Where will the road take YOU?

Destination Diaries

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St. Louis

By Angela Ash


St. Louis is one of the best cities in the country to explore!  With a wonderful array of museums at Forest Park, the wonders of Gateway Arch, and a plethora of fantastic restaurants, attractions, and cultural experiences, St. Louis should definitely be at the top of your list when planning your next weekend getaway or road trip adventure!  

This is one city where the question of where to start should never even be approached.  The answer is simple.  



Kendyl Rae

It is a structure easily recognized all over the world.  Towering above the city, the Gateway Arch beckons every visitor to explore its offerings... which includes not only the Arch, but the Museum of Westward Expansion, the Old Courthouse, Gateway Arch Riverboat Cruises, and movies about the making of the Arch, and Lewis and Clark's explorations.  

However, just seeing the Arch as one approaches the city seems to build up a sense of suspense that can only be fulfilled by boarding a tram and traveling 630 feet inside of the nation's tallest monument.  The Journey to the Top of the Arch culminates in one of the most fantastic views imaginable, looking out over the majestic city of St. Louis.  

For added adventure, visit on a particularly blustery day, and feel the Arch sway in the wind!

For more information, call (877) 982-1410.



Kendyl Rae

Sometimes you happen upon a place that almost seems unreal, as if it is a portal into another place altogether... somewhere that is equal parts down the rabbit hole, over the rainbow, and a giant chocolate factory that requires a golden ticket for admittance. Who would guess that this world of pure imagination could even possibly exist?  Well, it does, in all of its glory... right in downtown St. Louis. 

The City Museum is quite like a fun house that has evolved and has literally become something that evades explanation.  It seems to be alive... always growing and always finding new ways to bend reality. 

The massive formation of tunnels seem to be the most well known experience, often creeping and crawling outside, up, down, and sideways... creating a labyrinth that can end on different floors, in a giant tree, within an airplane or bus, or in the midst of a darkened maze.  Not knowing when or even WHERE you will emerge is all a HUGE part of the fun! 

There are cave systems that appear so real that it is mind blowing.  They contain more tunnels, winding staircases, and dark paths that lead to beautifully painted rooms, and even five and ten story slides.  Yes... you read that correctly.  There is a TEN STORY SLIDE. 

And while all of this could captivate one for hours on end, continue to expect anything that is completely unexpected.  You may stumble upon a circus in action.  You may find yourself sliding down hills and ramps that look as if they would require a skateboard.  You can make arts and crafts.  You can ride a miniature train.  And if your stomach wants to get in on the action, you can eat anything from a full meal to snacks galore at one of several delicious eateries. 

And adults, this is not just for the kiddos.  The sheer marvel of this place is enough to keep your jaw dropping on the regular, but there are plenty of interesting artifacts and examples of architecture to make you feel that you are in a New York City museum.  But best of all, grown ups are invited to play in or on just about anything that the kids drag them through... or does it often end up the other way around? 

And located within the City Museum is also the unique and spectacular World Aquarium. For a nominal extra fee, you can explore the wonders of the deep sea, seeing everything from sharks to sea turtles.  And in keeping the tradition of the famed City Museumtunnels alive and well, you may crawl up or slide through an enclosed tunnel that goes straight through the large central aquarium, where you can swim with its inhabitants... all without getting wet! 

And this is definitely one of the most interactive aquariums in existence, where petting and touching is encouraged in the marked areas.  You can even touch a shark or stingray, or receive a manicure from tiny little fish that seem to make it their mission to provide soft hands to all who enter. 

But the fun doesn't stop with fins and gills, because the World Aquarium offers a diverse array of other animals, including reptiles, birds, and plenty of interesting mammals that you just don't see at the petting zoo. 

Kendyl Rae, a free spirit with her mind continuously focused on one adventure after the next, was in a constant state of euporia. When closing time sadly arrived, the only thing that made dragging her out of the mouth of a whale (true story) possible, was the promise of her very own unicorn.

When you decide to visit the City Museum, you must arrive as soon as they open, or it will be an impossibility to experience even half of what it has to offer.  And trust me, missing one slide... one tunnel... or even one quirky quote on the wall would be an unforgiveable shame.

For more information, call (314) 231-2489.

Now, I hope you have set aside a few days to explore all that St. Louis has to offer, because the fun keeps coming!



Kendyl Rae

Forest Park is definitely one of St. Louis' best treasures!  With running trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, and all of the other normal things that one might expect at such a large common area, Forest Park decides to throw in a few world class museums and a zoo.  Most of these attractions are even FREE!  (Now I think they're just showing off.) 

The St. Louis Zoo may just be my favorite in the entire country. This zoo is absolutely massive.  However, due to the arrangement of the exhibits and the convenience of the grounds, it is easily walkable. 

But not up for the walk, or just want to take a ride?  The train offers a lovely narrated ride through the zoo, also providing several locations to enter or exit the train.  It is also a wonderful way to get from one end of the zoo to the other in a hurry! 

And if you ride the train, you may as well purchase the Safari Pass, which also includes rides on the carousel, entry to the Children's Zoo, a 4D motion adventure, a movie in The Living World, and entrance to Stingrays at Caribbean Cove. With free admission to the zoo, the nominal fee for the Safari Pass STILL makes this one of the most economical zoological parks in the country!

While visiting, expect to see majestic cats, a variety of bears, and the best sea lion exhibit and show that I have ever seen!  You will experience the inhabitants of multiple continents, displayed in enclosures that provide a wonderful viewing experience, while still ensuring that the animals have a safe and natural home.

For more information, call (314) 781-0900.



Also located within this gorgeous park is the St. Louis Science Center.  The hands-on exhibits at this museum actually make learning FUN, and they are never ending.  You can build your very own Gateway Arch, experiment with gravity, and test a dozen or more scientific theories... all without paying even a penny! 

But to really experience the Science Center, you must catch a show at the planetarium, where you can choose from a variety of experiences in the solar system for a very small fee!  And after the lights go up, browse through exhibits that will allow you to see just how life is up in space. 

The Science Center also offers movies in their giant OMNIMAX Theater. 

For more information, call (314) 289-4400.

Also while visiting Forest Park, make sure to set aside time to visit the Missouri History Museum and the St. Louis Art Museum, and to catch a play at the Muny!

Now, St. Louis offers a wide range of delectable eateries, and amongs them are unique, locally owned restaurants, famous chains, and places where the kids will want to eat every day!

stl hardrock

Located in the historic Union Station area, the Hard Rock Cafe offers up tasty food and rock memorabilia for all ages!   

This is such a FUN place.  With head bopping tunes coming through the speakers and autographed guitars hanging all over the walls, any music lover will truly appreciate this experience! 

And while you are taking in stage costumes and drum heads, make it your mission to eat one of the best burgers in the country!  These half pound Angus patties can be served a multitude of ways... such as the Fiesta, the Tango, the Mushroom & Swiss, and the Veggie Leggie. 

The Hard Rock also offers salads, sandwiches, and entrees like their Famous Fajitas, Grilled Norwegian Salmon, and the Cowboy Rib Eye. 

And for the little rockers, a great kids menu provides such favorites as chicken fingers, mac n cheese, and a smaller version of their delicious burgers. 

For more information on the Hard Rock Cafe, call (316) 621-7625.



I always find that when I am traveling, I am drawn to just eat somewhere different.  Often tired of the same boring chain restaurants, I make it my mission to find something unique.  It is even a plus if the restaurant is locally owned!  In my research, I quickly discover that such a place exists in St. Louis, even conveniently located in the Loop on Delmar Boulevard.  I am excited. I am curious.  I am about to enter the world of Macaroni and Cheese! 

Cheeseology Macaroni and Cheese is a fantastic eatery focused solely around one of America's most beloved dishes.  But don't think this is your out-of-the-box and onto-your-plate basic brand.  Each dish is made from scratch with fresh ingredients, but this is just where the fun begins! 

Imagine mixing delicious toppings, meats, and veggies into your mac n cheese to create one of the yummiest concoctions ever to meet your taste buds! Choose from favorites like Philly Cheese, Black and Bleu, Broccoli Cheddar, BBQ Pulled Pork, Buffalo Chicken, and Chicken or Shrimp Scampi. 

And since macaroni and cheese just happens to be at the top of every child's "favorite foods" list, kids may even blend their own dish with a variety of mix-ins... including hot dogs!

stlcheeseology k

Kendyl Rae

When visiting St. Louis, be sure to experience this wonderful restaurant, complete with excellent service, economical meal choices, and dishes that will make this a "must eat" whenever you find yourself back in the Gateway to the West!

For more information, call (316) 863-6365.



Also conveniently located in the Loop on Delmar Boulevard, Fitz's is serving up good food and fun times!  Not only can you have a delicious meal in a casual, exciting atmosphere, but you can watch Fitz's famous root beer being made and bottled... right before your eyes! 

Even though Fitz's bottomless mugs, refillable with several different flavors, are an attraction all on their own, the menu offers something for everyone... complete with the friendliest service imaginable. If you are in the mood for a variety of salads, sandwiches, pizza, or burgers... then Fitz's definitely has you covered! However, the menu also offers such tasty specials as Scottish Fish and Chips, Theo's Meatloaf, House Smoked Pulled Pork, and Fresh Fish Tacos. 

Fitz's also has a super tasty menu for children, full of favorites like grilled cheese and chicken fingers... each meal complete with its own bottomless mug!

And this is the place where you do not want to miss dessert!  Fitz's amazing floats are pretty much legendary... basically a work of art upon completion. 

Whether you are looking for a family-friendly option or a great meeting place for friends, Fitz's is the perfect choice!

For more information, call (316) 726-9555.



It seems that people are always on the hunt for a place where both the kids and the grownups can have a great time together!  There is just something magical about a father and son playing air hockey for the first time, or two sisters battling away at skee ball.  These are the special moments that a family truly remembers forever. 

And there are plenty of these moments to be shared at America's Incredible Pizza Company! First, bring the entire family to partake in one of the best buffets in St. Louis!  The pizza is made made fresh right on site, with plenty of toppings to choose from.  Don't see a pizza out that you like?  Well, they will make you one, right to your personal specifications! 

And the buffet doesn't stop there!  Make your own salad, or fill your plate with delicious pasta.  Feel in the need for some comfort food?  Then be sure to sample homemade soups, mashed potatoes, or macaroni and cheese. 

Your sweet tooth will also be pleasantly surprised by soft serve ice cream, with a bounty of toppings to pick from.  You may also choose from other offerings such as warm cookies, cobblers, and puddings.

And the choices don't end here! Personalize your dining experience by sitting beneath an umbrella table, in a diner reminiscent of times gone by, a vintage family room, a drive-in theater, or a high school gymnasium. 

But now the time has come to really dig into what the American Pizza Company has to offer!  The gaming floor is packed with all of your favorites, but also includes new challenges like the Wheel Of Fortune, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and a giant sized Connect Four. There is even a special area for toddlers, complete with climbing tunnels and a tiny carousel.

Are you really up for some adventure?  Play glow-in-the-dark miniature golf, race against your family and friends on the indoor go-kart track, corner your parents on the bumper cars, and become a secret assassin in the laser tag arena!

estlpizza golfk

Kendyl Rae

With some of the friendliest employees in the city, the staff will ensure that assistance is always right around the corner... just in case your ball is stuck behind the hoop, or you need a little help picking out that perfect prize!

However you choose to spend your time at the American Pizza Company, be prepared for a day of adventure, fun, and fantastic food! 

For more information, call (316) 842-0700.

With so many wonderful things to see and do in St. Louis, you absolutely must add it to your list of places to visit! To begin planning your adventure to exciting St. Louis, visit Explore St. Louis for tips and ideas for your next getaway!