Sports & Recreation

  • Best Athlete's Butt

    Janoris Jenkins

    There is a tremendous hole in the St. Louis Rams organization where Steven Jackson's ass used to be. But take a look at second-year cornerback Janoris Jenkins and you could swear that above those full-portioned thighs swells an ass of authentic Jacksonian hardiness, a muscular and high-grade posterior anchoring the legs of a power athlete. Granted, Jenkins isn't fully built… More >>
  • Best Place to People-Watch

    Outdoor Aquatic Center at the YMCA Carondelet Park Rec Complex

    Taut twentysomethings and rotund retirees are here in various states of undress at the Carondelet YMCA's outdoor pool — and they are an eyeful. More than half of the eighteen-and-up crowd have some wicked tattoos on display. So sometime between Memorial Day and Labor Day, plunk down your white plastic lounger next to the lazy river and watch the ink… More >>
  • Best Picnic Spot

    Post-Dispatch Lake

    It's summertime, and the cottonwood fluff is floating over the shores of Post-Dispatch Lake. Spread a quilt beneath one of those big old trees, unpack the picnic-basket snacks and pop the wine cork. Then lean back on your elbows to watch the world go by. St. Louis loves its Forest Park, so the waterways and pedestrian paths around this spot… More >>
  • Best Place to Bird-Watch

    Audubon Center at Riverlands

    A robin's-egg-blue circle affixed to the entrance of the Audubon Center at Riverlands highlights the day's birding news in dry-erase marker: "Blue Grosbeak seen on Two Pecan Trail." There are telescopes along the large plate-glass windows inside the striking educational space, but outside is where the birdsong chirps. Senior ecologist Lane Richter, an avid bird watcher for eight years, says… More >>
  • Best Place to Go for a Stroll

    Missouri Botanical Garden

    Forgo the map and explore, letting vivid sights and smells direct your way as you casually stroll through the Missouri Botanical Garden. Most likely, they will draw you toward the left path by way of the Victorian Rose Garden. Its open yet strategic design recalls to you that the Queen of Hearts may pop from behind a bush and demand… More >>
  • Best Place to Hike

    Rockwoods Reservation

    Located off Highway 109 in Eureka, about ten minutes from Interstate 44, Rockwoods Reservation offers a variety of short hikes in a beautiful, quiet setting. The park features six hiking trails of varying difficulty levels and lengths up to 3.6 miles. The Lime Kiln Loop Trail, a 3.2-mile hike, passes by a 40-foot stone kiln, which, as its name suggests,… More >>
  • Best Public Pool

    Maplewood Family Aquatic Center

    We could begin with the slides — the really fast one that leaves you skimming across the surface of the pool four stories below, or that loopy-doopy slide with more twists than a log flume. Perhaps we should discuss the lazy river? How we've spent hours just floating round and round. Then there's the beachlike wading pool that starts out… More >>
  • Best Place to Jog

    Carondelet Park

    St. Louis has no shortage of beautiful parks to run in, and for that, we are blessed. Carondelet Park is ideal mostly because of its versatility. You can run the paved, marked trail one time around for about a mile and a half. Said distance is perfect for the weekend warrior who may not be able to stomach much more,… More >>
  • Best Rams Player

    Greg Zuerlein

    Greg the Leg? Legatron? Put aside Greg Zuerlein's silly nicknames and recognize the rookie who trotted onto the field in overtime, set himself and launched his inhumanely powerful leg to knock through the game-winning 54-yard field goal against the San Francisco 49ers. In the midst of another depressing, almost-good season, Zuerlein's pristine leg gave us the biggest (and most enjoyable)… More >>
  • Best MMA Fighter

    Jesse Finney

    Jesse Finney is a badass dude. He's got a lifetime of learning to kick ass behind him and now mostly trains other people how to kick ass. A member of the St. Louis Boxing Hall of Fame, he runs his own gym and heads up Finney's HIT Squad, an MMA team he purchased upon retiring back in 2011. Wait, he's… More >>
  • Best High School Athlete

    Terry Beckner Jr.

    We might be repeating ourselves a year from now, but Terry Beckner Jr. is the best high school athlete in the area. The six-foot-four defensive end from East St. Louis Senior High is already garnering national attention as one of the nation's elite high school football players, and he isn't even set to graduate until 2015. Perennial powerhouses like Ohio… More >>
  • Best Sports Broadcast Personality

    Darren Pang

    Holy jumpin'! Darren Pang — he of Canadian heritage, Blackhawks lineage and Steve Yzerman friendship — is well on his way to becoming a beloved St. Louis sportscaster. Since joining FOX Sports Midwest as a Blues color commentator in 2009, the man has turned down full-time gigs from national networks and established himself as the most quotable sports personality this… More >>
  • Best Tennis Courts

    Highlands Golf & Tennis Center

    Tennis greats start scoring when they're young, so if you want little Billy or Billie to someday win the Grand Slam, you'd better sign him or her up for a summer of tennis camp at the Highlands Golf & Tennis Center. The French Open is played on clay courts, and that's what future champs will learn to love here, too.… More >>
  • Best Gym

    Fitness Vault

    We could tell you about how the best gym in St. Louis is locally owned, cheap, doesn't require contracts and has a decidedly un-"24-Hour Corporate Fitness" feel to it. We could tell you how the workmanlike setting of brick walls, floor fans and free weights encourages busting ass instead of checking out asses. We could even, against our better judgment,… More >>
  • Best Urban Bike Ride

    St. Louis Riverfront Trail

    Every inch of the St. Louis Riverfront Trail is like riding through an episode of Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe. The first few miles of asphalt begin just north of Laclede's Landing and weave across the floodwall protecting north St. Louis, which means your view alternates between the mighty Mississippi and local specimens of industrial might. Don't mind the smell… More >>
  • Best College Athlete

    Robert Kristo

    You want to know how badass Saint Louis University men's soccer forward Robert Kristo is? He actually makes a fauxhawk look good. He's a hometown boy, but he's got that Euro fútbol guy thing down in a big way, and it totally works for him. It also doesn't hurt that he's a huge, physical presence on the pitch, capable of… More >>
  • Best Coach

    Jim Crews

    One has to wonder if Rick Majerus saw this whole story play out long before it ever happened. Majerus, who had a history of serious health issues, called his buddy Jim Crews and talked him out of what was probably a perfectly relaxing retirement to serve as an assistant coach. Fast-forward one year, and all of a sudden Crews finds… More >>
  • Best Cardinals Player

    Matt Carpenter

    You know that feeling when you're putting on a pair of pants and find $20 in the pocket? Isn't that just the best feeling in the world? Now multiply it by several hundred thousand, and that's how the St. Louis Cardinals feel every time Matt Carpenter takes the field. Carpenter came up through the Cards farm system after being drafted… More >>
  • Best Bowling Lanes

    Crestwood Bowl

    This place has some pedigree. Last October, to a party full of GTO muscle cars, commemorative T-shirts and fried chicken, Crestwood Bowl's circa-1957 neon sign was relit after being restored with funds raised by both the Route 66 Association of Missouri's Team Neon (see this year's Best Kept Secret) and the Bluth family, which has owned the popular alley since… More >>
  • Best Fishing Hole

    August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area

    Is it really possible that you can get to a pristine wilderness in the same amount of time it takes to watch a Simpsons episode? Here’s a hint: Yes. Drive west on Highway 40, then south on Highway 94, turn right onto Highway D and bam: You’re at the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area, a 7,000-acre fisherman’s paradise filled… More >>
  • Best Sports Bargain

    Rams Tickets

    There's an advantage to being a fan of a perennially underrated team like the Rams: cheap-ass tickets. While half-decent seats in other cities could set you back more than $70, seats in the Edward Jones Dome are currently going for closer to $30 on sites like StubHub (depending upon the opponent). And let's talk about those opponents for a moment:… More >>
  • Best Sports Bar

    The Wheelhouse

    Funny thing about sports bars: As easy as they seem to put together (beers + TVs + buffalo wings), they are often the hardest to actually get right. The culinary landscape has exploded in recent years, yet through it all, the lowly sports bar has continued to moulder away in epicurean no-man's land. It's that combination of easy-to-do, nigh-impossible-to-master that… More >>
  • Best River for a Float Trip

    Big River

    Whether you're looking for a scenic canoe ride or a lazy beer-fueled float, jumping in the Big River at Washington State Park is the perfect place to make waves. You can set out on a three-or seven-mile trip from the park, which is located just an hour south of St. Louis. Contrary to its moniker, the waterway doesn't feel all… More >>
  • Best Public Park

    Lone Elk Park

    WARNING: There are a lot of warnings at Lone Elk Park. WARNING: Elk mating season. Use extra caution. WARNING: Tick and chigger infestation. WARNING: Bison area. Remain in vehicle. But that's nature, baby, and Lone Elk Park, in all its messy, bisony, unpredictable, tick-infested glory, is the best place to get up close and personal with it. Be a pal… More >>
  • Best Public Golf Course

    Annbriar

    This challenging and beautiful course has a reputation for swallowing golfers alive. Just ask Mark Mihal. He was standing on an Annbriar fairway last March when he disappeared into a sinkhole some eighteen feet deep. Mihal survived the ordeal with a few minor injuries, a true rarity considering most golfers leave Annbriar with just their egos bruised. This 6,500-plus-yard, par-72… More >>
  • Best Place to Play Darts

    The Schlafly Tap Room

    If you're looking for a chill evening of darts and beers, you can't beat downtown's Schlafly Tap Room. This may not be an obvious choice, as the boards here don't attract throngs of professional sharpshooters, but that's the appeal. Tucked away in its own section of the spacious Tap Room, the boards are generally free for your enjoyment, even on… More >>
  • Best Move

    Cardinals' Extension of Adam Wainwright's Contract

    The St. Louis Cardinals' five-year, $97.5 million extension of Adam Wainwright was the largest ever for a Cardinals pitcher, but it means that we'll likely never have to see the right-hander in another team's uniform. More importantly, it means St. Louis now gets to enjoy an athlete who is both incredibly talented and supremely goofy for the next five seasons.… More >>
  • Best Miniature Golf

    Swing-A-Round Fun Town

    Once Mario Kart and Mario Golf for Nintendo 64 came along, kids seemed to forget all about the joys of lifting an actual putter or risking bodily harm behind the wheel of a sputtering go-kart. There's no better way to remind them of all the real-world fun they're missing than by taking them to Swing-A-Round Fun Town in Fenton, where… More >>
  • Best Local Boxer

    Ryan Coyne

    Light heavyweight Ryan Coyne (21-1) lost this year, for the first time in his professional career, against Kansas City, Kansas' Marcus Oliveira. However, that defeat was just a footnote in the larger battle Coyne fought against his former promoter, the legendary Don King. Coyne felt King was intentionally putting his career on ice out of spite and, in response, did… More >>
  • Best Garden Center

    Hartke Nursery

    There's something nostalgic about visiting Hartke Nursery. Perhaps it's the red wagons Hartke uses as shopping carts; those antique Radio Flyers really take you back. Or maybe it's the old farmhouse that Hartke uses as its office. Whatever it is, this sprawling Olivette nursery almost seems too good to be true. Perhaps it is. This spring, the owners of Hartke… More >>

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