As some of you might know, the 2013 Financial Blogger Conference starts on October 17 (one month to go!). I am very excited, and it will be my first time meeting other bloggers, which still makes me sad that it’s been this long.
I text and e-mail other bloggers all the time (and I’m Facebook friends with many as well), but it will be nice to see them face-to-face, and also hear them talk.
I’m also excited for the tons of things that I will learn. I definitely think I will benefit from the conference as I am making the switch to self-employment soon.
If you want to read more about what FinCon is – read further here.
I’m also very happy that the conference this year is right here in St. Louis. St. Louis isn’t a big touristy town, but there are plenty of things to do if you have never been here before.
Also, please don’t let those “dangerous city” rankings get you down or think negatively of St. Louis. I have heard some people say this. The reason for why we have low rankings is because St. Louis is not in a county (no, the city of St. Louis is not in St. Louis County, as confusing as that sounds), whereas these dangerous city statistics are based on whole county information for all other cities (not just the city alone), and since St. Louis is not in a county, the statistics of the safe suburbs surrounding St. Louis are not included/counted (whereas about 99% of other cities include the safer suburban metro areas in their stats) and this heavily distorts the St. Louis rankings.
The same goes for population count in that the small population numbers that you often see for St. Louis never include the whole county (whereas other cities include the whole metro area), and that is why people think St. Louis is much smaller than it is!
St. Louis is safe.
St. Louis is safe. Of course, don’t walk down dark allies, don’t hop into random cars, and don’t be on the search for drug dealers, as the same can be said for pretty much every single city that has ever existed. Still use your common sense! There are also many nice areas surrounding the city of St. Louis. Most people live in the metro area of St. Louis, and not in the actual city. Why? I don’t know!
Since there are not many bloggers in the St. Louis area, I have received many e-mails from those attending the conference asking about what they should do when they are in town. I figured that there are plenty of other people probably interested, so why not make a whole post?
Many things in St. Louis are FREE, which I think is what helps make St. Louis very awesome to visit.
Nothing in this post is sponsored, the links are to make your selection a little more easier.
Weather in St. Louis.
The weather in St. Louis can vary, by a lot. Last December there was almost a full week of 90 degree weather, and this past April, it actually snowed a couple of feet. Weather in October in St. Louis can be warm (such as in the 80s), or it can be cold and in the 40s. I definitely recommend checking out the weather forecast before you come, but even that may not help!
It’d be best to bring whatever you can. I have been out in shorts in October, and also a coat the very next day. It can vary from day-to-day. It may be 40 degrees in the morning and 90 degrees by the afternoon. It makes planning outfits pretty difficult!
If you are a Cardinals fan, then Busch Stadium may interest you. St. Louis is a big baseball town, so a lot revolves around the Cardinals! Busch Stadium is located within walking distance of the FinCon hotel.
Budweiser Brewery Tour.
I have gone on this brew tour a couple of times, and it is a lot of fun (if you like beer). Sometimes the line can be long though, so make sure you get there early or that you have enough time to wait in a line and still go through the tour.
You will go on a tour, and in it you will spend time with the awesome Clydesdales, learn about the brewing process, and at the end you get to sample a couple of beers. Also, these are full-size samples, not just little tiny cups.
Cost – FREE! The tour is free, and parking is free also. The beers at the end are free too.
Have you ever been to the top of the Arch? Surprisingly, I haven’t been since I was very little, so I don’t have much that I can remember. The St. Louis Arch is the tallest monument in the U.S.
Cost – It depends. You can enter the Arch for free. If you want to go to the top of the Arch, the price is $10 for an adult ticket.
The St. Louis Zoo.
I love the St. Louis Zoo. It’s one of the top zoos in the U.S. and offers plenty to do.
Cost – FREE! It’s free to get in. Parking is free also, as long as you don’t mind walking. Sometimes you can find parking very close, but other times you may have to walk a little bit. The walk has never bothered me.
Certain things in the zoo do cost money, such as petting the stingrays and the riding the train. The costs are relatively minimal though.
Do you like dancing? Or going out for a drink? The Landing is one of my favorite places to go. There are tons of bars and dancing. The Landing is also great for people watching.
The Landing is around a 2 mile walk from the FinCon hotel.
Forest Park in St. Louis.
There are many things to do in Forest Park. It is one of the largest urban park in the U.S.A (or so I’ve been told). Over 12,000,000 people visit Forest Park each year.
You can ride your bike, go rollerblading, walk the trail, go on a paddle boat, kayak, watch movies in the park, go to the Muny and so on. There are often car shows at Forest Park as well. I’m not sure when the ice rink opens but there is also an outdoor rink that is a lot of fun too.
We even took our engagement photos in Forest Park. It is definitely beautiful!
Grant’s Farm is another fun place to visit, particularly if you have children. It is located in Grantwood Village in Missouri. Grant’s Farm is an animal reserve with plenty of wonderful animals to see. There are over 900 animals and over 100 species to see.
There are elephants, kangaroos, goats, turtles, Clydesdales and more to see here. There is also a petting zoo.
Cost – Free admission. If you have a car, then parking is $12. If you have a bus, then parking is $30. Still pretty cheap!
The City Museum – One of my TOP picks.
Don’t let the name of this place fool you. It is not a place where you behave wonderfully and you have to be super quiet. The City Museum is a fun place where anyone of any age can have fun, and there are even bars located in it. Also, if it is cold enough, they even let you roast marshmallows in their outdoor fire pit. I believe over 1,000,000 people visit the City Museum each year, so it is definitely a popular place to visit in St. Louis.
Check out the great reviews on Yelp to see for yourself. It is a grown-up playground.
You can climb into an airplane hundreds of feet above the ground (and you get to it by climbing through a metal cage in the sky, pretty much). You can ride a ferris wheel on top of the tall building. You can go down a 10 foot indoor slide. You can crawl underground and hope to not get stuck. There are tons of fun things to do here!
Cost – Pricing varies, but usually it is around $10 per person. This is something that I really recommend for anyone who comes to St. Louis. Most people might at first think that it’s weird, or that they are too old, but really it’s a lot of fun no matter what your age is. Whenever I go here, it is usually full of adults (of course if you go during the day, there will probably be a lot of children though). I recommend going at night-time (and it’s cheaper at night at only $8!).
Delmar Loop in University City.
If you like eclectic shopping, then the Delmar Loop is probably for you. It is also home to many restaurants and also the Pageant, where you can see great live shows.
Casinos in St. Louis.
If you are a fan of going to casinos, there are a good amount of casinos in the St. Louis area. There is Lumiere, which happens to be only around 1 mile from FinCon.
Haunted Houses in St. Louis.
In October, there will be many haunted houses open in St. Louis. Many of the top rated and largest haunted theme parks are right here in St. Louis, and I definitely recommend them! They can be a little expensive, at anywhere from $20 to $50 a person though. Parking is usually around $5. The wait is usually pretty long though. There have been times when I’ve only waited 5 minutes, but sometimes the wait is over 2 hours to get in. They also sell speed passes to make the wait much less.
Haunted houses and theme parks include: Lemp Brewery (which is a real haunted place, but they transform it into a haunted house around Halloween), Creepy World, The Darkness and so on. You can also go to some local haunted houses where people with lots of land and corn fields will throw their own haunted house. For some reason, I always find these the scariest too!
Six Flags St. Louis.
I’m sure many people don’t visit St. Louis just for Six Flags, but there is one here! It is located in Eureka, Missouri and is probably around a 30 to 45 minute drive from downtown St. Louis.
The Soulard Oktoberfest is from October 11 to October 13, 2013, so it is a little bit before FinCon. However, if you are here the weekend before, then I definitely recommend it. It is a lot of fun!
Have you ever been to St. Louis? Are you going to FinCon?