After spending the weekend in St. Louis, I have to say that my opinion has changed. I no longer think that St. Louis is an “armpit of the US”. Could I live in St. Louis? Not in this lifetime, however as a place to see for a weekend or two weekends, it is definitely somewhere worth visiting.
St. Louis is not a big city but a car is absolutely essential as the Metrolink, while somewhat convenient, doesn’t offer the access to all the attractions. Additionally, if no one ever mentioned this … summers in St. Louis are absolutely brutal. This was past weekend downtown was stiflingly hot … the combination of high humidity off the river, the concrete jungle that is St. Louis and unsheltered sunshine make for an unbearable combination. Lesson = rent a car with a good A/C system.
As for what to do in St. Louis … If you’re staying downtown (I really recommend the Hilton Ballpark hotel … we had a phenomenal suite overlooking the ballpark … if only the Cardinals were playing at night), there are only two absolute “must do” things …
- Tour of Anheuser-Busch
From the hotel, the brewery is about a 8$ cab ride, parking is free and the tour is free. All an excellent combination.
Once you’re at the brewery, you have the option of taking the free tour along with Beer School ($10) … I suggest doing Beer School … for the diploma and the absolutely excellent professional beer opener that you get as a gift.
Questions about Bud Beer School
– Did I learn much in Beer School? Absolutely not.
– Were there multiple beer tastings? Yes there were.
– Is it unlimited beer? Probably after the tour …
– Are the Budweiser Clydesdales touring the property? Yes they are … and those are some well fed, well tendered horses.
– Do they force Budweiser down your throat? Nope, although drinking a beer as tasteless, generic and insipid as Bud or Bud Light would require some force feeding anyway.
– Will there be a chick in Beer School who says … ” All I drink is Bud, cause I don’t know better”? More than likely.
The other thing that immediately strike you, is the size of the brewery. It is absolutely massive. It makes all the breweries I’ve seen in Canada, Trinidad, Germany etc look like playgrounds.
If you do have to wait around for beer school or the brewery tour, I highly suggest grabbing some of the Jamaican Jerk wings at Sage. The food was excellent – really excellent. Best wings and pulled pork sandwich I’ve had in ages … and yes that is pepper bacon on top of pulled pork.
- The Arch and related places to see around the Arch.
Not much to explain here. The Arch is there .. go see it.