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The Perfect Weekend

St. Louis is a midsized American city with attractions rivaling much larger metropolises. Since its early days as the final outpost for pioneers headed West — including Lewis and Clark’s expedition — St. Louis has had big ambitions. Today that spirit is evident in its numerous superlatives, from tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere to largest open-air theater in the nation to most phantasmagorical museum. There is a lot to love about St. Louis. Here is how to experience the best of the city in a weekend.

Day

1

MORNING
  • The Right Start

    Forest Park spans 1,371 grassy, forested, lake-studded acres in the heart of the city. See it best from the floor-to-ceiling windows of the Saint Louis Art Museum’s ultra-modern restaurant, Panorama. The elegant weekend brunch menu changes seasonally — look for the eggs Benedict served over a split croissant.

  • Historic Highlights

    Forest Park is 1.5 times the size of New York City’s Central Park, so forget about seeing it all. Thankfully, two beautiful (and historical) must-sees are in close proximity. The magnificent World’s Fair Pavilion was built in 1909, with proceeds from the 1904 World’s Fair, and the unique Jewel Box, with its 50-foot vertical glass walls, opened in 1936.

MIDDAY
  • Wander the Grand Hall

    A St. Louis tradition for 238 years, the Soulard Farmers Market runs year-round Wednesday through Saturday at the “Grand Hall,” an open-air space inside a Renaissance-style building. Expect more than 140 top-rate vendors, from farmers to artisans.

  • Lunch Like a Local

    Tangy-sweet St. Louis barbecue is the city’s most noteworthy contribution to American cuisine. If you have not already filled up at the farmers market, head to Bogart’s Smokehouse just
    around the corner for a plate of burnt ends or a slab of apricot-brûlée pork ribs.

  • Unique Shopping

    Opt for an afternoon shopping antique row on Cherokee Street rather than the hustle and bustle of the mall. You can find rare gifts and treasures on the historically unique street.

AFTERNOON
  • More Than Beer

    Now world-famous, Anheuser-Busch’s very first brewery opened in St. Louis in 1852. Tour the original brewery in Soulard for a glimpse of St. Louis’ German roots, visit the Budweiser Clydesdale stables, and get a sneak peek at the company’s latest brewing technology.

  • The Grandfather of Botanical Gardens

    The 79 spectacular acres of the Missouri Botanical Garden date back to 1859, making it the nation’s oldest in continual operation. Locals know it as Shaw’s Garden, for founder Henry Shaw, a botanist and philanthropist. Do not miss the 14-acre Japanese strolling garden, one of his masterpieces.

EVENING
  • Dine at the Biergarten

    In addition to industry giant Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis also boasts a robust craft beer scene. Local standout Urban Chestnut Brewing Company creates award-winning beers in both American and European styles, served alongside gourmet pub fare with a German twist, like gravlax — cured salmon, créme fraîche, beet and capers on crostini.

  • Dessert Like You’ve Never Had Before

    St. Louis is big on the boozy ice cream trend, and no place does it better than Ices Plain and Fancy, where the ice cream is flash-churned on demand using liquid nitrogen. The best part? Liquid nitrogen is so cold that it can freeze alcohol. Try a Benjamin; with vanilla ice cream, whiskey and pralines.

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Day

2

MORNING
  • Best Brunch View

    With approachable French cuisine served in an architecturally charming setting, Vin de Set personifies St. Louis. The bistro also has what is arguably the best view of the Gateway Arch and downtown skyline courtesy of its rooftop deck. 

MIDDAY
  • A Scenic History Lesson

    Take a step back in time aboard a replica 19th-century paddle-wheel riverboat on a one-hour sightseeing cruise along the Mississippi River with a National Park Service ranger. Soak in the city views and learn about the role the river played in St. Louis’ colorful past.

  • Stroll the Walk of Fame

    Brass stars and bronze plaques embedded into the sidewalk of the Delmar Loop, named after an old streetcar turnaround, honor the city’s greatest stars like T.S. Eliot, Maya Angelou and Chuck Berry. The Loop is also the hottest spot for clothing boutiques, funky shops and art galleries.

  • An Unforgettable Burger

    The Loop is the place for ethnic restaurants, but for a first-time visit to St. Louis, you must visit Blueberry Hill Restaurant & Music Club. Full of music memorabilia and pop culture kitsch, this local institution makes the best burger in town, including vegetarian versions.

AFTERNOON
  • The Weirdest Museum

    There’s simply nothing else on earth like the City Museum. The 600,000-square-foot fun house and surreal architectural marvel was created by a team of artists using repurposed architectural and industrial objects and is housed in a former shoe company warehouse. You have to see it to believe it.

  • Take a Break

    Inside The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis you will find one of the city’s top day spas. Relax with the 80-minute Missouri Red Rock Massage, inspired by the state’s volcanic red rocks or the Black Walnut Massage with locally-sourced walnuts.

EVENING
  • Broadway Oyster Bar

    Enjoy dinner at Broadway Oyster Bar, affectionately known as Bob. The restaurant’s award-winning Cajun and Creole cuisine is second only to its rollicking music scene, drawing America’s best blues, jazz and R&B acts.  

  • Nightcap

    Round out your weekend at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis with one of the signature cocktails in the swanky Lobby Lounge, where classics like Manhattans and martinis are made to perfection. Or for a one-of-a-kind experience, sip, smoke and relax in the warm ambiance of our private Cigar Club with a classic scotch and cigar.