At the last minute, Justin and I decided to stop for a day in St. Louis as we traveled home from Texas. Justin found a killer deal on hotwire.com in downtown St. Louis, and we thought it would be nice to break up the long drive home. Once he booked the deal, we found out the hotel was the Hyatt Regency at the Arch, just across the street from the Gateway Arch.
We arrived on Sunday evening, and it was a beautiful night to walk over to the Arch, get some nice pictures, and enjoy not being in the car after 12 hours driving.
After a good night’s rest we decided to walk over and explore CityMuseum, about a mile away from the hotel. We found it easily, and were pretty much immediately overwhelmed by everything there. Truly, enough for its own post, coming shortly.
After several hours the museum was overloaded with kids and families, and our brains were just as overloaded, so we decided to head out, grab a bite for lunch, and make our way back to the hotel and then over to the Gateway Arch.
Western View from inside the Arch
Eastern View from inside the Arch - the Mississippi River was a bit high!
It also turned out to be “Marine Week” in St. Louis, so there were a number of booths and helicopters that you could explore, as well as a display of some of the weapons the Marines use in combat. Justin had a bit of a moment, getting to hold one of the weapons he regularly uses virtually while playing Call of Duty on the XBox. The Marine we spoke with had some fun with that, and said they played pretty often as well!
We relaxed a bit at the hotel, then drove over to Niche for dinner. We were looking forward to this meal, as the Chef was nominated for a James Beard Award a couple of years ago, and the restaurant was well reviewed. On Monday nights they offer a special supper, where you choose from only two dinner options for a set price. Justin chose the braised beef and white bean option, while I choose the roasted chicken and cauliflower gratin option. We started with fantastically prepared caesar salads, followed by the main entree, and then finished with a cheese course and a dessert. Everything was spectacularly delicious. Service was stellar, and the restaurant was a great blend of sophisticated and comfortable at the same time.
From Niche we drove over to Park Avenue Coffee for a second dessert of St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake. We had read reviews that this cafe offered a great selections of flavors, and as it was close to the restaurant, thought we would check it out. It is primarily a coffee shop, but under cake domes was a wide variety of butter cake options. Justin chose a White Chocolate Raspberry, while I choose the Triple Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake. Both were sufficiently gooey, buttery, and delicious.
After filling out tummies, we decided to spend a bit more time walking around the downtown area near the hotel. St. Louis really has a very accessible, comfortable, and appealing downtown space, near the center of which is CityGarden. There are lots of fun fountains and sculptures, set throughout the green space. Lots of children and families were enjoying the water features on the warm evening.
We really had such a nice time exploring and relaxing in St. Louis. It was such a great, last minute idea to fit into our drive home. We look forward to returning in the future!