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Offbeat Places in St. Louis


St. Louis, Missouri, often known for its iconic Gateway Arch and bustling downtown scene, has a rich tapestry of offbeat and lesser-known attractions waiting to be explored. While the Arch and Cardinals baseball games are undoubtedly worth a visit, this guide will take you off the beaten path to discover the unique and eccentric side of the city. Whether you’re a local seeking new experiences or a traveler looking to dive into the heart of St. Louis, these offbeat places promise to leave a lasting impression.

Historic and Quirky Attractions

City Museum

City Museum Nestled in a repurposed shoe factory, the City Museum is a surreal playground for all ages. Imagine crawling through tunnels made from salvaged industrial materials, climbing giant sculptural installations, and exploring hidden passageways. It’s a haven for creativity and imagination.

The Magic House

The Magic House Located in a charming Victorian mansion, The Magic House is a hands-on children’s museum where learning is disguised as fun. Kids and adults alike can engage with interactive exhibits covering everything from science and technology to art and culture.

Hidden Natural Gems

Laumeier Sculpture Park

Laumeier Sculpture Park For art lovers and nature enthusiasts, the Laumeier Sculpture Park is a hidden gem. This outdoor park features a collection of over 60 sculptures set amidst lush greenery and meandering trails. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely walk or a picnic.

Cahokia Mounds 

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site Just across the river in Illinois, the Cahokia Mounds transport you back in time. Explore the remains of an ancient Native American city, characterized by massive earthen mounds. The site offers insight into the history and culture of the pre-Columbian Mississippians.

Quaint Neighborhoods

Cherokee Street 

Cherokee Street is a haven for artists and creatives. This eclectic neighborhood boasts unique shops, galleries, and vibrant street art. Explore its multicultural flair and savor international cuisine at the diverse restaurants.

The Hill St. Louis’s Italian-American neighborhood, The Hill, is famous for its authentic Italian cuisine. Sample traditional dishes at local eateries and soak in the neighborhood’s rich history and heritage.

Unusual Food Experiences

Crown Candy Kitchen 

Crown Candy Kitchen Step back in time at Crown Candy Kitchen, a vintage soda fountain and candy shop. Try their famous BLT sandwich challenge if you dare, and don’t forget to indulge in some nostalgic sweets.

Pappy’s Smokehouse 

Pappy’s Smokehouse For barbecue aficionados, Pappy’s Smokehouse is a must-visit. This award-winning spot serves up mouthwatering smoked meats and boasts a line that’s well worth the wait. Arrive early to ensure you get a taste of their delectable offerings.

Eccentric Events and Festivals

The Festival of Nations Immerse yourself in a multicultural celebration at the Festival of Nations. Experience international food, music, dance, and crafts that showcase the city’s diverse cultural fabric.

Great Forest Park Balloon

The Great Forest Park Balloon Race Witness the sky come alive at the Great Forest Park Balloon Race, an annual event that features a spectacular display of hot air balloons. The colorful balloons against the backdrop of Forest Park create a mesmerizing spectacle.

Offbeat Accommodations

Moonrise Hotel 

Moonrise Hotel For a truly unique stay, book a room at the Moonrise Hotel. This boutique hotel is themed around space and boasts a rooftop bar with stellar views. It’s an otherworldly experience right in the heart of the city.

The Fleur-de-Lys Mansion

The Fleur-de-Lys Mansion If you prefer a more intimate and historical lodging experience, The Fleur-de-Lys Mansion is a charming bed and breakfast with Victorian-era charm and hospitality.

Local Art and Street Murals

The Grove Street Art St. Louis’s Grove neighborhood is home to vibrant street art, with murals adorning many buildings. Take a stroll through the area to admire the works of local artists and immerse yourself in the city’s art scene.

Loop Trolley 

The Loop Trolley While exploring the Delmar Loop, keep an eye out for the Loop Trolley, a vintage streetcar with artistic wraps. It’s a mobile canvas that adds a touch of color and creativity to your journey.

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