Sightseeing in Granite City

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Where can you learn the stories of Civil War soldiers, discover little-known facts about famous figures such as Chuck Berry, and see St. Louis Cardinals artifacts from the 1960's Busch Stadium all in one place? The Missouri History Museum boasts an expansive collection of photographs, artifacts, and maps that reveal some of the nation's and state's most intimate stories. Originally built as the first national monument to Thomas Jefferson, the site now offers exhibits that include items such as the sister plane to Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis and images of the buildings and grand palaces that were erected for the 1904 World's Fair.

In addition to rotating exhibits, events such as lectures, genealogical workshops, theatrical performances, and movie screenings offer guests a bridge to the past and a new perspective on the future. The museum is also planning a 2014 exhibit to commemorate St. Louis's 250th anniversary, which will unfold via 50 people, 50 places, 50 moments, 50 images, and 50 objects representing the city's richness and diversity.

5700 Lindell Blvd
Saint Louis,
MO
US

When it was first established in the early 1850s, the neighborhood known as Lucas Place was a piece of farmland on its way to becoming the first clearly defined wealthy suburb of St. Louis. Much has changed since then, as the city has expanded around the neighborhood and many of the elegant buildings have made way for more modern incarnations. One building, however, has largely stayed the same.

Built in 1851, the Campbell House was the home of renowned fur trader and businessman Robert Camp­bell and his family. The Campbells would continue to occupy the house until 1938, acquiring furniture, paintings, clothing, and other period artifacts to fill the house over the years. The family also took a detailed set of interior photographs in the 1880s that were only rediscovered in the late 20th century. These photographs would prove to be of great historical importance, as they formed the basis for a massive renovation project that would result in the opening of the Campbell House Museum.

Today, the Campbell House Museum attracts visitors from St. Louis and beyond, many of whom come to get a glimpse of what the city was like before modern conveniences such as electricity. The house retains many of the family's original possessions, as well as library books and state archives that offer a further glimpse into 19th-century American life.

1508 Locust St.
Saint Louis,
MO
US

The Vino Gallery—located in a renovated police substation in the Central West End—houses an impressive selection of small-production and artisan wines, beers, and other libations amid an ever-evolving collection of local art. The staff guides visitors to the tasting bar or the outdoor patio, allowing guests to sample selections and avoid pouring wines they don’t like into a roommate’s humidifier. Rachael Buehrer, wine enthusiast and educator, and coowner Alex Head, promote informed wine consumption with complimentary tastings after 5 p.m., Monday–Friday, and all day on Saturday. One-hour wine classes lend imbibers further wine expertise, and the wine-of-the-month club helps customers branch out from go-to varietals.

4701 McPherson Ave
Saint Louis,
MO
US

Though the Miniature Museum of Greater St. Louis is itself quite large, it houses a collection of artistic miniatures that encapsulate life inside a mansion or a replica of Bevo Mill in a few square inches. The museum's staff collect, preserve, and even sell some of the most impressive miniature works to be found, from dolls and their houses to re-creations of the St. Louis IX Basilica. They put together bustling displays featuring tiny, elegant domiciles completely outfitted with to-scale furniture, made period appropriate to match the house's design. Miniatures, dolls, and figurines with clothes to match wander the hallways, staring at their surroundings in a perpetual wide-eyed wonder that's shared by their visitors.

4746 Gravois Ave
Saint Louis,
MO
US

The Barn was built as an addition on the beautiful Sappington House property, which also includes an 1808 home, duck pond, and gift shop. Though originally intended as an honorarium to the home's renovator, Carolyn C. McDonnell, the Barn now stands as a quaint restaurant, serving breakfast and lunch Tuesday-Sunday.

Visitors can satiate their appetites with a rasher of bacon and eggs or dip into a hearty black bean burger topped with melted cheddar cheese. The farmhouse salad is a massive tribute to fresh vegetables as it comes piled with carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onions.

1015 S Sappington Rd
Saint Louis,
MO
US

The artists behind Art Monster set their sights on all sorts of blank canvases—from hoodies to sports cars to biceps—and transform them into eye-catching pieces of artwork. Owner Chris Sabatino keeps the modern studio in pristine condition all week long for his staff to decorate bodies with intricate tattoos. They also infuse wardrobes with a bit of attitude by custom airbrushing illustrations of their clients' favorite sports teams, animals, or Pantone swatches.

2617 Cherokee St
Saint Louis,
MO
US