Thereâ€™s a new reason to visit St. Louisâ€”the National Blues Museum, which opened in April. It compliments a wide array of tourist attractions in the river city.
A performance at the National Blues Museum. Photo by H&L Partners; Copyright: St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission
There’s a new reason to visit St. Louis—the National Blues Museum, which opened in April. It’s fitting that the city symbolized by the Gateway Arch should showcase this uniquely American genre. The iconic St. Louis monument commemorates Lewis and Clark’s 1804 exploration of the west, a voyage which began on the Mississippi River near the city. The blues originated in the cotton fields of the south and came up the Mississippi River to St. Louis.
Fair St. Louis. Photo by Dan Donovan; Copyright: St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission fourth.jpg
If you haven’t been to St. Louis for awhile, come back. Forest Park, an urban oasis, blooms with art, history, and science museums. You can watch the Cardinals play ball and if you visit on the Fourth of July, celebrate America’s birthday at Fair St. Louis, the city’s party.
A Chuck Berry exhibit at the National Blues Museum. Photo by H&L Partners; Copyright: St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission chuckberry.jpg
Calling the Blues, “a bedrock for virtually all American popular music of the last hundred-plus years,” the museum explores the genre’s history, cultural influences, and artists, showcasing, among others, St. Louis native Chuck Berry, B.B. King, and Muddy Waters. Through hands-on technology, you create your own Blues riff by laying down words at one station, then adding piano at another, harmonica at another and also guitar. At the “Mix It Up” room, blend the components, hear your music, and email your own Blues composition to yourself so you can listen to your own rhythms.
Sprawling for 1,371-acres, Forest Park is one of America’s great city parks, complete with windy lanes, bike trails, a lake, tennis, golf, expansive lawns, and the Muny, an outdoor theater. For indoor fun, visit the park’s museums—the St. Louis Art Museum, the Science Center, the Missouri History Museum, and the St. Louis Zoo
Where to Eat
A St. Louis landmark for more than 50 years, Tony’s, a fine dining restaurant with Italian flair, has earned the AAA Four Diamond award for 16 years. Popular items include linguine with clams, the daily risotto, and the sirloin steak.
At this family-friendly restaurant located on the Hill, a long-time Italian neighborhood, you can sample toasted ravioli, a dish associated with St. Louis, as well as chicken parmigiana, fettucine, shrimp scampi, and other Italian staples.
Where to Stay
The rooftop pool deck at the Four Seasons.
The property offers upscale accommodations near the Gateway Arch, visible from the Sky Terrace, a rooftop deck with a pool, and also the site of a free yoga class on summer Sundays. Adults can book a Hoppy Trails private tour of the city’s craft breweries. For kids, the hotel offers complimentary pastry kitchen tours and a hands-on pizza-making session with the chef. Sample another St. Louis tradition with the hotel’s baseball package that includes two tickets to a Cardinals’ game.
A stay at this historic hotel, built in 1894 as a train station, comes with a nightly light show projected onto the Grand Hall’s, 65-foot-high barrel-vaulted ceiling. A
Tiffany stained-glass window adorns an entranceway and the hotel features an outdoor pool.
What are your favorite St. Louis spots? Comment below or connect with me on Twitter, @familyitrips.