on September 16, 2007
St. Louis Union Station is a National Historic Landmark. The restored train station has been transformed into a marketplace containing approximately 85 shops and restaurants covering two levels. You can't miss finding the station. The front appears to almost look like a castle, which is how the locals describe it to visitors trying to find it. It sits on Market Street, about twenty blocks down from the riverfront and the Arch. A Hyatt Regency hotel is on site along with such popular restaurants as the Hard Rock Cafe, Landry's, and Houlihans. We found it a little confusing deciding where to enter Union Station. We were looking at a grill named TKO trying to decide if this was the entrance to the station or not. We weren't alone as there were several other tourists doing the same thing, scanning up and down the block and surveying the entrance to TKO. Finally, a local advised us that if we wanted to go into Union Station, it was okay to enter through the grill's door and just "pass through" and exit out the back into the station. A little confusing, but once we knew this was "okay", it's exactly what we, and other tourists, did. The inside of the station has been transformed into a light and bright, open and airy mall. We strolled through, enjoying the coolness after leaving the hundred degrees plus heat of the city...we were there in August. Many well-known shops are in the mall along with specialty shops unique to the area. If you are strolling through prior to a game night, get ready for the sea of red...you'll know the Cardinals are playing! Everyone wears their Cardinal shirts and it appeared to us that many locals park and ride the subway down to the game. Exiting out of the back of mall area takes you to an open air pavilion of sorts. Historically, this was the area where the trains once pulled in. This area has Landry's, Houlihan's, and the Hard Rock Cafe. They surround a lake that has paddle boats available for rent and a cute arch walkway over the water and landing area where you can buy pellets to feed the large goldfish. We had fun doing this and so did the kids in the area. If you are looking for the subway station at Union Station, you will exit through this back area and walk across the street. We enjoyed going through the Memories Museum located on the upper level of the station. It is free to walk through and contains many original memorabilia items including photographs and actual artifacts from the grand train era. We love history and so thoroughly enjoyed browsing the memorabilia and reading more of the history of the station here. This is a fun stop with something for everyone in the family to do and enjoy. Make it a stop on your vacation and plan to eat at one of the great restaurants while there!
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009