-dinner date or a cool hang out for friends. The Chocolate Bar serves dozens of original chocolate-infused drinks, but also has an assortment of phenomenal desserts, cheeses, wines, gourmet pizzas, and crepes.
  • The Big Bang, 807 N. Second St. Laclede's Landing, +1 314 241-BANG [106]. Two dueling piano players lead the crowd in a rock 'n' roll sing-along show.
Blueberry Hill on the Loop
  • Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Blvd, +1 314 727-4444, [107]. Restaurant, darts, bar open till 3AM. Located on the Delmar loop.
  • Cicero's, 6691 Delmar in University City, +1 314 862-0009, [108]. Cicero's probably derives the bulk of its income from the pizza joint upstairs, which is fair, because the pizza is good. That said the main interest for the traveler is the well equipped bar and the venue downstairs, which hosts touring indie and rock bands.
  • Halo Bar, 6161 Delmar in the Music venue The Pagent [109], [110].
  • Hair of the Dog, 1212 Washington - Downtown. Wahington's only dive bar; great atmosphere and cheap drink prices. Cheers-type environment, where everybody knows each other's name, and strangers are warmly welcomed. Service is a strong point, and this place is perhaps St. Louis' best watering hole.
  • Pinup Bowl, 6191 Delmar, [111]. Bowling alley and martini lounge open till 3AM.
  • Sub Zero Vodka Bar, 308 N. Euclid Av. in the Central West End, +1 314 367-1200,[112].
  • Venice Cafe, 1903 Pestalozzi St South City area, +1 314 772-5994, [113]. A mosaic-covered bar with outside sitting features nightly music.


St. Louis does have the host of usual Marriott, Hilton, Holiday Inn, and the like, chains. Check out chain websites for exact locations throughout the metropolitan region. One great thing about the city is an abundance of hotel rooms, convention and meeting space, and amenities for travelers. Since the city has a low cost of living, even for the Midwest, you might find even the most expensive hotels relatively affordable; rooms at even the Ritz-Carlton start in the mid $200s per night.

  • Hampton Inn, 2111 Market St., +1 314 241-3200, [114]. Near the Union Station. Swimming pool.  edit
  • Huckleberry Finn Youth Hostel, 1904-1908 S. 12th St., +1 314 241-0076, [115]. Thirty-year history. Separate mens and womens dorms. Beds start at $20 per night plus $5 key deposit.  edit
  • Drury Inn Union Station, 201 S. 20th Street, 314-231-3900. Indoor pool, restaurant. Restored historic hotel, near the magnificent Union Station.
  • Moonrise Hotel, 6177 Delmar in The Loop St. Louis, Missouri 63112, [116]. Luxury boutique lodging accommodations on Delmar in The Loop near downtown St Louis Missouri close to Clayton, University City, Washington University and tourist attractions.
  • Seven Gables Inn, 26 North Meramec St. Louis, Missouri 63105, [117]. A historic Tudor-style boutique hotel near St. Louis, Missouri in Clayton offering 32 lodging accommodations and meeting space close to local tourist attractions.
  • Westport Plaza Sheraton, 900 Westport Plaza, (314) 878-1500, [118]. Well appointed full service Sheraton hotel among the 18 restaurants, bars, and fountains of the modern Westport Plaza. Centrally located in the suburbs.
  • Beall Mansion, 407 East 12th Street, Alton, +1 618 474-9100, [119]. A "USA Top 100 Gold Inn" Award Winning Property. Elegant accommodations for leisure or business, weddings and receptions for 2 to 100, corporate retreats. Whirlpools, fireplaces, Wi-Fi, and complimentary 24 hour "all you can eat" chocolate bar. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Chase Park Plaza, 212-232 N. KingsHighway Blvd, Phone: +1 314 633-3000, [120]. A historic luxury hotel in the heart of the Central West End, right across the street from Forest Park. It has been recently renovated but still retains it's original, elaborate yet graceful, ambiance.
  • Sheraton Clayton Plaza, 7730 Bonnhomme Ave, Clayton, +1 314 863-0400, [121]. Located in the bustling downtown of Clayton, a sophisticated suburban community yet convenient to local St. Louis attractions. This property is located nearby several Forbes and Fortune 500 business headquarters, as well as restaurants, art galleries, specialty boutiques and shopping. Alexander’s Restaurant serves American cuisine throughout the day.
  • Four Seasons Hotel, 999 North Second Street, 314-881-5800. The Four Seasons' newest hotel, located Downtown St. Louis in the Lumiere Place casino and entertainment complex. The structure itself is an exciting and vibrant addition to the St. Louis skyline, and with being just steps from Laclede's Landing, there is plenty to do around this urban oasis.
  • Frontenac Hilton, 1335 South Lindbergh Blvd., Phone: +1 314 993-1100 (Fax: 1-314-993-8546), [122]. Luxury hotel, colonial elegance near the upscale Frontenac Plaza mall.
  • Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark, 1 S. Broadway, Phone: +1 314 421 1776 (Fax: 1-314-331 9029), [123]. Right next door to the St. Louis Cardinals' Busch stadium.
  • Millennium Hotel, 200 South 4th Street, Phone: +1 314 241-9500 (fax: +1 314 516 8149), [124]. Luxury hotel, stunning contemporary overlooking the Gateway Arch.
  • Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel, 9801 Natural Bridge Rd., +1 314 429-1100 [125]. Luxury hotel, contemporary style.
  • Renaissance Grand Hotel, 800 Washington Ave., Phone: +1 314 621-9600, [126]. Luxury hotel, historic downtown flagship.
  • Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 100 Carondelet Plaza, 314-863-6300, [127]. Continually rated as having the best customer-service throughout the entire Ritz-Carlton chain, this hotel is located downtown Clayton next to many great dining and shopping opportunities. Across the street is a MetroLink stop, affording access to the entire city.
  • The Roberts Mayfair - A Wyndham Historic Hotel, 806 Saint Charles Street, Phone: +1 314 421-2500 (fax +1 314 421-0770), [128]. Luxury hotel. Join a guest list that includes Irving Berlin, Cary Grant and Harry Truman. Since 1925, American notables have made the Mayfair Hotel St Louis their St. Louis headquarters and home away from home. Once you experience the special blend of elegance and service, you'll know why.
  • Hyatt in Union Station, 1820 Market St., Phone: +1 314 421-6655, [129]. A magnificent luxury hotel in the heart of downtown with 550 rooms inside the historic train station lined with trendy tourist shops. Access to the metro link makes this a convenient place to stay.

Stay safe

St. Louis' recent designation as the Most Dangerous City in America should not deter the potential visitor -- vagaries in data collection and the city's fixed borders distort the true nature of the Gateway City's safety. Areas most often visited by tourists are no more dangerous than any other large American city. The more popular and most-visited areas in the city, such as Clayton, Downtown, the Central West End, and Forest Park have very low crime rates, even for the Midwest.

Caution is warranted in other locales, particularly the North Side. The post-war exodus to the suburbs has taken a huge economic toll on this area, leaving many buildings abandoned, decaying, or demolished. East St. Louis, in Illinois, is also noted for a higher crime rate than the Missouri side (note this is not true of Alton or Belleville, in Illinois to the north and south). Most tourists, however, will have little reason to visit these places, so it should not present reason for much concern.

Some Metrolink stations are located in areas some may find questionable after dark as well, but most downtown areas around Busch Stadium, Union Station, St. Louis University area, and commuter lots near the airport are generally safe and patrolled.

Although the chance is extremely rare, an earthquake is possible in the area, as St. Louis sits on a fault-line, whose last big earthquake changed the course of the Mississippi River. While many scientists have cautioned that a "big one" may occur again, the majority agree it will not be any time soon.

Missouri is also known to have tornadoes, so make sure you understand tornado safety precautions. Saint Louis is well known for having had more urban tornados than any other city in the country.

  • There are tons of free (and safe) trips in St. Louis. Check out a few at [130]
  • Cahokia Mounds, 30 Ramey Street, Collinsville, IL 62234 [131] - located just across the river in Illinois, this is the site of the largest pre-Columbian city north of Mexico and has been designated an official UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Alton, Illinois is a historic river town just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Enjoy wineries, winter eagle watching, 50 antique shops, 9 golf courses, historic sites, fine dining, and elegant bed and breakfast accommodations.
  • For a scenic day trip, take the Great River Road [132] north from Alton to Grafton [133], stopping for antique shops and then on to lunch at the Pere Marquette Lodge [134] in Pere Marquette State Park. This drive is especially beautiful in the fall months, but in the winter you can see a number of bald eagles roosting along the river bluffs.
  • Nearby St. Charles makes a nice day trip.
  • Jefferson City Take a short trip to the state capital!
  • Troy is only a short ride away.
  • The Katy Trail State Bike Trail [135]. The Katy Trail is a bike path built where a Kansas-Missouri-Texas railroad line formerly ran. It's over 200 miles long, and biking on a section (or the whole thing) and stopping on the small towns dotting the tree-lined trail is a worthwhile excursion. Great place for bikers, runners, and those who want to experience small town Missouri and the great outdoors.
  • Lewis and Clark State Memorial Park [136] (Camp Dubois) where the Missouri River joins the Mississippi River. On the Illinois side, about 15 miles from the Gateway Arch. Take I-70 North to Exit #248A McKinley Bridge, then Hwy 3 north towards Alton, exit at New Poag Rd. (Hwy 203) and turn left. This is the location that explorers Lewis and Clark stayed at to begin their journey to the Pacific in 1803-04. Short hiking trails, 82 campsites, 1930s lodge, popular for family picnics.
Routes through St. Louis
SpringfieldEureka  W noframe E  END
MemphisCape Girardeau  S noframe N  EdwardsvilleSpringfield
ColumbiaSt. Charles  W noframe E  EffinghamIndianapolis
SpringfieldEureka  W noframe E  EdwardsvilleSpringfield
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