During the summer of 2016 I worked an internship in St. Louis, MO. I’ll be honest; I was less than excited to be in St. Louis, especially in the heat of summer! But despite the outrageous temperatures and humidity, I left St. Louis with fond memories. This is my attempt to condense an entire summer into a single blog post with all of my favorite activities. When I wrote Hawaii postings, I used to form them as suggested day trips; what I’ll describe here would be better suited for a weekend.
The apartment I rented during the summer was just a few blocks away from Forest Park – St. Louis’s version of New York City’s Central Park. In fact, Thrillist rated Forest Park as the best city park in the entire country. In the park is an excellent (and free!) art museum, a science center and planetarium, a history museum, a greenhouse, the country’s largest outdoor theater (with free seats in the back!), and the St. Louis Zoo (also free). Although I visited the art museum, and took in part of Mamma Mia! at the Muny (the outdoor theater), my favorite photos were from the zoo.
It was easy enough to arrive early and spend half my day visiting animals, while still leaving time to visit the St. Louis Arch in the second half of my day. I deliberately held off on visiting the Arch until I had family in town, rather than going by myself and sharing an egg capsule with strangers. What is an egg capsule? I asked myself the same question until I saw the Arch “elevators.” Designed to move horizontally while riding vertically, the “elevator” was more like a train of egg capsules that people crammed into. We managed to fit six (three adults and three children) and it was quite a squeeze!
It probably goes without saying that the views from the top of the Arch were outstanding, although the viewing room was crowded. Once at the top you were free to look out the windows as long as you liked, and to take the elevator down whenever you were ready.
If you’re searching for another way to fill your afternoon (or evening), look no further than the City Museum. Even with researching St. Louis before moving for the summer, I didn’t hear about the place until I was actually living there. The best words to describe it would be “freaking awesome.” A 600,000 square-foot old factory and warehouse, the museum is more like an adult playground filled with any (and I do mean any) old relic the artists could get their hands on. Parts of the museum made me wonder if the developers were just trying to see how far they could go and still pass safety inspections. I went here with my roommates once, and took my cousins a second time, and everyone had an absolute blast. Even my aunts and uncles joined in on the fun! As an aside, they are open late on weekends and serve adult beverages.
A final St. Louis favorite would be taking in a Cardinals game at Busch Stadium. I had a lot of family visiting during the summer due to my brother’s wedding in the midwest, so I went to games with my dad, Anton, and my aunts/uncles/cousins (who were doing an entire midwestern baseball tour before the wedding). When my dad visited, we got unlucky with a night of sweltering heat and storms which delayed the game for about two hours until it was finally cancelled. After some haggling with the box office and explaining that there was no way we could come the next afternoon, they gave me some new tickets for an evening later in the week, and Anton and I were able to take in a much less humid, much less warm, delightfully pleasant game of baseball (his first)!
Like I said in the beginning, St. Louis was full of nice surprises. Would I want to live there? Most likely not, seeing as I experienced one of the hottest summers on record. Would I recommend it for a visit, or a drive through? Absolutely.