Please help my girlfriend and I have an amazing St. Louis vaction ?
March 16, 2009 5:21 PM   Subscribe

What should my girlfriend and I not miss on our trip to St. Louis

My girlfriend and I will be in St. Louis from May 30th-June 1st. Those two days are basically wide open except at 8:00pm on the 31st, when we'll be at the concert we are setting this whole trip around. I also thought this would be the best place to get answers since my Birmingham question last summer. So here I go again with the list of our interests, thanks for any and all of the suggestions. Also were both 21 or at least will be at the time of the trip.

Independent Films
Comic Books
Metal Works
Record Stores
posted by carefulmonkey to Travel & Transportation around St. Louis, MO (29 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Imo's Pizza for delicious St. Louis style pizza and Vintage Vinyl for all of your awesome independent record store needs.
posted by banannafish at 5:30 PM on March 16, 2009

posted by zsazsa at 5:32 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]

The City Museum is my favorite thing in the whole city. Especially when they have the whole place lit by candlelight after hours and serve alcohol.
posted by np312 at 5:32 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Damn, was beaten to it.
posted by np312 at 5:32 PM on March 16, 2009

Catch an indie at the Tivoli theatre in the Loop.
posted by rglass at 5:33 PM on March 16, 2009

I will emphasize zsazsa triply so...
... inhales deeply...
it is seriously the most awesome place on earth. Spend all afternoon to evening there, they're open late on Friday and Saturday nights.
Take a trip down a three story slide, then climb up some gnarly tubing, go to the aquarium, go through the tanks in plexi tubes. Basically do all the things you wanted to do when you were eight years old, live a game of shoots and ladders Get to the third story and they have a cafe which serves beer. Which makes it okay that you're not eight years old anymore. Oh, how I love the city museum.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 5:35 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

Missouri Botanical Gardens is excellent.
posted by sulaine at 5:35 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think I have made myself clear regarding my feelings for Imo's pizza. Try some toasted ravioli, instead.

If it is hot, have some Ted Drewes, for some refreshing frozen custard.
posted by adipocere at 5:36 PM on March 16, 2009

How good is Ted Drewes custard? It's been more than 15 years since I lived in St. Louis, and I literally still dream about the place now and then.
posted by scody at 5:44 PM on March 16, 2009

I'm going to hop onto your question if you don't mind. I was planning on asking this exact same thing. My GF and I are driving down from Chicago to St. Louis that same weekend to see A Prairie Home Companion at The Fox Theater, and we're looking for other things to do while there.

Any suggestions on where to stay as well?
posted by Arbac at 5:47 PM on March 16, 2009

Huh, sometimes I forget that they brought back the blink HTML tag.

Independent Films

Chase Park Plaza Cinema
Plaza Frontenac
Webster University Film Series
Strange Brew at Schlafly Bottleworks

Comic Books
Star Clipper Comics in the Loop

City Museum
Laumeier Sculpture Park
Contemporary Art Museum + Pulitzer Museum (they're side by side, similar in approach, and both open on Saturdays)
Fort Gondo
Check or for events listings

Craft Alliance

Metal Works

Record Stores
Vintage Vinyl
Euclid Records
Apop Records (noise/avant-garde)
Record Exchange (used, vinyl emphasis, lots of used video and audio in endless formats, some of which you've probably never heard of)

Also, avoid Imo's like the plague unless YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO HAVE A ST. LOUIS PROCESSED PROVEL CHEESE EXPERIENCE. I've lived here for all of my life, and personally, I do my best to avoid such experiences.
posted by stleric at 5:49 PM on March 16, 2009

Oh, and go to the Venice Cafe.
posted by stleric at 5:50 PM on March 16, 2009

You should at least stop by the Gateway arch. Very long lines so don't go up to the top since you don't have a lot of time to kill, and the motivation for building the arch certainly gives one pause, but *it is a damn amazing arch* a glorious piece of architecture that still holds up well. If it were in Paris it would be the most famous thing in the world.

An interesting nerdy side trip is to Cahokia mounds in East St. Louis ILL. Most people don't even know about the mound-builder civilization. The largest most advanced native American society north of Mexioc, and they had much contact with mesoamerican cultures. they built "mounds" really earthen pyramids and this is the largest one still extant.

oh and the botanical garden is nice too.

(I've only been to St. Louis once in my life)
posted by xetere at 6:05 PM on March 16, 2009

That is Mexico. My cat did a number on my keyboard.
posted by xetere at 6:05 PM on March 16, 2009

Anything in the Loop is going to be fun. Nthing City Museum - it's like a giant playground, so much so that you can rent knee pads.
The Art Museum and the Zoo are both pretty top-notch, and both feature structures built during the 1904 World's Fair. The Arch is touristy, but it is a neat feat of human engineering.
Everyone should eat an Imo's pizza and form their own opinion - I'll recommend the sausage and mushroom pizza. I miss it so much, I have dreams about it.
And, if you have a day, a trip out to Columbia wouldn't be a totally bad idea. There is a neat little downtown area, with some very good restaurants and fun art galleries, a great winery just west, and IMHO, one of the best independent theaters (RagTag).
posted by honeybee413 at 6:06 PM on March 16, 2009

Some great advice so far. I agree with everything and even take both positions on the Imo's debate. It's very love/hate, depending on my mood.

The city museum is lots of fun. We also have an excellent art museum in Forest Park. I've been to a lot of art museums and it easily rivals or surpasses any that I've found in similar size cities. It covers a wide range of periods and cultures. Plus, it's freakin' free - like our zoo (also surprisingly excellent).

Ted Drewes does still kick ass. The Soulard area and the Delmar part of the Loop have fun bars. Central West End has upper-scale bars. There is some variation on that, of course.

And hell yeah, Cahokia Mounds. The Pyramids of North America that nobody knows about. It's a big pile of dirt, but it's a fascinating remnant of the civilization that used to be here. You can drive up right next to the big mound, park and walk right up it.
posted by dosterm at 6:19 PM on March 16, 2009

Meetup? heh.

Do not miss the City Museum. Laumeier Sculpture Park is awesome as well (the interstate cut through a golf course; that half-a-golf-course is now a *giant* sculpture park. Like, sculpture up to and including railroad tank car tanks.

And having been there over the weekend (I'm a member, too), the Botanical Gardens are fantastic. Once, while perusing the home-gardening displays, I mentioned to a fellow visitor how nice the displays were. He said in a thick Russian accent, "I have been around the world. This here. This. Is world class." So, yeah. If you can swing getting in really early on Saturday, it's open at seven (maybe only for members, but I'd jump at an excuse to go early and swing you tickets) and sunrise on the Japanese Garden is fantastic.
posted by notsnot at 6:22 PM on March 16, 2009

As for a place to stay, the Moonrise will be open by then. I've seen plans and it looks pretty swell.
posted by notsnot at 6:25 PM on March 16, 2009

What about the Robert Wadlow statue in nearby Alton, IL? Nothing beats a life-sized statue of the Gentle Giant. And they even bronzed his chair!
posted by tiburon at 6:36 PM on March 16, 2009

Scott Joplin lived in St. Louis for a while. There's a cool house museum with a ton of piano rolls and player pianos you can operate. I liked it a lot. Be warned, it is in a pretty burnt-out neighborhood.
posted by hardcore taters at 6:36 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Here is a map I made with my favorite STL stuff.
posted by sulaine at 6:58 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

Definitely go to the arch. I was just there and there wasn't any line at all -- it was literally walk-up and go, so it must depend on when you are there. I don't want to spoil the fun, but the ride up is definiely more fun (and ridiculous) than I anticipated.
posted by mercredi at 7:54 PM on March 16, 2009

Not to be dramatic, but you might die of regret if you don't go to the City Museum. It's true.
posted by theiconoclast31 at 8:27 PM on March 16, 2009

stleric basically has it except for imos is amazing
hint: ranch dressing
posted by saul wright at 1:04 AM on March 17, 2009

Tower Grove Park & the South Grand neighborhood for some good ethnic food and/or after-hours drinks. Recommending the assortment on sulaine's map.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 4:58 AM on March 17, 2009

Also, Imo's: no. Not even as cutting-edge culinary anthropology. It is inexpressibly nasty, and nothing like actual pizza.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 5:29 AM on March 17, 2009

oh, you guys will be here durring the shakespeare festival ( Its a free performance in Forest Park. Come early if its nice out because people usually set up with picnic baskets and spread out. Its located between the art museum and Zoo, so you could park at either place and just walk over when its time for the show. I've lived in St. Louis my entire life and the City Museum and Forest Park are my two favorite places in the city.
posted by jmchrist at 7:14 AM on March 17, 2009

I missed your interest in recod stores. My two favorites are and You can spend hours in either, but the record exchange is a converted library and the place is packed wall to wall. It can be quite overwhealming, but I've found some great deals in there.
posted by jmchrist at 7:19 AM on March 17, 2009

For further emphasis:


To this day, the Missouri Botanical Garden remains my favorite place on the face of the earth, as well.

Also nth-ing the art museum, the Tivoli, the rest of the Loop besides the Tivoli, Euclid Records, and if you do go to Euclid Records you should really get dessert at Cyrano's, which right around the corner from Euclid Records, in the same building.

Man, I miss St. Louis.
posted by Quidam at 10:29 PM on March 17, 2009

« Older Words to inspire my brother as he writes a high...   |   Name That Tune. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.