St. Louis is a diverse city with limitless options for food, coffee and exploring. Spread throughout the St. Louis metro area are neighborhoods just as diverse as the people that inhabit them. St. Louis is a true representation of a global society living together. From the upscale Central West End to the eclectic Tower Grove neighborhoods, when combined, these neighborhoods create the perfect mixture that makes St. Louis such a great city to call home.

The very heart of St. Louis is downtown. This area is where the most famous monument in St. Louis is located, where our favorite sports teams are housed and the skyline takes shape. Situated in downtown are dozens of restaurants, Fortune 500 companies and plenty of activities, many free or cheap, to fill your day. Downtown has much to offer but here are some of the best opportunities:

Photo courtesy of Bailey’s Range

Baileys’ Range

920 Olive St, Saint Louis, MO

Part of the Baileys’ family of restaurants. Baileys’ Range takes burgers to the next level with high quality beef, top notch toppings and the sides to match. Burgers have unique toppings like The American, which has mac’n’cheese, diced bacon, house cheddar sauce and sriracha mayo on top of a beef patty. Baileys’ also offers shakes with flavors like espresso, cookies and cream, hot chocolate and marshmallow and vegan coconut. All of this offered in a fun and lively atmosphere.

Photo courtesy of Kaldi’s Coffee at City Garden

Kaldi’s City Garden

808 Chestnut St.

The newest addition to the St. Louis-based chain is right in the heart of downtown, The City Garden. Roasted at their homebase in St. Louis and offering Kaldi’s favorite selections, this location has the vibe of a modern art museum with a large sculpture featured when you first walk in. Three-fourths of the building features floor-to-ceiling windows for ample sunlight and park viewing. Take a walk through the City Garden after to view all the amazing outdoor works of art in the heart of the city.

Photo courtesy of Park Avenue Coffee

Park Avenue Coffee

417 N 10th St.

With coffee bought straight from the producers and roasted here in St. Louis, Park Avenue strives to offer a wide variety, of ethically bought coffee. But coffee isn’t what they’re most known for in St. Louis, it’s their gooey butter cake. Once featured on the Food Network, the gooey butter cake is iconic. There are more than 50 unique flavors of the St. Louis original sweet to try including banana split, butterscotch, chocolate covered strawberry and red velvet.

Photo courtesy of the Gateway Arch

The Arch

The Arch is what makes the St. Louis skyline so iconic. With a newly renovated park surrounding the arch and the reopening of the Arch museum, the Arch has a lot to offer for people of all ages. The cost to go up to the top is only $10 or you can check out the museum and the new park for free. This summer is the perfect opportunity to check out all the new features this area has to offer.

Photo courtesy of Ballpark Village

Cardinal Nation

601 Clark Ave.

St. Louis’ favorite team has an entire section of downtown dedicated to celebrate the World Series champions. Known as the best fans in baseball, Cardinals’ fans can be found here on game-days and normal days alike. Seven different dining options are housed within Ballpark Village and all are connected to the main viewing area of Fox Sports Midwest where all the game day action takes place. Reaching max capacity on many game days, this is the perfect way to catch the game and the energy of the game without having to actually purchase a ticket. The best way to spend a night in St. Louis is to cheer on the Cardinals so make sure to catch a game sometime this season.

Photo courtesy of St. Louis Public Library

Central Library

1301 Olive St.

Renovated in 2012, the downtown Central Library will take you back in time. Part of the St. Louis Public Library system, this is the perfect place to study, read or work. As it says in the name, the library is centrally located in downtown and an easy walk to and from many attractions throughout the area. Stop by to check out all that it has to offer.

Photo courtesy of the City Museum

City Museum

750 N. 16th St.

The City Museum brings out the kid in everyone. Housed in an old shoe factory, tunnels have been built all throughout the building allowing kids and adults, if able to fit, to explore. The museum features a six story slide, tunnel systems, an outdoor section with suspended wire tunnels that lead to an airplane and towers and also a rooftop section (pictured above) with a school bus hanging off the edge and a Ferris wheel. This museum is sure to get your inner child bursting at the seams.

Photo courtesy of Porana Pasta

Porano Pasta

634 Washington Ave.

Developed by James Beard Award-winning chef-owner Gerard Craft, this fast casual Italian spot is an affordable way to get a local, delicious pasta fix. The build-your-own line at Porano allows you to customize your own bowl, salad, pizza or sandwich in a timely manner. Finish-off your meal with a handmade gelato pop in local flavors by Craft’s pastry team.

Honorable mentions: Flamingo Bowl, Kiener Plaza, National Blues Museum, Eugene Field House

What are your favorite things to do in St. Louis? Share with us on Instagram and Twitter using #MBUinSTL.

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