Relaxing near St Louis

St. Charles, MO

We are still here in St. Charles, about twenty miles west of downtown St. Louis.  Our original plan was to stay here for a few days, but with the fourth of July holiday filling up parks, we extended until Sunday.  That way we have a good place to enjoy the holiday in a nice quiet park without a large group of holiday campers in the next site partying all night around the campfire.

The heat we experienced upon our arrival has ease some, so early in the week we paid a visit to Forest Park, a huge public park on the west side of St. Louis.  The park, which opened in 1876, has hosted several significant events, including the World’s Fair of 1904 and the 1904 Summer Olympics.

The gravel walking/running path

The park has a dual path that goes around the perimeter of the park, a distance of about six miles.  One side of the path is fine gravel for walking and running.  The other is paved for bicycles.  The picture above shows part of the walking/running path, while below is a picture featuring the bike path.  We parked at the visitors center and headed out to walk the length of the path.

The paved bike path

Forest Park features a variety of attractions, including the St. Louis Zoo, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, and the St. Louis Science Center.  We made a stop at the zoo, but John said that after almost twenty years working in a middle school, this very crowded attraction brought back too many memories, so we quickly moved on.  Our next visit was to the art museum, where the crowd was much smaller.

St. Louis Art Museum

If you are into art, this is probably a very good museum.  But we are definitely not into art, and even thought the three Van Gogh paintings looked a bit like a young art student painted them.  But apparently someone likes them, as they are extremely valuable.

Out in front of the art museum stands the Apotheosis of St. Louis, a statue of King Louis IX of France, namesake of St. Louis.  The bronze statue was donated to Forest Park by the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company following the 1904 World’s Fair.

Apotheosis of St. Louis

In front of the art museum is a large grass area leading to a large pool of water called the Emerson Grand Basin.

Emerson Grand Basin

Fountain in front of the World’s Fair Pavilion

St. Charles is a city of about 66,000 people, sitting along the banks of the Missouri River.  Its main claim to fame is as the last “civilized” stop for the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1804.  The Corp of Discovery camped here before setting out on their journey to the Pacific.  The city puts on a classic American celebration of Independence Day.  The festivities began with a morning parade through town.

The local American Legion leads the parade

Two small floats of WWII veterans received a loud round of applause

The St. Charles Municipal Band provided some musical entertainment for the crowd.  We saw  them later in the evening at a concert along the river.

The boat below is a re-creation of one of the vessels used by the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

After having a daughter active in a high school marching band, we know how difficult it is to get a high school band together for a summer parade, so we were appreciative of the efforts of the St. Charles High School Band.

The parade ended at Frontier Park, a community park along the Missouri River on the site where Lewis and Clark made their encampment.

Statue in Frontier Park of Lewis and Clark with Lewis’ dog, Seaman

In the evening we sat on our lawn chairs to enjoy a concert by the town band.  They were followed by a rock and roll band.

About ten o’clock the town set off their fireworks over the river.  It was much too late for us to be out, so we enjoyed them from the comfort of the motorhome park.

We are just about finished with our stay in the St. Louis area.  On Sunday we’ll cross the mighty Mississippi and head across Illinois into Indiana where we’ll make a visit to Indianapolis.  Then it’s on to Celina, Ohio to get a few minor repairs done by our friends at Cruising America RV.

More on that later . . .

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26 Responses to Relaxing near St Louis

  1. That sounds like a really nice day…I just love parades!

    We were sound asleep when the fireworks went off in Polson. Can you believe it doesn’t get dark here until 10:30…. Fireworks were at 11:00! Way past our bedtime. I vaguely remember hearing them…even Wrecks ( he’s such a scaredy cat) slept through them as the pups had a very busy day at the river!

    Safe travels Sunday.

    • placestheygo says:

      We didn’t have to worry about sleep on the 4th. There were fireworks and firecrackers going off all around us until at least 4:15 AM when I finally went to sleep. Glad Wrecks survived.

    • Sue says:

      Gay and Joe, Looks like we’re in the same park as you guys! Site 159, stop in and say hello when you’re out walking. White, Fleetwood Discovery and grey jeep.
      Sue and Dave

  2. Lisa says:

    Hey, you got fireworks! Ours were cancelled due to fire danger. Then this evening it rained a lot (while we were at an outdoor concert)…probably would have been ok for fireworks after all!

  3. Erin says:

    That looks like a really great park. It’s nice that they have separated the biking path from the jogging/walking path … I wish more parks would do that. Nice fireworks! Alas we were long in bed by the time they went off 😉

    • placestheygo says:

      The dual paths system was very nice for us walking. I always feel like I’m in the way when there are bikers, especially since we bike also. We were surprised, though, how many runners used the paved biking path.

  4. Jim Boyd says:

    I hope you liked our town. My wife and I are just starting our fulltime travel this week. Close on the house on Tuesday . Having a sale on Saturday to get rid of the last of thing from the house. We will start our fulltimeing at a park just west of town. Plan on staying around St .Louis area until cold weather hits then we will head south. Hope your travels are safe ones and maybe we will see you down the road.
    Jim and Debbie Boyd

    • placestheygo says:

      We have enjoyed our time in the St. Louis area. Historic St. Charles is a cute area. We are enjoying the Katy bike path. I was hoping get in some hiking but between the bugs and heat, it doesn’t sound real appealing now.

      Welcome to the world of fulltiming:) I hope the two of you enjoy it as much as we are. It is a wonderful way to see all of this beautiful country. Hope to see you down the road. Travel safely!

  5. Donna Weibel says:

    Thanks for the very nice commentary on our beautiful area. Sad to say I think many just pass through, when we have so much to offer.

    • placestheygo says:

      There is definitely plenty to do in this area. We were hoping to get in some hiking but this is the wrong time of year with the heat and bugs. I was surprised at how much hiking there is in the nearby area.

  6. The words “art museum” and “Paul Weaver” should never be used in the same sentence.

    We always enjoy local parades and any other event. The people all seem to have a wonderful, fun time. We find them always very friendly and love sharing stories about their town.

    And then on to O-H-I-O. I hope this humidity breaks soon. We have had rained every day for two weeks.. We are very sick of it!

    • placestheygo says:

      We are both in that same boat with Paul when it comes to art museums. But I thought we should check it out since it was free and right near by.

      Maybe we will bring the sun!!

  7. Hi! Pam… We will be almost crossing paths; we’re going to be staying just north of Indianapolis in Carmel, IN @ White River County Park CG on July 11 just for one night as we head up to South Bend, IN… I have had several FT’ers say thay have stayed there and that it is a fairly nice CG for a stop over…

  8. Our fireworks were canceled too, because of fire danger :((
    So we watched NYC’s show on TV and went to bed early :))
    Box Canyon Mark

    • placestheygo says:

      I am glad they canceled your fireworks, Mark. The last thing you need is more wildfires. We watch NYC also. We just stood outside and watched the local fireworks from over the tree…not real great.

  9. Janna says:

    No fireworks where we were staying this year–a man named Huntsman (his son ran for president) had a major fireworks display the weekend before along with the original Beachboys in concert! They said over 60000 people were there–a little crowded for us!

  10. Allison says:

    Are you going to be near Dayton Ohio? The Wright Patterson Airforce Museum there is one of the best places we have been. If you’re close, it’s worth a stop. It’s a cold museum so bring a sweater. We spent 6 hours looking at planes and reading the displays.

  11. Pam says:

    Happy to see you found some great ways to entertain yourselves during your extended stay in the St. Louis area. I like all those things: hometown parades, band concerts, fireworks, zoos, and, yes, art museums. Bugs and humidity–not so much. We spent a quiet 4th knowing we have a full week ahead of camping with the grandsons.

    • placestheygo says:

      There is plenty to keep busy in the area. There is even a fair amounting of hiking. We even purchased a little book on the area hikes. However, they all mentioned the mosquitoes, ticks, and deer flies this time of year. So we did a lot of biking on the Katy Trail instead. Enjoy your time with the grandsons!!

  12. We were in between parks on July 4th so no parade nor fireworks for us until late Saturday which was rained on too.
    We will be in OH Jul 11-14 in Warren to meet up with some friends. Not sure how far that is where you are going.

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