An authentic trolley with brass rails and bells and outfitted with modern padded seats and air conditioning glides through St. Louis’s historic neighborhoods as knowledgeable tour guides wax poetic about the city’s past and present. Guests gaze out of the trolley’s charming arched windows during the 23-mile ride, catching sight of a much larger arch standing sentry over downtown sites such as St. Louis Union Station and the Mississippi River. Tour guides fling droplets of wisdom like handfuls of rice at famished newlyweds, sharing anecdotes about historic Laclede’s Landing and Forest Park, the site of the 1904 World’s Fair, the first summer Olympic games held in the U.S., and the first forest.
The fully narrated tour departs and returns from Lumiere Place Casino on the riverfront. Tuesday and Thursday evenings, fearless tour goers can follow along a haunted walking tour that highlights some of the city's macabre past, including the St. Louis fire and the Bloody Island.
Sponsored by Auto Source St. Louis, the fourth annual Saint Louis Auto Show Charity Gala grants guests an evening of drinks, merriment, and perusal of modern chariots, with proceeds benefiting several local charities. Gala-goers can sip libations and graze on hors d'oeuvres while viewing the event's silent auction or head to the dance floor to engage in competitive toe tapping. Anytime during the event, guests can slip into the Saint Louis Auto Show to thrill oculars with views of more than 500 cars, trucks, SUVs, and concept vehicles, including luxury rides from manufacturers such as Lotus, Bentley, and Maserati. Famed performer Gerry McCambridge, whose blend of comedy and psychic intuition inspired the television show The Mentalist, reads guests' minds and misplaced grocery lists, and an after party at The Pepper Lounge keeps good times rolling until 3 a.m., all benefiting several local charities.
Juicy tidbits of chocolate-dunked fruit arrive on the doorsteps of family and friends, done up in colorful bouquets and candy boxes by the skilled fruit arrangers at Edible Arrangements' more than 1,100 franchises worldwide. The company's in-house chocolatiers decorate albion strawberries and daisy pineapples in sweet flavors. Once properly chocolated, the workers organize the preservative-free sweets into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Customers can choose to display their bouquets in a variety of vessels, including vases, mugs, and sports- or holiday-themed containers that add a personal touch. Alternatively, customers can opt to adorn gifts with the cheery, red lids of candy boxes, nestling 12 morsels inside to build anticipation and determine if loved ones have x-ray vision as they guess whether fruit will come dusted in shredded coconut or drizzled in white chocolate.
The cycling enthusiasts at Big Shark Bicycle Company cultivate a collection of bike-related products, events, and classes to cater to cyclists of all levels. They host a variety of races and events including 15K races and group rides every Saturday. And, to help bikers train for such events, Big Shark Bicycle Company also offers classes covering topics such as cycling 101, how to dress for winter biking, and basic training for racing.
Established in 1876, Charles P. Stanley Cigar Company and Lounge caters to tobacco enthusiasts with a variety of rolled cigars, which can be paired with libations from their full bar. Mosey through Stanley’s shelved humidor stocked with more than 1,000 cigars from such brands as Arturo Fuente, Rocky Patel, Ashton, and Romeo and Julieta, a company known for combining tobacco leaves grown by feuding families ($6.75+ each). After selecting a cigar, stroll to Charles’s full bar and order a mug of Guinness ($6), a glass of Crown Royal ($9), or a Jack Daniels and soda-pop mixture ($8). As guests puff and sip, they can admire the lounge’s 42’x12’ Cuban mural and the 21-foot ceiling equipped with an exhaust system before settling into an Italian leather couch to catch a game on one of the lounge's flat-screen TVs or to try lighting stogies with nothing but an imaginative spark.
The modern flourishes on Copia's menu are grounded in the kind of American culinary tradition that chef Dave Rook knows best: raised in a family that ran a drive-in burgers-and-root-beer stand in Alton, Illinois, an appreciation for the comfortable side of dining runs in his blood. Globally inspired dashes of red chilies and champagne-goat-cheese cream take off from Midwestern classics, such as slow-roasted rotisserie chicken, house-smoked trout, and pork-rib chops.
Aided by a wine market whose bottles pour into the dining room at retail price, the downtown eatery aims to shuttle city dwellers directly into wine country with 18,000 square feet of exposed brick walls, wood-beam ceilings, and white tablecloths. Elsewhere within the rambling complex, natural light pours into an atrium garden, a glass waterfall neatly partitions off the bar to prevent diners from impulsively ordering every dish and drink they see, and stainless-steel vats age several of Copia's own wines. Much missed after a fire shuttered its initial incarnation, Copia was roundly welcomed back onto the St. Louis scene in 2010: among other praise, St. Louis Magazine called its calamari "as crispy-crunchy delectable as any seafood you’ll find in a New England clam shack" and its smoked ribs "the best upscale version of barbecue in the area."