Let’s break this into regions, starting with the most obvious:

1)     Ballpark Village. The $100 million behemoth has become the place to be for Cards fans, but it’s also a good spot on non-gamedays. From the baseball-themed Cardinals Nation to the impressive Budweiser Brew House (not to mention the raucous PBR bar), there are plenty of hangout options. For a “wow” factor, go to the Fox Sports Midwest Live! entertainment plaza and catch a game on one of the biggest screens in the country. Tip: On a nice day, the Field of Dreams, with its Adirondack chairs and big screen TV, is as good as it gets.

2)     Ballpark North. Let’s refer to this as the area immediately north of Ballpark Village. There are three can’t-miss establishments here: Mike Shannon’s, 360 and Charlie Gitto’s. For the combination of food, drinks and baseball nostalgia, Shannon’s is tough to beat. Perched at the top of the Hilton at the Ballpark, 360 is quite simply one of the finest rooftop restaurants in America, complete with an outdoor bar and stunning 360-degree views of downtown. St. Louisans will tell you: if you’re going to try toasted ravioli, get it at Charlie Gitto’s. But then again, everything is good at Gitto’s. Tip: Anthony’s, located at 10 S. Broadway, is the ultimate hideaway bar. Tremendous food. And speaking of that, go even further north to Crown Candy Kitchen. Worth it!

3)     Ballpark West. Joe Buck’s, located just west of the Westin, is an easy walk to the Stan Musial statue and therefore can attract a lively crowd in its expansive bar. Check out the impressive beer selection at the Flying Saucer while you’re in the area. Tip: For an upscale experience, valet and stop into the Westin.

4)     Ballpark South. Paddy O’s is still a favorite meeting place for many Cardinals fans. The open-air feel and unbeatable location make it a perfect place to hang on gamedays. Just down the street, Kilroy’s has become popular, as well, especially for its discounted prices. On Broadway, the king remains the lovable Broadway Oyster Bar, home of great music and delicious Cajun food for over 30 years. Tip: For live music, check the websites for Beale on Broadway and BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups to see who’s playing that night. Or just go.

5)     Soulard. Too many bars here to name, but you can start at McGurk’s (and its outstanding outdoor patio) and eventually make your way north to 4 Hands Brewing for a taste of some local craft beer. Or just take any ballpark shuttle offered by one of Soulard’s fine establishments and you’ll have the best of both worlds: a ride to the game and a return trip to one of the coolest neighborhoods in town. Tip: Bogart’s serves up some ridiculously good BBQ.

6)     Washington Avenue. The ever-growing strip of nightlife continues to impress, with steak (Prime 1000), sushi (Takaya), pizza (Pi) and bars galore. Tip: For some solid sports viewing, hit the Over/Under or Flannery’s. For the ultimate beer experience: Schlafly Tap Room in Downtown West. And hey, why not go further west for Pappy’s? You won’t find better BBQ anywhere.

7)     Lumiere Place. Everything you could want in a casino experience. As close to Vegas as you’ll get in STL. Tip: Take the Four Seasons elevator to the 8th floor and enjoy drinks and appetizers at Cielo. Trust us.