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One City, Five Hours: St. Louis

A gallop through the gateway

Author Kevin Mitchell Illustration Oliver Jeffers

1 Enter the city with a walk under the Gateway Arch (gatewayarch.com). Wow, it’s big. No time to climb to the top, but poke your head in the Museum of Westward Expansion and see if you can tell the difference between Lewis and Clark. ( 0:25 )

2 Step outside and—wait, is that a casino over there? Yes, it’s the Lumière Place (999 N. 2nd St., lumiereplace.com). Stop in for some fleet-footed high-class shopping, and on the way out, slap a $20 on black. ( 1:10 )

3 Collect your winnings and ask a cabbie to take you past the Old Cathedral, the first west of the Mississippi; the Old Courthouse, where the Dred Scott case was tried; and the new Busch Stadium, where the honorable Albert Pujols presides. ( 1:16 )

4 Hop out at the Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust St., schlafly.com), the state’s first brewpub and now St. Louis’ largest locally owned brewery. Try the beer sampler and leave with a souvenir shirt heralding your support for the 21st Amendment (that’s the one that repealed Prohibition). ( 2:12 )

5 Grab another cab to Forest Park, home to spectacular flora, energetic fauna and a boatload of cultural institutions. Speaking of boats, stop by the newly renovated Boathouse (6101 Government Dr., boathouseforestpark.com), hop in a paddleboat and work off that stout. ( 3:05 )

6 Find your way to Delmar Loop (Delmar Blvd. between Kingsland and Des Peres aves., ucityloop.com) for a relaxing stroll down the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Step on local greats: Miles Davis, Maya Angelou, T.S. Eliot—and some not-quite-as-greats—bowling “legend” Dick Weber, rapper Nelly. ( 3:55 )

7 Forgot where you put your thrill? There it is—at Blueberry Hill (6504 Delmar Blvd., blueberryhill.com), where guitar legend Chuck Berry regularly performs in the Duck Room. Kneel and declare, “I am not worthy.” Then order “The Lou’s” favorite dish: toasted ravioli. ( 4:40 )

8 Finally, run across the street to Fitz’s Root Beer (6605 Delmar Blvd., fitzsrootbeer.com), slap a bill on the soda fountain, tell them you have a plane to catch, and demand one of their magnificent root beer floats. While you’re waiting, watch the “jerks” bottle the delectable root beer, which is made right there on the premises. How refreshing. ( 5:00 )

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