Travel to St. Louis, Missouri – Episode 285

categories: USA Travel


The Amateur Traveler talks to Rease Kirchner about her hometown of St. Louis Missouri.

St. Louis is known for its iconic Arch and is known as the gateway to the west. Rease claims that St. Louis has the largest urban park in the U.S., and now boasts about a surprising array of ethnic restaurants including a Little Italy area with toasted ravioli and a Little Mexico around Cherokee street.

The city has an art museum made of entirely recycled materials and Rease’s favorite the City Museum.

Rease also tells us where we can find traditional St. Louis food including gooey butter cake and a slinger which she describes as “everything that can kill you all on one plate”.

St. Louis is famous for Budweiser and for the associated Busch stadium which is the home of the St. Louis Cardinals, but now also boasts micro-breweries and NFL and NHL teams.

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Show Notes

St. Louis, Missouri
25 Things to Do in Missouri
St. Louis City Museum
St. Louis City Museum Photo Tour
St. Louis Art Museum
Missouri History Museum
Gateway Arch
Gooey Butter Cake


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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

7 Responses to “Travel to St. Louis, Missouri – Episode 285”

S. Taylor


Really? Everyone in MO outside of St. Louis and everyone in the south are hicks? There are other cities in MO. The pictures are not the best either. The picture from the arch showed the old Busch Stadium that was replaced in 2008. Also Carlos O’Kelly’s is a chain of not that authentic Mexican restaurants. I wasn’t that impressed with this presentation of St. Louis, I city I have visited often.



I knew the comment about the south would ruffle some feathers and not without justification. The views expressed were not necessarily those of the Amateur Traveler.

Sorry about the pictures. We spend a couple hours finding pictures to put in but are limited by what we can get form the guest (none of St Louis in this case) and what we can find with creative commons license. And we do occasionally grab the wrong picture or just can’t find the right one.

What is authentic? I think few if any Mexican restaurants in the U.S. are authentic although some are very good. Or are we talking Taco Bell quality?



I grew up in the St. Louis area and still have family there.

I have to agree with you Chris, the trip up the Arch is fun just by virtue of the unique way the tram takes you up. The view once up there is fine, but it’s the trip that’s the thing. Definitely not for the claustrophobic but I enjoyed it and have been there several times. πŸ™‚

I remember when they were building the Arch and also when my parents took me as a child (yes this dates me). They’ve really improved things. It used to be you had to wait in a long line for hours. Now you get a ticket with a time on it and only head back to the tram when it’s time to go up – the rest of the time you can wander the museum under the Arch or the grounds outside.

For families there is the Science Center /Planetarium ( which is fantastic. It’s near the zoo in Forest Park. BTW – St. Louis has one of the best zoos in the country. I used to take my kids when they were young. A really fun feature for the kids is that the Science museum spans the highway and kids love looking down as the cars pass under them. They also used to have many hands on exhibits. I’m guessing this is still the case even though my kids are grown up and I haven’t been for a while.

Then we have the Botanical Gardens and Grant’s Farm which are not in Forest Park, but are fun to visit. There are some Riverboat cruises. I can’t say I’ve done one, but they might be worth checking into. (that’s the problem with growing up in a certain place – you often don’t do these things!) Just across the river in Cahokia IL is the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum (for the airplane buffs out there) It’s only open on Friday and Saturday according to their web site. I haven’t been, but offer it as another item of interest since I love those kinds of museums.

On the food front I didn’t hear Ted Drewes Frozen Custard mentioned – it’s a St. Louis institution. I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting.

She is right about needing a car or someone to drive you around. However, having now lived in the Boston area for 5+ years I can say for sure it’s very easy to drive around St. Louis – they have street signs and they have blocks so it’s not too hard to find things.

It’s too bad she had to bring politics into the conversation. (I know it’s not you it’s the guests who periodically insist on bringing in this off-putting feature). I can’t think of the last time I looked at visiting a place and decided yes or no because the people who live there vote a certain way which makes them hip and fun. Heh. (who knew!)



I went to St. Louis for the first time about 3 weeks ago and found there was plenty to do. My friend from Chicago met me there for a Cubs-Cardinals game and the atmosphere was great. The next time we go I hope the game is earlier in the season as temps were in the upper 90s and it was only the first weekend in June!

I thoroughly enjoyed my Arch visit and had read several articles advising tourists to go early in the day. That advice proved spot-on. We reserved 8:30 am tickets online and there was virtually no line. We wandered around the free museum in the base while waiting.

The Old Courthouse was also interesting. It’s just a couple of blocks from the Arch and is where the historic Dred Scott decision was rendered.

We did the 1-hour riverboat cruise which was informative and provided the best way to get a photo of the whole Arch without driving over to Illinois.

We also visited Grant’s Farm, former home of U.S. Grant. His homesite and a small museum are there but most of the property has been converted to a small zoo. Several of the Budweiser Clydesdales are kept there as well and they are certainly magnificent.

I’ll second Teresa’s recommendation of the Science Museum and Planetarium. Most of the museum is free but you can buy tickets to several Omnimax films.

When planning our activities I found to be very helpful.



l like going to st Louis although only been two times go see the the gateway ache and try go to st Louis Cardinals game

joy christensen


Hi Chris -don’t let the fact that we have the same last name let you be swayed to believe a MUST SEE site in St Louis is The Fountain on Locust -home of the Best Restroom in America and the most photographed restaurant in St Louis! Take a peak at

Matthew Stone


Thanks for defending the Gateway Arch, Chris. Sure the ride to the top is more than a little claustrophobic. But it truly is an architectural & engineering marvel, especially when you remember it was originally designed in the 1940’s…far ahead of its time.

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