Best Of 2011

Best Place to People Watch: Maryland Plaza

Few places in St. Louis offer the vibrancy and diversity and foot traffic of Maryland Plaza in the Central West End. This is where the spokes of the city converge. There will be aldermen and local billionaires and community-newspaper barons and other power brokers walking by. There will be men with gold watches and women in high heels and youngsters in plaid button-down shirts. Come on the right summer day, and you might even see a police officer chasing a teenager with a backpack down Euclid Avenue, weaving through parked Benzes and Bimmers, radioing for backup. Then the spectacle will pass, and a man with a Christmas tree tattoo on his left calf will draw your attention. There is a glut of sidewalk seating throughout the plaza — ringside seats for the nonstop action. The place is flowing nearly 24/7, and the best people-watching often takes place deep into the night as patrons from nearby bars spill into the streets. So grab a specialty spiked coffee from Coffee Cartel or a perfectly mixed old fashioned from Brennan's and enjoy the view.

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