After spending a week and a half in Illinois, it was time to move on. Just over the state line was St. Louis, Missouri, and I arranged to spend two nights there. This list may tell you more about me than the city I visited, but I recommend these experiences.
6. Eating on the Hill – I wound up at Mama’s On the Hill and the toasted ravioli was delicious. Anywhere you get Italian food here is going to be authentic and tasty, but I recommend Mama’s.
5. The St. Louis Zoo – This zoo is expansive, but easily walkable The animals and exhibits are engaging. And, best of all, the zoo is focused on conservation and education, so you know the animals are well cared for. I’ve been to three “zoos” on this trip, and this is the only one I recommend.
4. Bellefontaine Cemetery – If you enjoy history, especially Civil War history, this place has plenty of things for you to see. Personally, I enjoyed seeing the different monuments and which stories went with them. For instance, I am never going to forget about the man who went to France, fell in love with a model, and commissioned a sculpture of her when he got home…which was moved to the cemetery because his wife got sick of living with the thing.
3. Shameless Grounds – This isn’t for everyone. Literally…you have to be 18 to even walk through the door. But if you like barbecue, you should have a chauvinist pig sandwich. The chocolate chip scone and coffee were heavenly. And the meal comes with a side of sex-positivity and a queer-friendly library. Nice and cozy, if you’re into that sort of thing.
2. The Arch – St. Louis is famous for this, and you have to do it at least once. The view at the top is spectacular, and even the experience getting up there is an exciting ride.
1. The City Museum – There are two ways to describe this place. The short way is “Gryffindor Paradise.” For those of you who need more, here it is: Imagine a McDonald’s play place. Make it twenty-times bigger (yes, even the slide). Put a ferris wheel and a second playplace on the roof. And remember that nothing is off-limits. I literally got lost in a cave at this place. I loved every second of it.