St. Charles

Shopping, Dining and History in Charming St. Charles

The lovely riverfront community of St. Charles, Missouri, is only 30 minutes away from the bustling city of St. Louis, but in many ways, it feels like another world. Everything about St. Charles is charming, from the brick-paved historic South Main Street filled with boutiques and restaurants to the wineries, historic attractions and friendly people.

Rich Historic Attractions

St. Charles is most famous for being the final embarkation point in the famed Western expedition of Lewis and Clark. At the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center, you will find some great exhibits and dioramas that highlight the expedition. St. Charles was also the site of Missouri’s first capitol back in the 1820s. I got to do a great tour of the First State Capitol State Historic Site, and what I really liked about it was that it was geared to adults and children alike with plenty of hands-on exhibits to keep people of all ages interested.

Exploring the Town

After my morning of history and culture, I took a walk along the Katy Trail down by the Missouri River. It’s a lovely place to walk or bike, and there is a great coffee shop called the Bike Stop Café that serves fab coffee. You can rent bikes there too! Next, I head to South Main Street – 10 blocks of charming shops, restaurants and boutiques. You will want to go into every single one of them, and you should! Some of the boutiques are full of an eclectic mix and others jam-packed with sweets, cakes, fudge and ice cream that come in all flavors imaginable. I bought a dress in one shop and a handmade coffee mug in another, and both items have been met with rave reviews since I got home!

Sampling and sipping in St. Charles

Now, let’s talk about food and drinks! There are several wineries in and around St. Charles, but one of the local favorites was the Little Hills Winery. They had a great selection of wines, the food was excellent and the atmosphere and outside seating was incredibly relaxing. St. Charles also has some breweries, including the Trailhead Brewing Company. The beer here is delicious and should be paired with the tasty Brewhouse Onion Rings! Lewis and Clark’s, another favorite restaurant, offers a wonderful view of Main Street. These are just a few of the many fabulous options. I am so glad that I stayed overnight in St. Charles, as there are plenty of lovely B&Bs and hotels in town plus a casino. My only regret was that I had just one night there. Do yourself a favor and plan to stay several nights.

 

When You Go

 

Dining

Bike Stop Café

bikestopcafes.com

 

Trailhead Brewing Company

trailheadbrewing.com

 

Little Hills Winery

littlehillswinery.com

 

Lewis and Clark’s

lewisandclarksrestaurant.com

 

Attractions

Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center

lewisandclarkcenter.org

 

First State Capitol State Historic Site

mostateparks.com/park/first-missouri-state-capitol-state-historic-site

 

Historic District

rendezvousinstcharles.com

 

For More Information

Greater St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau

historicstcharles.com