Are you thinking about relocating to St. Louis? Our expert advice will give you an idea of what to expect from the Gateway City.
Known for its iconic structures, beautiful architecture, historic neighborhoods, and friendly communities, St. Louis is a great place to call home with a population of 303,000 residents.
One of America’s most historic cities, St. Louis has a rich history as a gateway to the west, an industrial and transportation hub, and a hub of music and baseball. The city’s past is deeply ingrained in its identity, and its residents take pride in calling it one of America’s great cities. Don’t let its size fool you, St. Louis is not a small city, it’s still a hub of activity.
Now is the perfect time to move to St. Louis, the city is undergoing a regeneration that is bringing new jobs and research facilities, revitalizing abandoned industrial land, and attracting tourists. Whether you’re relocating for work, starting a new chapter with your family, or just looking for a new city to explore, St. Louis has something to offer for everyone.
#1 Discover the Diverse Neighborhoods of St. Louis
Whether you’re seeking the hustle and bustle of downtown or the peacefulness of the suburbs, you’ll easily find the perfect area to call home.
It’s important to consider the school districts when moving with children, and to keep in mind that some neighborhoods are more residential while others have a balance of commercial and residential properties. The suburbs of St. Louis also have their own unique charm, offering all the necessary amenities for a comfortable lifestyle without sacrificing convenience.
Here are some of the most sought-after St. Louis neighborhoods:
- Lafayette Park: This small, but iconic neighborhood is known for its historic, expansive homes. You can enjoy the 30 acres of greenery in the heart of the city and indulge in the delicious food and drinks at the neighborhood’s restaurants and bars. Explore the specialty shops and catch free concerts in the summer.
- Soulard: A historic French neighborhood just a short drive from the Gateway Arch. Soulard is characterized by its red-brick townhouses and lively blues music scene. Visitors should check out the Soulard Farmers Market, which has been in operation since 1779.
- The Hill: This neighborhood is famous for its Italian-American heritage and is home to many locally renowned Italian restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores. The Hill is also one of the most walkable and compact areas in St. Louis.
- Kirkwood: Known as the “Queen of the suburbs,” Kirkwood offers the best of both worlds with its small-town charm and access to a variety of amenities. This neighborhood has great schools, churches, and family-friendly attractions like parks, farmers’ markets, and museums. The Magic House, voted the #1 children’s museum in the U.S, is located here.
- Chesterfield: Located just 30 minutes west of downtown St. Louis, Chesterfield is a peaceful residential area with beautiful homes and excellent schools. The city is known for its citizens’ volunteerism and offers several cultural outlets, historic villages, public parks, and community initiatives.
Explore the neighborhoods of St. Louis and find the perfect place for you and your family to call home.
#2 St. Louis is Ranked One of the Best Places to Live
St. Louis has been recognized as a top city to live in by the 2019 U.S. News & World Report, ranking at number 81 out of 125 metropolitan areas in the country. The report evaluated the best places to live based on factors such as quality of life, job market, and cost of living.
According to a local area expert, one of the major draws of living in St. Louis is its low cost of living. She stated: “What makes St. Louis particularly appealing is its low cost of living, which is among the lowest in the nation. But that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of things to do and see here. The city offers an abundance of free and low-cost attractions, providing residents with a great balance of affordability and entertainment options.”
One of the advantages of St. Louis is that the current housing market is a buyers market, with the average sales price of homes below the national average, so you can find the perfect home in your desired neighborhood without worrying about overspending. The cost of living in St. Louis is quite reasonable, making it an excellent option for people looking for a comfortable lifestyle without spending too much.
#3 St. Louis is Still Affordable
St. Louis offers all the attractions and amenities of a big city, from grand historical homes and world-class cultural institutions to excellent schools, lush parks and a packed events calendar, yet it comes at a much more affordable cost compared to major cities like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. This is reflected in its ranking as one of the top 25 best cities in the country for first-time homebuyers, with a median home price of $240,000.
One of the great things about St. Louis is that it provides the perfect balance of urban living and affordability. You can find your dream home, without having to worry about the high costs associated with major metropolitan areas, and enjoy all that this city has to offer. So whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, or just looking for a new place to call home, St. Louis has something for everyone
#4 St. Louis Offers Four Seasons (Often all in one day)
In St. Louis, you can experience all the different seasons, each with its own unique characteristics. The summer months of July and August are marked by hot and humid weather, making it perfect for outdoor activities. The winter season can be harsh, with temperatures ranging between the low 20s and high 30s, and snowstorms are not uncommon.
However, the weather can be unpredictable and change suddenly. The spring and fall seasons are relatively short, but they offer beautiful sights, particularly the fall foliage when the city’s trees change color in a spectacular display. With that said, it’s important to be aware of the occasional extreme weather conditions such as floods and tornadoes that the region is prone to.
#5 St. Louis is Home to Diverse Businesses
St. Louis is a hub of diverse employment opportunities, boasting global companies, burgeoning startups, healthcare, science, agritech and more. The city’s job market has been recognized as a major draw for millennials, with personal finance site The Penny Hoarder naming St. Louis as the top U.S. city for this demographic. This is thanks to the expanding tech, education, and healthcare industries in the area.
The city is home to several major companies, including:
- Edward Jones Financial
- Emerson Electric
- Nestle Purina Petcare
- Reinsurance Group of America
- TD Ameritrade
And it’s not just the big players, St. Louis also has a thriving startup and small to medium-sized business scene. Every year, the St. Louis Business Journal publishes a list of the best workplaces in the city, highlighting the dynamic and diverse range of opportunities available to job seekers.
#6 It’s One of the Most Charitable Cities
St. Louis is known for its sense of community and pride among its residents, but what truly sets it apart is the generosity of its people. The city has a reputation for being one of the most philanthropic in America, with an impressive record of charitable giving. According to a 2016 study, the residents of St. Louis donated an astounding 730 million hours of service, equivalent to over $1.6 billion dollars. This generous spirit is something that makes St. Louis truly special and a shining example of civic-mindedness.
#7 The City is Family-Friendly
If you’re looking for fun things to do with your family in St. Louis, you’ll be pleased to know the options are both plentiful and varied. As families play a significant role in the community, the city is dedicated to providing them with ample opportunities to have fun and make memories.
From museums and parks to baseball games, there’s something for everyone. And with recent developments such as Union Station, the options are only increasing – you can now explore the new Aquarium and take a ride on the St. Louis Wheel, among other attractions. Whether you’re planning a day out or a weekend getaway, St. Louis is the perfect destination for families looking for a fun and engaging experience.
#8 The School System is Impressive
Moving to St. Louis, you will quickly realize the importance placed on high school education in the community. Residents take pride in their alma mater, and identifying yourself by your high school can open up connections and commonalities.
With over 75 schools in the St. Louis Public Schools district and 23,000 students, choosing the right school can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be, establish your priorities, find the right area and explore your options, be it traditional, magnet, charter or private schools.
For higher education, St. Louis has some top-notch colleges and universities, such as Washington University, known for its high ranking and renowned Washington University School of Medicine. Saint Louis University, the oldest university west of the Mississippi River, is also a notable institution. Both attract students from all over the world, adding to the city’s vibrancy and providing local companies with a constant stream of talented individuals to drive innovation and entrepreneurialism.
Education in St. Louis doesn’t have to come at a high cost either, with affordable programs and adult education courses available at St. Louis Community College. And for those looking for a career change, coding boot camps run by various companies offer a chance to gain new skills and potential job opportunities.
#9 Did Someone Say “FREE Attractions?”
When it comes to exploring your new city, St. Louis offers an abundance of options that won’t break the bank. Known for having more free major tourist attractions than any other city in the country, there is always something to do and see, no matter your budget or preferences.
Here are just a few examples of the free activities you can enjoy in St. Louis:
- The Saint Louis Zoo, home to over 18,000 animals and a variety of interactive exhibits and experiences, all for free.
- The St. Louis Art Museum, showcasing an array of artworks from different periods and styles, from classical to contemporary, admission is always free.
- Forest Park, one of the largest urban parks in the United States, offers a variety of activities and scenic walks, all for free.
- The St. Louis Science Center, featuring over 700 interactive exhibits, live demonstrations and planetarium shows, admission is always complimentary.
- Gateway Arch, the iconic 630 feet tall structure and the symbol of St. Louis, offers breathtaking views of the city for free, and with recent renovation, the surrounding area and underground museum are now more inclusive and reflective of different perspectives in American history. (though the ride to the top requires a ticket purchase)
With so many free things to do in St. Louis, you’ll never run out of options for fun and adventure.
#10 Know Where to Find the Food and Fun
St. Louis is a food lover’s paradise, with a diverse culinary scene that ranges from classic St. Louis-style pizza and toasted ravioli to innovative dishes crafted by talented chefs. The city’s access to fresh, local produce and artisanal products has put St. Louis on the map as a destination for foodies. Restaurants like Vicia, Gioia’s Deli, Balkan Treat Box, Bulrush, SHIFT, and more have garnered national acclaim and awards like the James Beard Awards.
But it’s not just the food that’s worth exploring. St. Louis is also home to a thriving craft beer scene, named the best in the country by USA Today. Local breweries like Schlafly, Urban Chestnut and 4 Hands are leading the way with their craft beers. Meanwhile, the city’s bars and cocktail lounges offer a variety of delicious drinks to enjoy. From Taste of St. Louis to Q in the Lou, festivals and events celebrating food and drink are a staple in the city.
St. Louisans also have plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. With over a thousand acres of urban parks, there are plenty of opportunities to get in some exercise, play sports or have a picnic. The city’s proximity to many rivers also allows for easy access to outdoor activities such as kayaking and rafting. The Missouri river trips are a great way to escape the city and reconnect with nature. And lastly, the city serves as a hub for exploring other parts of Missouri and neighboring states, including Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, and Chicago.
#11 The Traffic Isn’t That Bad
Traffic in St. Louis, while not as congested as some larger metro areas, can still be an issue during rush hour. However, the city’s relatively short commutes and proximity of popular destinations make it an easy city to navigate by car.
Public transportation options such as the MetroLink and MetroBus are available, with multiple lines and stops throughout the city, including popular attractions like Busch Stadium, the Gateway Arch, and Forest Park. Taxis and ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are also widely available, while the St. Louis Taxi Cab app allows you to book rides with ease.
For those who prefer to walk, the city’s neighborhoods and popular destinations are well-marked and easy to navigate, with “Attraction Corridor” signage along major streets. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the major highway in St. Louis is Highway 64, which is commonly referred to by locals as Highway 40 since it’s Interstate 64 and Missouri Highway 40.
#12 You’re Officially a Cardinals Fan
St. Louis is a sports-loving city, and baseball takes center stage with the beloved St. Louis Cardinals. As they say – there’s no fans in baseball, like St. Louis Cardinals fans. The team boasts a strong fan base and Busch Stadium, home of the Cardinals, is widely considered one of the best stadiums in the country, offering great views and a memorable game day experience. During the off-season, take a tour of the stadium to see behind the scenes including the locker rooms, press box and World Series trophies.
Are You Considering a Move to St. Louis?
So there you have it folks, a snapshot of what to expect when moving to St. Louis. From the delicious food, to the rich history and culture, to the top-notch education and job opportunities, St. Louis has something to offer for everyone. Remember, when it comes to relocating, it’s not just about the destination, it’s about the journey. And let me tell you, the journey of discovering all that this city has to offer will be one for the books. So pack your bags, roll up your sleeves and get ready to make St. Louis your new home. Welcome to the family, y’all!