This area is known for its friendly community feel, expansive Tower Grove Park and the gorgeous Missouri Botanical Gardens. Uniting the two neighborhoods is South Grand, a bustling six-block strip known for its vibrant mix of bars, boutiques, and ethnic food joints.
Pack a picnic and head to Tower Grove Park, known for its lush green spaces and picturesque pavilions, or grab a casual lunch at Steve’s Hot Dogs. For dinner, you can’t beat the variety on South Grand, where you can satisfy your craving with sushi, Ethiopian, or anything in between. At night, the move is to the homey Tick Tock Tavern (but make sure you bring some bills - it’s cash only). If you want to stick more in the Shaw area, you’re going to need to do a mix of Union Loafers, La Patisserie Chouquette, and Olio—all located on the corner of Tower Grove and McRee.
Tower Grove Park’s farmers’ market, featuring lots of local produce, meat and cheese, as well as free yoga, on Saturday mornings
Meander through the beautiful Missouri Botanical Garden. Founded in 1859, it’s the nation’s oldest botanical garden and covers 79 acres in the city. In the summer, the free Whitaker Music Festival brings musical artists to play at the garden on Wednesday nights, and in winter the Garden Glow light display never fails to impress. The rose garden, Climatron and Japanese garden are our favorites at every visit.
Missouri Botanical Garden's Whitaker Music Festival really packs in the crowds. Go early to have a chance of a decent parking spot, and to spread out your picnic blanket and save room for your crew. Bring your own wine, cheese, and bug spray to get the most out of this event. Generally speaking, parking in the area can be tight, so consider Ubering.
This growing neighborhood on the outskirts of the city limits is full of life, character, great boutiques and even better restaurants.
Stroll up and down Manchester Avenue. You could stop in Penzeys Spices to stock up your kitchen, oogle at Eddie’s Guitars, and then grab a beer and listen to live music at Schlafly Bottleworks (which also has a great farmers’ market on summer Wednesdays). Your breakfast should definitely be at Southwest Diner, lunch at Bolyard's Meat & Provisions, and dinner at Acero and Reeds American Table. Save room for dessert and head over to Strange Donuts for some wild "dones"—or partake in dessert of the liquid kind and enjoy some cocktails at The Benevolent King.
Let Them Eat Art, a street festival in tribute to Bastille Day
There are a lot of great cocktail and beer spots on the street, but also a lot of cool artisan shops. Don’t drink and spend all your money.
A Rockwell painting come to life, these neighborhoods are full of beautiful homes, white picket fences and children riding bikes. Both Kirkwood and Webster have walkable downtown areas with shops and restaurants, making them great for families whose parents like to have a good time—with or without the kids.
If it’s nice out, head to Grant’s Farm, where you take a tram throughout the park to see the wildlife and can then walk your little one around to feed the baby goats, watch an elephant show, or even ride a pony. Before it became an attraction, Grant’s Farm was the home of the Busch family—as in Anheuser-Busch. Which means that while the kids can enjoy the fun at Grant’s Farm, the adults over 21 can enjoy free beer samples. If you’re visiting when the weather’s chilly, check out the one-of-a-kind Magic House. After a day of fun for the kids, treat your palate to a meal at Olive+Oak.
Family neighborhoods with quaint downtown areas
These are mainly residential neighborhoods that don’t stay open late.
The fountain at Brentwood Boulevard and Eager Road claims that Brentwood is the “city of warmth.” While we’re not entirely sure about that claim, this central area is bustling with shops, cafes, movie theatres and more. These neighborhoods lie in between the city and the county and offer the best of both worlds.
Catch a matinee movie at the nostalgic Hi-Pointe Theater and follow it up with coffee at Kaldi’s or wine and eats at Sasha’s on nearby Demun Avenue. Head to the Galleria mall for some retail therapy before capping off the day with reservations at Katie’s Pizza for dinner. If you are still up for a party and don’t mind letting alcohol lower your standards, don't miss karaoke at Double D’s in Brentwood. (Tip for your inner college kid - the bar serves jello shots.)
The St. Louis Galleria shopping mall
Brentwood and Richmond Heights are home to Target, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and the St. Louis Galleria shopping mall. This area is always packed, but is easily accessible via MetroLink.