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24 Hours in St. Charles: Vintage Charm in St. Louis' Nearby Neighbor 

click to enlarge St. Charles was Missouri's first capital. Main Street has many buildings dating back to the early 1800s.


St. Charles was Missouri's first capital. Main Street has many buildings dating back to the early 1800s.

If you're looking for an exciting weekend at a relaxed pace, look to downtown St. Charles for some charming sights and good times, with lots to do to keep all your senses engaged. St. Charles has a long history as a starting point for some of history's greatest explorers. Now it's your turn.

9 a.m.

Get into Position

St. Charles' main thoroughfare, which happens to be named Main Street, is a charming little cobblestoned street. Get your day started with a yoga class at Bluebird Yoga (416 S. Main Street, 636-493-9293), one of the highest-rated yoga studios this side of the Missouri River, but get there early — classes fill quickly. If you prefer caffeine before your cat-cow pose, stop by Picasso's Coffee (101 N. Main Street, 636-925-2911) for a quick pour-over. The baristas there know the local culture and are quick to chat about all things coffee. You'll be a regular in no time.

11 a.m.

Art Comes Alive

Now you're off to explore the Foundry Art Centre (520 N. Main Street, 636-255-0270), a curated art space fashioned inside a renovated train car factory from the 1920s. The 36,000-square-foot center is dedicated to showcasing and supporting local artists. Peruse sculptures, paintings and mixed media from some of the best creative minds in the Midwest.

12:30 p.m.

Ride Along

You should take a stroll through Frontier Park to admire scenic views of the river, but no visit to St. Charles would be complete without surveying the Katy Trail. Hop over to Bike Stop Cafe (701 S. Riverside Drive, 636-724-9900) for an easy bike rental and hit the ground riding. Enjoy a light lunch at the cafe after you return your wheels.

click to enlarge Antiques can be found at Joy's Collective Market. - PHOTO BY KEVIN KORINEK
  • Antiques can be found at Joy's Collective Market.

2 p.m.

Vintage Vibes

Spend some time perusing antiques and hip collectibles at Joy's Collective Market (600 S. Main Street) or browse a well-curated collection of new fiction at Main Street Books (307 S. Main Street, 636-949-0105). Celebrate your new finds with a cold beer on the sunny patio at Old Mill Stream Inn (912 S. Main Street, 636-946-3287), a vintage basement bar and a favorite local watering hole.

4 p.m.

Sweet Spots

To satisfy the typical late-afternoon sugar fix, hike up to Fifth Street and grab a few scratch-made sweets at SugarBot Sweet Shop (433 Jackson Street, 314-961-9104) or French-style pastries at Sucrose (700 S. 5th Street, 314-288-9176).

7 p.m.

Good Eats

Prepare for a Celtic-inspired dinner at Llywelyn's Pub (100 N. Main Street, 636-724-8520). Try the Welsh potato chips and their award-winning pub burger while you sample from some of the finest whiskeys and 32 taps of craft beer from across the country.

click to enlarge Llywelyn's Pub serves Celtic-inspired food. - PHOTO BY KEVIN KORINEK
  • Llywelyn's Pub serves Celtic-inspired food.

9 p.m.

All Night Long

If the night doesn't end for you after dinner, saunter down the street to any of the hotspots that stay open 'til the wee hours of the morning, where there's no shortage of cover bands, DJs, pool tables and drink specials. Quintessential (149 N. Main Street, 636-443-2211) has dancing on its covered roof, but if you're looking for something a bit more demure, try Kubrick's (218 N. Main Street, back entrance, 636-248-3397), where you can play classic video games and enjoy hand-crafted cocktails.

11 p.m.

Hit the Sheets

While affordable Airbnbs are available in a few historic homes, skip the crowdsourced closet space for some serious 19th-century-style digs at Boone's Colonial Inn (322 S. Main Street, 636-493-1077). Stay in one of the four rooms that recreate a period setting (the Thomas Jefferson Suite has a nice ring to it) with natural pine flooring, handmade furniture and veranda views that overlook the Missouri River and Frontier Park.

9 a.m.

The Perfect Brunch

Close out your perfect weekender by brunching at Prasino (1520 S. 5th Street, 636-277-0202), with mimosas, bloody marys and their famous "Paris eggs benedict" — a pretzel croissant served with ham, brie and truffle hollandaise. If Lewis and Clark had had this much fun, they might never have made it to the West Coast.

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September 15th, 2021

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