Best City Escapes From St. Louis

May 16, 2011 3:49 PM

Whether you like to bicycle along the Katy Trail or sip Chardonnay at one of Missouri Wine Country’s renowned vineyards, you won’t have to go far to find the best city escapes in St. Louis. – Dianna Graveman


Historic St. Charles

Greater St. Charles Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
230 South Main Street
Saint Charles, MO 63301
(800) 366-2427

A stroll down Main Street in the St. Charles historic district is a trip back in time. From cobblestone streets to ancient buildings, much of Main Street looks the same as it did years ago. It is not unusual to encounter a “pioneer” dressed in period clothing who will stop to interact with visitors to the area. The riverfront is alive with activity in warmer weather, with regular band concerts and annual festivals. The Katy Trail runs parallel to the river and provides miles of fun for bicyclists, runners or those just out for a Sunday stroll. Quaint shops and restaurants are plentiful on Main Street, but the town’s nightlife wakes up on weekends.

Hours: Most businesses on Main Street are open seven days a week; hours of operation vary.


Historic Augusta and Missouri Wine Country

Greater Augusta Chamber of Commerce
P.O. Box 31
Augusta, MO 63332
(636) 228-4005

Just 35 miles from St. Louis is the quiet village of Augusta, America’s first nationally recognized wine district. The town is one stop along the famed Missouri Weinstrasse or “Wine Road,” an area settled by German immigrants in the 1830s who likened the Missouri River to their beloved Rhine. Here you will find the Augusta Winery, Montelle Winery, Balducci Vineyards and Mount Pleasant Winery. You are also a short hop from several other wineries in nearby Dutzow and Defiance. Here, too, is the Augusta Brewery, located right along the Katy Trail. For those who enjoy history, there are many points of interest, including the Augusta History Museum and the original burial site of pioneer Daniel Boone.

Hours: Individual winery hours vary, but most are open from about 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Augusta History Museum is open for tours. Call for appointment: (636) 228-4303.



209 Market Street
Kimmswick, MO 63053
(877) 878-2101

If you like quaint little shops and homey bed and breakfasts, Kimmswick is worth a 25-mile drive from St. Louis. The Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery, famous in the area for its pies, is worth the trip alone. Browse the Kimmswick Historical Society Museum or the Anheuser Museum and Estate. A riverboat cruise from the Gateway Arch Riverfront to Kimmswick and back — with time to explore the town in between — makes Kimmswick one of the best city escapes in St. Louis.

Call for museum hours: (636) 464-8687.

Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.