LouFest Like the Locals: A 48-Hour Guide to St. Louis Beyond the Festival
Now in its ninth year, LouFest is its own community, with shopping, arts, beer, cocktails and food for more than 60,000 music-lovers mingling across a beautiful outdoor setting in Forest Park. It’s a microcosm of St. Louis’ most interesting people and places. Your 48-hour visit is a great excuse to explore more of what the Gateway City has to offer. Here are 10 spots guaranteed to keep you in a festive mood.
- Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co.
Fuel up for the largest LouFest lineup yet at one of Kaldi’s 10 St. Louis-area locations. The company focuses on sustainably sourced and roasted beans, brewing them with T.L.C. for a perfect cup every time. Café menus vary by location, but all serve excellent pastries and breakfasts.
- National Blues Museum
St. Louis’ rich music heritage starts with the blues, and this two-year-old Downtown museum explores the genre’s history and impact through exhibits, recordings and live performances. The combination of hands-on experiences and high-tech interactive displays ensures an entertaining and educational visit for all ages.
- Turn by David Kirkland
This Grand Center Arts District restaurant’s name is a play on two things: the changing seasons that inspire the cuisine, and the spinning records that restaurateur and chef David Kirkland loves nearly as much as food. Bonus: Music Record Shop—a vinyl-lover’s dream—is conveniently located in the same building.
- STL Style House
Design your own wearable souvenir at this custom t-shirt shop on Cherokee Street. The owners’ pride in their hometown comes through in every item in the shop, from coffee mugs to ball caps to underwear.
- Evangeline’s Bistro and Music House
This laid-back setting oozes Southern charm, with house-infused rums, oysters, crawfish, etouffee, red beans and rice, jambalaya, blackened snapper, Champagne risotto … and dozens more dishes, but let’s skip ahead to the namesake bourbon pecan pie with house-made caramel sauce. There’s live music on the corner stage—and don’t miss the Sunday swing jazz brunch.
- Park Avenue Coffee
If caffeine is your passion but sugar is your weakness, you’ll want to try a gooey butter cake. This Lafayette Square coffee shop boasts 73 flavors of the local delicacy—along with other desserts, plus breakfast and lunch fare.
- Deer Creek Park
Ask a local where to find this Maplewood park and you might get a confused look—around here, it’s better known as Rocket Park for the unique play structure in the middle where kids can climb, turn dials and knobs, then slide back down after blasting into orbit. The park’s tree-shaded play areas and nearby snack bar make it a perfect place for a lazy playdate.
The Loop embraces kitsch in the very best possible way. At Eclipse, this takes the form of a far-out space theme, both in the ground-level restaurant and the roof-level bar, complete with a rotating moon. (If space isn’t your thing, wander down the street to Eclipse’s cousin, Blueberry Hill, where the theme is classic music and video games.)
You might not have room in your luggage for much, but who can’t squeeze in a bar of handmade soap? Nestled in the heart of one of St. Louis’ most beloved neighborhoods, The Hill, this shop is surrounded by Italian grocers, importers, bakeries and even a bocce club.
The sculptures on display in this urban oasis invite exploration. But on a hot September day, nothing beats the rows and rows of fountain jets where joyful children (and occasional parents) splash to their hearts’ content. Fill up after the fun at the Kaldi’s Coffeehouse location right in the two-square-block Downtown park.
- Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.
You can sample UCBC’s beers at the new BrewFest—but for the full experience, check out its breweries. The location in The Grove neighborhood has the city’s best beer hall, while the Midtown location features a German-style outdoor beer garden. Or, go full-on brew geek, and serve as a taste-tester at its Urban Research Brewery.
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This story has been brought to you in part by LouFest. Thank you for supporting the businesses that keep ALIVE growing. Top photo by Sydney Gawlik courtesy of LouFest.