St. Louis Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia
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St. Louis Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

New frontiers of music, culinary exploration, and one of the most iconic
monuments in the U.S are just some of the things that create the unique
and charming flavor that is St. Louis. You’ll find Missouri’s
largest metropolis perched on the west bank of the Mississippi
as it rolls south towards New Orleans. While blues, bricks, baseball
and beer are etched into the city’s culture, St. Louis has been shaped by a rich history. The city got its start when
two French fur traders started an isolated but strategic settlement
on a high bluff of the Mississippi in 1763. Growing steadily into
a village, and then a town, it was named St. Louis,
in honor of the King of France, Saint Louis the ninth. The city played a vital role in America’s westward
expansion in the 19th century. Explorers Lewis and Clark
embarked on their historic expedition from here, blazing the way for other hopeful settlers. The city thrived as an outfitting center where pioneers gathered supplies
before setting out into the wild west, and it soon adopted the
nickname “the gateway to the west.” Curving to a height of 630 feet above the Mississippi, the Gateway Arch was created in 1963 as a tribute to St. Louis’ role in opening up the west. Delve through the city’s
past in the Gateway Arch Museum, before taking the tram to
the top of the USA’s tallest monument for spectacular views across the city and beyond. Once you’ve returned to earth, make your way to the
Washington Avenue Historic District. Largely abandoned after the Second World War, this former garment district is once again in vogue, as funky apartments, bars and cafes take up
residence in the warehouses of old. In 1849, a devastating fire
almost reduced St. Louis to ash. Following the discovery of
large clay deposits beneath the city, buildings were rebuilt with red terracotta bricks. Sturdy, fire resistant, and undeniably beautiful, red bricks soon became a
signature building block in the city’s DNA. While red bricks make up the city’s DNA, music is the fire within St Louis’ soul. The city’s sound is a
unique brew, over a century in the making. Plantation songs and gospel steamed
north aboard river boats from New Orleans, blending with local ragtime
and jazz to create the iconic St. Louis Blues. At the National Blues Museum, discover the legends who honed their craft in St. Louis, creating a new sound that would go on
to influence musicians all over the world. St. Louis’ soul flows with faith, as well as music. Step into the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, and feel your spirit soar
amid the bright chapels and sanctuary. Gaze up at the glowing mosaics, a labor of love that took 76 years and over 41 million glass tesserae pieces to complete. The historic district of Soulard is the next stop on your journey into the spirit of St Louis. This neighborhood is brimming
with churches that date back to the mid-1800s. In Soulard, food and beer
are also treated with divine reverence. Follow your nose to the neighborhood’s best taco joint, then savor a pint of liquid
gold at one of the many breweries. Take a tour of the Anheuser-Busch
Brewery, the home of Budweiser beer. The brewery’s site was chosen in 1852 because of some cool caves that they used for storage, for its proximity to the Mississippi River, and for the large
population of thirsty German immigrants. Inhale the hops, malt and mash as you wander
through the labyrinth of historic buildings, and learn the fascinating story
of one of the nation’s leading brewers. Pull up a chair at the Schlafly Tap Room, another of the city’s oldest
and most celebrated breweries. Originally a printing press, today it’s the perfect place to
join in with locals in cheering on the St.Louis Blues – the city’s pro ice hockey team. While St. Louis’ German
settlers brought beer to the city, its Italian immigrants brought their homeland’s recipes. Make your way to The Hill
and try one of the city’s most iconic dishes, toasted ravioli. Legend has it that a tipsy chef
dropped ravioli into the deep fryer by mistake, and viola, a new dish was born! After sampling the city’s
culinary folklore, enjoy the spirits of St. Louis, in one of the city’s many cocktail bars and lounges. You’ll need at least two
days to fully explore Forest Park, a lush expanse larger than New York’s Central Park. More than just a celebration of nature’s beauty, Forest Park is also home to a smorgasbord of St. Louis’ most treasured cultural jewels. At the park’s northern entrance, visit the Missouri History Museum, and take off through the
dramatic chapters of the state’s past. The museum’s shining star is the “Spirit of St Louis,” a replica of the airplane flown by Charles Lindbergh in the first solo transatlantic flight. Follow the paths south, to Pagoda Lake, where you’ll find
one of St. Louis’ best-loved attractions. Starting life as a humble stage between two oak trees, the Muny Theatre has grown
into the largest amphitheater in the United States. So, book a ticket, sit back, and experience the magic
of musical theatre under the moonlight. Forest Park is also home to the St. Louis Zoo, where a menagerie of critters
including Southern Rockhopper penguins is sure to keep little ones entertained. Just a short walk away, visit the St. Louis Art Museum. Built for the 1904 World’s Fair, this stunning beaux-arts palace houses creative works which span the world’s cultures, and ages. Before you leave, make your way
to the southern edge of Forest Park to explore the St.Louis Science Center. The center is a celebration of natural history and a glimpse into the
new frontiers of science and technology. Ever since those two French fur traders set up shop on the banks of the Mississippi, St. Louis has been the gateway to new frontiers. This once rough and ready
trading post has evolved into a modern city, brimming with new flavors and a vibrant character that remains true to its rustic heritage. No longer an outpost where
pioneers set forth to conquer the wild west, today visitors find plenty of adventure right here. So when you’re ready to
discover some of the best history, hospitality and hops America has to offer, St Louis is the perfect gateway.


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