Gateway to the West, A Great Place to Live
Despite being situated in the heart of the Midwest, St. Louis is no fly-over city.
The diverse city is a font of culture where volunteerism is the norm rather than an anomaly.
It’s chock full of museums, performing arts venues, parks, waterways accessible to boaters, restaurants of
all sorts, sporting arenas, and beautiful architecture, some of which nearly dates
back to the city’s founding in 1764. You can’t forget the city’s love for beer, either!
St. Louis neighborhoods represent variety. This means that
there’s a place for everyone in this grand city. Located on the banks of the
mighty Mississippi River, the industry is booming and the city has been named one
of the top destinations for recent college grads. Known from its early days
as “The Gateway City” because of its easy access to transportation routes, St.
Louis is still an important industrial and logistics center.
Home prices in St. Louis are very reasonable compared to
similar cities, and environments from the urban to suburban to rural can be
found within easy reach of the city. With plenty of parks and other green
spaces, St. Louis residents enjoy all four seasons and a climate with few
St. Louis Real Estate Market The city itself is enormous, spanning more than 66 square miles.
In total, there are 79 neighborhoods in St. Louis, and each has a unique feel and history.
The median home price in April 2020 in St. Louis was $160,500
and the average sale price was $207,076. Homes in the city range in price from
$52,000 to $650,000, so there’s really something for everyone available. In an
average year, approximately 3,800 homes are sold in the city. The cost of
living in Missouri is lower than the national average, particularly when it
comes to housing costs.[TP1]
There are several sought-after neighborhoods in the city
that are very popular with people moving to St. Louis.
- Downtown– At the heart of the city, Downtown is home to tons of attractions. You’ll find museums, countless restaurants, shopping, and tons of performing arts venues.
- Laclede’s Landing – Located just north of the Gateway Arch, this nine-block piece of old St. Louis sits on the Mississippi River. It’s home to renovated historic warehouses, restaurants, bars, music clubs, and the famous Lumiere Place Casino
- Lafayette Square– This neighborhood is incredibly picturesque. It’s the oldest neighborhood in the city. If you look beyond the area’s beautifully restored Victorian homes, you’ll find a classy nightlife.
- Soulard– The Soulard neighborhood hosts several renowned events throughout the year including a Mardi Gras parade and Oktoberfest. The area’s rich history is a backdrop to modern conveniences like an enormous dog park and more than 40 bars and restaurants.
- Lindenwood Park– Lindenwood Park is known for the food. It’s full of friendly businesses and is a hotspot for homeownership in St. Louis. It offers a slower pace than much of the city and will appeal to home buyers who enjoy outdoor experiences. You’ll find little street noise or city clamor in most of Lindenwood, excluding the I-44 area, of course. Parks such as River des Peres and Lindenwood park are abundant enough that residents all over the neighborhood enjoy easy access to green spaces.
- DeBaliviere Place– DeBaliviere Place has been named one of the top neighborhoods to live in St. Louis by Niche. It’s a highly educated neighborhood that’s great for young professionals or raising a family.
- The Hill– Best known for its Italian food, The Hill is a colorful, happy neighborhood. It’s also known for turning out professional athletes like Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola.
- Holly Hills– Holly Hills is a charming small, homey sort of neighborhood that was founded in the 1920s. There are lots of bars and parks; plenty to do in Holly Hills!
- Tower Grove – Also known as “The Grove”, this vibrant neighborhood has several walking-friendly shopping and dining areas. It’s the most diverse neighborhood in the city.
- The Delmar Loop – Affectionately known as “The Loop”, this neighborhood is happening! There are tons of dining, events, and shopping options in the area, and the historic neighborhood is very diverse.
- West End – The West End is home to countless classy boutiques and upscale restaurants. With a population of under 7,000, it offers a small town feel while big city living.
St. Louis Housing and Population Statistics
The population in St. Louis is 302,838. With an average of 4,758 people per square mile, the city ranks 26th in the nation for population density. This means that you get a big city feel without the overcrowded feeling that comes with living in some of the country’s other large cities.
Per the 2010 U.S. Census, the median age of St. Louis residents is 38.2, with 52.6% of residents being female and 47.4% being male. The median income in that year was $50,900.
There are 1,264,680 housing units in the greater St. Louis area, and 90.4% of those units were occupied in 2010. 70.6% of those occupied units are owner-occupied, with 29.4% of units being rentals.
Industry and Economy in St. Louis
St. Louis is a great place to move if you’re looking for a job in Missouri. Ten of the eleven Fortune 500 companies in Missouri are headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri
- Wells Fargo Advisors
- Express Enterprise Rent-a-Car
- he St. Louis metro area.
- The healthcare industry employs the most people in the city, with Ascension Health being the largest employer with 10,900 employees. The second and third largest industries in the city are retail and manufacturing, respectively. Other prominent employers in the city include:
- Emerson Electric
- Edward Jones
- BJC Healthcare
- Peabody Energy Enterprise Holdings
- Tyco International
- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
- Panera Bread
Taxes in St. Louis
The current sales tax rate in St. Louis is 9.679%. The state of Missouri takes 4.225% of that while the city takes 5.454%.
The average property tax rate in Missouri is 0.99%, which is below the national average of 1.08%. The median property tax payment is $1,435.
Schools in St. Louis
There are 24 school districts in the greater St. Louis area that encompass 72 public schools. 46 of those schools are elementary schools, 12 are middle schools, and 15 are high schools. You can find a directory of all the schools in the St. Louis Public School system here. Currently, there are 22,972 students enrolled in the district with a student/teacher ratio of 12:1, which is lower than the national average of 14:1.
There are several districts that outlie the city proper, as well. For example, in St. Louis County, there are 272 schools serving 141,897 students. The student/teacher ratio in the county is 15:1.
Some of the top districts in the area based on data collected by Niche include:
- Rockwood R-VI
- Pattonville R-III
There are 168 private schools in the area with a total of 37,270 students enrolled. Average tuition for private elementary schools in the area is $12,031, higher than the national average of $9,946. The average tuition for high school is $16,484, whereas the national average is $14,711.
According to Private School Review, some of the top private schools in the area are:
- Andrews Academy
- The College School
- Community School
- Countryside Montessori School
- Forsyth School
- Rossman School
- John Burroughs
- Thomas Jefferson High School
- The New City School
There are several great institutions of higher learning in the St. Louis area. Some of those include:
- Washington University
- University of Missouri-St. Louis
- Webster University
- St. Louis College of Pharmacy
- Ranken Technical College
- Fontbonne University
- St. Louis University
- Missouri Baptist University
- Maryville University
- St. Louis College of Health Careers
Things to Do in St. Louis
Regardless of interests or preferences, St. Louis has plenty of activities for the whole family. Whether outdoor activities, cultural experiences, food, or nightlife are your thing, you’re sure to find plenty of variety here. Regardless of where you are in the city, it’s about a 25-minute drive to St. Louis county, so food and fun are incredibly accessible.
St. Louis Parks
There is tons of green space in the city, with parks scattered throughout and easily accessible no matter your location.
One of the most popular parks in the city, for both tourists and locals alike, is the Gateway Arch National Park. It’s the only national park in the state. The park houses the Gateway arch, which is the tallest monument in the country. It is an iconic symbol of America’s expansion. Tours, educational events, and vendors are all part of the Gateway Arch experience.
Tower Grove Park is a public park and arboretum that features flowing grassy meadows, more than 7,000 trees, well-maintained walking and biking trails, tennis courts, and athletic fields for park-goers to enjoy. There are multiple event venues available for rent and the Piper Palm House free public event venue plays host to music performances and festivals throughout the year.
Forest Park is another prominent park in the city, in part due to its historical value. It’s the largest municipal park in the city and encompasses 1,293 acres. The 1904 World’s Fair was held there, making it a popular destination for history buffs.
While Forest Park is enormous, Greensfelder County Park and Creve Coeur Park, both located in St. Louis County, are even larger. Greensfelder covers 1,646 acres and Creve Coeur encompasses a whopping 2,114 acres.
If you’re looking for walking or biking trails, there is no shortage in St. Louis. Grant’s Trail is an 8-mile long rails to trails bike path right in the city. The Mississippi River Greenway and other trails in the city allow you to get around the city while enjoying nature, all while staying on ADA approved pathways.
People in Missouri love their dogs, ranking 4th in the nation in dog ownership with nearly 46% of households calling a precious pooch a member of the family. The dog park situation in the city reflects the Show-Me State’s devotion to their canine friends. There are public and private dog parks all over St. Louis, with Treecourt Unleashed Dog Adventure Park, Happy Hounds Playground, and Maplewood Dog Park ranking among the top dog parks in the city.
Climate in St. Louis
In Missouri, you’re all but guaranteed four seasons each year. Winter is cold and damp, spring is often soggy and mild, summers are warm and muggy, and fall is crisp and wet.
The area gets everything from ice and snow to sunny, hot days, and sometimes St. Louis offers up weather you’d expect in multiple seasons all in one day. Think snow and freezing temperatures in the morning and bright, cool rain at lunch, clear weather in the 50°s in the afternoon.
Average temperatures fall between 25°F and 89°F, though there are always outliers. It rarely gets below 9°F or above 97°F.
If your family isn’t in complete agreement on what the ideal weather conditions are, St. Louis might be an ideal place to live. Over the course of the year, everyone in your household is bound to get at least a few weeks of their ideal conditions!
St. Louis Healthcare
There are several prestigious hospitals in St. Louis that people travel from all over the country to visit, particularly children’s hospitals. Here are some of the hospitals that serve the city:
- Barnes Jewish Hospital
- Missouri Baptist Hospital
- St. Luke’s Hospital
- Mercy Hospital
- SSM Health DePaul Hospital
- Shriner’s Hospital for Children
- St. Louis Children’s Hospital
- SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital
Outdoor Fun Beyond the St. Louis City Limits
City life can be wonderful, but if a St. Louis resident
finds themselves in need of getting away from it all, there are countless
options for outdoor adventure nearby, and many of them are just a short drive
from the hustle and bustle of downtown St. Louis.
Hiking, kayaking, boating, biking, ziplining, and more are
all available within a reasonable drive from the city. In some cases, you can
find outdoor adventures within a 25-minute drive.
Elephant Rock State Park in Belleview, MO is one of the must-see outdoor attractions
within easy driving distance of St. Louis. Just an hour and a half drive from
the city, the park features some incredible scenery, including the iconic
“elephant rocks” for which it’s named.
Kimmswick, MO is a tiny town that offers big fun just a half
hour south of the city. The town is essentially a living museum with historic
architecture, crafts, and antiques being prominent features. The food and
festivals in Kimmswick are well-known, too.
If you’re looking to hit the lake without traveling too far,
Creve Coeur Lake is located in St. Louis county and has several amenities
including trails, a splash pad for the kids, disc golf, great fishing, boat and
bike rentals, and many more!
The city of Grafton, IL is located at the confluence of the
Mississippi and Illinois rivers. The town features tourist-style destinations
like a river-side waterpark and aerial attractions like ziplines and a sky
Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park offers picnicking, hiking, camping, and water fun less
than two hours south of the city. Featuring beautiful, wild views and fantastic
rock formations, this park set in the St. Francois Mountains allows residents
of St. Louie to enjoy outdoor adventures close to home.
If you love wine, STL might be the perfect city for you! You
can find the wineries (wine trail!) of Hermann, MO just an hour and a half east
of the city. The Hermann area is perfect for a weekend getaway with friends or
a romantic trip with your special someone. It features a wide range of
accommodations including the Hermann Hill Winery Inn.
You can also find independent breweries and distilleries in the area if wine
isn’t your beverage of choice.
If shopping is more your thing but you’d love to enjoy the
fresh air, Downtown St. Charles features a variety of stores and restaurants on their historic
Main Street. From the brick streets to the famed festivals, you can take a step
out of the city and enjoy a small-town vibe and unique architecture in Downtown
Meramec Caverns, located in Stanton, MO, is the largest commercial cave in the state. Known as
the Crown Jewel of Missouri, this cavern offers guided tours, accommodations,
and history all in one place. Whether you’ve never been in a cave or you’re an
avid explorer, Meramec Caverns is a must-see!
St. Louis Restaurants
This city was made for foodies. With over 500 restaurants in
the city, they certainly aren’t lacking variety! There are several food
festivals held throughout the city over the course of the year, and anytime the
weather will allow it, you can enjoy visiting one of the 95 food trucks in the
city listed on Roaming Hunger.
Here are some of the top restaurants in the city, where you
can imbibe in the food and drink that define St. Louis:
- Lucas Park Grill
- Pi Pizzeria-Downtown STL
- Charlie Gitto’s
- The Crossing Chop House
- Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar
- Polite Society
- Three Sixty
- Drunken Fish
- Budweiser Brew House
- The Midwestern
- Form Skybar
- Mizu Sushi Bar
- Carmine’s Steak House
- Broadway Oyster Bar
- Rosalita’s Cantina
- Bissell Mansion Dinner Theatre
- Molly’s in Soulard
- Vin De Set Rooftop Bar & Bistro
Nightlife and Entertainment for Adults
Whether you prefer a quiet daytime outing or a raucous night
on the time, St. Louis has plenty for adults to get out and do. The city is
home to several performing arts venues, professional and semi-professional
sports teams, museums, and several hot nightlife scenes. In fact, a 2019 report
stated that St.Louis has the best nightlife in the country!
If you’re looking for a bar with a great feel, check out
BB’s Jaxx, Blues and Soups, or The 1860 Saloon in Soulard. If it’s live music
you’re after, you might be shocked to find it at the Missouri Botanical Gardens
when the weather is nice.
If you’re a sports lover, you might want to check out
Ballpark Village, a sports and entertainment venue that hosts events and is
chock full of top-notch bars and restaurants. If you’re into antiques, check
out the flea markets on Cherokee Street.
Popular St. Louis Attractions for Kids
There is SO MUCH for kids to do in St. Louis. From sporting
events to museums to amusement parks to the zoo, there’s a fun experience
waiting for every child. Here are some of the most popular kids’ attractions in
- Six Flags St. Louis (a classic amusement park)
- St. Louis Zoo (free admission!)
- City Museum
- The Magic House
- St. Louis Science Center
- City Garden
- Central Public Library
Fitness in the Lou
There are plenty of gyms in STL, whether that’s because of
the large population of young professionals here or because young professionals
are attracted to the area because of the fitness opportunities.
According to Yelp, the ten best gyms in St. Louis are:
- Club Fitness-Maplewood
- St. Louis Fitness Club
- Fit City Gym
- Life Time
- The Fitness Edge
- The Boxing Gym
- Wellbridge Athletic Club and Spa
- Planet Fitness
Getting Around in St. Louis
There are tons of options for transportation in STL. Some
neighborhoods have great walk-ability, but not all. Since the city is so big,
wheeled transportation is often preferable and there are plenty of options
aside from driving by car.
- Local bus service- The Bi-State Development
Agency provides local bus service through Metro Bus.
- Light rail- The city has two light rail lines
that connect to the local and national bus services and passenger rail by way
of the Gateway Multi modal Transportation Center. It’ll cost you about $5 for a
round trip on the MetroLink.
- Passenger rail- If you’re heading out of town, the Amtrak station can help you catch a direct train to Texas, Chicago, or
- Taxi- Taxis in STL are regulated by the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission.
If you’re driving in St. Louis, you’ll find the main
highways include seven interstates (I-44, I-55, I-64, I-70, I-270, I-170, and
I-255) and four US highways (US 40, US 50, US 61, and US 67). Major roadways in
the city include Memorial Drive, Grand Boulevard, Jefferson Avenue, Gravois Rd,
US Route 66, and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.