Most of the restaurants and nightlife in Saint Charles can be found in the Historic Frenchtown District. Main Street in Frenchtown lives it up with nightclubs, restaurants, businesses and residences. You can choose from over 25 restaurants on its strip, which runs from 1000 South Main Street to 300 North Main Street. Go to Uncle Joe's Bar and Grill for a lively atmosphere and great deals on food and drink. Grab a burger, fries and drink for only $5.99 Monday through Friday, or get involved in some beer pong starting at 9 pm every Monday. Bobby's Place Main Street is another local favorite named after St. Louis Blues legend Bobby Plager. This sports bar has you covered from plentiful televisions, live music, skee ball and great drink specials.
Llywelyn's Pub at 100 N. Main Street provides an entertaining experience as it serves Celtic cuisine, has 32 beers on tap and has 30 varieties of bottled beers. The game room will entertain you for hours with arcade games, pool tables and darts. Its large patio overlooks the Missouri
River and has its own covered bar, two HDTVs and local musicians on weekends. You can never go wrong with the fish and chips from Lylwelyn's.
Picasso's Coffee delivers romantic live music, art exhibits and free Wi-Fi along with breakfast, lunch, weekend brunches, fresh bakery items and "handcrafted coffee drinks made by real baristas." Picasso's Coffee is the perfect place for a cozy date or to get some work done.
The Bike Stop Cafe on 701 S. Riverside across from the Lewis & Clark Statue at
Frontier Park has everything: free Wi-Fi, BYOB, outdoor seating, waterfront views, kid-friendly staff, vegan fare and a full service-rental bicycle shop. The highlight of the Bike Stop's menu is their breakfast served all day. Pick from their wide variety of breakfast wraps for a meal that is sure to impress.
Fur trading opened up expansion from Louisiana to Missouri. Lewis and Clark began their famous expedition a few miles north of St. Charles in 1804, mapping the western rivers from the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers to the Columbia River in Oregon country. German and Irish immigrants helped settle St. Charles. In the 1840s, the 39 German-speaking states in Europe boiled over with rebellions, and Ireland was starving because of the potato famine. These early immigrants still have influence in St. Charles' culture today.
Every September, St. Charles hosts MOSAICS: Missouri Festival for the Arts in Frenchtown. This three-day event sees 75,000 visitors annually, includes juried artists exhibiting works from across the state, a performance stage and a children's village that provides interactive art workshops. In November, the annual Kriskindlmarkt: a real German Christmas market, also a three-day event, takes place at the Lewis & Clark Boathouse and Nature Center.
Interstate 70 crosses St. Charles with four exits into the city. Traffic usually moves swiftly during morning and afternoon rush hours, with the slow-downs happening on city streets, and exit and entrance ramps on both I-70 and Route 370.
Three commuter parking lots stretch out along I-70. The St. Charles Area Transit System (SCAT) operates five bus routes within St. Charles and hooks up with the St. Louis Metrolink North Hanley Station. If you need a ride, Uber is available, or you can call one of the two local taxi companies. Don't expect to be able to hail a cab on the road, though.
People can take a bicycling vacation on the Katy Trail through St. Charles. The Katy Trail hails as one of the most exciting bicycle trails in America, with a winery, a bed and breakfast establishment, and multiple restaurants to visit along its 39-mile path, which follows a section of the Missouri river. Large neighborhoods of St. Charles allow for bicycle-friendly roads and dedicated lanes.
One-bedroom apartment rental goes from $740 to a little over $1,000 per month. It costs a family 7.7 percent more to live in St. Charles than the current Missouri standard, and its cost of living rate rounds out to 3.5 percent less than the national average. Gas prices run about 12 percent lower than the national average.
Frenchtown bubbles over with unique vendors selling antiques, home decor, jewelry and handmade everything. Tourists who visit Frenchtown can browse and photograph wonderful sites while learning about its history in a single day.
Historic St. Charles provides numerous boutique shops. Antiques & Oak features vintage clocks, curios, furniture and fine porcelain for your decorating needs. Pick out a Victorian chest of drawers, a solid mahogany bookcase, cupboards or curio cabinets that fit perfectly into your vintage decorating scheme.
Cobblestone Cottage on Main Street stocks folk art in the form of hooked pillows, miniature lighted houses and wood furniture from local craftsmen. For a more interactive shopping experience, My Handyworks offers wax molding classes as well as home decor for sale. Stop in frequently to see the constantly changing art collections. Do not miss these stores during the Christmas season as the selection available in all of the Main Street shops expands tremendously.
For more contemporary stores, head to Mid Rivers Mall in nearby St. Peters to find all your favorite national retailers such as Macy's, Best Buy and Dick's Sporting Goods. Residents go to the usual chains of grocery stores such as Aldi, Save-A-Lot and Schnucks in St. Charles. Those looking for a distinctly home-style flavor can check out Poppy's Amish Cupboard on Main Street. Herman's Farm, just north of St. Charles, represents the closest farmers market. Stop on by for fresh produce as owners announce when new crops become ready to pick and eat.
The City of St. Charles maintains 23 parks with 800 acres of facilities offering scores of amenities including baseball diamonds, horseshoe and basketball courts, playgrounds, picnic shelters, hike and bike trails and more.
The Lewis & Clark Boathouse and Nature Center incorporates a museum full of dioramas showcasing the Lewis and Clark Expedition, local Native American historical artifacts and displays, half-scale buildings of early Missouri architecture and much more. The Trading Post store supports the museum by selling period reproductions and a wonderful selection of books. The center hosts field trips, educational tours and living history demonstrations. It's located at 1050 S. Riverside Drive in St. Charles on the Missouri River.