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When you only have 48 hours to experience a city the size and scope of St. Louis, it’s best to limit yourself to certain geographic areas or interests. And that’s exactly what did on a recent visit.

We situated ourselves in the heart of The Loop, a vibrant six-block area along Delmar Boulevard which has been designated as one of the “10 Great Streets in America” by the American Planning Association.

Rejuvenated almost single-handedly by developer Joe Edwards, The Loop includes a unique collection of specialty shops, clothing boutiques, art galleries, international restaurants, eclectic bars, varied venues for the performing arts, and the new uber-chic, ultra-modern Moonrise Hotel. With a moon motif, the hotel blends contemporary design, luxury amenities, well-appointed rooms and suites, and a popular restaurant to create an urban boutique hotel that’s….well, out of this world.

Plus, there’s also: venerable Blueberry Hill, the landmark restaurant and music club; the St. Louis Walk of Fame which honors native St. Louisans with individual brass stars and descriptive plaques; Pin-Up Bowl, St. Louis’s original bowling alley and martini lounge; The Pageant, a state-of-the-art music venue playing host to an eclectic variety of world-class performers; and the independent film and foreign language cinema at Tivoli Theatre. Why would you ever want to leave the rich social, ethnic, and cultural diversity of this historic district?

Two reasons for us…..the Arch and the Cardinals. Just 20 minutes to downtown, we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to enjoy two of St. Louis’s iconic attractions. So, a Sunday morning visit to the Gateway Arch to gawk, take pictures, and commune with this architectural wonder seemed like an ideal outing. With sightseeing cruises, helicopter rides, museums and exhibits, and, of course, taking a ride to the top of the arch, a visit to the Arch can be an all-day affair. But we had tickets to an afternoon St. Louis Cardinals game at Busch Stadium, so we had to keep it short. But seeing the Arch rise high above the outfield while watching baseball legend Albert Pujols at the plate just seemed to be the icing on our St. Louis cake.