The BlinkPacking blog continues a new featurette in today’s edition of the ShortList. Say you find yourself in a certain city for a handful of hours and want to experience a whole lot more than the airport. Well friends, high-tail it out of the terminal and head for a jolly time — armed with a cornucopia of ideas from the BlinkPack veteran.
The third locale featured in our ShortList is a second-tier city with a big, friendly heart — Gateway to the West… also known by more common nomenclature: St. Louis. (Read the first and second installments, The Boston Five, and The Key West Five.)
BlinkPack ShortList: The St. Louis Five
Shimmy up the Gateway to the West.
Skipping a trip to the top of the famed St. Louis arch is like heading to Vegas for the fountains. Plunk down a few bucks and squeeze into the half-pod, half-elevator, half-tram, and rock-n-roll your way up to the best view of the city and surrounding area. The base of the polished sculpture houses a free historical museum that is worth a quick visit, and the surrounding park is a perfect setting for grabbing a picnic and those obligatory ‘here I am in front of the arch’ photos.
MetroLink to Arch/Laclede’s Landing
Get your museum on in Forest Park
Forest Park is the St. Louis version of Manhattan’s Central Park. But one could argue it is far superior, because this mega green space houses the St. Louis Zoo, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, and the St. Louis Science Center. The best part is that admission to all of the above is entirely and completely free. From the MetroLink Station, there is an inexpensive shuttle bus that loops by all of the museums and attractions.
MetroLink to Forest Park
Bowl a strike in Delmar Loop
Delmar Loop is a brilliantly revitalized neighborhood, and its main street is nestled with scores of fantastic nightlife venues for music, dancing, shopping, dining, drinking, vinyl shopping, and even pin-up bowling. Check out Vintage Vinyl, one of the most extensive record stores I have ever visited, for a fantastic selection of local music. And keep your eyes peeled for the best people-watching the city has to offer.
MetroLink to Delmar Loop
Savor the local flavor
From crispy-crust pizza crafted with provel cheese to the famed mega-thick granites of Ted Drewe’s custard stand, St. Louis has many distinct local-fare offerings, and none are to be missed. I especially enjoyed my to-go platter of toasted ravioli (fried cheese ravioli served molten with a side of spicy marinara), a famed St. Louis invention. Grab a plate of these from Emo’s Pizza
MetroLink to Union Station
Reconnect with your inner child
There is no museum in the world like the City Museum. The hyperactive space is brimming with utility materials repurposed into an endless multi-story jungle gym, inviting its visitors to shimmy this way, crawl that, squeeze through there and slide over yonder. My favorite spots included the room of skateboard ramps buffed into a slippery human free-for-all and the eight-story factory chute gone super slide. Grab a few espresso shots and head over to this stellar fantasyland for hours of smiles and overstimulation.
MetroLink to Civic Center
If you have been to St. Louis, did you hit all five on the list? And what are your suggestions for additions make the visit more complete?