Signature City St. Louis
Get to know the “Gateway City” as you visit the National Blues Museum, historic Forest Park and the Botanical Gardens. Plus, explore ethnic neighborhoods to savor traditional foods.
Rating (5)
Program No. 12804RJ
6 days
Starts at
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Getting There
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Welcome and Program Orientation
St Louis, MO
Drury Inn St. Louis at Union Station

Activity note: You may check in to hotel anytime after 3 pm. Meet group in Room 134 at 4:15.

Dinner: In hotel, 6:00 pm

Evening: Readjourn in hotel, room 134 immediately following dinner for lecture on the founding of St. Louis and the St. Louis fur trade.

Neighborhood Tours/Architecture/Culture/Cathedral Basilica
St Louis, MO
Drury Inn St. Louis at Union Station

Activity note: Considerable standing and walking in neighborhoods and Cathedral Basilica.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.

Morning: Meet in Room 134 at 8:00 am where guide, Melanie Harvey will outline and describe the day's journey. Once we board the bus, our first stop will be the historic Old Courthouse, site of the Dred Scott Trial. We will experience a bus tour with Melanie of various St. Louis landmarks and ethnic neighborhoods both then and now; Union Station, City Museum, City Garden, Soulard Market and its historic neighborhood, St. Louis Arsenal, Lemp Mansion & Brewery, DeMenil Mansion, a walking tour of Lafayette Square neighborhood with its grand "Painted Ladies" and unique neighborhood park. Experience some of the old neighborhoods as you learn the importance of German, Irish and Italian immigrants and their significance on the development of St. Louis. Study the various architectural influences on the Midwest.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch on the "Hill", and maybe even try your hand at Bocce Ball at Milo's Bocce Garden. After lunch, enjoy an authentic Italian Gelato or an Italian pastry at nearby shops for dessert.

Afternoon: Field study on the St. Louis Hill. This unique neighborhood/area remains primarily an Italian-American neighborhood. It was established in the late 19th century when immigrants were attracted by jobs in nearby plants created to exploit the local clay for brick making. Baseball greats Yogi Berra and broadcaster Joe Garagiola Sr. grew up on the Hill, along with other sports notables. Field trip to the new St. Louis Cathedral Basilica where the largest collection of mosaics in the world is housed in one place. Study the architectural design of Romanesque and Byzantine styles, where east meets west.

Dinner: Meet in Room 134 for catered dinner at the hotel.

Evening: Meet me at the fair! Enjoy a presentation on the sights, sounds, and discoveries of the 1904 World's Fair, held in St. Louis.

Gateway Arch/Campbell House Museum/Missouri Botanical Garden
St Louis, MO
Drury Inn St. Louis at Union Station

Activity note: Walking down a paved sidewalk required to reach arch. Step or ramp available to Arch entrance. Steps and standing required at the Campbell House. Participants can choose to walk extensively at the Botanical Garden or sit on one of the many benches and just enjoy the view.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.

Morning: Meet in Room 134 of the hotel at 8:00 am, where we will begin the morning viewing "Monument to the Dream", a documentary about the monumental engineering feat that was required to erect the Gateway Arch. Board the bus to step back in time at the Campbell House Museum. This museum opened in 1943, transferring directly from family ownership to the museum. This preserved not only the Campbell's house but also their collection of original furniture, fixtures, paintings, objects, and thousands of pages of family documents. Included in these documents is a unique album of 60 photographs of the interior of the house from 1885. It looks much the same today as it did in these photographs. Re-board the bus to visit our National Monument, the Gateway Arch, built as a tribute to Thomas Jefferson and all those pioneers for who St. Louis was the Gateway to the West. As we arrive, stop in the Old Cathedral, site of the oldest Catholic parish west of the Mississippi, and location of the baptism of Sacagawea's son. Once at the Arch, you may choose to travel to the top of this 630 foot high stainless steel structure for amazing views of the Gateway City, the Mighty Mississippi, and neighboring Illinois.

Lunch: Have lunch while listening to a lecture presentation at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Afternoon: Field study of Henry Shaw's dream, the Missouri Botanical Garden. Discover why it is one of the top three botanical gardens in the United States. Explore the garden, Climatron, and more at your leisure. Tram rides are available for $4/person (cash only). Trams depart on the hour and pick up at each stop one hour later. Be aware of last tram pick-up time.

Dinner: Enjoy the Irish presence in St. Louis tonight at McGurk's Irish Restaurant and Pub.

Evening: Optional Movie: "Articulate Space", The Architectural Heritage of St. Louis. A documentary by James F. Scott, that tells a historical story of St. Louis, stressing the relationship between architecture and community life. It shows how the river city of Laclede and Chouteau raised its unique monuments, yet gradually gave way to a city of rails and freeways. It is more than a journey among masterpieces of brick, stone, and metal such as Eads bridge, Sullivan's Wainwright Building, Cass Gilbert's Art Museum. Modernists who have fashioned the new look of the city, including the soaring Saarinen Arch and the renovation of Union Station are also singled out for attention. The real focus of the movie is the St. Louis urban context in which building occurs, the social energy which transforms mere physical space into "life space". Past and present are bound together in intricate and exciting ways.

Bellefontaine Cemetery/National Blues Museum
St Louis, MO
Drury Inn St. Louis at Union Station

Activity note: We will view the historic cemetery while on the bus with optional stops to get on and off for closer viewing. The trip to the Blues Museum requires some standing and walking.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Begun in 1849, Bellefontaine Cemetery has a long history which parallels the history of St. Louis, the Region, the State and the Nation. Fur traders, explorers, capitalists, suffragists and many involved with the Civil War call Bellefontaine Cemetery their place of final rest. With 87,000 interments, it is the final resting place of men and women whose lives have contributed significantly to the westward expansion of our country. A visit to their graves provides a keener appreciation of our national heritage by connecting past, present, and future generations. The docent lead tour will include William Clark, Adolphus Busch, The Lemp Family and many others. The imagery of the cemetery with its many “granite” monuments and Arboretum’s stately trees give a picturesque setting as a backdrop to the lives of those covered in the program. The cemetery has fourteen miles of curved roadways with beautiful views of the landscape, including thousands of shrubs and trees and hundreds of works of art. It has become an outdoor museum, containing fine sculptures and memorial art reflecting the changing tastes of our culture. The buildings, mausoleums, and larger display influences from Classic Revival, Romanesque, Gothic and Egyptian Revival, and even some forms of modern architecture. The cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and noted for its contribution to cemetery design in the nineteenth century.

Lunch: Experience a taste of St. Louis style BBQ. We will have a box lunch from Sugar Fire at the Blues Museum.

Afternoon: Our next stop will take us to the National Blues Museum, the only museum that is exclusively dedicated to the national and international story of Blues music and how it has greatly influenced the American culture here in the United States. Listen with interactive technology and view artifact exhibits to experience its long and tradition-rich history that has continued to speak to listeners throughout the years and all walks of life. A docent will lead us through the museum and then we will have some time to view the exhibits on our own.

Dinner: Free evening to enjoy St. Louis and various cuisines on your own. Literature will be available to give you options of places to see within a short distance of the hotel.

Evening: "Meet Me in St. Louis" (Judy Garland) will be available to watch in Room 134.

Forest Park- Site of the 1904 World's Fair
St Louis, MO
Drury Inn St. Louis at Union Station

Activity note: Moderate walking and some standing.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Explore Forest Park, site of the 1904 World's Fair, and one of the largest urban parks in the country, surpassing Central Park by 500 acres. This morning you will have time to visit the St. Louis Zoo in Forest Park. The St. Louis Zoo is one of the only remaining free zoological parks in the US. Visit the giant birdcage, left over from the 1904 World's Fair, along with many other natural habitat exhibits.

Lunch: Today we will lunch at a true St. Louis icon and enjoy food native to the St. Louis area. You may even get to enjoy a special St. Louis treat!

Afternoon: Enjoy the afternoon exploring the St. Louis History Museum and the St. Louis Art Museum. Schedule is flexible -- if you prefer to spend all of your time at one museum, we can accommodate that.

Dinner: Enjoy the German influence on St. Louis cuisine this evening as we dine at the Feasting Fox Restaurant.

Evening: Meet back in Room 134 for an evening of St. Louis Trivia with your fellow Road Scholars.

Program Conclusion and Departures
St Louis, MO

Activity note: Meet in Room 134 of the hotel at 8:15 am.

Breakfast: Breakfast Buffet at the hotel. Closing program at 8:15 in Room 134 of the hotel. If you choose, view the National Geographic movie, "Lewis and Clark, Great Journey West". Main program will conclude by 8:30, movie will conclude by 9:30. Please check out of rooms by 11 am.

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