Saint Louis, Missouri lies along the western shore of the Mississippi River with a growing skyline that includes the landmark Gateway Arch. Just a five hour drive from Chicago, Saint Louis shares many of the same features of the metropolis—unique food, avid sports fans and an easy public transportation system.
Fill up on gooey butter cake, thin-crust pizza and toasted ravioli at local bakeries and pizza places. Thanks to the Busch family, Saint Louis is also known for Busch and Budweiser beer. Families can say hello to the Budweiser Clydesdales and Bison at Grant's Farm. Those 21 and over may tour the Anheuser-Busch Brewery facilities and learn about the history of prohibition and sample some brews as well. Or just grab tickets to a Cardinals game at the new Busch Stadium downtown.
The city's light rail system, MetroLink, turns 20 in 2010, its youth evident in both its cleanliness and its continual expansion. For now, the rail sprawls in two branches pointing north and south, meeting just east of the Delmar Loop, one stop along the MetroLink. Visit the Loop, rapper Nelly's stomping grounds in University City, which includes several blocks of shopping, bars and restaurants, street performers and concert venues.