25 Reasons to Love Summer in St. Louis

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6. Float trips. While authorities have cracked down in recent years by banning beer bongs, Jell-O shots and Mardi Gras beads on some of the state's rowdiest rivers, float trips remain a damn good time and something of a summertime rite of passage for those looking to connect with their inner hoosier.

7. Patio cocktails. St. Louis bars and restaurants have fully embraced alfresco dining -- and imbibing! -- in recent years with damn near every establishment offering some kind of outdoor seating. So grab a friend or a book or -- dare we say it, the print edition of the RFT -- and get yourself to your favorite patio pronto for an ice-cold G&T.

8. The Muny. Who has America's oldest and largest outdoor musical theater? We do! Catching a show at the Muny is always cool, and this summer it will be even cooler -- literally -- as the theater debuts a new outdoor air-conditioning feature. (Forest Park; 314-361-1900)

25 Reasons to Love Summer in St. Louis
Photo: Jennifer Silverberg

9. Fast Eddie's Bon Air. It's always a party at Fast Eddie's Bon Air in Alton. This iconic watering hole initially founded by the Busch family -- yes, that Busch family -- features unbelievably cheap eats, beer just shy of freezing and some of the best people watching east of the Mississippi. (1530 East Fourth Street, Alton, Illinois; 618-462-5532)

10. Riverboat cruises. Few St. Louisans have any connection to the Mississippi River anymore. But that doesn't mean you can't experience Ol' Man River in the fashion of Mark Twain. Each day Gateway Arch Riverboats offers multiple excursions aboard its replica riverboats. Best bets are the evening dinner cruises with a banjo band or the monthly "blues cruise" featuring local acts such as Billy Peek and Big George Brock. (11 North Fourth Street; 1-877-982-1410)

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