If you love a good underdog story, St. Louis is the city for you. Constantly ranked as one of the most underrated cities in America by the likes of Thrillist and CultureTrip, the city also earns recognition for being the heart of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area and having some of the nation’s best parks and zoos. With vibrant neighborhoods, a booming downtown area, and great educational opportunities for adults and children alike, St. Louis is a trending city that offers something for everyone.
St. Louis has steadily grown both economically and geographically after settlers began arriving in the area at the turn of the 19th century. Over 300,000 people call the city home today, spread throughout 79 diverse neighborhoods that redefine what ‘suburban’ looks like, according to locals. More Fortune 500 companies are based in St. Louis than any other city in the state, along with three national universities. Looking for more reasons to make St. Louis your next home?
Rich History and Roots
Situated on the western bank of the Mississippi River very near the end of the Missouri River, St. Louis was a meeting point for various native tribes long before European explorers first mentioned its existence in 1673. In fact, ‘Missouri’ comes from the word originally used by French explorers Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette to refer to the “people of the dugout canoes,” the Oumessourit. The Missouri tribe, as they would come to be known, lived in the area from at least the year 1250 and significantly shaped its culture and development.
The city of St. Louis was officially founded as a fur trading post in 1764 by another Frenchman named Pierre Laclede Liguest, who chose the spot because it was outside the floodplain and could make trade easy at the confluence of the country’s two longest river systems. The city began rising to prominence after becoming part of the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and the starting point for the famous Lewis and Clark expedition west that same year. Since then, the city’s population and economy have grown exponentially into the bustling metropolitan area we see today.
Diverse Economy and Strong Transportation Infrastructure
The St. Louis metropolitan area, home to 2.8 million people, is one of the largest economic zones in the country, with companies bringing in about $170 billion annually and employing more than 1.3 million workers. Management occupations are the dominant employment sector in the area, and the manufacturing, service, transportation, trade and tourism industries dominate the local economy. Fortune 500 companies like Emerson Electric, Centene, and Post Holdings produce over $70 billion in revenue every year. Unemployment has historically been lower in St. Louis than the national average.
As the country’s second largest inland port and a major hub for rail freight, contemporary St. Louis offers companies easy access to important resources from even the farthest reaches of the country. Two airports link the city to the rest of the country, including St. Louis Lambert International Airport with direct international flights to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Canada. Residents traveling within St. Louis can take advantage of the city’s extensive light rail and highway systems to get around the city in a flash.
Over 300,000 people call St. Louis home today, spread throughout 79 diverse neighborhoods that redefine what ‘suburban’ looks like. With vibrant neighborhoods, a booming downtown area, and great educational opportunities for adults and children alike, St. Louis is a trending city that offers something for everyone.
Scenic Land and Greenery
Positioned on the riverbank in the center of town, the Gateway Arch is the unofficial symbol of St. Louis and easily the tallest man-made monument in the U.S. at 630-feet tall. The monument is part of the Gateway Arch National Park system, one of many dedicated green spaces within the greater St. Louis area. St. Louis residents and workers throughout the city enjoy streets lined with maple, witch hazel, and smoke trees along with serene vistas of the riverfront.
Lovers of the outdoors will also feel at home in Forest Park, one of the biggest city parks in the country and one of its oldest at 143 years old. Nestled in the middle of Forest Park near Richmond Hills is the St. Louis Zoo, host to a wide selection of awe-inspiring, rare animals like black rhinoceros and snow leopards. The Missouri Botanical Garden is another green wonder of St. Louis, a sweeping 75-acres of lush greenery from around the world. The botanical garden was originally curated by Henry Shaw in his own backyard near The Hill neighborhood.
Entertainment Galore: Arts, Sports, and Food
Sports fans will not be disappointed in St. Louis either. The city is currently the proud home of two major sports teams, the St. Louis Cardinals (Major League Baseball) and the St. Louis Blues (National Hockey League). It probably comes as no surprise that two baseball Hall-of-Famers were born in The Hill neighborhood of St. Louis: Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola. In 2022, the city will also have its own Major League Soccer team and 22,500-seat stadium in the Downtown West neighborhood.
Are board games more your sport of choice? Not a problem. The Saint Louis Chess Club has hosted the U.S. Chess Championship every year since 2009.
Art lovers will have plenty to do too. The St. Louis Art Museum, designed in 1904 for the World’s Fair, is renowned for its fine arts collection spanning over 5,000 years of global creativity. The St. Louis Symphony has been producing world famous classical music for over a century, mostly out of the city’s picturesque Powell Symphony Hall. Live contemporary music and theater can be enjoyed at the likes of intimate .ZACK Theatre in the Midtown neighborhood, the much larger Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in West County, or any of the dozens of other live entertainment venues across the city.
St. Louis is also a haven for both foodies with a keen eye for culinary detail and those who simply want to enjoy a great meal. Highly-rated restaurants like Eastern European-inspired Grbic Restaurant and the contemporary American Sidney Street Cafe craft beautiful dishes using local ingredients unlike those found anywhere else. Locals head to The Hill neighborhood for mouth-watering Italian fare at fixtures like Matt McGuire’s Louie and Charlie Gitto’s On the Hill any time of the week.
Thinking of Making St. Louis Your New Home?
St. Louis is a city that surprises at every turn. Now that St. Louis tops your move-to list, learn more about Draper and Kramer’s portfolio of luxury apartments in St. Louis and Richmond Heights by visiting draperandkramer.com.