St. Louis County

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St. Louis County is an area in the St. Louis Area of Missouri. It received its current boundaries in 1877, when St. Louis City split off to become an independent city (basically, a county of its own). It is the most populated part of the St. Louis area, though it has fewer sites of interest than the City. It mostly consists of suburban residential areas.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • 1 Lambert St. Louis International Airport (IATA: STL) is the largest airport serving St. Louis, with annual passenger traffic of approximately 13 million people. The airport is 14 miles northwest of the city center and is directly served by the MetroLink light rail line. A 2-hour MetroLink transfer ticket costs $4 from the airport. Note that Uber vehicles are not allowed to pick up at the airport, although they may drop off passengers.

Get around[edit]

For the most part, public transportation in St. Louis County is not a viable option. Bus routes are slow, sparse, and infrequent. So unless you are willing to do a lot of waiting and walking, you need a car.

However, a few central locations are located near light rail (MetroLink) stops - particularly the Delmar Loop, downtown Clayton, and the Galleria shopping mall. MetroLink is a fast, comfortable, and relatively frequent way of getting around.

Neighborhoods and regions[edit]

  • 1 Clayton. The county seat of St. Louis County, Clayton has an important downtown business district that is also home to several hotels, many coffeehouses, and upscale dining. It is one of the older suburbs of St. Louis, and has many large 100 year-old-homes wonderfully preserved by old-monied families, while the area's nouveau riche help keep the area trendy. It has a great school system and is home to the main campus of Washington University. Clayton begins where Forest Park ends on the west.
  • Delmar Loop/University City - Located just north of Clayton and beginning at the northwest edge of Forest Park/Washington University is this culturally, ethnically, and economically diverse neighborhood of St. Louis. One of the more liberal areas of the region, it is a popular area for college students and post-graduates to live and interact. "The Loop" (a.k.a. Delmar Blvd) itself is one main street of storefronts, restaurants, hotels, music venues, bookstores, and one of greatest independent movie theatre- The Tivoli.
  • West County - Includes most areas west of Clayton, especially upper-class neighborhoods like Frontenac, Ladue, Huntleigh, Town and Country, and Creve Coeur. The area has one of the highest concentrations of wealth in the Midwest, and home to two of the most upscale shopping areas in St. Louis Region - Plaza Frontenac and the St. Louis Galleria.
  • North County - Home to Lambert International Airport, the site of historical flights by Charles Lindbergh, and Boeing. This area contains many small subdivisions of post-WW2 ranch style homes, housing ethnically diverse populations. Towns include Ferguson (recently in the news), Florissant (founded in the late 1700s), and Hazelwood.
  • South County - A residential area, which is mostly white but less wealthy than West County. Towns like Affton, Bayless, Brentwood, Webster Groves, Maplewood, Richmond Heights, Crestwood provide a nice small-town atmosphere great for families. It is home to the appropriately named South County Mall.

See[edit]

  • 1 Delmar Loop. The vibrant Delmar Loop district is shared between St. Louis city and the inner suburb of University City. This culturally, ethnically, and economically diverse neighborhood is a popular area for college students and post-graduates to live and interact. The Loop itself is one main street of storefronts, restaurants, music venues, bookstores, and a great independent movie theatre.
  • 2 Museum of Transportation2933 Barrett Station Road, Kirkwood +1 314 965-6212. 9AM-4PM daily, 11AM-4PM Sun. Planes, trains, and automobiles! Take a step back into history and explore this unique collection of cars, locomotives, trolleys and airplanes. Train and trolley rides, guided tours, car shows and even boats are on offer here. Good fun for adults and kids alike. Rail and transit collections encompass more than 190 major exhibits, ranging from an 1833 Boston & Providence Railroad passenger coach and the largest successful steam locomotive ever built to a 6,600-hp, two-engine Union Pacific diesel #6944 (“Centennial”) built in 1971. $8/adult, additional $5/person for rides and $2/person for Creation Station..
  • 3 Laumeier Sculpture Park. Accredited by the American Association of Museums, Laumeier Sculpture Park is one of a handful of open-air museums around the world and a unique compliment to the cultural landscape of St. Louis. Free to all and well worth a visit.
  • 4 Downtown Kirkwood. Kirkwood's newly developed downtown area contains many local shops and restaurants. Also located downtown are Kirkwood City Hall and Kirkwood's historic Amtrak station.
  • 5 Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site7400 Grant Road +1 314 842-3298 ext 245. This is the one time home of President and General Ulysses S. Grant's father-in-law, Frederick Dent. The estate was known as "White Haven" consisting of over several hundred acres, but as the Dents came under hard times, the land was sold off. Eventually, the estate passed into the hands of the President. The property now consists of about 10 acres and preserves the history of the President and the area. Another property known as "Grant's Farm," is actually part of the "White Haven" estate, although Grant's home, known as "Heartscrable" has been relocated to the property. The Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site is administered by the National Park Service. Free.
  • 6 Grant's Farm10501 Gravois Road +1 314 843-1700. Located across the street from Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, Anheuser-Busch Companies runs and administers this spectacular attraction. Part historical site, part zoo and part fun, this location takes you to the ancestral home of the Busch family. Here you will see animals from common goats to camels and tortoises. The home that Ulysses S. Grant built after resigning his commission in the 1850's has been relocated to the property. Free; parking $12.

Do[edit]

  • 1 Six Flags St. Louis +1 636 938-5300. An amusement park with 40 rides, including 9 roller coasters and a water park. $53 at the gate.
  • 2 Hidden Valley Ski Resort17409 Hidden Valley Drive +1 636-938-5373. A small ski area with 14 runs, 3 aerial lifts, and 3 surface lifts. Generally open in the months December to March.
  • 3 Greentree Festival. Held every year in September in Kirkwood city park. At this festival are live band, arts and crafts, shops selling hand crafted items, and many games and fun for kids. A staple of the festival is the addition of Folk Life which features folk crafts, foods, and displays showing what life was like nearly 250 years ago.
  • 4 Westport Plaza. Over 18 restaurants, bars and entertainment spots in suburban St. Louis.
  • 5 Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Opera festival every May and June at the Loretto-Hilton Center in Webster Groves.

Parks and nature[edit]

  • Greensfelder County Park4515 Hencken Road, Wildwood. 8AM to 30 minutes past sunset. Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and wildlife watching trails. Free.
  • Rockwoods Range Conservation AreaFox Creek Rd, Wildwood +1 636-458-2236. Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and wildlife watching trails. Free.
  • Rockwoods Reservation2751 Glencoe Road, Wildwood +1 636-458-2236. Hiking trails, road biking. Free.
  • Route 66 State Park97 North Outer Road (near Eureka),  +1 636-938-7198. Located on the former site of the town of Times Beach, which was evacuated in 1985 after a dioxin scare that made national headlines. It has since been successfully decontaminated, and transformed into this beautiful park. Free.

Buy[edit]

Shopping malls[edit]

  • 1 Plaza Frontenac. 1701 S Lindbergh. Exclusive shopping in an upscale mall. Featuring stores such as Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus, Sak's Fifth Avenue, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Tiffany & Co, Talbot's, and Williams and Sonoma. A small, six-screen independent movie theatre shows the latest non-blockbuster releases.
  • 2 Saint Louis Galleria. An upscale mall in the suburb of Richmond Heights, near the Clayton business district. Sometimes there are ads at the entrance suggesting that you buy a certain gift for your secretary! Occasionally free fashion runway shows are held in the mall. Look for the two-story-tall indoor sculpture of water running down the outside of a rough stone pillar - it is mesmerizing.
  • 3 St. Louis Outlet Mall (St. Louis Mills). Huge shopping center, with some outlet stores. The Mills includes an ice rink, a NASCAR speed track, over 175 stores, and a 130,000 square foot Cabela's super store.
  • 5 West County Mall. Suburbs, featuring the only Nordstrom department store in the region until 2010 when a new Nordstrom opened at the St. Louis Galleria.

Stores[edit]

Eat[edit]

Clayton[edit]

  • BARcelona34 N Central +1 314 863-9909. One of the best places in St. Louis for tapas, this place is great for large parties and hanging out with friends. One of the louder places in the city, expect a long wait - but it's worth it.
  • City Coffeehouse and Crèperie36 N. Brentwood Blvd +1 314-862-2489. Always busy and crowded for a reason. Best crèpes in the city - and about two dozen of them. A Clayton landmark.
  • Benito's Gelato14 North Central Ave +1 314 863-3366. A friendly staff and a colorful and chilled-out atmosphere only make the handmade gelato taste better. Try the blood orange and dark chocolate combination: yum.
  • Pomme40 N Central +1 314 727-4141. A very small, very intimate French restaurant. On the pricy side, this is a great place to have a romantic, elegant, amazingly delicious dinner in Clayton.
  • [dead link]Harvest1059 S Big Bend Blvd +1 314 645-3522. Outstanding and unique seasonal menus, a great wine list, amazing foie gras appetizer, and perhaps the best bread pudding in the midwest. If you're kind to your server, they may provide you a photocopy of the recipe on request.
  • Kaldi's Coffee700 Demun Ave +1 314 727-9955. ". St. Louis's finest coffee roaster. Delicious vegetarian food, traditional espresso drinks, hand-brewed drip coffee, and a relaxed atmosphere.
  • The Fatted Calf12 S. Bemiston Ave +1 314 726-1141. Welcome to Hamburger lovers' heaven. The Fatted Calf is a St. Louis landmark, and dare I say the home of the best burger in town. The Fatted Calf features a mall style dining experience with fast service.

Eureka[edit]

University City[edit]

The Loop features award-winning dining, and has everything from sidewalk cafes to upscale restaurants. This is a great street to walk and find something that appeals to your palate. Many ethnic restaurants, including Lebanese and Thai, are on the Loop.

  • Brandt's6525 Delmar Blvd +1 314 727-3663. A bustling cafe and market during the day, turns into upscale dining with live music at night. Outstanding outdoor patio in the warmer months, and home to the best crab cake burger in the city.
  • Blueberry Hill6504 Delmar Blvd +1 314 727-4444. A true landmark restaurant and bar, open till 3AM. Chuck Berry frequently on the calendar to play. Absolutely filled with pop-culture memorabilia spanning decades, including lunchboxes, concert posters, toys, sports trading cards, and other Americana. This place is definitely not one to miss.
  • Fitz's Rootbeer6605 Delmar Blvd. American Bar and Grill, Family friendly, watch the bottle factory go to work as you dine.
  • Pi6144 Delmar Blvd +1 314 727-6633. The crowds don't lie - this is terrific pizza.

Other[edit]

  • Bellaluna Ristorante451 S Kirkwood Rd, Kirkwood +1 314 909-0455. Fine Italian cuisine.
  • Imo's Pizza. Multiple locations. St. Louis style thin crust pizza. Locals favorite.
  • Pointer's Delivery1023 S. Big Bend Blvd, Richmond Heights +1 314 644-2000. The Pointersaurus, the world's largest regularly delivered pizza, measures in at 28" in diameter. Pointer's has been featured on the Food Network and the Travel Channel.
  • Robust Winebar. Excellent wine bar with good food and tapas in Webster Groves.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Hotels tend to be clustered near the Clayton business district, or near the airport.

For each of these entries, the municipality in which the hotel is found (example: Clayton) is written after the address.

Budget[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

  • Seven Gables Inn26 N Meramec St, Clayton. A historic Tudor-style boutique hotel offering 32 lodging accommodations and meeting space.
  • Clayton Plaza Hotel7750 Carondelet Ave, Clayton (Three blocks from Clayton Metrolink station),  +1-314-726-5400, toll-free: +1-844-615-5557, e-mail: . Rooms equipped with fridge, microwave and coffee maker. Restaurant offers an extensive free breakfast buffet. Pool and fitness center. Hotel bus offers free rides to the airport and nearby attractions.
  • Holiday Inn4901 6 Flags Rd., Pacific +1 636 938-6661. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM.
  • Westport Plaza Sheraton900 Westport Plaza, Maryland Heights +1 314 878-1500. Well appointed full service Sheraton hotel among the 18 restaurants, bars, and fountains of the modern Westport Plaza. Centrally located in the suburbs.
  • Candlewood Suites3250 Rider Trail South, Earth City +1 314 770-2744.
  • Holiday Inn St. Louis West4901 Six Flags Road, Eureka. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM.

Splurge[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

The southern and western parts of St. Louis County are mostly well-off suburbs which are as safe as anywhere around. However, some of the northern suburbs, particularly those adjacent to north St. Louis City, have high poverty and crime rates. In University City, the area north of Olive Boulevard is best avoided, particularly at night. Further north, the suburbs of Wellston and Pagedale are very dangerous and should never be visited on foot. However, there is little reason for visitors to go to any of these areas.

Ferguson[edit]

In 2014, the suburb of Ferguson was subject to sporadic but considerably dangerous rioting, protesting, and other violence over the Michael Brown death. However, as of 2016 things are quiet again.

Kirkwood[edit]

Although most of Kirkwood is quite safe, the Meacham Park neighborhood (the area between I-44, Kirkwood Road and Big Bend Road) should be avoided after dark. Meacham Park recently had a number of shootings. This small neighborhood is one of the few dangerous areas in the south or west of the county.

Go next[edit]

Routes through St. Louis County
Springfield, MO  W I-44.svg E  St. Louis
Jefferson City  W US 50.svg E  St. Louis via I-64.svg
Springfield, MO  W US 66 (historic).svg E  St. LouisSpringfield, IL


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