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St. Louis Travel Guide

St. Louis Overview

Fur trader Pierre Laclede settled St Louis as a French trading post in 1764 at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. This location proved to be an ideal meeting point and it subsequently became a major port for boats on the Mississippi, and the main departure point for explorers on the western-bound wagon trails. As the 'Gateway to the West', St Louis became a manufacturing centre for everything a pioneer would need on his journey, such as saddles and guns, and it was here that Lewis and Clark stocked up with provisions for their famous expedition.

Today St Louis is the biggest city in Missouri and one of the largest inland ports in the country. It is a modern, commercial, industrial and cultural centre. Although a cosmopolitan river metropolis, reminders of its frontier history are in evidence throughout the city, most visibly in the shining steel Gateway Arch that is the famous landmark of St Louis, dedicated to the pioneers of the western frontier.

It is a city with numerous personalities: a mix of authentic America with a vaguely European air. Music from the nations past floats from the famous jazz and blues clubs over the waters of the Mississippi, paddle steamers dock along the riverfront where warehouses that once housed industrial cargoes now contain antique shops and restaurants as part of the revitalised Laclede's Landing Historic District.

Its distinctive neighbourhoods retain the lingering influence of the many ethnic groups that settled the city, comprising the real heart of St Louis. The Hill is known for its old-world charm and excellent restaurants imbued with a Latin flavour lent by its Italian community. The Central West End is a trendy quarter filled with chic boutiques and antique shops, sidewalk cafes, art galleries and some of St Louis' finest residential properties. The French neighbourhood of Soulard has a colourful Saturday produce market.

Free attractions are a St Louis tradition, and today's visitor will find more attractions here at no cost than almost anywhere else on earth. There are scores of interesting things to do, and these include some of the best attractions in the city as well as numerous activities geared towards children, making it an excellent family destination.

More about St. Louis

Travel guide by (c) Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information in this travel guide is subject to change at short notice and travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevant authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to any person as a result of information contained above. Luxury NEWS >