Cubs fans: Headed to St. Louis? Here's a guide to the city
A historic Chicago Cubs playoffs matchup against the archrival St. Louis Cardinals.
A weekend, with games Friday and Saturday starting off the National League Division Series of a lifetime.
Cubs fans, it's time for a road trip.
Point your car down I-55 and in less than six hours you'll spot the Gateway Arch looming over a city where baseball's in the blood and the temperature is just enough warmer to bring shorts back into your wardrobe.
When you're not at Busch Stadium, here are some places around the city to check out to make your weekend in St. Louis complete.
No game tickets? Head for Ballpark Village just north of Busch Stadium for big screens and views into the ballpark.
If you can stomach having to walk past the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, Cardinals retail store and Cardinals Nation restaurant, you'll find plenty of huge TVs, bars, restaurants and a grassy park that once was the infield of the old Busch Memorial Stadium. The old one was torn down to make room for the current stadium, opened in 2006.
Rooftop bleachers overlooking the stadium imitate Wrigleyville, but you'll need a ticket to sit there.
601 Clark Ave., (314) 345-9481, www.stlballparkvillage.com/
The Outfield at Mike Shannon's
The traditional game-day central a few blocks from Busch Stadium is owned by the Cardinals broadcaster and former third baseman, who frequently hosts live broadcasts from his steak and seafood restaurant at the same location.
The Outfield has a casual bar and beer garden, and a quieter and more stylish bar is inside the restaurant, which serves up lunch and dinner, including gluten-free meals.
620 Market St., (314) 421-1540, www.shannonsteak.com
It's hard to beat the Broadway Oyster Bar south of Busch Stadium, a spot beloved for its live music and Cajun classics. It's a tight squeeze in the restaurant; opt for the fun outdoor patio when the weather allows.
736 S Broadway, (314) 621-8811, www.broadwayoysterbar.com
• You'll know when you're at Pappy's Smokehouse by the line winding around the block. It keeps moving, though, and a little patience will show you why Pappy's holds a spot on many "best BBQ" lists. A bonus: Pappy's sometimes opens a stand near Mike Shannon's on game days.
3106 Olive St., (314) 535-4340, www.pappyssmokehouse.com
• You'll have to drive to the Italian-American neighborhood known as The Hill, a neighborhood a few miles west of downtown where Yankee Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra grew up. Once you're there, you can choose from a dozen restaurants, including Charlie Gitto's, Zia's and Cunetto House of Pasta.
At the ballpark
All rivalries aside, this is a great place to indulge your passion for baseball. Stroll around the outside of Busch Stadium, but don't look too closely at the memorial bricks under your feet -- most are loving tributes to Cardinal fans, but a few take jabs at the Cubs.
• Head to the west side of the stadium to get your picture with the statue of Stan Musial, one of the greatest hitters of all time. This is the meeting spot for stadium tours, which show you the broadcast booth, the dugout and, ahem, the World Series trophies.
• Head inside for batting practice, or cross the street to the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum. Yes, there's a lot of Cardinal red. You can skip the Championship Gallery celebrating the team's titles and head instead to the substantial collection of baseball artifacts and memorabilia.
700 Clark Ave, (314) 345-9600, www.stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com/stl/ballpark/
There's not a musty mummy in sight at the City Museum, a jaw-dropping collection of architectural castoffs reassembled into a mighty playground for kids and adults alike. You can climb, jump and run through a 10-story slide, two aircraft hanging off the roof, caves and tunnels in the floors and walls and much more. It all looks slightly dangerous, which is part of the fun, and it's open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
750 North 16th St., (314) 231-2489, www.citymuseum.org
• You might see Anheuser Busch's famed Budweiser Clydesdale horses rounding the outfield before the game, pulling up outside Mike Shannon's or being walked through Ballpark Village. For an even closer look, head out to Grant's Farm, billed as the official prep school for the huge horses, where you can visit the stables or book a behind-the-scenes tour. Rides and other attractions fill the 281-acre ancestral estate of the Busch family.
10501 Gravois Road, (314) 843-1700, www.grantsfarm.com
• You can't miss the Gateway Arch, the centerpiece of the city and a stunning backdrop to Busch Stadium. Ride to the top (buy tickets in advance), visit the museum or just stroll under it to the banks of the Mississippi River.
100 Washington Ave., (877) 982-1410, www.gatewayarch.com