Wednesday, May 25, 2016

50 Things You Haven't Done in St. Louis -- But Should

Posted By on Wed, May 25, 2016 at 6:15 AM

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click to enlarge Suck some heads at Broadway Oyster Bar — No. 37 on our list. - PHOTO COURTESY OF FLICKR/C.C. CHAPMAN
  • Photo courtesy of Flickr/C.C. Chapman
  • Suck some heads at Broadway Oyster Bar — No. 37 on our list.

31. Admire the work of Maya Lin at Barnes-Jewish Hospital
You almost certainly made time during your visit to Washington, D.C., to see the Vietnam Veterans Memorial — but we'd bet you a Metro card you haven't yet checked out a Maya Lin-designed memorial much closer to home. The Ellen S. Clark Hope Plaza greets visitors to the Wash. U School of Medicine, which means it's only a hop, skip and a jump from Barnes-Jewish Hospital and all the other places you frequent in the Central West End. Pay homage to Clark, the woman who successfully fought to preserve human embryonic stem cell research in Missouri, and admire the graceful subtlety of Lin's reflecting pool while you're at it. 660 South Euclid Avenue,

32. Get a concrete at the original Ted Drewes
Of course you've been to Ted Drewes' flagship location on Chippewa. But have you stopped to see the stand that predates it by more than a decade? The older Ted Drewes deep in the heart of the city on South Grand wasn't actually the first — that one, on Natural Bridge Road, has long since closed. But the South Grand location opened just one year later and has been going strong since 1931. It's only open during the summer, so get a dose of history with that concrete before autumn sets in. 4424 South Grand Boulevard, 314-352-7376;

33. Buy some unmentionables at STL Style — and mention them
When you've got a heart-on for St. Louis and your city pride is swelling uncontrollably, there's only one thing you can do: snatch up some undies at STL Style. The Cherokee Street mainstay is known for its irreverent t-shirts about St. Louis neighborhoods, but it's also your go-to spot for knickers that say "The Original Busch" featuring our landmark stadium right over the, ahem, appropriate body part. 3159 Cherokee Street, 314-898-0001;

34. Visit the World Chess Hall of Fame
You've read about St. Louis being the Chess Capital of the World. You know that chess mavens are moving here just for the chess scene. But have you bothered to visit the thing that has everyone talking (and relocating)? Remedy your omission with a visit to the Central West End; even if you don't last long in the Hall of Fame itself, that giant chess piece makes for one hell of an Instagram picture. Guided tours are $5; audio tours are free. 4652 Maryland Avenue, 314-367-9243;

35. See the sights at Rhonda's Place
After severe December flooding knocked Fenton's Queen of Hearts out of commission, Rhonda's Place in Overland might now stand as the last option for a certain type of, shall we say, less discerning St. Louis strip club fan. Essentially a dive bar with a small stage in the corner featuring pastie-clad ladies, Rhonda's won't be replacing the offerings on the east side anytime soon, but its gritty no-frills charm should appeal to any group looking for a few beers and a good time on this side of the river. 10528 Page Avenue, Overland; 314-423-0633

36. Pretend to be fancy at the opera
In many cities, opera is for fuddy-duddies, or at least people who are dripping with money and boast vaguely European accents. Not so St. Louis — here local companies have done a great job bringing opera to the rest of us. Opera Theatre of Saint Louis' "Young Friends" program, for example, will score you tickets at less than $40 a pop, as well as access to an al fresco pre-opera reception. Put this one on your bucket list. 130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves; 314-961-0171;

37. Eat a bucket of crawfish at Broadway Oyster Bar
Among the many things New Orleans gets right is crawfish. The freshwater crustaceans have a taste akin to a tiny lobster. Broadway Oyster Bar offers the little buggers by the bucket for a scant $16.99, along with many more flavors of NOLA (including alligator!) for the adventurous. 736 South Broadway, 314-621-8811;

38. Check out the new bar on the Hill
It's been a long time since a cocktail bar worth going to opened in the city's Hill neighborhood — the south-side neighborhood has more frequently been the go-to spot for kitschy fun like Rigazzi's famous "frozen fishbowl." But Gaslight is something new — and spectacular. Enjoy a live music performance, a craft cocktail and food from Cha Cha Chow in this deceptively spacious spot just a block off Kingshighway. For now, you'll have to fight the construction barrels to do it, but this is one detour that's worth it. 4916 Shaw Avenue, 314-496-0628;

39. Check out the new bar on Cherokee
Tatyana Telnikova has a track record of opening bars and restaurants with striking good looks, and her latest, Propaganda, has an interesting history to boot. A wink at the U.S.S.R., which Telnikova fled at sixteen, the place features a gorgeous interior by local artist Jamie D. Jessop. Time your visit so you're there around 11:30 p.m.; Telnikova promises a mini shot and a pickle for all. 2732 Cherokee Street

click to enlarge The Shrine of St. Joseph — No. 8 on our list, and right there in downtown St. Louis. - PHOTO COURTESY OF FLICKR/PAUL SABLEMAN
  • Photo courtesy of Flickr/Paul Sableman
  • The Shrine of St. Joseph — No. 8 on our list, and right there in downtown St. Louis.

40. Experience farm-to-table dining in a restored barn
Freshly picked vegetables, pasture-raised meats and local wine served in a refurbished barn as twinkly white lights and windflowers decorate the space — the farm-to-table fantasy is typically reserved for food shows and magazines comes to life at Claverach Farm's summer farm dinners. Reserve a spot and find out what farm-to-table eating truly means. 201 Beckwoods Drive, Eureka;

41. Pretend you know how to golf at Ruth Park
If you've ever wanted to play golf but were too intimated by the price tag, bourgeoisie attitude or, well, knowing how to play golf, Ruth Park is your place. This public course located in the heart of University City is welcoming to all skill levels and pocketbooks. 8211 Groby Road, University City; 314-727-4800;

42. Jazz it up at the Saxquest Saxophone Museum
Saxquest has been helping musicians choose and care for their instruments since 2000, but casual sax fans or folks just picking up reeds might not know about the Cherokee Street store's other treasure: its amazing museum on the second floor. Owner Mark Overton, who has been a featured instrument appraiser at Antique Roadshow events, has an impressive collection of rare saxophones, vintage photos and historical recordings that will make every music lover's heart sing. Admission is free. 2114 Cherokee Street, 314-664-1234;

43. Get gussied up for dinner at Al's Restaurant
What was more upsetting: that clown Stan Kroenke's protracted breakup with St. Louis or the fact that the solution to keeping the Rams would've meant losing Al's Restaurant? Get dressed up for dinner, head to this icon of St. Louis dining and dig into the signature "beef Romano" to see why we got the better end of that deal. 1200 North First Street, 314-421-6399;

44. Take a helicopter tour
See the city of St. Louis as you never have before — from a helicopter! Gateway Helicopter Tours, located on the Mississippi Riverfront at the foot of the Arch, offers flights ranging from $37 to $150 per person. Call in advance to be sure tours are running; weather conditions sometimes keep the choppers grounded. 50 N. Leonor K Sullivan Boulevard, 314-496-4494;

45. Visit Stagger Lee's Grave
It has been more than 100 years since William "Billy" Lyons was murdered by "Stagger Lee" Shelton on a dark Christmas night. With so much time passed — not to mention the numerous songs throughout the years that have since elevated the story to folklore — it can be easy to forget that these two men really existed. What better way to draw that point into focus than to visit the grave of the infamous badman himself at Greenwood Cemetery? 6571 St Louis Avenue, Hillsdale; 314-772-7466;

46. Cruise over to Chuck-A-Burger
At its peak, Chuck-A-Burger boasted eight restaurants in its drive-in empire. Opened in 1957, the St. John diner was popular among teenagers, who would gather there and cruise nearby St. Charles Rock Road, sometimes to the great chagrin of neighbors and authorities. That sole remaining Chuck-A-Burger location still features cruise nights to this day — as well as one of the best burgers this side of the 20th century. Chuck-A-Burger, 9025 St. Charles Rock Rd., St. John; 314-427-9524

47. Take a swing at Tower Tee
Tower Tee's batting cages are simply the best in town. With the complex's plethora of speed and arc options, baseball and softball options, and snow cone options (seriously — try the snow cones), nowhere else comes close. Remember: Aim for the Cubs logo. 6727 Heege Road, Marlborough; 314-752-7767;

48. Catch a pedicab ride downtown
Pro tip for Cardinals fans: Next time you go to a game, take the Metro. But when you leave, don't head right back to the station — instead, hop on one of the many pedicabs lingering around the stadium and tell your chauffeur to take you to the nearest bar. While the line for the train slowly dissipates, you'll be able to tie one on and likely even flag down another bike on your way out. Why walk your fat drunk ass around the city when these guys have kept themselves in good enough shape to drag you?

49. Pay a visit to the city's newest museum
St. Louis has a remarkable history of the blues, as you may have surmised by the name and logo of our hockey team. Another clue? St. Louis is now host to the National Blues Museum, a sprawling space that opened this winter dedicated to preserving the rich history of the classic American art form. 615 Washington Avenue, 314-925-0016;

50. Remember Lewis and Clark at Confluence Park
We have schools and roads named after them. We consider their great adventure our city's foundational myth. But until you've stood at Confluence Point State Park and watched Big Muddy merge with the mighty Missouri, though, you have not paid your proper respect to Lewis and Clark. Get thee to Alton. 1000 Riverlands Way, West Alton; 636-899-1135;

Best Things to Do In St. Louis


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