Monday, October 03, 2005
Top 10 Things To Do in St. Louis Before or After a Cardinals Playoff Game
Join the fun taking place both in and out of the ballpark as baseball’s hottest team, the St. Louis Cardinals, takes to the field during the National League Division Series.
St. Louis is a legendary baseball town but did you know that the Gateway City offers visitors more winning activities and attractions than just America’s pastime? St. Louis serves up a triple play of options including more than a thousand one-of-a-kind restaurants, a vibrant music and nightlife scene and great family and cultural attractions. As a matter of fact, St. Louis boasts more world-class, free attractions than almost any destination in the nation.
The following is a list of the Top 10 Things Baseball Fans Can Do in St. Louis to have a winning experience:
1. Halls of Fame: Fans won’t want to miss a visit to the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum for a historic look at the great Cardinal players and teams of the past. Located across the street from Busch Stadium, the museum is housed along with the International Bowling Hall of Fame Museum. The Cardinals museum commemorates more than 100
years of Cardinals history including Mark McGwire’s 70-homer season, the A.L. St. Louis
Browns and St. Louis Negro League teams. If you like quirky museums, the Bowling Hall of Fame is right up your alley (yes, the pun is intended). See the history of bowling from the time of cave dwellers, marvel at the world’s only bowling pin-shaped car and get some tips on your game from the masters of the sport.
2. Get the Blues…and Enjoy It: The Cardinals have been giving the blues to their
National League rivals all season long. You can get them, too, but in a good way by
strutting your stuff to the soulful sounds of live, St. Louis blues music. The blues were born here and continue to wail. W.C. Handy wrote the most famous blues song in the world about this city – the “St. Louis Blues.” You can discover just how good feeling bad can be in St. Louis’ many clubs and bars located in the Soulard neighborhood and along the cobblestone streets of the Laclede’s Landing entertainment district. There’s never a loss for good music: there are more working blues bands in St. Louis than any place on the planet. And, the original rock’n’roller, St. Louis’-own Chuck Berry, still performs live in the intimate surroundings of Blueberry Hill in The Loop neighborhood where you also can catch national touring acts at The Pageant, one of The Lou’s newest and coolest concert venues.
3. Reserve a seat at one of our training tables: Hungry for a good time? With more than
a thousand one-of-a-kind restaurants, St. Louis can pump up your tastebuds. On “The Hill,” gourmet Italian restaurants, trattorias and mom-and-pop delis offer delicacies just waiting to be discovered. St. Louis is home to the celebrated Tony’s – considered by many to be the best Italian restaurant in America. Get your licks on Route 66 at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard. Try the concrete -- a milkshake so thick you can turn it upside down without spilling a delicious drop -- or a Cardinal Sin, a delectable sundae dripping with hot fudge and tart cherries. You can explore the flavors of the world at the virtual United Nations of eateries in interesting neighborhoods such as The Loop, Grand South Grand, the bistro-laden Central West End and toney Clayton. Or, simply bite down on a hot dog at Busch Stadium in honor of the culinary contributions made to concession stands around the world at the 1904 “Meet Me in St. Louis” World’s Fair where hot dogs and hamburgers were popularized and the ice cream cone and iced tea were first introduced.
4. St. Louis is for the Birds: While the Cardinals are the main attraction during October, our fine-feathered friends are always on view at the world famous Saint Louis Zoo. Home to more than 5,000 critters and ranked the #1 Zoo in the nation by Zagat Survey, the Zoo continues to follow in the footsteps of its most famous curator, Marlin Perkins, who was dedicated to presenting animals in their natural habitat exhibits. His legacy continues with the Zoo’s newest bird displays including the innovative Penguin and Puffin coast, where these exotic cold-climate birds reside and the newly renovated Flight Cage. The giant walk-through aviary – one of the largest in the world – was originally the Smithsonian Institution’s 1904 World’s Fair exhibit. Now the historic facility houses a state-of-the-art attraction called Cypress Swamp which recreates a habitat for birds native to the lower Mississippi River. Located in beautiful Forest Park, the Zoo is open free of charge. The Gateway City is home to another flighty attraction: the World Bird Sanctuary. Visitors to the internationally acclaimed sanctuary, another free attraction, can see hundreds of birds of prey and other woodland creatures and learn about conservation and environmental issues.
5. Come out on top: Just as the Cardinals did in the National League Central Division, baseball fans visiting St. Louis can come out on top, too….the top of the Gateway Arch, that is. You can’t buy a Big Mac there, but you can get one great view of Busch Stadium and the surrounding city from 630 feet above the Mississippi River. The Arch, officially named the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, honors President Thomas Jefferson, his dream of a continental United States and the thousands of men and women who helped open the American West. Beneath the Arch, in the Museum of Westward Expansion, the opening of the American West comes alive through displays that tell the story of explorers Lewis & Clark, pioneers, Native Americans and Buffalo soldiers who shaped America as a nation “from sea to shining sea.” The Arch celebrates its 40th anniversary on October 28, 2005.
6. A St. Louis Brews Cruise: The Gateway City is as famous for its brewing heritage as it is for being a great sports town. During a free tour of the world headquarters of Anheuser-Busch, the world’s largest brewer, baseball fans can explore the historic Brew House, the elegant stained glass and brass decor of the Budweiser Clydesdale stables and the beechwood aging cellars. The tour ends at the hospitality center where visitors can tip a freshly brewed glass of one of the famed A-B products. Who knows -- you might even catch the ferret singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
7. Top off your beer tours by hopping to some great St. Louis microbrewies including Schlafly’s other locale, the St. Louis Tap Room, situated in St. Louis’ happening Washington Avenue loft district or the Morgan Street Brewery in the historic Laclede’s Landing entertainment district. Both serve delicious pub grub and a heady sampling of microbrewery fresh pilsners, ales and lagers. Those that fancy a non-alcoholic brew can root for the Cardinals at Fitz’s, St. Louis’ root beer microbrewery that also pours handcrafted cream, grape and other frothy soft drinks and has taken the root beer float to foamy and delicious new heights. Discover a new taste treat by trying the Lewis & Clark float, a Fitz’s exclusive.
8. Great Americans of Times Past: When you’re not at Busch Stadium enjoying the national pastime, experience St. Louis’ sites dedicated to great figures from American history. You can see two homes occupied by 19th president and Civil War hero Ulysses S. Grant; view the flight suit aviator Charles Lindbergh wore on his historic Spirit of St. Louis flight across the Atlantic at the Missouri History Museum; retrace the steps of intrepid explorers Lewis & Clark at 25 sites around town; relive Dred Scott’s dramatic freedom trial that took place in St. Louis’ Old Courthouse; be in the audience for a live performance by rock ‘n’ roll legend Chuck Berry and tour historic homes of frontiersman Daniel Boone, fabled fur trappers and gunsmiths who made their mark on the American West.
9. Become Star Struck: Stroll along Delmar Boulevard in The Loop neighborhood and experience the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Brass star-shaped plaques embedded in the sidewalks honor famous St. Louisans who have made their mark in the arts, science, history and sports. Among the stellar individuals honored are baseball’s Yogi Berra, Joe Garagiola, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock and Stan Musial; playwright Tennessee Williams; musicians Chuck Berry and Miles Davis; Civil War generals and St. Louis residents U.S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman; scientists Masters & Johnson and entertainers John Goodman, Josephine Baker, Kevin Kline and diva Tina Turner, to name just a few.
10. FREE!: There are more free, world class attractions in St. Louis than anywhere in the United States outside our nation’s capitol. St. Louisans are proud of their tradition of opening the doors to our major cultural institutions at no charge to residents and visitors alike. The Saint Louis Art Museum, History Museum, Zoo and Science Center are all open free of charge. Here are a few of the places folks can enjoy at no cost: two St. Louis homes of 18th President of the U.S. and Civil War general Ulysses S. Grant – White Haven, his Victorian-style family house and Hardscrabble, the log cabin house he hand-built, now part of the Grant’s Farm animal preserve, petting zoo and Clydesdale breeding farm; the Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour; the Museum of Westward Expansion located beneath the Gateway Arch; the world’s largest collection of mosaic art at the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis; the outdoor contemporary art museum at Laumeier Sculpture Park; Purina Farms, where visitors can interact with domestic animals; memorabilia from the heyday of automotive cruising at Route 66 State Park; National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows; Cahokia Mounds archeological site that contains the remains of the largest pre-Columbian city North of Mexico and many, many more.
Bonus #11: Get Your Kicks on Route 66: Lasting roadside attractions along the St. Louis stretch of the fabled “Mother Road” provide interesting detours. North of downtown, the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge was Route 66’s original crossing over the Mississippi River at St. Louis. The bridge, which is the longest pedestrian span in the world, is open each weekend from April through November as a hiking and biking trail. Catch spectacular views of downtown St. Louis from high over the Mississippi. Other icons along “66” are Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, where road warriors have been served frosty treats since 1929; Donut Drive-In, a vintage donut stand and Meramec Caverns, the oldest tourist attraction along the Route. Since 1933 the site has welcomed Route 66 wanderers for a fascinating underground look at the region’s history and geology. Missouri legends say that frontier outlaw Jesse James hid men, loot and horses in the massive cave. Cavern owners took American roadside art to new heights by turning barn roofs into billboards to promote the attraction all across America.