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Skyline of St. Louis, MO

13 Things to Know About Living in St. Louis

Considering moving to St. Louis? Nicknamed the “Gateway to the West,” St. Louis is located downstream from where the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers connect. River City has tons of great career and education opportunities, family-friendly activities, historical landmarks, and more. Here are 13 things to know about living in St. Louis!

Affordable Living in the Midwest

Even though St. Louis is one of the largest cities in the Midwest (with a metro population of 2.8 million), it’s a great place to find affordable living! The cost of living in St. Louis is 15% lower than the national average—and with median home prices around $120,900 (and median rent around $759), residents can find affordable housing, too. Plus, with a consistently top-ranking affordable housing market, St. Louis offers luxurious budget-free housing to anyone looking to move to the Gateway to the West!

Launch Your Career in Gateway City

The Barnes Jewish hospital located in St. Louis. Photo by Instagram user @bjc_healthcare

Photo via @bjc_healthcare

With an unemployment rate of about 2.8%, St. Louis is an excellent place to settle down for singles and young professionals and families without the hefty price tag that comes with living in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, or New York City. Plus, the city is an ideal place for residents who prefer to work remotely! St. Louis’ robust job market is home to seven Fortune 500 companies—including Edward Jones, Emerson, and Centene Corporation—and offers employment in a variety of industries like aviation, biotechnology, information technology, electrical utilities, financial services, and beverage and food manufacturing. If you’re looking for careers with St. Louis’ biggest employers, check out BJC HealthCare, Washington University in St. Louis, Boeing, and SSM Health. Or check out open positions in food and beverage production at one of the world’s largest brewers, AB InBev.

Get a Great Education

A young man walks down a sidewalk on campus in a sweatshirt and jeans. Photo by Instagram user @wustl_officialg

Photo via @wustl_official

Mound City has excellent public and private education from preschool all the way up to graduate school. St. Louis public schools like Clayton High School, Lindbergh High School, and Kirkwood High School come highly-recommended for their athletic and extracurricular programs—while private schools like John Burroughs School, MICDS, and Whitfield School are top-rated for class size and academic focus. For those looking for higher education, the University of Missouri-St. Louis has one of only 23 optometry schools in the U.S., and Washington University in St. Louis has excellent STEM major offerings, like Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering. There’s also Webster University, which has a robust fine arts program that confronts challenging ideas and a three-time world champion chess team. And Saint Louis University, a private Jesuit college, has a sister campus in Madrid with study abroad opportunities.

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Home of the Famous Gateway Arch

An aerial view of the St. Louis Gateway Arch with the sunset in the distance. Photo by Instagram user @explorestlouis

Photo via @explorestlouis

The Gateway Arch is the most easily-recognizable landmark in the city! The Arch—designed by Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen—was built in honor of Thomas Jefferson and his vision of a transcontinental United States. This structure stands at 630 feet, making it the tallest arch in the world—as well as the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere. The Arch is also associated with Dred Scott suing for his freedom in the Old Courthouse. Schedule a tram ride to the top for amazing sights, explore the museum for free to learn more about Missouri’s role in pioneer history, or hop on a riverboat dinner cruise to get a different view of the arch!

Root for Local Sports Teams

A baseball player points off into the stands. Photo by Instagram user @cardinals

Photo via @cardinals

Looking for fun things to do in St. Louis? This city loves its pro sports teams! Head out to Busch Stadium to watch the St. Louis Cardinals (MLB) play baseball. Even though St. Louis no longer has a pro football team, the Cardinals and the St. Louis Blues (NHL) are holding it down. The St. Louis Blues (NHL) even won the Stanley Cup in 2019 after defeating the Boston Bruins (NHL). More of a college sports fan? Catch the St. Louis University Billikens men’s and women’s basketball games at Chaifetz Arena. Or take advantage of St. Louis University‘s 18 Division I NCAA sports teams, including baseball, cross country, field hockey, volleyball, swimming and diving, and more.

Take a Sip at Anheuser-Busch

Most people have heard of Anheuser-Busch—their beers, from Busch to Budweiser, are a staple of American lagers. But did you know that they’re a huge part of St. Louis’ history? In fact, the St. Louis Brewery is their biggest and oldest in the United States and has been a national historic landmark for over 50 years! Tour the Anheuser-Busch complex or head to the St. Louis Biergarten for professionally paired food and beer tastings. St. Louis is also home to the famous Budweiser Clydesdales! Grant’s Farm, a huge plot of land once worked by President Ulysses S. Grant, has a petting zoo, free beer sampling, and the fluffy-footed horses Clydesdale featured in many Budweiser ads.

Go Wild at Forest Park

A Hippopotamus swims in the aqaurium and says hi to a young girl. Photo by Instagram user @stlzoo

Photo via @stlzoo

There’s no shortage of things to do in St. Louis, and a lot of them are located in Forest Park! This massive public park has 1,300 acres of green space, urban trails, and major attractions. Catch Broadway shows like Mary Poppins or Chicago at The Muny, the largest outdoor musical theater in North America. Practice your figure-eights and other ice skating tricks at Steinberg Skating Rink. Explore science and technology exhibits like Experience Flight Simulators or Life Science Lab—or get starstruck in the planetarium or see nature films at the IMAX—at the St. Louis Science Center. Or spend the day strolling through the St. Louis Zoo to see over 14,000 animals like red pandas, hippos, giraffes, and more!

Discover St. Louis History

Front view of an old statue sitting in central park and an old court house. Photo by Instagram user @romaonthego

Photo via @romaonthego

Step into the past with St. Louis landmarks like the Old Courthouse, where the Dred Scott Civil Rights decision and the Virginia Minor women’s suffragist case took place. The Missouri History Museum has exhibits spanning everything from the Civil War to modern children’s toys, so you’ll find something that matches your historical interests. Once a major train depot, St. Louis Union Station has a century-old architecture history buffs will love and family-friendly activities like mini golf, a carousel, or a rope course. You can also visit the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis or (connected) Mosaic Museum to catch a glimpse of the intricate mosaic artwork or tour the burial crypts.

Visit the Area’s Best Attractions

Twist and turning stairs inside a museum. Photo by Instagram user @citymuseum

Photo via @citymuseum

Trying to find popular St. Louis attractions to check out? Explore the imaginative and whimsical City Museum, which is housed in the skeleton of the International Shoe Company factory and offers a unique mixture of a playground, aquarium, circus, and museum. Attend traveling exhibits like the Spitzer Collection as well as regular performances from local musicians at the National Blues Museum. Stop by the Grand Center Arts District to explore the free Contemporary Art Museum or take a ballroom dancing class. If you’re looking for some quieter things to do in St. Louis, consider browsing through books at the St. Louis Central Library or exploring rotating exhibits like Dangerous Women. Or spend time at the Missouri Botanical Garden, where you can see attractions like the Climatron geodesic dome or Sachs Museum.

Find a Variety of Kid-Friendly Activities

Searching for fun things to do with kids in St. Louis? Check out the St. Louis Aquarium to see over 13,000 animals or enroll the kids in Camp Fins & Friends, a summer camp to help kids learn more about marine biology. Let the kids experience the thrill of zip-lining at Adventure Valley. Find over 25 sculptures that blend art and nature at Citygarden. Visit the free St. Louis Art Museum and participate in a kid-friendly art activity at the weekly “Family Sunday: Make Your Mark” event. Or explore the connection of chess to art and history at the World Chess Hall of Fame.

Make a Date with St. Louis Music

A dark red sign glows in dark as it hangs on the side and front of fox theater. Photo by Instagram user @schaeferpix

Photo via @schaeferpix

Music lovers can unite in hundreds of St. Louis venues and admire the city’s music history. The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest symphony in the United States (right after the New York Philharmonic) and has won nine Grammys. Visit The Fabulous Fox theater to see Broadway hits like Tootsie, Wicked, and Les Miserables. History buffs and pianists should head to the Scott Joplin House, a museum dedicated to the legendary Ragtime performer. Combine treats and beats at Blueberry Hill, a restaurant and live music club best known for its association with the father of rock ‘n’ roll himself, Chuck Berry.

Eat at Unique Restaurants

A plate of pizza and fried ravioli. Photo by Instagram user @imospizzastl

Photo via @imospizzastl

Grab some napkins—St. Louis is famous for its unique food options! Order Eggs Benedict, the Fried Chicken Sandwich, Chopped Salad, or Juniper Burger for lunch at Juniper. Head to Pappy’s Smokehouse for Memphis-style barbecue like Beef Brisket, a BBQ Salad, or Pulled Pork. Bite into Italian favorites like Baked Penne, an Italian Meatball Sandwich, or Tortellini at Charlie Gitto’s. Enjoy Beef Ravioli, Seafood Linguine, or Salmon Valentino at Mama’s On the Hill. Stop into Imo’s Pizza for St. Louis-style Veggie Pizza, Baked Cannelloni, or a Turkey Club Sandwich. Pop in for delicious desserts like a Banana Split, a Super Sundae, or the Peanut Butter Shake at Ted Drewes. Or fill up on sweet treats like a Chocolate Cakewich, Frosted Sugar Cookie, or a Red Velvet Cupcake at The Cup bakery.

Have a Night on the Town

A bartender serves a green martini with fire on top. Photo by Instagram user @truststl

Photo via @truststl

The best bars in St. Louis cover every possible taste, whether that’s champagne or light beer. Located in a historic bank, Trust is a craft cocktail paradise that offers drinks like the Southside Stinger, Somewhere Near Manhattan, or Spiced Red Sangria. Find an extensive wine list and craft beer selection at the 360, a rooftop bar with an incredible view near Busch Stadium. Get dressed to the nines before heading to The Thaxton, a speakeasy in a beautiful Art Deco venue used for corporate events and weddings. Heels or a bowtie not your style? The Hair of the Dog is a dive bar open until 3 a.m. with a hockey table and arcade games. For the more eclectic crowds looking for St. Louis nightlife, find karaoke, drag performances, burlesque, or open mic events on different nights at Crack Fox.


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St. Louis, MO - 13 Things to Know


About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.