Okay, so I travel a lot and recently I had to go to St. Louis for work.  Now, St. Louis is not a town I often think of as a travel destination.  In fact, the joke I've heard most in St. Louis is - Missouri loves company.  Let's face it, as far as travel goes, I consider St. Louis in the same category as Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis and Kansas City - not really in the vacation destination category.

But I thought I'd make the best of it and try to find some hidden gems in this old river town.

So, I found five gems that can make a trip to St. Louis a fun adventure.

5. The Delmar Loop

Delmar LoopCredit: explorestl.com

Every town has a hipster art scene hidden somewhere in the city limits.  For the STL this is definitely the Delmar Loop.  Located a few miles west of downtown, the Delmar Loop is where you find some of the best food and art the city has to offer.  And that's the positive thing about hipsters - where they live, the art lives.  And although young hipsters can be quite naïve.  Naivety often leads to innovation and thus, great art.

4. The Tivoli Theater

Tivoli TheaterCredit: Wikipedia

Located just a few blocks from the Delmar Loop, this old art house theater, opened in 1924, fits the bill for an indie movie experience.  Playing mostly indie and second run films on three screens, the Tivoli has all the accoutrements of the art house experience.  Truly worth a stop on a sweltering afternoon during a Midwest summer.


3. Jazz at the Bistro

Jazz at the BistroCredit: jazzstl.org

Head back towards downtown and find yourself listening to some of the best jazz performers from across the United States.  The music is truly mind-blowing and the atmosphere is everything you want out of a little jazz club.  But remember your wallet, because Jazz at the Bistro isn't cheap.

2.  Ballpark Village

Ball Park VillageCredit: The Riverfront Times

When arriving in the Midwest, you can really expect everything to be in a mall.  That is kind of the standard.  In the Midwest, malls are everywhere.  But Ballpark Village is truly unique in that it is a large mall type environment.  Fortunately, this mall is made up of brew pubs, mechanical bulls and monstrous big screen televisions that really augment whatever event is going on next door at Busch Stadium.  This mall of baseball-themed activities is truly a site to see.

1. The St. Louis Cardinals

Busch StadiumCredit: Wikipedia

Regardless of what St. Louis wants to be, it is a baseball town.  So, going to a Cardinals game at the new Busch Stadium, opened in 2006, is almost a must.  It is an event every night that the Cardinals are in town.  And you will find a packed house every day of the week.  So, although the Cardinals can not really be considered a hidden gem, it is a must see event when visiting the STL.

If you are stuck in the Midwest and not hopeful that a fun adventure is available.  A visit to St. Louis will surprise you.  A little bit of art, some fine beer, and a Cardinals game can go a long way when seeking adventure in this old river town.

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