Hotel at a Glance: The Chase Park Plaza Hotel
During its rich history, “The Chase is the place” was the motto here—indeed, the hotel was a center for St. Louis’s high society. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Bob Hope all performed at the Chase Club, a lounge on the property that’s since been converted into a first-run movie theater. The art-deco building still has the feel of a luxurious hotel from the big-band era; its interiors are lined with marble hallways and crystal chandeliers. Perhaps best of all, it’s a short distance from some of downtown St. Louis’s top attractions, as well as Washington University.
- Catch a flick onsite: The five-screen Chase Park Plaza cinema—built from the vestiges of the old nightclub—is considered one of the best in St. Louis.
- Eat in: There are numerous dining options onsite. Try a seasoned steak in the Tenderloin Room, or visit Chaser's Lounge, which has live piano music on some nights.
- Shopping and dining a short walk away: Upscale boutiques and fine dining line the affluent Central West End neighborhood, which has many buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Must-see nearby: Right near the hotel is Forest Park, which was designed for the 1904 World’s Fair and remains one of the largest public parks in the U.S. It contains the famed Saint Louis Zoo and the Saint Louis Art Museum.
- Tee off: The concierge can set you up with a round of golf at the nearby Courses at Forest Park, weather permitting.
St. Louis, Missouri: Urban Park Space and Brewery Tours in the Gateway City
The first thing you notice about the Gateway Arch is its height: at 630 feet, it's the tallest manmade monument in the United States, and it dwarfs the other buildings of the St. Louis skyline. Less obvious is the fact that the Arch is exactly as tall as it is wide, stretching out along the banks of the Mississippi River. You can take a ride to the summit for a bird's-eye view of the city's skyline and riverboats riding the Mississippi. Make sure you get to the Arch before 10 a.m.; after that, the lines start to get long, and tickets sometimes sell out in the afternoon.
Forest Park’s more than 1,200 acres of green space are also worth a visit. Contained in this space is the Saint Louis Zoo, which corrals hundreds of species in several different habitats; it's frequently cited as one of the best zoos in the country, and entrance is free. At high noon, sunbeams create a natural light show on the geometric façade of the Jewel Box, a 1936 art-deco greenhouse in the southeast quadrant of the park.
Though it was originally a hub for railroads and the fur trade, St. Louis eventually became known for being the headquarters of brewing giant Anheuser-Busch, which began producing there in 1852. On a tour through the red-brick brewery, you can sample beers and visit the stables where the company keeps its iconic clydesdale horses.