Our Spooktacular St. Louis Adventure

Hey y’all! I’m so so so excited to tell you all about our fall weekend trip to St. Louis, MO! I honestly loved it all, maybe because it was our first big family road trip since March, maybe it was because signs of fall were everywhere. Regardless, if you’re looking for fun family trip ideas, read on!

Here are our weekend highlights: Walking around Gateway Arch National Park, taking a Haunted History Walking Tour, visiting President Ulysses S. Grant’s Homesite, finding William Clark’s Gravesite, and driving by the home the movie The Exorcist originated from.

So, our plan was originally to travel to Albuquerque, NM and go to the balloon festival and do some hiking. We knew we wanted to bring our sweet puppy with us, so we thought an outdoorsy destination would be best. Well, because of Covid cases in TX, we would need to quarantine in NM for 2 weeks and state parks are closed to out of state residents. That drive is 9 hours from us, so I decided to look for a fun adventure about that same distance away. I remembered our trip with the Morgan’s to St. Louis 2 summers ago and we had a lot of fun. And Jereme wasn’t on that trip with us, so it seemed like a good place to start. In my research I discovered that St. Louis is a very dog friendly city, so the decision was made!

It’s about a 9 hour drive from us in TX and we got a late start. Jereme and I both worked a half day on Friday. We didn’t arrive at our hotel until midnight, but at least we had 2 full days ahead of us. I’ve stayed at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch both times I’ve visited this city and we LOVE it. We were upgraded to a room with a view of the Arch and were so excited.

The view from our room!

We started off Saturday with a quick coffee and breakfast at the Starbucks located inside the hotel. Then we ventured out to Gateway Arch National Park. The great thing about the hotel is that it is right at the Arch, so we didn’t have to drive to the park! We took photos, ran around with our fur baby, played football with our boys, bought some fresh squeezed lemonade and took in all the fall sights! We drove in in the dark and didn’t realize the trees were changing colors. It looked and felt much different than the TX weather we left behind! We didn’t go inside the Arch on this visit or tour the museum, mostly due to Covid and wanting to keep things outside in the fresh air. But my boys and I have done this and it’s an adventure all in itself! The views are amazing and definitely worth it if you want to purchase tickets!

We were located close to the old courthouse where the Dred Scott case was fought. I didn’t know all the details about this case, of course I wasn’t paying attention back in school. But, we visited the courthouse and saw the statue of Dred Scott and his wife Harriet. We also researched the case and I felt like my family and I learned so much about this infamous case and it’s impact on the Civil War. One thing I can say about this city, it’s full of history and I am happy to share this with my boys, especially in light of recent events.

After we left the courthouse, we ventured over to the baseball stadium. It was closed for tours, but there were picnic tables and an outdoor concert going on. We stopped in for a quick beverage and a break. I began looking for activities for the night and Jett suggested a ghost tour since it’s close to Halloween and we love all things creepy!! So, I found a Haunted History Walking Tour that was open to all ages. We met up with our small group at 8 pm at Morgan St. Brewery and had a quick pizza dinner and cappuccino to go. From there we walked a few blocks around the oldest part of the city and listened to the funniest storyteller share the most scary and gruesome stories from St. Louis’s past! Here we learned that the story from The Exorcist movie was real and had actually happened in St. Louis. So, of course we had to find it the next day ha! And did you know that St. Louis is America’s 4th most haunted city? We didn’t, but believe it after all the stories we heard!

The amazingly hilarious storyteller on the Haunted History Walk
The house from the real life exorcist!

The following day we went to President Grant’s home in St. Louis. The Park Ranger leading our tour was so knowledgeable and again, we learned so much about Grant and is humble upbringing and his stance against slavery. We have visited several presidents’ homes, it’s great fun for the whole family.

The acreage around the home was gorgeous!

Finally, we found William Clark’s gravesite. We have stumbled across various historical sites regarding Lewis & Clark’s expeditions so it was really cool to see this memorial at the river and to discover that Clark is buried in St. Louis. My boys were amazed to remember that the last historical site we visited for Lewis & Clark was in Harpers Ferry, WV. It really put their traveling distance in perspective and gave us more to research and learn about these two explorers!

The weekend was wrapped up with a stop at Uranus Fudge Factory in Missouri! We can never drive past this place without laughing and stopping. Great fudge and great taffy make the long drive home better!

We explored, we ate well, we did all the creepy things for October, and left with a wealth of new historical knowledge! I hope you get the opportunity to visit this amazing city. Stay safe out there, friends!

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