Elegant, Modern Westin next to Busch Stadium
The "new" Busch Stadium—the third venue to go by that name—sits in the literal and figurative heart of St. Louis. Though Cardinals fans may miss the old Busch Stadium, the current incarnation has a distinct advantage over its predecessor: thanks to its open-air design, fans have a panoramic view of the downtown skyline, including the Gateway Arch. The Westin St. Louis is within walking distance of both the arch and the stadium. In addition to its prime location, the upscale hotel boasts a surf 'n' turf restaurant and a full spa.
The hotel's modern and elegantly understated décor extends to the onsite Clark Street Grill, which is designed to look like a renovated warehouse. Massive marble columns support a ceiling crisscrossed with exposed pipes, all surrounding an open-layout display kitchen where cooks prepare pastrami-rubbed flat-iron steak, watermelon-and-feta salad, and other French-inspired dishes. In the morning, head back to this dining room to find the Ultimate Breakfast Buffet, including sausage, bacon, fresh fruit, and made-to-order eggs.
The Solera Health Club & Spa offers treatments incorporating aromatic essential oils, Dead Sea salts, and imported seaweed. Upstairs, each deluxe room's bathroom is a mini spa in itself, thanks to plush robes, a dual-head shower, and white-tea and aloe bath products.
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. To the north, there's the Boathouse, where you can rent a pedal-powered boat to explore Post-Dispatch Lake.
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.
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