About St. Louis

Situated at the confluence of two great North American rivers — the Mississippi and the Missouri — the St. Louis region has been a favored destination since Lewis & Clark began their historic westward "Corps of Discovery" here in 1804.

Today, the pioneers of St. Louis are the engineers, scientists, business leaders, educators, artists and other innovative and creative professionals who are working at the forefront of a multitude of fields and endeavors. Thanks in large part to Washington University, other regional universities and key Fortune 500 corporations, St. Louis has developed into a national hub for important research and business development, especially in the fields of biotechnology and plant science.

Consistently ranked among the nation's most affordable and best places to live and raise families, the St. Louis region offers many opportunities to watch or participate in a wide range of sports, recreational activities and cultural events. Not far from St. Louis' urban core are the beautiful rolling hills of the Ozark Mountain region and outdoor activities such as hiking, canoeing and spelunking in some of Missouri's more than 6,000 caves.

Busch Stadium

Busch Stadium
The home of the St. Louis Cardinals

Loop Student Living Initiative
Gateway Arch

The Arch

The renowned Gateway Arch commemorates St. Louis' pioneering spirit. Generations of adventurers, immigrants and others seeking a better life have been drawn to St. Louis and the region resulting in a population of nearly 3 million, making it the 18th largest metropolitan region in the United States.

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Forest Park Balloon Glow MO Botanical Gardens

One of the Midwest's key cultural destinations

The St. Louis region is one of the Midwest's key cultural destinations, boasting an abundance of museums, music and theatre venues, sporting events, fine dining and shopping districts. Here's just a small sampling of what the region offers:

  • Many professional theatre and music companies and venues, including the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Dance St. Louis, the MUNY in Forest Park, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, the Pageant, and the historic Fox Theatre, the anchor institution behind a revitalized Grand Center arts district located just minutes from the Washington University campuses.
  • Professional baseball (Cardinals), football (Rams) and hockey (Blues).
  • World-class shopping and dining at locations as diverse as the historic and fully renovated 1894 Union Station, the modern and close-to-campus St. Louis Galleria mall and several eclectic and historic neighborhood districts including nearby Clayton, Laclede's Landing along the Mississippi riverfront, Soulard, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, the "Hill," a traditionally Italian neighborhood, the Central West End near the university's medical center, and the University City Loop, just a short walk from the Danforth Campus.
  • MetroLink, a light rail system, which links Lambert Airport to the Danforth Campus, the Washington University Medical Center, North Campus and downtown St. Louis, in addition to the Metro East region of Illinois.
  • Forest Park, located just east of the Danforth Campus and just west of the Medical Campus, offering 1,400 acres of land for in-line skating, biking, walking, running, golf, tennis, and other sports and activities, The Saint Louis Art Museum, the Saint Louis Zoo, the Missouri History Museum, and the St. Louis Science Center.
  • The Missouri Botanical Garden, is the first of its kind established in the United States. A national historic landmark, "the Garden," as it is affectionately known, includes plant species from around the world as well as a Japanese Garden and the Climatron, a geodesic dome inspired by the work of R. Buckminster Fuller.
  • Washington University boasts some of the area's premiere cultural offerings, including Edison Theatre and the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.

Interesting St. Louis area facts

  • St. Louis has many nicknames, including the "Gateway City," "Gateway to the West," "The Mound City," "St. Louie," "River City," and "The ‘Lou."
  • There are more free, world-class attractions in St. Louis than any place in the nation outside of Washington, DC.
  • The Saint Louis Zoo was the first municipally supported zoo in the world and a pioneer in the use of open enclosures, placing animals in natural environments without bars.
  • Some of the world's favorite foods were popularized and introduced to a wide audience at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. The ice cream cone, iced tea and hamburgers all became food favorites there. It is said that the fair was the first place where hot dogs met French's mustard.
  • The Eads Bridge over the Mississippi River, near the present site of the Gateway Arch, was the first arched steel truss bridge in the world. When it was first proposed, it was scoffed at as impossible to build. Completed in 1874, it is still in use today.
  • In 1904, the first World Olympics in the United States and the Western Hemisphere was held in St. Louis at Washington University's Francis Field.
  • The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis contains the largest collection of mosaic art in the world.
  • In 1876, St. Louis hosted the first national political convention west of the Mississippi.
  • In 1927, a group of St. Louis businessmen gave financial backing to the first solo transatlantic flight from New York to Paris. The pilot was Charles Lindbergh and the plane was named "The Spirit of St. Louis."
  • St. Louis' McDonnell Douglas Corporation, now Boeing, designed and built the space capsule that carried the first men into space in the 1960s.
  • C.L. Grigg, a soft drink salesman, introduced a drink to St. Louisans in 1929 that would eventually become known as 7-Up.

St. Louis accolades

  • One of Forbes' 150 Best Metropolitan Areas in America in 2005, Greater St. Louis is a community that shines in numerous areas, from business environment and cost of living to health care and quality of transportation.
  • Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine's top 50 Smart Places to Live lists St. Louis as the 18th smartest place to live in the nation. The list assessed economic vitality and quality of life, factoring in cost of living, homes, crime, health care, climate, environment and education.
  • St. Louis is named one of Forbes' Best Places for singles based on the quality of the nightlife, cultural activities, job growth and cost of living alone.
  • St. Louis has been named one of America's "50 Fabulous Gay Friendly Places to Live" according to a new, same-titled book by author Gregory Kompes. He cited St. Louis' tolerant environment, extensive cultural attractions and fun nightlife.
  • The canine-savvy experts of www.dogfriendly.com have named St. Louis one of the "Top 10 Dog-Friendly Vacation Destinations in North America." The Gateway City was recognized because of the number and quality of dog-friendly accommodations, pet paraphernalia shops and fun attractions.
  • The Saint Louis Zoo was named the top zoo in the county by Zagat's U.S. Family Travel Survey.
  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital (affiliated with Washington University) ranks consistently in the top 10 in U.S. News & World Report's annual list of Best American Hospitals.
  • The City of St. Louis ranks #1 in the country for library services, according to a study of America's Most Literate Cities.
  • Family Fun magazine named St. Louis "Top Midwest City for Visitors."
  • The New York-based Project for Public Spaces named the St. Louis City Museum in 2005 one of the "World's 10 Best Public Spaces."
  • St. Louis was named the second-most affordable large metropolitan area in the country by the National Association of Home Builders in 2005.