If You Go….. Tips for Visitors to St. Louis

By Guest Contributor

First posted on 07-17-2008

Visiting the Gateway Arch? Lines for the tram to the observation area on top are shortest right after the monument opens at 8:30 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m. You also can buy tram tickets early in the morning for specific times later in the day.

Don’t miss the ecological attractions: the Climatron at the Missouri Botanical Garden which houses a re-created rain forest; the expanded Saint Louis Science Center where 20th century scientific values are discussed; the Living World at the St. Louis Zoo where lessons on man’s relationship to the animal world are served up with hands-on, interactive exhibits; and the Butterfly House & Education Center where you can walk through a crystal palace filled with more than 60 species of live butterflies in free flight and view exhibits about the beautiful insects role in the eco-system. Four painless ways to find out what you can do to help the environment.

After the Cardinals game or after an evening of musical theater at The Muny, real St. Louisans are lined up by the dozens at Ted Drewes frozen custard for another summer tradition—something called a “concrete.” Located at 6726 Chippewa (old Route 66) about ten minutes south of Forest Park, Ted Drewes blends his custard with fruits, candies, nuts and flavorings to form milkshake-like concoctions so thick they’re handed to customers upside-down. Try the Frisco made with frozen fruit salad or the Abaco-Mocha with coffee and chocolate.

Speaking of food…St. Louis is the home of an addictive little appetizer called toasted ravioli. The meat filled ravioli are rolled in breadcrumbs, deep fried and served with meat sauce. Don’t leave without trying a few.

If you’re looking for live entertainment, pick up a copy of the Riverfront Times. Distributed free in restaurants and office buildings throughout the city, the alternative tabloid prints a comprehensive listing of blues, jazz, rock, reggae and more. On Thursdays, the Post-Dispatch’s “Get Out” section also lists activities and events taking place in St. Louis.

You can park your car and ride free around downtown St. Louis on the MetroLink. From 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. weekdays, rides on St. Louis light rail system are free between downtown stops including Laclede’s Landing, Union Station, St. Louis Centre & Busch Stadium.