A Weekend in St. Louis, Missouri

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For Memorial Day weekend, we went on a roadtrip to St. Louis, Missouri for 2 days. Only a four hour drive from Indianapolis, it was a perfect destination for a weekend trip! 

We arrived Friday evening and our first stop was at the St. Louis City Museum. While its called a museum, its more like a giant urban playground. We spent the evening climbing, sliding, riding and exploring everything it had to offer. Check out more details at our post about all things St. Louis City Museum.

After our night of adventure, we got up the next morning and headed to the Anheuser Busch Brewery. They offer complimentary tours of the property where you get to see the infamous Clydesdale horses, learn more about the brewing process and receive a token for a free beer in the Biergarten. More about all we saw on our tour here!

After our brewery tour we headed to the the St. Louis Arch! The Arch stands 630 ft tall and 630 ft wide and gives a fantastic view of the city from above. We journeyed to the top in little 5 person pods and were able to see some gorgeous views of the city. For more details, check out our post!

For dinner nearby we explored the Ballpark Village. The St. Louis Cardinals were out of town that weekend but we watched their game on the big screens over dinner at Fox Sports Midwest. Our server was great and showed us how to get a glimpse of the ballpark. We spent the rest of the evening here, exploring the area.

For our last morning in St. Louis we ventured out to the courthouse in front of the St Louis Arch. This is the courthouse where the historic Dred Scott case took place. There were plenty of levels to explore and you could buy tickets to go up into the Arc inside. To read more about the courthouse, look here!

Our last stop before we left St. Louis was at the Citygarden. It was one of the first warm weekends of the year and the park was full of families playing in the fountains and lounging in the park. The park is full of pieces of art to see and climb on along with beautiful landscaping.

And that rounds out our weekend exploring St. Louis!

Visiting St. Louis: The St. Louis Arch and Courthouse

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For our weekend in St. Louis, Missouri we knew we absolutely had to visit the St. Louis Arch! Along with the Arch, there’s the historic courthouse directly in front of it that you can see in the same trip. You can purchase tickets to visit the arch online or at the courthouse but even if you buy your tickets online like we did, the courthouse is definitely worth a visit!

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We started at the courthouse itself which has plenty to explore and discover. This historic courthouse is where the slave Dred Scott sued for his freedom in 1857. Ten years later, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Dred Scott could not sue for his freedom since he was not a citizen of the United States, essentially ruling that African Americans were not and could not become citizens of the United States. Thankfully, in 1868 the Fourteenth Amendment overturned this ruling granting citizenship to all people born in the United States regardless of their skin color. While exploring the floors of the courthouse you’ll see a brief history of the Dred Scott case, courtroom setups and a clear 3D printed model of the courthouse!

Going out the back of the courthouse you get a beautiful view of the St. Louis Arch with only a park between it and you. The Arch can be seen many places throughout the city even through the buildings so many places provided great photo ops! Going into the Arch was a bit of a struggle. With all of the construction going on there was only one entrance to the Arch with a single file line going through security. This caused quite a delay that they must not have fully anticipated – our ticket time was for 1:10 but we didn’t actually make it to the top until around 2:45!

Before heading up, our tour guide fill us in on some fun facts about the Arch. It is 630 feet (192 meters) tall and also 630 feet wide. She also warned us that its possible to feel like you are swaying when you are at the top – that’s because the Arch is designed to sway up to 18 inches, this feature would enable the arch to withstand even an earthquake. A 50 mile per hour wind only would make the arch sway 1.5 inches! Next we filed in front of eight 4 ft tall doors to wait for the tram. The “tram” is actually 8 tiny pods that can seat 5 people each. Leg space is limited on the approximately 4 minute journey to the top!

The view from the top was spectacular!  There are 16 little windows (much smaller than I expected!) on each side of the Arch. Even through the small windows, on a clear day you can see up to 30 miles in either direction! Space up there is slightly crowded but the views made it all worth it!

Although not everything turned out as planned with the delays due to constuction, I couldn’t imagine taking a trip to St. Louis without going up into the Arch. The views from the top were magnificent and its an experience completely unique to this city!

Visiting the St. Louis City Museum

On our first night in St.Louis we headed over to the St. Louis City Museum! Don’t let the name fool you, this is not your typical museum. I can think of no better way to describe it than a giant 10 story playground in the middle of the city. When paying for admission, you can get a ticket for just part of the museum or you can spend a few extra bucks to get access to the roof, which I highly recommend. With our all-access tickets in hand, the roof was our first stop! We rode up the to the roof on the elevator then started to explore and enjoy the city views.

The roof has many exciting features the first being a school bus that hangs over the edge of the building. You can go on and hop into the drivers seat, you can even open the front door to see the ground below! Next we climbed up a dome like structure to get even higher onto the roof. Being a little afraid of heights, it was so nerve wracking! Make sure to secure all of your belongings because there is not much stopping them from falling a few stories! We realized later that there were actually stairs to get to the top layer of the roof if you aren’t feeling particularly adventuress.

On this highest level you can ride the 30 foot ferris wheel for some more beautiful views of the city. The roof also includes plenty of slides and jungle gyms for kids and kids at heart, and there is a full bar for adults!

The most fun way to get from the roof back to the bottom floors is by taking the 10 story slide! The City Museum was converted from an old Shoe Factory to what it is today, but what some people don’t know is there are actually apartments on the floors that aren’t occupied by City Museum exhibits.

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The interior of the City Museum is divided into various themed areas and as you explore, you never know where you’ll end up next! The best part about the interior was that around every corner there were new caves and passages to discover. There was an underwater themed area with giant whale sculptures and even live fish in the aquarium exhibits. There was a jungle area with metal trees to climb, a cave area with endless caverns to explore, a skate park to run up and down ramps, and even a human sized hamster wheel!

The last area that was very unique to the City Museum was a small circus area, where Circus Harmony, a nonprofit social circus organization, holds classes for all ages at the City Museum. Their students put on shows for tips at various times throughout the day. The show we saw was a guy doing super cool juggling and balancing tricks! We heard that sometimes the performances include multiple students doing aerobatic performances.

Before we left we went back up to the roof for a nighttime view of the city. We decided to go in the evening since there were discounted tickets if you arrived after 5pm on a Friday or Saturday. Although we only spent a few hours here, we definitely didn’t see all of the things the museum has to offer. With endless energy we could’ve spent the entire day climbing and exploring!

 

Anheuser-Busch Brewery: St. Louis, Missouri

We spent this past weekend exploring St. Louis, Missouri and one of our favorite stops was at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. We learned that they had a few longer tour options for a price or complimentary guided tours throughout the day lasting about an hour. Short on time we opted for the shorter free option.  We had 2 main tour guides who traded off talking at the various stops along the tour. It all started with a very brief history of the founding of the brewery in 1852 and how it grew to what it is today. One fun fact we learned was they even kept their factory doors open during the prohibition but instead of brewing beer they manufactured over 25 non alcoholic products including soft drinks and ice cream!

On the first stop of our tour we met the Super Bowl famous Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales. The company owns over 170 Clydesdale horses, with only about 50 of those living in the St. Louis area. Clydesdales grow to be around 6 feet tall and weigh ~2000lbs! These horses are well taken care of with custom made hitches for each horse for maximum comfort.

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The next stop was in the chilly Beechwood Aging Cellars. For 3 of their beers Anheuser-Busch fills 3600 barrel (7200 kegs) sized tanks with beer and beechwood chips. To give some perspective on how big these tanks are, you would have to drink one beer every hour, every day for 125 years to drink the amount of beer in each tank. This cellar was the smallest on the property only holding 63 tanks… This is a very time consuming process as the beer remains in these tanks for 21 days. For this reason, Anheuser-Busch is the only major brewer in the world to use this aging process.

 

After the aging cellars we had a beer tasting. The sampling choices were Budweiser or Budlight but everyone also recieved a token to redeem for a free 16 oz drink later on! While we tasted, we learned about the 7 stages of the brewing process. From there it was on to the very warm room with the mash tanks. In this stage barley malt and rice are combined with water. This process breaks down the starches into fermentable sugars.

We ended our ~1 hour tour in the Biergarten (aka the outdoor bar area) to relax and enjoy our free beers.

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