Want to take a great trip and have a wonderful time close to Indianapolis? Simply drive 229 miles west to Saint Louis, Mo., and you are there – plus it is interstate all the way (I-70) for easy driving.
Whenever we think of St. Louis, the first thing that comes to mind is ARCHITECTURE! Of all the cities in the country, we love the architecture in St. Louis more than anyplace, including New Orleans. They have the most beautiful stately estates there. And there are hundreds of them with luscious lawns, gargoyles, and statuary. Hundreds of historic buildings and churches are everywhere.
St. Louis is celebrating its 250th Anniversary this year.
There are two gay-owned bed and breakfasts that we enjoy: The Brewer’s House Bed and Breakfast is located at 1829 Lami St., which is close to downtown, shopping and fine museums that the city has to offer. Brewer’s House is a Civil War vintage home nestled among several breweries. Rick Compton is the owner/host and has been having guests there for years. He makes all of his guests feel right at home. They have off-street parking and is located in a very nice neighborhood They have a large deck where one can sit and view downtown and the surrounding area while having a cocktail or wine. The house was built around 1860 and has been kept up wonderfully. All rooms have private baths. Naturally, they have WiFi. Their email is email@example.com; the website is www.brewershouse.com, or give them a call at 314-771-1542.
The other gay-owned B and B is the Benton Park Inn, which is located in the historic Benton Park area at 2017 Arsenal St. Dan Kelly is the owner. It just opened this year and has been extremely popular with guests. They serve a full sit-down breakfast with gourmet meals, in addition to a nightly wine and cheese hour. It is also located within an easy walk to many fine restaurants. The website is bentonparkinn.com; email is firstname.lastname@example.org; or you can give them a call at 314-669-6196.
No trip to St. Louis would be complete without taking advantage of its famous Forest Park, which has over 1,300 acres and is the home of the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Museum of Art, the Missouri History Museum (which has two Gay exhibits) and the St. Louis Science Center, which has the McDonnell Planetarium. There is NO admission charged to any of these places. Plan to stay the entire day visiting this fabulous and very interesting place. On a nice day, be sure and pack a lunch with wine and dine on the grounds.
Whether you are into Broadway shows, opera, baseball, football or anything, you will find it in St. Louis. For the Gay experience, be sure and go to “The Grove,” which is located on Manchester Avenue between Kingshighway and Vandeventer Street. It is lovingly called the St. Louis “Gayborhood.” More than 50 businesses are located there for shopping, drinking and dining.
Our favorite bar there is Just John, located at 4112 Manchester Ave. Check out their website, www.justjohnclub.com, as they have things going on there all the time. Owners John and Jeremy are on top of everything and the bar is packed all the time. This is THE place to drink and party in St. Louis. They have several rooms, as well as a large outdoor patio/bar in the back. They have special drink prices all week long and different entertainment nightly.
As we said, this is THE place to drink and party in St. Louis! The staff are extremely friendly and professional and everybody always has a great time there. Their hours are 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily, except on Sunday, when their hours are noon to 1:30 a.m.
On a sad note, Clementine’s Bar, which was the oldest Gay bar in St. Louis, closed a couple of months ago. Still, St. Louis does have a large selection of Gay bars.
There are a lot of places to shop. We always enjoy the Frontenac Plaza in the suburbs, which has a Neiman-Marcus store and other high-end shops, and we always visit the antiques shops in the Cherokee Street district.
Dining in St. Louis is a real treat. You will not find many chain restaurants, rather you will find locally owned restaurants specializing in Italian, German, Chinese, Mexican and really all other nationalities of homemade food.
St. Louis really does have it all, and we know that you will have a wonderful and very interesting time while you are there.
Before going to St. Louis, check out these great websites: explorestlouis.com (specifically the page explorestlouis.com/visit-explore/discover/st-louis-lgbt/lgbt-friendly-neighborhoods/) and stlouis.gaycities.com.
Always remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone.
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Donald Pile and Ray Williams are award-winning celebrity travel columnists and proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at email@example.com or visit their website at gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com.