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The Gateway City
St. Louis is best known for family, history, and architecture arts. The city was founded in 1764 by Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau and after the Louisiana Purchase, it became a major port on the Mississippi River. From it's origin as a trading post established on the edge of uncharted territory, St. Louis grew to blend of diverse influences- French, German, Ragtime, Rust Belt, Midwestern and Southern. Explore St. Louis starting at our nation's tallest monument, the Gateway Arch which is essential to the city. Architect, Eero Saarinen, designed the arch in 1966 to commemorate Thomas Jefferson's vision of the westward expansion.
Laclede's Landing is a riverfront tableau of red brick, silt, and cobblestone in honor of the city’s steamboat-era roots. Take a riverboat trip at dusk and gaze up at the Arch’s elliptical steel curves basking in the sunset. Experience art in the fresh air at Citygarden Park with wild flowers and sculptures, but the City Museum takes it further. Equal parts architectural salvage, aquarium and jungle gym, it is a psychedelic indoor theme park of gargoyles, chutes, sculptures and dreamscapes, with a labyrinth of mazes and slides.
Toast a night out with cocktails at Union Station’s exuberant art nouveau Grand Hall. The intelligentsia and the post-symphony crowd gather at twin pubs, Dressel’s (Welsh) and Llewellyn’s (Irish). The Delmar Loop is respectively the city’s liveliest strip of bars and clubs, featuring Blueberry Hill and it perpetual shrine to local legend Chuck Berry. St. Louis’s Grand Center with the Fabulous Fox Theater, Powell Symphony Hall, and Jazz at the Bistro, is the city’s cultural heart.
The city’s noteworthy contribution to American cuisine, St. Louis-style barbecue, features slow-cooked, tangy sweet pork ribs tender enough to slide off the bone. Pappy’s of Midtown reigns as monarch of St. Louis smokehouse. Elsewhere, locals tout the Gateway City’s pizza for its heavy dose of oregano, mix of four cheeses and thin crust. Almost anywhere you go, St. Louis dining is a family affair, portions are generous and the atmosphere is often informal.