One of the best things about St. Louis is our diverse neighborhoods. Soulard boasts one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations outside of NOLA; the Hill has some of the best Italian food you will ever taste. In the county, however (the city of St. Louis and county are separated, in case you didn’t know) these “neighborhoods” tend to have a much more varying split of opinions. Ballwin and Rock Hill are both ranked highly in “best areas to live in polls.” Clayton, Ladue and even Chesterfield can be seen as snotty. South County is seen as hoosierish (oh yeah, we also use the word “Hoosier” in place of “Redneck”).
The Lawn at Verizon Wireless Ampitheater
Stay tuned – Things St. Louis Guys Love will be posted Monday!
We may not have the popularity of Chicago or the pizzazz of Nashville, but St. Louis is an outstanding city. From our rich sports history to our flavorful communities, it’s a city all it’s own. And sure, maybe we’ve got a few quirks (as outlined by the What High School Should We Call Me tumblr), but that’s what makes it unique. As spring awaits it’s arrival, it’s time to remember just what we love about this city. Some of these items are on my own 2013 bucket list, some are tradition, but all are meant to highlight what this city has to offer.
- Attend a Cardinals game at Busch Stadium. I have tickets to my second straight home opener against the Cincinnati Reds!)
- Visit the St. Louis Zoo at Forest Park and make sure to see the new Sea Lion exhibit, although the Penguins are my personal favorite.
- Get your custard served upside down at Ted Drewes.
- Take a Brewery Tour. And I don’t necessarily mean Budwesier. St. Louis is home to many craft breweries, including Schafly, O’Fallon, Urban Chestnut & 4 Hands.
- Eat, drink and be merry at Food Truck Friday in Tilles Park. Sarah’s Meltdown (grilled cheese), Sarah’s Cake Stop (cupcakes) and Zia’s (Italian) are my favorite.
- Stop and smell the flowers at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Bonus points for going on Wednesday nights during the Whitaker Music Festival.
- Head on over to Fast Eddies. This is top of my bucket list this summer!
- Watch a concert on the lawn at Verizon Wireless Ampitheater.
- Soak up the humidity and see a show at The Muny in Forest Park. It’s incredibly hot, but totally worth it.
- See the city from the Rooftop bar at 360. Sadly, I have not had this pleasure yet.
- Grab a root beer at Fitz’s Bottling Company in the Loop. Then pop across the street for a burger at Blueberry Hill.
- Brush up on your French and visit the annual Jour de Fete in Ste. Genevieve.
- Head to Live on the Levee under the Arch. Don’t miss the fireworks, either!
- Load up on carbs at the Hill. You won’t regret it.
- Take your bets at Fairmount Park. I need to make it to a Party in the Park on Friday nights this year!
Of course, I could go on for days, but instead, I invite you to add your Must-Do in St. Louis! What is your go-to when the weather gets nice?
*Yes, I left off the oh-so-popular ride in the Arch. It’s definitely a must-do if you’ve never been to the city!
If you haven’t gotten a chance to read Aaron Perlut‘s article, St. Louis Doesn’t Suck, I’d suggest you do. With the campaign @STLDoesntSuck, it’s really made me think about why I love this city so much, and why I didn’t consider applying (outside of Disney) anywhere else in the country when I graduated college.
1. It’s a sports-rich city. Sure, everyone knows St. Louis is a baseball town, but did you also know that we have one of the richest inline hockey breading grounds? Or that the age old question of “Where Did You Go To High School” is followed up by a snarky sports-related comment, such as “Oh, we beat you in the 2006 State Hockey Championships!” (Sorry CBC.) The sports scene stems from a strong 11-time World Champion Cardinals following down to the pee-wee players you see at intermission of a Blues game.
2. Unique Attractions: Where else can you find a top ranked FREE zoo, outdoor theater, lake, golf course, art museum and history museum in one spot? From Forest Park to the creative-based City Museum to the steps of the Gateway to the West, St. Louis is full of secret spots and public places to enjoy at any age.
3. Degrees of Separation. You’ve heard the age old saying that there is a 6-degree separation between you and a stranger, right? Be it as it were, in St. Louis, that number drops in half. Whether you’re parents went to school together, you both worked for AT&T or Boeing, or you’re neighbor walks their dog, you probably are closer connected than you thought, and that’s important to my next point.
4. Small town, big city: St. Louis is made up of two parts – the city and the county. The county is made up of hundreds of neighborhoods from The Valley in Chesterfield to my home Oakville in South County. Sure, when you live in St. Louis you know you’re in one of the top cities in America, but back home, it’s a small town atmosphere of high school football, local bars and running into people at the grocery store.
5. Provel Cheese: And the other St. Louis delicacies (Toasted Ravioli, Gooey Butter Cake). Judge me if you may, but if I can’t get provel cheese by the block, slice or shredded, you can bet I will not be calling it home.
I’m bound to this city, or this city is bound to me. Either way, it definitely doesn’t suck.