One-Tank Trip To Ste. Genevieve

August 4, 2012 6:00 AM


Brush up on your French for a trip you’ll treasure without the need of a passport. Step back into history to a time when French colonists established houses on land ripe for vineyards. Enjoy today’s conveniences, like a car to get you there, while relishing an era when the city of Sainte Genevieve was the only town in Missouri. On just a tank of gas from St. Louis, shop antique stores, observe French Colonial architecture, unwind at wineries of the region, or enjoy a nature and hiking trail on a National Natural Landmark. 

Getting There

Visit by traveling south from St. Louis on Interstate 55 for 65 miles. Stop in Imperial for a snack, a meal or a slice of Mile High Pie at the Blue Owl, then continue south on Interstate 55 till you come to exit 150, marked MO32. Turn left and continue on Highway 32 past Highway 61, where the road becomes 4th Street. Stay on 4th Street, and then turn right on Market Street and drive for three blocks. You will see the Sainte Genevieve Welcome Center at the corner of Market and Main Street.

bolduchousecropped One Tank Trip To Ste. Genevieve


Bolduc House Museum
125 South Main
Ste. Genevieve, MO
(573) 883-3105
Price: $8 adults/$2 children/free to kids preschool age/numerous discounts offered for seniors, students and groups

Learn where sleep tight got its start along with other historical facts in this museum made up of three historical houses rich in architecture in vertical log style, thriving herb gardens and plants discovered by Lewis and Clark in 1803. The museum is named after Louis Boulduc, who is recorded as being the richest man in Sainte Genevieve in 1787 when he produced tobacco, wheat, salt and indigo, and also mined for lead in the area.

Walking Tour
(Start at the Great River Road Interpretive Center & Tourist Information Office)
66 South Main Street
Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
(573) 883-7097
Price: free

Learn about architecture and history while staying fit with a walking tour of Sainte Genevieve. Begin your walking adventure on the corner of Market and Main Street at the Great River Road Interpretive Center and Tourist Information Office. Pick up a walking tour map, which includes descriptions about what you are viewing, at the center or visit the site online before you arrive to download your map. Explore 26 historic Sainte Genevieve landmarks, including houses, churches, a courthouse and a cemetery. Be sure to visit the center of town by walking in a loop from Main Street to Merchant Street, 5th Street then back onto Market Street where you will end your tour at the Linden House, near the visitor’s center.

winery cropped One Tank Trip To Ste. Genevieve


St. Genevieve Winery
245 Merchant St.
Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
(573) 883-2800

Take in the full history of the region that, like its wine, has aged to perfection. Visit one of several wineries in the Sainte Genevieve area, this one located in the heart of town. Sip a bouquet of flavors from the Ste. Genevieve Winery while sitting amidst the rich French historical atmosphere. This city was established on rich soil near the Mississippi River, which the French settlers recognized as being perfect for growing vineyards. Savor its red, white or pink grape wines, or enjoy an authentic red or white wine made from real fruit of blackberry, cherry, apple, Christmas plum, strawberries, cranberry, pear or raspberries.

Related: Best City Escapes from St. Louis

pickle crop One Tank Trip To Ste. Genevieve


Springs Natural Area

Dorlac Road
Ste. Genevieve County, MO 63670
(660) 290-5730
Price: free
Get away from the crowd just 30 miles southwest of the center of Sainte Genevieve, and enjoy amazing scenery formed from nature in the Pickle Springs Natural Area. The name has nothing to do with a cucumber in a barrel of vinegar, but rather, is named after the original owner of the land where natural springs come up from beneath sandstone. Bring your camera, binoculars and your hiking boots for a pleasurable trek through natural waterfalls, unique greenery, bird watching, sandstone cliffs and box canyons formed from the water erosion. Hike the two-mile Trail Through Time path that encircles the National Natural Landmark of the Pickle Springs Natural Area.

Related: Best Scenic Drives Within 60 Miles of St. Louis

samich crop One Tank Trip To Ste. Genevieve


261 Merchant St.
Ste. Genevieve, MO 63670
(573) 883-5749

Set your newly learned French aside and stop in for a “samich” or “toasted samich” at Sirros. Call it a sandwich elsewhere, but at Sirros this satisfying meal between bread slices is referred to as a “samich.” The restaurant conveniently placed in downtown Ste. Genevieve offers tasty food in a modern atmosphere. It just may be making its own mark in history, however, with its friendly service and creatively named menu items like their newest black and blue burger, but the closest hint of French you’ll find are its waffle fries. Kick back and catch a second wind in this casual tavern atmosphere and savor the local fare.

Tere Scott is a freelance writer and author of e-books and two educational blogs. She loves to research information to share. She currently resides in St. Louis. Her work can be found at