St. Louis, MO: A Weekend Thumbs Up, Part Two

One weekend is not enough for a St. Louis visit.
One weekend is not enough for a St. Louis visit.

Seeing all that St. Louis has to offer is not possible in a day. Our list of what to do when we return is growing. Our trolley tour with the St. Louis Trolley Company pointed out a couple of the must-sees. (See St. Louis, Mo: A Weekend Thumbs Up Part One.)

St. Louis Trolley tours give an excellent St. Louis introduction.
St. Louis Trolley tours give an excellent St. Louis introduction.

Of course the trip to the top of the arch is a St. Louis must. We did do that, but we didn’t make it to the Budweiser Brewery tour courtesy of Anheuser-Busch. Our trolley did go by it, however, and our guide told us highlights like how Budweiser beer got its start in St. Louis in 1852. Also that the brewery is the oldest in the United States and is a National Historic Landmark. On our return to St. Louis we can pick from a variety of tour options. The complimentary version lasts 45 minutes and includes a look-see at the 7-step brewing process and the famous Clydesdale horses.

Thanks to the recommendation of the tour guide, we headed to Forest Park. Significantly larger than New York City’s Central Park, Forest Park, founded in 1876, is a combination of natural beauty, landscaped gardens, bodies of water, historic landmarks like the World’s Fair Pavilion and other tourist attractions.

Built in 1913, the Missouri History Museum’s building is lovely. The exhibits here make the museum a worthwhile stop.

Unfortunately, we only made it to the Missouri History Museum. Again, not enough time to do more than catch a few displays, but I recommend a visit here. We spent our time at the continuing exhibit, “The 1904 World’s Fair: Looking Back and Looking Forward.” The World’s Fair was an incredible mix of the world’s cultures, and taking in the exhibit is a fascinating glimpse into how people from other countries were viewed by mainstream Americans. Exotic comes to mind. One can wonder how much we’ve changed in our perceptions—or not.

The exhibit about the 1904 World's Fair highlights "exotic" cultures like the Philippines and Native Americans
The exhibit about the 1904 World’s Fair highlights “exotic” cultures like those of the Philippines and Native Americans

Another exhibit that illustrates our connection to others is “Coffee: The World in Your Cup and St. Louis in Your Cup.” The exhibit chronicles the history of coffee as well as highlights modern day coffee production and how St. Louis fits into the coffee scene. Big time. This exhibit is up until January 3, 2016. Along with well done, informative exhibits, the Missouri History building, built in 1913 as a memorial to Thomas Jefferson who was instrumental in the Louisiana Purchase, is gorgeous. Plus, admission is free.

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The Boathouse Restaurant is a place to dine and to hang out.
The Boathouse Restaurant is a place to dine and to hang out.

After our visit to the museum, we headed to The Boathouse Restaurant for brunch. The Boathouse Restaurant is housed in an updated version of the original boathouse building. The man-made lake where The Boathouse is located is a place to paddle boat and just chill. We had to eat and run but did take time to enjoy our food. Between us we had the chicken salad sandwich and the BLT served up with local potato chips. Quite yummy. If we were hungrier, I’d have gone with the Chicken and Waffles. The bread pudding and Shipwreck Sundae, a concoction of ice-cream, pecans, and chocolate and caramel sauces topped with whipped cream were delicious.

Paddle boat rides are another activity in Forest Park
Paddle boat rides are another activity in Forest Park

Forest Park is also home to: The Muny (outdoor musical theatre 314.361.1900; Saint Louis Art Museum 314.721.0072; Saint Louis Science Center and James S. McDonnell Planetarium 314.289.4400; and Saint Louis Zoo 314.781.0900.

Post and photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein, member of Midwest Travel Writers Association.