And I can’t forget the Gateway Arch, one of the sites that Saint Louis is most known for. From a distance, you can tell that it is big, but up close the Arch is massive! One thing we didn’t realize was that you need to get tickets for set times if you want to go up inside of the Arch. Tours to the top tickets for an adult is $13 and children ages 3-15 are $10. Tickets do sell out, and the lines to buy tickets can get very long. We got there before 10:00 in the morning, so the line wasn’t horrible.
When we were finished with our tour, the line was much, much longer. I would recommend either getting your tickets in advance or getting to the Arch during the first hour that they are open for shorter wait times. You can’t get in line to go to the inside wait area until half an hour before your scheduled time. They are strict about this, and once you do line up, will go through a metal detector. They take security very seriously. Once your tour time starts, you are given a brief history of the Arch before lining up at your assigned ‘car’ number. If you have a fear of heights or tight spaces, I would not recommend this tour. The tram cars squeeze in five people, and it is tight. The ride up takes four minutes and starts off a little bumpy but gets smoother once all eight tram cars straighten out. But the view from the top is beautiful and completely worth it! You can spend as much time as you wish at the top, and then when you are ready, you line up to take a three-minute ride back down. If nothing else, just seeing the Arch up close is worth it.
Two of our three nights were partially spent in the Casino, which was attached to our hotel. We hit up the penny slot machines. We each went in with a set amount in mind that we didn’t mind losing, while of course hoping to win. And three of us did walk out a little ahead. The Casino was nice overall, however, the main downfall was that they allow smoking inside. None of us smoke and the heavy smell got to us pretty quickly. We likely would have spent more time there had we been able to breathe. Perhaps it saved us from spending more than we planned on.
Lastly are the restaurants that we tried. One of our favorites was a gem called Frazer’s, which was located by the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. We found them by accident, but are so glad that we did. We got there for brunch on a Saturday and ordered from the Brunch menu. Because we were there for Saint Patrick’s Day, they did have some Irish-themed specials. While we didn’t get the special, two of us did order the Turkey Avacado Wrap and two of us ordered the Steak Burger. I can say that the Steak Burger was one of the best burgers that I have ever had. It was cooked to perfection (medium), was juicy, and just delicious. The two who had the Turkey Avacado Wraps were really impressed too with how Frazer’s could turn something so seemingly simple into something so much more. If you are ever in Saint Louis, this is the one restaurant that should not be skipped.
Other eateries that we dined at were:
- Twisted Ranch– The main reason for the Saint Louis trip, as my friend loves french fries and ranch sauce. This restaurant is all things ranch, whether it be a ranch seasoning, ranch dressing or difference ranch sauces. Every single item on their menu has flavors of ranch somehow incorporated into it. And the thing they are most known for is an appetizer called Ranch this Country Flight 13. It is most simply put as a pile of ranch seasoned french fries with your choice of 13 different ranch dipping sauces. They have over 30 flavors to choose from. They make all flavors in-house daily with fresh ingredients.
- The Sweet Divine– A boutique bakery and coffee bar known for their cupcakes. The bakery itself is really cute and the desserts displayed in a way that makes you know that you won’t be walking out with just one item. I ended up getting a box of four to take home to enjoy with my husband. Only two of them made it. The two that did not survive the drive back to Ohio was the Dubliner, which was a Guinness Stout chocolate cake with an Irish Cream flavored filling and Irish Cream flavored buttercream, and the Salted Caramel, which was a brown sugar cake with salted caramel frosting and caramel drizzle. They were the perfect sweetness and oh-so-good. It made me feel like by choosing The Sweet Divine as my go-to place was a good call. The only downside is that they are not local, so unless I am back in Saint Louis, I won’t be having their cupcakes again. As for the other two remaining cupcakes, the flavors were the Mint Chocolate Chip and the Blondie. I cannot say how they were because I did take them back for my husband to enjoy. I can say that he enjoyed them.
- Little Hills Restaurant and Winery– This restaurant has a more intimate setting. It is both warm and inviting and you feel as if you can just sit and enjoy your meal and the wines. The winery makes their own wine in Caverns located in historic St. Charles. Depending on the time of year, they make 16-18 different wines. While I only had a taste of one of the wines that one of my friends had ordered, (Sweet Abbie Rose), that one taste was perfectly sweet and made me wish I would have ordered a glass as well. For the meal, I split the Lobster Macaroni with one of the other girls. While it was really good, it was also really rich and hearty. Served in a bread bowl, I don’t think I could have finished it myself. Because it was Saint Patrick’s Day and nearing the end of the night, we all did enjoy a green beverage; green tinted cocktails and margaritas.
Saint Louis was a fun weekend trip away. We fit a lot into a short amount of time and saw just about everything that we wanted to see. Had we had another day, or even just a few more hours, we would have checked out the City Museum. The one downfall of the trip that we all agreed on was that a lot of the people (mainly hotel staff and Park Rangers at the Arch) were not very friendly or helpful. The chance to bond, laugh and get away to see a new city outweighed anything negative, though, and made it all worthwhile.
If any of you have been to Saint Louis, what were some of your favorite things to see? Least favorite?