Budget Travel Friday: St. Louis, Missouri

Posted on April 13, 2012 6 Comments

Today’s photo inspiration comes from another Midwest city: St. Louis, Missouri.

The Arch in St. Louis

2011 was my second trip to St. Louis. I have a cousin who studies at Washington University, we decided to do a half-marathon together, and St. Louis was the destination. It took almost five hours to get there by car from Chicago, but I’m glad we decided to check it out. Aside from the always fabulous Ted Drew’s custard, it turns out St. Louis has interesting restaurants like Bridge and Cafe Osage, a tasty craft brewery in Schlafly, great neighborhoods to check out like Central West End, and lots of parks to stroll through – including the Arch park, which officially is called the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and gorgeous Forest Park.

After the race, which traveled through loads of beautiful city neighborhoods, ManFriend I spent a leisurely afternoon chilling in Arch park. We went up in the Arch, which was fine, but the vibe was actually way more peaceful just sitting in the grass, watching birds in the trees.

The one mistake we made with St. Louis was that we stayed at the most budget hotel we could find, the Missouri Athletic Club, which was just not up to code for us. I originally meant to book that place, then Priceline a nicer hotel closer to our stay, but totally forgot to make the change (lesson learned!). If I was going to St. Louis for anything other than a race or a game, I would not likely stay downtown. On the positive side, though, it was walking distance to the starting line and a perfect location for our itinerary.

View from the top of the Arch, St. Louis

In all, I had a great time in St. Louis. If you happen to be headed there, make sure you do your research and try to talk to locals about which neighborhoods to visit and where to stay. I think it will make all the difference in your experience.


About Budget Travel Friday – Photo Inspiration

The idea is this: I am a champion budget traveler. I have traveled to beautiful places, both remote and urban, across the United States, every year since I’ve had my own job, and have never needed to dip into my savings to do so. I have this crazy wanderlust that drives me out of the city every so often and pushes me to learn about new places, explore them, and meet new people along the way.

I also happen to love photography and while I’m less great at it than budgeting, I have a collection of photos from the east coast to the west coast and everywhere in between to share with you.

You know the tactics behind budget travel: research and plan ahead, go off-season, use Hotwire or Priceline for hotels – or try camping, purchase air fare when prices are cheap (or just fly Southwest ;), shop at grocery stores and local markets instead of eating at fancy places, visit museums on free days, etc.

OK, you have the tools, but where should you go? I hope you’ll check in with me every Friday for a photo example. If I’ve been there, you know it’s on the cheap, and you’re only a few clicks away from being there yourself.

Category: Life


6 Responses to “Budget Travel Friday: St. Louis, Missouri”

  1. Allison
    April 13th, 2012 @ 9:07 am

    Fun! I have never been but have a friend that lives there. So glad you liked it!

  2. Michelle
    April 13th, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    I live in St. Louis! And you’re right, STL is known for it’s numerous neighborhoods, so you should ask around for the good ones.

  3. The Budgeting Babe
    April 13th, 2012 @ 10:27 am

    Michelle – Holla! I didn’t know you were from STL! We had a really good time there. Central West End is fab!

  4. Michelle
    April 13th, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

    Hey, I know that place pretty well. ;)

    We live 30 minutes west of the city in the quiet burbs and could’ve told you about staying in the city itself. Yikes…

  5. The Budgeting Babe
    April 16th, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    Michelle – The only good thing about staying in the city was its proximity to the starting line. There were plenty of other racers staying in my hotel and in other hotels, so it was kind of fine, but we stayed an extra day and once all the runners left, downtown was a ghost town.

  6. randy
    May 9th, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

    Drury hotels are nice and the Hampton inn across from union station.

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