It’s been a while since my last post however, between the holidays, having that dreaded virus and taking care of my mother in law, my life has been nothing short of a whirlwind lately!
My hubby and I visited St Louis in Oct 2021 and we really enjoyed our time there.
It was our first time ever visiting the state of Missouri.
Click here for the top 25 things to do in St Louis
We left on a Fri and came home on a Tues.
We arrived late Fri evening and stayed at the Drury Inn & Suites in Brentwood.
The hotel was really nice and very centrally located to all of the most popular sights in St Louis.
Shots of our room
Since it was so late, we headed to bed after checking in.
The next morning we headed to the Southwest Diner for breakfast.
My hubby ordered the strawberry pancakes & I ordered the Rocket to Baconland which was a 3 egg omelet with goat cheese, arugula, bacon & caramelized onions. Served with home fries and choice of bread.
I thought the food was average… they also didn’t offer indoor seating due to Covid so we had to sit outside and it was a bit chilly…and I hate being cold!
After breakfast we headed to the Botanical Gardens.
On our way there we passed the popular World’s Fair Donuts.
Founded in 1859, the Garden is one of the oldest botanical institutions in the United States and a National Historic Landmark. It is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
With more than 6.6 million specimens, the St Louis Botanical Garden is the second largest in North America, behind that of the New York Botanical Garden.
The land that that the garden sits on was previously the land of businessman Henry Shaw.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the gardens – I purchased ours online right before we arrived. Tickets are $14 pp for ages 13 and up.
The gardens are sitting on 79 acres and you could spend hours exploring this sanctuary.
Just be sure to have on comfortable shoes while you explore!
We spent approx. 3 hours at the gardens and could have spent even longer…it was beautiful!
Shots from the Gardens:
Henry Shaw, the botanical gardens creator was born in Sheffield England on 7/24/1800. He settled in St. Louis and developed the Missouri Botanical Garden over a period of 30 years.
It contains the world’s first geodesic dome greenhouse & the largest Japanese garden in North America.
The geodesic dome was one of our favorite things in the garden…it was really cool!
Henry Shaw’s home and gardens.
Henry Shaw died on 8/25/1889 & was buried in the tomb inside the mausoleum he had build in front of his home in the middle of the garden.
Henry Shaw’s tomb
Watching visitors feed the Koi
More shots of the gardens
After having to leave because I was getting blisters from my poor shoe choice, we headed to the Crown Candy Kitchen for lunch.
I had found this place while I was researching places to eat in St Louis.
Crown Candy Kitchen was opened in 1913 by Harry Karandzieff and his best friend Pete Jugaloff. They brought their confectionary skills from Greece.
During the early 50’s Harry’s son George took the business over and built the business into what it is today. Now George’s three sons run the business with a little help from the 4th generation.
When we arrived, we couldn’t believe the line that wrapped around the building!
After we got seated, we already knew what we wanted to order..
This place is known for many things but their bacon sandwiches are the most popular!
They are so big we just ordered one to share! It did not disappoint, it was delicious!
After our sandwich, we had to have some ice cream…even though I rarely ever eat dairy, I had to splurge after I saw some of the desserts!
I decided I would order a banana split because I hadn’t eaten one in years…it was out of this world and I ate every bite!
My hubby just ordered a scoop of chocolate ice cream but he said it was very good.
The Crown Candy Kitchen also makes their own chocolate candy….I was so tempted to buy some, but I refrained.
Read reviews here
After lunch, we headed to the Cathedral Basilica of St Louis.
On the way there, we passed several other churches..
On May 1, 1907, ground was broken and construction began on the Cathedral…Work on the Cathedral would continue for another 80 years.
The undertaking required $1,000,000 – a monumental sum in the currency of the time (and by no means reflective of the actual cost of the completed building).
If you ever visit St Louis, I highly recommend you visit this church…it was breathtaking!!
The church offers tours and there’s a museum you can visit as well. Tours are available by appointment only. Guided tours are typically available during weekdays between 10:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m., pending other scheduled events
The church is open from 7-5…there was no cost to enter the church.
The Cathedral is a one-of-a-kind work of art. With its lofty vaults and radiant mosaics, the sheer scale of beauty is a thing of awe.
I have visited many churches but this church was incredible! The mosaics were stunning!
I couldn’t stop taking pictures!
We stayed at the church so long, that a service started while we were there.
After we left, we walked around the outside of the church and took pics.
The inside and outside are both stunning!
After leaving the church, we headed to the St Louis Union Station.
This place is so cool!
The first train pulled into Union Station on September 1, 1894. The station saw some of its highest traffic during the World’s Fair of 1904 and World War II. The final passenger train departed on October 31, 1978, closing the first chapter in the station’s history.
Today, Union Station is a balance of nostalgia and renovation. The stylish and sophisticated Grand Hall features elegant historic touches like the original terrazzo floor, green glazed terracotta bricks, stained glass windows and wooden carpentry detailing.
Inside this old train station, you will now find a miniature golf course, a hotel, a ropes course, an aquarium, restaurants, a carousel, a fire & lights show, zip lining, a mirror maze, shops & a huge Ferris wheel!
You could definitely spend all day here!
We purchased tickets to ride the Ferris Wheel…tickets were $15 each but you can buy combo tickets if you plan on doing other activities like the aquarium or ropes course.
The Ferris Wheel is 200 ft high with 42 fully enclosed, climate controlled gondolas that seat up to six adults each. Passengers will take three to four rotations high over the St. Louis skyline during the 15-minute ride.
An old picture of what the wheel used to look like.
Once at the top, we spotted the Gateway Arch.
Honestly, I was glad when the ride was over..it was a bit terrifying for me since I’m not a big fan of heights!
After the Ferris Wheel, we decided to visit the Aquarium. The ticket cost $25 pp.
We have visited many aquariums and I have to say, this was our least favorite. However, with that being said, the “train ride” you take in the very beginning was the coolest thing we’ve ever experienced at an aquarium!
Read reviews here
You start your journey on a simulated train ride that takes you deep into the ocean…it was really cool!
After the “ride”, we continued our walk through the aquarium.
The aquarium features a 250k gallon shark tank, 13k animals, 257 species & 44 exhibits in 120k sq ft of space.
We stuck our hands in the Garra rufa exhibit – Garra rufa are sometimes refereed to as doctor fish because they eat away dead skin found on peoples’ feet, leaving newer skin exposed.
We continued our walk through the Aquarium….shots along the way.
After finishing our visit at the aquarium, we decided to call it a day.
Shots of the Ferris Wheel all lit up.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for day 2!