Best Of 2014

Best Gift Shop: Levee Mercantile

Levee Mercantile is located just underneath the Arch — which means that very few St. Louisans have actually seen it. But this lovingly crafted homage to the mercantile stores and supply depots of our city's circa-1870s boom years is a must-see. The array of foods and snacks on display will have you pulling out your credit card and stocking up like Lewis and Clark: Pumpkin butter! Huckleberry hard candy! Sandalwood shave soap! You might tell your friends that you're purchasing that Little House on the Prairie-style bonnet ironically, but secretly, you love it. The friendly staff clad in period attire will be happy to help pick out a retro cookbook or hand-carved toy. The best part is, it's operated by the Jefferson National Parks Association, a nonprofit that takes the money it makes and applies it toward educational programming at the museum itself.

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