Next up is St. Louis in Missouri. I didn’t really know much about this place prior to going except that it was ‘up and coming’ haha. Many articles say that it is becoming a new hub for tech talent and creatives alike, which I can totally see. There is an abundance of cute restaurants, independent stores and hip looking people (without them rubbing it in your face). The city itself has very wide streets and is easy to navigate which I like. If you’re planning a roadtrip through the US or contemplating a bit of a more unusual vacation, it could be a nice stopping point but I’m not sure about making it your sole destination.
One of the first things we did was head to the Saint Louis Zoo. Going to a zoo might seem like a really bizarre thing for a trip but this one is special because it is free! I still can’t really fathom it but yup going to the zoo doesn’t cost anything. Because of that I thought it was going to be small and have ‘boring’ animals but that was the wrong assumption – there are hippos, elephants, wild cats and more. The zoo is located in this huge park so you can also wander around afterwards if the weather is on your side and enjoy a beautiful day out.
Once you’ve seen some animals run about, it might be time for you to run about (was that a good segway?). Next stop is the City Museum and that name is very misleading. This building is basically an abandoned/old factory that has now become the ultimate jungle gym. There are ten story slides, ladders, scary wire nets that you crawl through, planes, buses, dragons aka everything! It’s really hard to explain but you basically wander around and get yourself hideously lost exploring. It is aimed at kids but there were many adults going round on their own. You could spend hours here and not see everything so plan accordingly! (Thanks to Jon for the awesome recommendation).
This is probably the famous landmark of St. Louis and it’s the Gateway Arch. It is the world’s tallest arch and believe it or not you can go to the top. The mechanism to get you up there is a mix between a ferris wheel and a lift. You start off underground and then go into this Jetson/space pod that only fits five people. It is then a five minute ride to the top full of a few bumps and scary clicking noises. The top is literally a small room with these tiny windows that you can look out of haha. This was one of the weirdest experiences I’ve had but truly unique and something off the bucket list.
A unique food associated with St. Louis is gooey butter cake. It is similar to a brownie but more dense and flat. To get it we went a few blocks from the City Museum and went to Park Avenue Coffee. They had several different flavours to pick from and at a pretty reasonable price. The cake itself was good, very sugary and hard to resist eating more than one.
Another place we ate at that was a little outside St. Louis was called The Blue Owl in Kimmswick. It is a very homey, Grandmother style cafe haha. All the waitresses are older and wear these adorable dress/apron combos. The food is typical cafe selection with sandwiches, salads and soups but the pies are what they are most famous for. Below you can see a strawberry shortcake one and their famous apple pecan pie. Whilst there we actually met the owner Mary who was so kind and a pleasure to meet. It is a full on American family experience and awesome if you feel like making the trip out of the city.
This last recommendation is two hours from St. Louis but perfect if you’re driving to Kansas City (the next city I’ll be talking about). It is the state capitol of Missouri and located in Jefferson City. If you want to learn more about MO it is a great resource and also an absolutely stunning building.