Introduction to St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, located in east central Missouri on the Mississippi River, is the second-largest city in the state. Incorporated as a city in 1822, St. Louis prospered as a fur trading center and, due to its prime location on the Mississippi, quickly became a major transportation hub. The city is one of the world's beer capitals, with Anheuser-Busch Breweries headquartered there. The city is also home to several major companies, including Monsanto, Solutia and Energizer. A Boeing plant is also located in the city.
St. Louis Culture
The city's most famous landmark is the 630-foot Gateway Arch, designed by Eero Saarinen and erected in 1965 to symbolize St. Louis as the gateway to the American West. The Municipal Theatre, the largest and oldest outdoor musical theatre in the US, is located in Forest Park. Many of the city's cultural attractions are also located in Forest Park, including the St. Louis Zoological Park, the Municipal Theatre ("The Muny"), the St. Louis Science Center and Observatory, the Saint Louis Art Museum and the Missouri History Museum. Other cultural attractions include the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and the St. Louis Shakespeare Company.
St. Louis Sports and Leisure
St. Louis is one of America's top sports cities, with a passionate fan base for its four major league teams. Major league baseball's St. Louis Cardinals play at 49,779-seat Busch stadium. The NFL's St. Louis Rams play at the 66,975-seat Edward Jones Dome, which also hosts major college sports events like the Big 12 Championship game in football and the NCAA Final Four in basketball. The brand new, 21,000-seat Savvis Center holds the home ice of the NHL's St. Louis Blues as well as the home court of the St. Louis Billikens for college basketball. Just across the Mississippi River in Illinois, Gateway International Raceway hosts NASCAR events throughout the year.
St. Louis Outdoors
With its agreeable climate and prime location at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, St. Louis offers great recreational opportunities. The Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is a 4,300-acre conservation area with access to both rivers, allowing hunting, fishing, hiking and biking. More wildlife can be seen at 546-acre Lone Elk Park within the city and at 8,000-acre Pere Marquette Lodge & Conference Center 45 minutes away in Grafton, Illinois. You can hike, hunt, fish, ride horses in the summer and see bald eagles fly during the winter.
St. Louis at Night
St. Louis has a thriving nightlife, helping it rank #22 on the Forbes list of the Best Cities for Singles. With Anheuser-Busch based in the city, would you expect anything less? The historic Soulard neighborhood just south of Busch Stadium is the city's best place to see live music, with many clubs within walking distance. Laclede's Landing on the Mississippi River is a large area packed with restaurants, bars and nightclubs, and with easy access to riverboat gambling casinos.