020: St. Louis Neighborhood Guide

St. Louis is known as the “Gateway to the West” to tourists, but locals are more than happy to simply call it the “Lou.” No matter what you like to call this Midwestern hub, one thing’s for certain: There are a lot of excellent St. Louis neighborhoods to call home.

St. Louis really does have it all: great architecture, a sense of community pride (especially when it comes to great beer making), a thriving sports scene, and a lot of friendly locals ready to welcome in new residents. The best part? There are 79 distinct and wonderful St. Louis neighborhoods located in the city proper.

I went to St. Louis a lot as a kid, mostly because many members of my family are huge St. Louis Cardinals fans. As a result, some of my first memories are sitting in the nosebleed section of Busch Stadium. I was not much of a baseball fan, but I was totally fine with going to St. Louis for the weekend, simply because it’s such a fabulous place to be.

Like any big city, neighborhoods in St. Louis are diverse, eclectic, and have their own distinct history and personality. Here are a few of the most popular St. Louis neighborhoods to start apartment hunting in if you’re a new resident:

Central West End

Bordered by St. Louis University and Forest Park, the Central West End is a beautiful neighborhood known for its diverse crowd. Here you’ll find a mix of young singles as well as families. There are many great bars, shops, galleries, and fun sidewalk cafes that line the area.

However, perhaps the most famous building in the Central West End is the Roman Catholic Cathedral Basilica, which boasts one of the largest mosaic art structures on earth. Another major landmark in this neighborhood is the Chase Park Plaza Hotel, one of the city’s most historic hotels.

Due to the neighborhood’s age, there are lots of apartment styles to choose from, from townhomes to high-rises, all with some of St. Louis’s finest architectural highlights. The area hosts a lot of the city festivals too, so be prepared to be out and about– especially during the warm-weather months.

Maplewood

Known as a young, up-and-coming neighborhood, Maplewood could be the perfect area for a resident looking to plant roots and save some green during their first few years in St. Louis. Many locals think Maplewood is the city’s hipster area, and they might not be too far off in their assumptions. For instance, offbeat shops are everywhere in Maplewood, as are laid-back coffeehouses buzzing with creatives and college students.

One of St. Louis’s relics also calls Maplewood home: Saratoga Lanes. This vintage bowling alley is the oldest west of the Mississippi River, according to Explore St. Louis. Beer lovers will also be more than happy to be living in Maplewood, as Schlafly Bottleworks (St. Louis’s most respected craft brewery) offers tours there.

Clayton

Clayton is the famous home of the St. Louis Art Fair, one of the most celebrated events in the city, where 150,000 people flock annually. However, the community events don’t stop there in Clayton. There is also the Gallery Nights receptions and Parties in the Park cocktails (perfect for a roomie weekend outing).

It’s a busy and fast-paced place to call home, but Clayton always presents renters with something to do, whether you’re headed to one of the best bars and restaurants in St. Louis or finding your cultural bearings at one of Clayton’s many art galleries. Clayton is also the home of the St. Louis city government and the Center of Clayton, which is a 136,000-square-foot sport and recreational complex.

Cherokee Street

This is the one neighborhood that everyone in St. Louis is buzzing about. Cherokee Street is full of beautiful vintage and antique shops, artsy and progressive locals, and plenty of Mexican restaurants. If you love all things retro and tacos– this is definitely the place for you.

However, the appeal of Cherokee Street goes well beyond great food and shopping. A lot of renters are flocking here due to the welcoming atmosphere for young startups and business owners.

Many of the businesses here are locally owned and sourced from excellent vendors. Most have a certain beatnik vibe, making Cherokee Street the perfect place for first-time apartment dwellers or young renters.

If you’re renting with multiple roommates or love to decorate with an industrial, business vibe, then this is the place for you.

Be sure to do some exploring while in St. Louis during your apartment hunt. With dozens of neighborhoods, there’s bound to be one with your name on it.

Credit: Apartment Guide