Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests St. Louis 2003 - City Museum
In a downtown that has been woefully underimagined for the past half-century, one burning ember has fueled the fire of growth around Washington Avenue. It didn't arrive as a hollow mayoral magic bullet, but via sweat, imagination and ever-evolving vision. But we all know that: City Museum owner Bob Cassilly is good for downtown. The best thing to happen to the museum, though, was last year's tax-status swap from non- to for-profit, which opened the floodgates of creativity through a different channel: marketing and capitalism. Since then the museum has added evening hours for the overgrown kids, a skate park, a bungee-bouncy thingy, and the Cabin Inn, an indoor/outdoor bar that has served as a magnet for late-night roustabouts. In the cooler months, bonfires, coupled with an abundance of creative energy, warm the outdoor air. (The basic admission rate is $7.50 a pop; best to call for hours and more info.) Combined, it makes you proud to be a St. Louisan and offers proof of the city's boundless potential.