Best View of Downtown St. Louis 2005 - Route 163 northbound from Eckert's Fun Farm
St. Louis' downtown doesn't exactly inspire one to pen odes. We'd have been better off had we banned even the shortest of skyscrapers (á la Washington, D.C.); a small-in-stature downtown showing off the core's older buildings would well suit the Lou. As it is, no matter how high your downtown perch, there is no "best" view. Still, that leaves room for innovation: Drive out to Eckert's Farm in Millstadt. Hell, take the whole family, eat a bunch of caramel apples, pet the mules, pick the fruit and get back in the car just after sundown on a clear October evening. A few quick bolts down backwater roads and you're northbound on Route 163. At the crest of one or two of the highway's rolling hills, you'll catch a glimpse of downtown St. Louis that's unrivaled in terms of sheer contrast. Here you are, in southern Illinois amid ponies and fields of corn, and yet the city looms within eyeshot. Best? Your call. Strangely, paradoxically alluring? No doubt.