Shopping + hipster culture = the Delmar Loop.
In other words, if you like the latest fashions or if you enjoy shopping, this is the neighborhood to visit. They have a little bit of everything, too. Coffee shops, boutiques, spas, specialty restaurants, open air music, studios and art galleries, Ben & Jerry’s, a soda-pop factory… Seriously, when I said “everything,” I wasn’t exaggerating.
Even this section of the city does its share of commemorating. While you’re popping in and out of shops, check out the three-block long Walk of Fame, which celebrates celebrities who claim the Greater St. Louis area as their home turf with a brass or bronze star bearing their name and a plaque explaining their accomplishments. This stretch of sidewalk contains names like Tennessee Williams, Ullysses S. Grant, Maya Angelou, Joseph Pulitzer, Chic Young, and 139 others.
One of the quieter attractions in the Loop is the Scott Joplin House. Scott Joplin was once a household name as the father of ragtime, a music style popular in the early 1900’s until the 1960’s. Although it’s not very large, this museum tells Joplin’s story and shows what the area looked like during his time. It features a player piano, which can either be played by a person or by one of the piano rolls, some of which were written by Joplin himself. Especially if your family appreciate music, this step into the past is one you’ll definitely appreciate.
#2: Blueberry Hill
The best way to describe Blueberry Hill, a primary feature on Delmar Blvd., is to say a toy shop and a classic arcade exploded inside a music-enthusiast’s burger joint. This establishment is a vibrant restaurant that frequently hosts live bands. Between songs and while you wait for your food to be delivered to you, go ahead and wander around the pop-culture museum. Founder Joe Edwards personally keeps the display cases full of toys and memorabilia that will remind you of years gone by.
#3: The City Museum
You know the old adage, “don’t judge a book by its cover?” Well, it could also be said: “don’t judge a museum by its name.” Although this particular attraction has a rather boring name, its premises more than make up for it. Built inside a 600,000 square foot former shoe factory and comprised of parts and pieces of salvaged materials, this museum exudes creativity from the first to the tenth floor. From the time you first set eyes on the gigantic outdoor playground/interactive sculpture (that is several stories high and contains items like salvaged airplanes, firetrucks, and an all-ages-allowed ball pit), you will be enthralled with the attractions this museum offers!
Each floor is cram-packed with attention grabbing features. For instance, take the life-size model of a Bowhead Whale on the first floor, or the “skateless park” (no skateboards, please, but every visitor is given free reign to run, swing, slide, and otherwise enjoy the attraction). Don’t forget to look for all the random hidey-holes, secret passages, and slides that make you feel like you’re on a life-size version of the classic game Chutes and Ladders. The roof is an amusement park with a ferris wheel, a giant praying mantis and a pond that you cross by jumping from stone to stone. As a museum dedicated to creativity in all its best forms, there’s something here for everyone. And as far as vacation memories go, this one is sure to be a favorite.
This post originally appeared on Daring Penguin Travel Blog, published January 10, 2016. It was part of a larger article, 30+ Places to Check Out in St. Louis.