It’s always a good feeling to fly to a city for a sales meeting and to have things go so well that you’re actually done a day early. That happened to me recently when I flew to St. Louis. I was thrilled with my work life when I suddenly realized I had a decision to make. Should I call the office and ask them to rearrange my flight schedule so I could go home a day early or should I stick around for a day to see what there is to see in St. Louis? I decided to give it a few minutes to see how realistic it would be to make the necessary plans, specifically getting a rental car and of course a St. Louis hotel.
The rental car aspect of things was easy. I simply needed to extend my contract by a day. Finding St. Louis hotels, however, can be time consuming. At least I thought it was time consuming until I logged onto HotelTonight. I saw several options for St. Louis hotels and within a few minutes I had chosen one and booked a room. It was just that easy. I packed my luggage into the rental car and drove off to my new hotel. I asked the staff what I should do if I wanted to see St. Louis in ways other than in the typical touristy attractions. They were extremely helpful. I had my plan, a car, a great hotel and the rest of the day to explore.
Downtown St. Louis is really the epitome of a modern downtown in a modern city. What used to be an industrial center had grown and changed remarkably. I saw big companies with their offices here. I saw some remnants of the old industrial days. I saw new restaurants and cafes. I saw people everywhere just milling about on their daily routines. This is a city that is upbeat, vibrant and fast-moving. I was glad I started at the center of it all as it gave me some perspective on the rest of my day exploring other parts of the city.
I moved over to a truly unique area that is known as the Central West End. There is a lot of history here. Tennessee Williams lived here with his family and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis is also here with all of its beautiful mosaic art. There are also a lot of older homes that have been modernized that are occupied by families. I needed a bit of a break from all the walking I was doing, so I stopped in at a sidewalk café and ordered a nice cup of coffee. This was a great place to sit and people-watch. The Central West End is a lovely place.
I headed out of town a bit to visit historic St. Charles. There is also a lot of history here. The community dates back to the late 1700’s and sits along the Missouri River. It’s as if the entire area was preserved in time. I walked through Frenchtown and enjoyed a spell of window shopping that I hadn’t really experienced before. I also got hungry and decided to stop at one of the many restaurants that could be found there. I was glad I did, as my lunch was nothing short of a masterpiece. I had another nice break before moving on to the two areas of town I planned to see that afternoon.
After seeing all of the historic buildings and busy neighborhoods, I wanted to get out in the open for a bit and just take in some fresh air. I found Chesterfield, which is a relatively new community that’s dominated by families and family dwellings. It was a very nice area, and as I was hoping, it had several enormous parks for me to get that fresh air I was chasing. I walked around for what seemed like forever, just losing myself in the landscape. I was now ready for my final destination of the day.
I have to admit, I chose to end my day in Maplewood because I knew it would be close to dinnertime when I got there. I walked around a bit more, had a beverage at one of the many brewhouses nearby and then found out that there’s such a thing as St. Louis-style pizza. It featured a thin crust and a lot of cheese and toppings. I found a local place that’s been in business for generations. I ordered my pizza and was amazed at the sight and smell of it when it arrived. I dove in gleefully, but soon found out that thin crust does not mean that it’s not filling. I did what I could, but I’d be taking some of that delicious pizza back to the hotel with me.
As I sat in my comfortable room, I was satisfied that I had spent a good day in a great city. I got to see some different parts of town, I got to try some of the local cuisine and I got to talk to a lot of really nice people. All of this was made possible – and simple – by HotelTonight, as their process of securing a St. Louis hotel was so simple I can hardly describe it.