I'm in Love.... with a city!

Saint Louis Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 6 › view all entries
The arch and courthouse from my window.
Upon returning from a whirl-wind tour of the great city of St. Louis, I can tell you that I adore that city and will plot to return.

VERY clean, very safe, interesting, and affordable with so many of the museums and attractions being free.... how can it get any better???

I hit the ground running and covered a lot of geography while there.  I found the city to have the charm of Chicago's old buildings, the romance of Kansas City, the nightlife of Washington DC, and the efficient transportation of Boston except cleaner!  I was captivated by the  plentiful fountains, intriguing sculptures, great architecture, and the warm of the people who I met there.
View from MetroLink Stadium Station looking at my hotel, Hilton Ballpark.


I arrived around 10pm on a Wednesday night and needed to find the train platform. After searching for about 10 minutes I discovered the signs that pointed "up."  Taking an escalator to the second floor the MetroLink signs navigated me to the station where I bought my 2 hour pass from a vending maching for $3.75.   I sat in the first car and waited for about 10 minutes before the train left the station.  Multiple stops later I arrived at the Stadium Station where I new I needed to exit. 

Emerging from below street level at this station I was pleasantly surprised to see how well lit the streets were at this time of night.  My Hilton Hotel was within site and about 2 blocks away.  There was no one around except for the occasional car passing by until I arrived at the door of the hotel.
  A safe and easy walk.

Checkin was quick and smooth and I was greeted warmly. I had read about Bree, the girl who checked me in, on Tripadvisor and she blushed when I told her that!   My room was on the tenth floor (#1009).  The elevators for the east tower were just about 100 feet from the front desk, they were quick!  As I stepped off the elevator my room was just steps away ~ so easy!  The room was nice and sported two full-size beds.  I pulled back the curtains and had a front and center view of the Old Courthouse and about 70% of the illuminated arch.... beautiful view~!

Next I headed across the street to Calico's.  It is not a chain but had a feel much like TGIFridays (which was just down the block). I sat at the bar and had a sandwhich and sampled the local brew, Schlafly.
Schlafly, St. Louis' beer.
  While sitting at the bar waiting for my food a young pharmaceutical rep from Kansas City there on business struck up a conversation with me.  He thought I was a little nuts to travel by myself, he thought it would be boring~ how wrong he was!  I'm thinking I actually have grown to PREFER solo travel! 

My food came.  The sandwich was fair but the home made potato chips were great!  I enjoyed the cold beer on a warm night.  Beer makes me sleepy so it was perfect to enjoy just before heading back to the hotel for the night.    Afterwards I walked around the fountain area which stood between the restaurant and the Hilton. It was beautiful at night.  The Old Courthouse and the Arch were both in perfect sight of this fountain at night and it was picture postcard perfect.
  What a warm night at about 78 degrees; perfect for the short walk and a first impression of the city.

The next morning I awake bright and early and rush (gotta love my enthusiasm, huh?) to the window to see what daylight will reveal to me below.   Sunshine was streaming like a spotlight off of the arch and a foggy blanket had hovered over the Mississippi River with the warm days and cooler evenings.  The sight seemed almost dreamlike with the pink and purple drenched sky and the largeness of the buildings.

As I hustled downstairs the first order of business was to grab a Starbuck's for my morning boost.  Loaded with a caffeine buzz I headed back to the fountain to look over the details.  I noticed a visitor's information booth at the end of the fountain and was beckoned inside by the flashing "open" sign.
This is Barb at the visitor's center. She was magnificent in helping me get oriented on day one!
 

Inside I was greeted by Barb and Mike.   Both of these kind people exuded the warmth of the city and gave me some great ideas for sights to see along the way.  Barb was called out of retirement to man the visitor's booth... and I can certainly see why!  So genuine, helpful, and passionate about her city!  What a great ambassador for those who come to St. Louis!  One of the recommendations she made was to take in the experience of The Hill (see bus guide below) one of the oldest and best Italian neighborhoods in the country.  Settled more than 100 years ago by immigrants, several businesses in this area south of hwy 44 still thrives today much like it did generations ago. Excellent suggestion!

Mike was a guide on a bike in a bright yellow shirt.
Mike on a bike.
  Part guide and part safety.  His job seemed two-fold; to make sure guests enjoyed their sightseeing and to look after them while they were here.  Having moved to St. Louis many years ago from England I was impressed with the amount of history and information he, too, had.  I saw Mike on his bike two more times the following day on different corners throughout the city.   I walked for miles in the city or took the train, and each time I was surprised to see this man who I had already met.  It was nice to see a familiar face.  **So if either Barb or Mike is reading this, "Hi!"  I'm waving at you!!

**Bus guide and tips:  If you are taking the bus to go see The Hill, start at the MetroBus Hub located at Central West End train stop.
Early morning light and the fountain.
  Board the bus route #95 Hampton (southern route).  Get off the bus at the very first stop AFTER passing under Interstate 44.  Walk to your right about 6 blocks and you will be at the top edge of all the activity of The Hill.

To return to Central West End, catch the same route #95 Taylor (north route) for return bus at the bus stop right in front of the Botanical Gardens (located on Kings highway Street which is almost directly underneath Interstate 44.
  **Please note: You may have to wait up to 45 minutes for this bus as it comes about once per hour. There is no bench here to wait on and no shade.



sweetsummerdaiz says:
Thank you for wading through all of my ramblings :o)
Posted on: Sep 24, 2009
Quest says:
What a great blog... I love your writing :o))
Posted on: Sep 24, 2009
sweetsummerdaiz says:
I am humbled, thank you!
Posted on: Sep 18, 2009
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The arch and courthouse from my wi…
The arch and courthouse from my w…
View from MetroLink Stadium Statio…
View from MetroLink Stadium Stati…
Schlafly, St. Louis beer.
Schlafly, St. Louis' beer.
This is Barb at the visitors cent…
This is Barb at the visitor's cen…
Mike on a bike.
Mike on a bike.
Early morning light and the founta…
Early morning light and the fount…
I happen to prefer this angle.
I happen to prefer this angle.
The perfect arch.
The perfect arch.
Perspective to show size.
Perspective to show size.
The front bridge is Eads which is …
The front bridge is Eads which is…
The solid anchoring walls of the E…
The solid anchoring walls of the …
Lewis and Clark bronze statue alon…
Lewis and Clark bronze statue alo…
St. Louis is so organized! At vari…
St. Louis is so organized! At var…
Lacledes Landing. Riverfront 9-bl…
Laclede's Landing. Riverfront 9-b…
Streets of Lacledes Landing with …
Streets of Laclede's Landing with…
One of numerous, interesting sculp…
One of numerous, interesting scul…
Amighettis bakery and restaurant …
Amighetti's bakery and restaurant…
De Gregorios market where you can…
De Gregorio's market where you ca…
This is Union Station from the bac…
This is Union Station from the ba…
I prefer this angle.
I prefer this angle.
Cardinals stadium. There was a ga…
Cardinal's stadium. There was a g…
Reflections of the Arch.
Reflections of the Arch.
Fantastic sushi here!
Fantastic sushi here!
Room 1009.
Room 1009.
Time exposure, under the arch at n…
Time exposure, under the arch at …
Soldier Memorial
Soldier Memorial
Firemans museum
Fireman's museum
Soldiers Memorial
Soldiers Memorial
Soldiers Memorial
Soldiers Memorial
Soldiers Memorial
Soldiers Memorial
Soldiers Memorial
Soldiers Memorial
Soldiers Memorial
Soldiers Memorial
Christian Catholic Church
Christian Catholic Church
Christian Catholic Church
Christian Catholic Church
Christian Catholic Church
Christian Catholic Church
Christian Catholic Church
Christian Catholic Church
Christian Catholic Church
Christian Catholic Church
Campbell House
Campbell House
The bells in the servants kitchen
The bells in the servants kitchen
Master bedroom
Master bedroom
Exterior of Campbell House
Exterior of Campbell House
Coach House at Campbell House
Coach House at Campbell House
City Museum
City Museum
City Museum
City Museum
City Museum
City Museum
City Museum
City Museum
The Orpheum
The Orpheum
Reflective statue.
Reflective statue.
Interesting police vehicle.
Interesting police vehicle.
Saint Louis Hotels & Accommodations review
Great deal, great location, great view.
I booked on priceline in April for this trip - great deal for $50 a night. Checkin was a breeze, the lobby was beautifully done in a muted baseba… read entire review