Every time I think of Fall, I smell freshly baked pies and imagine seeing leaves turning countless shades of gold in the earthy air of an October morning.
The season continues to get better as soon as I take a seat at my laptop with a hot cup of coffee and discover the areas with the best travel value and the least holiday crowd rush. With cultural city celebrations and flamboyant food festivals, it’s the best time to exploit travel experiences avoiding the high costs.
I always look at 4 main things when I decide on the best place to be for Fall: nature, entertainment, unique characteristics and especially, any food-related events.
So, after diligently and zealously peering through countless wonderful resources available online, I have uncovered the perfect vacation destination that caters to all my needs. From breathtaking sights filled with lush, vibrant foliage, to electric entertainment energy in multiple multi-cultural melting pots around the metropolitan area, to mouth-watering delights and the artistry involved in brewing pure liquid gold, here are 5 of the best things to do in St. Louis this fall.
Missouri Botanical Garden
As temperatures cool off, it’s finally starting to feel like autumn but I wanted my eyes to know that it’s Fall as well, so it was time to enjoy some bold fall foliage. With red, orange, and yellow leaves crunching under my feet accompanied with grasses, shrubs, and showy berries, the 79 acres of the impressive horticultural display at the Missouri Botanical Garden and to my surprise, it also had some signature events and the luxury to shop and dine.
The locals call it Mobot (it rhymes with robot) and head here to wander all of the specialty gardens. It was so peaceful that I could even meditate by a waterfall in the Japanese Garden and I soon realized that was not for me as I began to doze off which made me want to explore the futuristic-sounding Climatron (a domed greenhouse). That was nothing short of adventure since a vibrant tropical rainforest thrives inside the Climatron conservatory, while the adjoining Temperate House is home to a multitude of Mediterranean species. I also found out that the Japanese Garden covers 14 acres, making it one of the largest Japanese strolling gardens in North America.
St. Louis Zoo
Bears, beers, and bands! I, personally do not like zoos but upon discovering that it was recently voted Best Zoo and America’s Top Free Attraction, I wanted to see was the commotion was all about. The Saint Louis Zoo is doing a great job in connecting people to animals.
Apart from the good vibes of the Fall season, I got to enjoy the scheduled daily events and was a bit sad when I heard that I was going to miss all the special events throughout the season. The company of wildlife, including both rare and endangered species really made a huge difference from the usual crowd of people.
At one point I got tired before I got to explore everything because the Zoo is 90 acres large, full of animal exhibits, attractions, shopping, and dining. This is miles apart from your normal zoo with caged animals because I found Zoo activities and programs for people of all ages and abilities.
Annually, approximately 3 million visitors get the opportunity to experience 16,000+ animals in the Zoo’s care and frankly speaking, I’m not surprised. The Zoo’s innovative approaches to animal management, wildlife conservation, research, and education really make a difference from the normal depressing zoo atmosphere. The best part of this experience was that it was absolutely free. I wanted to go back again and I would have if my stay hadn’t been so short.
Budweiser Brew House
The history of the Budweiser Brew House had me giggling like a toddler on Christmas especially when I heard that it offers 239 beer taps, from Budweiser—proudly brewed in St. Louis since 1876—to new and exciting beers I’ve yet to try.
I am a huge fan of the uniqueness factor and I felt like I struck gold when I heard about the self-serve 21-foot Tap Wall featuring a variety of brews. I was determined to go on an adventure for my taste buds by pouring and exploring generations and generations of beers. With the help of an in-house beer ambassador, I got to visit the Tap Wall and watch as their chosen tap dispenses a perfectly chilled beer as I breathed the scents heavily.
If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, from wings and lobster tacos to St. Louis-style ribs, fresh salads and more, each Budweiser Brew House menu item was created by a chef with a specific beer pairing in mind. At this point, my mind was blown, I obviously went with the suggested beer with my entrée even though my favorites were slightly tempting but had an absolutely stellar dining experience by following the suggestions of the chef.
Love at First Bite. Normal people have a bucket list of activities but I have a bucket list for food and this was an addition for all ages and a perfect fit for Fall. Proud to say that my mouth is watering as I type this out, but a visit to the home of the irrationally delicious deep dish and thin cornmeal crust pizza, paired with prime craft beers, is definitely a highlight of my life.
Pi Pizzeria is the first place that should come to mind when you think of St.Louis style pizza. It’s a prime example of first-rate pizza and it was born in St. Louis on Pi Day March 14, 2008. Pi Pizzeria definitely satisfied my appetite of being a modern urban consumer who was seeking high quality “real” pizza at reasonable prices in a distinct and service-oriented environment.
Famous for being Former President Obama’s go-to for pizza, everyone loves the signature cornmeal crust that they are famous for but my favorite bit was having the option to design my very own pizza, making it an unparalleled experience.
Three Sixty Rooftop Bar
Cooler temperatures and shorter days really kept pushing me to simply curl up and stay home for dinner since I had everything I needed to make dinner at the JZ Vacation Rentals home. However, I thought of all the things that I’d miss out on, such as some of the great food and ambiance that the St. Louis restaurant scene has to offer during the fall and winter months.
This hidden treasure was a lucky find based on a hunch and is located at the top of the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark. On my last day in Saint Louis, like the last days of any vacation, I didn’t want to leave and this place presented the perfect goodbye. Three Sixty gave me sweeping views in all directions – including a birds’ eye view into Busch Stadium. With a cocktail in hand and a tasty bite to savor, it is the perfect perch to take in the St. Louis Cardinals, the Gateway Arch, the mighty Mississippi and the surrounding sites of St. Louis – both near and far.
This rooftop bar is the ultimate in chic. In addition to the high-end menu, two-story waterfall, and stellar views, I also noticed the patio’s classy fire pits and fire-lit bars. This place made me feel so fancy that everything felt like it was moving in slow-mo. It was the perfect send off the city could have offered.
Saint Louis truly offered an amazing Fall experience and JZ Vacation Rentals was close to all the highlights of my journey. Since most of their homes are consistent in terms of comfort, safety, and trust becoming a hermit will be the last thing you want to do.