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12 Hours in St. Louis

There is far more to St. Louis than its famous steel Gateway Arch. This vibrant city on the Mississippi River boasts a surprising amount of leading-edge art, music and culture, not to mention an urban park 1.5 times the size of New York City’s Central Park. St. Louis’ vibrant neighborhoods are grounded in Midwestern sensibility with a hint of Southern charm and occasionally French flair, making for especially memorable drinks, dining and nightlife. Short on time? Spend your day exploring the best the city has to offer or indulging in a day of relaxation.



  • Breakfast at Home

    One mile from The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis you will find Winslow’s Home, a delightful combination of a farm-to-table restaurant, European bakery and gourmet kitchen boutique. Do not miss the selection of savory scones — the Parmesan and Bacon is particularly tasty.

  • The Best Culture Stop

    If you have time for one culture stop in Forest Park, choose the world-class Saint Louis Art Museum in the historic Palace of Fine Arts, designed by renowned American architect Cass Gilbert for the 1904 World’s Fair. Admission is free, and the museum’s comprehensive collection spans works of art from every continent and era.

  • A Spot of Tea

    Relax and enjoy the time-honored tradition of taking a midday refreshment during Afternoon Tea at 11:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. Saturday’s in the atmospheric Lobby Lounge of The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis. Along with a selection of fine teas, sample small plates like smoked salmon rosette on cornbread muffin and an array of sweets, including tortes, tartes, chouquettes and shortbreads.

  • The Top of the Arch

    The iconic Gateway Arch was erected in 1965 at the site of the city’s founding on the west bank of the Mississippi River. The 630-foot monument remains the tallest arch in the world and the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere. An enclosed tram zips visitors up the side of the arch in four minutes to the Observation Desk and its birds-eye view of St. Louis and the mighty Mississippi.

  • Beautiful Music

    The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1880, making it the second-oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, behind the New York Philharmonic. The world-renowned ensemble performs at Powell Hall, a gorgeous French Renaissance-style theater in the Grand Center neighborhood; the city’s arts and entertainment district. If your visit does not coincide with a scheduled orchestra performance, the spirit of St. Louis can also be found in its jazz scene and nearby Jazz at the Bistro will definitely deliver.

  • Gaze Heavenward

    The historic Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis is breathtaking from the outside, an awe-inspiring blend of Neo-Byzantine and Romanesque Revival architecture dating back to 1907. It is even better inside, where the world’s largest collection of mosaics under one roof cover every wall, dome and arch. Visitors are welcome to enter and behold the extraordinary interior; but unless
    you’d like to attend Catholic Mass, arrive after 8:30 a.m.

  • Explore a Superstar City Park

    Situated in the heart of St. Louis, 1,371-acre Forest Park is what all other cities’ public parks aspire to be. It contains 10 cultural institutions and landmarks, including the Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Zoo and St. Louis Science Center, eight restaurants and more than 20 monuments. This is not counting the abundant nature: forest, prairie, wetlands, lakes, a river and a 75-foot waterfall or the recreational facilities, which are too numerous to list. Rent a bike from the hotel, with a picnic for two prepared by the culinary team, and explore.

  • Discover an Urban Oasis

    Gateway Mall is not a mall at all but multiple blocks of green space tucked in between Chestnut and Market streets. Within it lies Citygarden, an urban sculpture park where a paved pathway winds around six gardens, several fountains and 24 significant works of public art displayed on wide-open grassy grounds.

  • Soulard Soul Food

    One of St. Louis’ oldest neighborhoods, Soulard (pronounced SOO-lard) is the home of the historic Soulard Farmers Market, thought to be the oldest continually operating farmers market west of the Mississippi, since 1779. The area is a culinary hotspot, with more than 40 restaurants, many punctuated with festive outdoor patios or courtyards. Choose Molly’s for the bistro’s hip vibe and bold Creole-influenced menu.

  • Curtain Call

    Two blocks from Powell Hall, savor a nightcap at Curtain Call Lounge at Fox Theatre. The Byzantine-inspired architecture and opulent décor lend an exotic flair to the sexy space; a throwback to the swanky clubs of the 1940s and 1950s. But even more than its ambience, Curtain Call is known for its bubbly — serving up St. Louis’ best selection of fine champagne, available by the flute or bottle. Try one of the nightclub’s sparkling cocktails like The Star, made with chilled Amaretto, a dash of bitters, sparkling wine and a star of anise garnish.