25 Reasons to Love Summer in St. Louis

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25 Reasons to Love Summer in St. Louis

16. Winery trips. Missouri's wineries have made great strides over the years, producing some truly stellar varietals. And St. Louis lies within striking distance of some of the best and most beautiful of these wineries with Augusta, Ste. Genevieve and Hermann all within a two-hour drive.

17. Ted Drewes. With apologies to the other fine frozen-custard shops in town (there are a few), no summertime trip to St. Louis is complete without a stop by Ted Drewes. Yes, the lines are long, but they go quickly, and the payoff is a dessert that's hard to beat. What Ted himself says is gospel: "It really is good guys." (6726 Chippewa Street; 314-481-2652 and 4224 Grand Boulevard; 314-352-7376)

18. Beer leagues. Perhaps it's that we all look so fantastic in short shorts and knee-high socks. But there's something about summer in St. Louis that has us all -- regardless of gender -- wanting to haul a cooler full of beer to the nearest field for a friendly (and at times competitive) game of ball. And we're not just talking softball. These days adult kickball leagues threaten to boot softball from its perch.

19. Fireworks stands. Ordinances prohibit the sale of fireworks in St. Louis County. The same cannot be said of St. Charles, Jefferson or Franklin counties where local officials are a bit more lax about pyrotechnics, and colorful roadside vendors are only too happy to sell you a stockpile that could rival the military firepower of, say, Paraguay. USA! USA! USA!

20. St. Louis fashion. A few years ago Esquire magazine ranked St. Louis as one of the least fashionable cities in America, noting: "In a city that conflates fashion and fandom, the question isn't whether you're going to put on sweatpants; it's whether you're going to put on the good' pair." Obviously, Esquire's fashionistas did not visit St. Louis in the summer. Had they, they'd have witnessed jean cutoffs in the place of sweatpants. And while we're at it, what's up with men in matching plaid shorts and shirts in St. Louis? FYI: It looks like you're wearing pajamas.

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