Day 1 You’ll See:
- Downtown St. Louis
- Gateway Arch
- Gateway Arch Riverboat Cruises
- Lunch at Ballpark Stadium
- Bogart's Smokehouse
Day 2 You’ll See:
- Forest Park
- St. Louis Zoo
- Picnic in Park
- The Hill
- Dinner at Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill
Day 3 You’ll See:
- Lafayette Square
- Self- Guided Tour
- Lunch at SqWires
- Ted Drewes
You may have seen St. Louis before, but never like this! This unique 3-day itinerary through the sights and sounds (and smells!) of St. Louis focuses not on attractions, per say, but on particular neighborhoods throughout the metropolitan area, each providing their own sense of culture, history, and entertainment.
Downtown St. Louis - Downtown St. Louis is an absolute hub of entertainment and tourist attractions, a busy area offering a myriad of things for your group to do. Not only that, but this neighborhood is also the center of the business district and anchor of the larger metropolitan area of St. Louis, making this one of the most visited and most overall important areas in the city.
Gateway Arch - The nation's tallest national monument, the Arch is a symbol of St. Louis' station as the Gateway to the West, the motion of westward expansion from the civilized east coast to the undiscovered western frontier. This is a perfect first stop for you on your journey to ‘experience St. Louis’! The Gateway Arch rises powerfully from the riverfront Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in downtown St. Louis – near the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition - to a towering 630 feet, cutting an imposing silhouette against the city skyline. A quick tram ride the top affords guests an incredible bird’s eye view of up to 30 miles in any direction on a clear day. Be sure your group's visit to the “Gateway to the West” includes a stop at the wonderful Museum of Westward Expansion located in the visitor center just inside the Arch.
Gateway Arch Riverboat Cruises -This locally owned and operated cruise line offers guests of the city and of the Gateway Arch an opportunity to see it from the water, a unique and memorable way to introduce yourselves to city history, architecture, and even local wildlife. There are several different cruise options within this company, which is located on Leonor K Sullivan Blvd each option focusing on things such as Mighty Mississippi History, St. Louis Architecture, the Gateway Arch impact and architecture, and similar topics.The most popular cruise? Hands down the One-Hour Sightseeing ‘journey back in time’, the classic cruise offered to guests that show them what it was like in a time in which steamboats ruled the Mississippi, the entire cruise narrated by the captain or local National Park Service Ranger.
Lunch at Ballpark Village: Cardinals Nation - One of the best dining options within the iconic Ballpark Village is fittingly an eatery by the name of Cardinals Nation. This spot is a popular sports eatery, memorabilia collection, and hall of fame all in one, making it a perfect intro into what is famously known as Cardinals Nation (St. Louis). This high energy spot features three different al fresco patios and a bevy of flatscreens in every direction, not to mention the rooftop deck seating 330 guests during games, providing the best views of all the MLB action. Enjoy classic sports venue appetizers such as potato skins and pretzel bites before you hit the main courses of pizza, steaks, salmon, and so much more. We love the French Dip Sandwich and Bullpen Burger, and of course, you can’t leave without our favorite Triple Play for dessert, a cheesecake and gonash masterpiece.
Soulard -Soulard is one of the most popular neighborhoods to explore in the St. Louis area, as well as the city’s oldest neighborhood overall. Historically French, Soulard is named after Antoine Soulard, a surveyor for the Spanish government and refugee from the French Revolution in the 1790’s.This entire neighborhood encompasses just over 380 acres, housing a population of over 3400.The food within this area is reminiscent of pubs and taverns of France and early St. Louis, such as the 1860 Saloon and Soulard Restaurant. Enjoy the Soulard Farmers Market, in continuous operation each Wednesday through Saturday since 1779. Just walking around the neighborhood will be a history lesson in itself, the red brick townhomes and red brick streets giving way to historic churches and monuments galore. Did we mention this spot is only 5 minutes from the Arch?
Bogart’s Smokehouse - Memphis-style BBQ meets St. Louis style attitude at Bogart’s Smokehouse, a Soulard neighborhood shining gem. Here Bogart’s, if you couldn’t already guess, the head chef is a born and raised Memphis man who moved to St. Louis and shared/melded his cooking with the city. Your group can get individual plates or sandwiches or you can get larger special platters and sides while here. Whatever is most convenient for you, we will work with them to set it up. The pulled pork, beef brisket, hand-sliced pastrami, and out of this world juicy slabs of ribs are all so good it will be hard to make a choice once inside, especially when the smell hits you/ The decision of what to eat here will be the toughest part of your day!
Forest Park - Start your second St.L day at Forest Park, the prominent civic center located on Grand Drive (west side). Here you will find over 1370 acres of gorgeous green space to sightsee, learn, and dine, the entire park area holding four different museums, the St. Louis zoo, athletic fields, golf courses, and the iconic World Fair Pavilion. Forest Park is a world-class cultural institution that allows in-depth natural and recreation exploration and even gives your group a good chance to get some exercise in. Eat lunch, visit a museum, and enjoy one of the best parks in St. Louis.
St. Louis Zoo - Proudly situated in gorgeous Forest Park, the beautiful 90-acre St. Louis Zoo is home to more than 19,000 animals across 655 species. The St. Louis Zoo isn't just one of the nation's finest examples of a zoological park, it's also one of the only premier zoos to not charge general admission.See all your favorite animals including African lions, Sumatran tigers, snow leopards, Asian elephants, and hippos, penguins, sea lions, and so much more. The St. Louis Zoo welcomes visitors to participate in their wildlife programs like zoo lectures, animal demonstrations, behind the scenes tours, and zookeeper for a day special while here! There will also be plenty of places to stop for a snack or souvenir.
Picnic in Park - Take it easy for an hour or so and have a peaceful picnic in the park. People watch, sit and relax, or even go for a quick hike around the area to sightsee and get in some exercise with your group. We suggest a two hour period to relax here and have some well-needed downtime during your travels. If you happen to have extra time try to stop by the Jewel Box, a highly celebrated local flower garden and event venue that is well worth a peak.
The Hill - This is a great place for anybody looking to immerse themselves into Italian sights and smells, or looking for a culture outing during their travels. In St. Louis’ Little Italy, your group will find a traditional collection of authentic Italian bakeries, stores, eateries, and trattorias, the entire neighborhood a very colorful and energetic area to be in at all times. Take a Discover St. Louis tour of the neighborhood and then eat at any of the numerous taverns, bistros, and pubs throughout. A really fundamental and telling sign of the 621-acre neighborhood is the epicenter, an intersection that divides corners including a historic Catholic church on one side, a popular Italian bakery on another, an import shop on an adjacent one, and even a tavern and bocce court on the other.
Dinner at Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill - For an authentic Italian dinner while in St. Louis head to Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill. This spot will provide your group with some of the best and most genuine Italian cuisines in the area, an authentic experience that everyone in your group will love. The spot is well-known for their ‘red-sauce fare in an old-world elegant atmosphere, two things we particularly love. Charlie Gitto’s is a local landmark when it comes to fine dining, especially for larger groups up to one hundred, like yourselves. There is a private Garden Room that will fit your groups needs perfectly. Try Italian and Sicilian classics such as veal, lobster ravioli, or fresh seafood, or maybe go for the house cheese pizza or a juicy steak! For dessert be sure to save room for handmade gelato or Italian cookies.
Lafayette Square - One of the most beautiful and most historic neighborhoods in all of St. Louis will start out your third and final day, Lafayette Square. Within this district, you will find gorgeous Victorian homes lining the streets, more commonly known as Painted Ladies, as well as charming eateries, boutiques, gardens, and grottos. The main focal point, the Lafayette Park and, is over 150 years old, making it the absolute oldest urban park west of the Mississippi River.
Lafayette Park Self-Guided Walking Tour - Spend your morning exploring the area with your group with a self-guided walking tour of Lafayette Park and Historic Square. You will see 16 unique, historic, and just plain interesting sites during the tour, some favorite sites including the Park House, Elizabeth Cook Pavilion, Bronze George Washington Statue, and Swan House and Fountain. The park itself will provide you with an astounding history, one that spans from its first purpose, a public pasture in 1760, to becoming a park in 1851 used for parade ground during the Civil War, to today’s urban park oasis.
Lunch at SqWires - Your group is in for a true treat for lunch before you head home, SqWires in Lafayette Square considered to be one of the freshest, tastiest, and most beautiful restaurants in St. Louis. Here you will find locally sourced ingredients presented in a fresh and simple way, with rich flavors enhancing the classic American cuisine. The eatery itself is a revamped Victorian structure, an old factory space that now sports 19th-century brick and gorgeous Victorian-era decor. For lunch you can choose from several different options, our favorites being the sandwiches, plates, and brown bags. Plates such as fish and chips, stir fry, and chicken pot pie are always popular, and brown bag options include Chicken Salad sandwiches, grilled chicken, meatloaf sandwiches, and even smoked turkey and brisket sandwiches. Talk about a delicious way to leave St. Louis!
Ted Drewes - On your way out of town be sure to stop for dessert at Ted Drewes, an iconic St. Louis frozen custard staple. Over 80 years of experience has been put into these concretes, sundaes, and shakes, Ted Drewes Sr. beginning in 1929 with the very first frozen custard stand in Florida. Walk up to the window and choose your poison, with a seriously huge variety of monthly specials, seasonal staples, and over 40 toppings and add-ons to boot. Try a Cinna-Crunch Concrete with bananas, or perhaps a S'more with Mocha. Classic flavors and additions such as pralines, peanuts, and whipped cream are available as well, of course. Other than the famous concretes (served upside down they are so thick!) your group should also try any variety of sundae, a classically tasty treat.