The Central West End is the ideal place to enjoy characteristic St. Louis atmosphere. Fill your days with the sights and sounds of this charming neighborhood, where grand historic buildings meet modern stores, restaurants and attractions. Stop at some of the fascinating local museums while you are here.
Find some of St. Louis’ best-preserved historic streets in the Central West End. Much of its architecture dates from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1904, the city held the St. Louis World’s Fair, turning this area into a favorite among chic, wealthy citizens. Famous people who once walked these streets include literary greats Tennessee Williams, T.S. Eliot, Sara Teasdale and William S. Burroughs.
Discovering eclectic stores and cafés filling the Central West End is a highlight of any trip. Many of St. Louis’ tourist sights are concentrated here too. Make sure you stop at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, a stunning building with ornate paintings reaching all the way up to its high ceiling. Admire the detail of the extensive mosaic collection in the basement museum.
Continue your spiritual journey at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art. The collections here draw items from across many different faiths and nations. See how artists working today are bringing new perspectives to the age-old theme of faith.
Another novel attraction is the World Chess Hall of Fame, which is home to the world’s largest chess piece. Look for this impressive object, which stands outside, as you approach. Inside, learn about World Chess champions and see their stories told through medals, trophies and other personal items.
The Central West End is easy to find due to its location in the heart of the city. Go on a sunny day to enjoy Forest Park, a peaceful green space that is the pride of the area. If it starts to rain, step into the St. Louis Art Museum or the Missouri History Museum, both housed in the park.
Dining, Museum and Cathedral
Famous for its historic ice cream-colored houses and independent businesses, this characterful neighborhood is the perfect place to shop, dine and relax.