Nestled along the banks of the Missouri River, the city of St. Charles boasts a rich history dating back to its days as the first capital of Missouri. Today, this charming suburb of St. Louis is a bustling hub of activity, featuring a vibrant downtown area, a thriving arts and culture scene, and plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities. Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s historic landmarks, catch a show at the family-friendly Foundry Art Centre, or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Katy Trail, there’s something for everyone in St. Charles.
The History of St. Charles
St. Charles, Missouri, was founded in 1769 by French Canadian fur trader Louis Blanchette. He named the settlement Les Petites Cotes, which means “The Little Hills,” due to the rolling hills that surround the area. In 1780, the town became part of the Spanish Empire, and in 1804, it was acquired by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
St. Charles became the first state capital of Missouri in 1821, and many notable figures in American history, such as Lewis and Clark and Daniel Boone, passed through the town during this time. The town’s location on the Missouri River made it a vital center for trade and transportation, which helped it to grow and prosper in the following years.
Today, St. Charles is a vibrant community that cherishes its rich history while embracing the modern amenities and opportunities that make it an attractive place to live, work, and visit.
What to See and Do in St. Charles
St. Charles is home to a variety of attractions, including the Katy Trail, a 240-mile bike trail that runs from St. Charles to Clinton, Missouri. The city also hosts a number of annual festivals, such as the Festival of the Little Hills, Oktoberfest, and the St. Charles Christmas Traditions festival.
Other notable attractions in St. Charles include the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Museum, which celebrates the famous explorers who launched their expedition from St. Charles in 1804. For those interested in shopping and dining, the Streets of St. Charles development offers a wide range of options.
Info for Those Wanting to Move to St. Charles
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Housing and Real Estate
St. Charles offers a variety of housing options, from historic homes in the downtown area to new construction in suburban developments. The median home price in St. Charles is around the national average, making it an affordable option for many homebuyers. Those looking to rent can also find options in St. Charles, with a range of apartments and townhomes available.
Education and Schools
St. Charles is home to several highly rated public school districts, including the St. Charles School District and the Francis Howell School District. Private school options are also available in the area. Additionally, St. Charles is within easy driving distance of several colleges and universities, including Lindenwood University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
St. Charles has a strong economy, with several major employers in industries such as healthcare, education, and manufacturing. Some of the top employers in the area include Boeing, SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital, and St. Charles Community College. For those commuting to St. Louis for work, St. Charles is conveniently located just 30 minutes from downtown St. Louis.
Recreation and Entertainment
St. Charles offers plenty of opportunities for recreation and entertainment, with a variety of parks, trails, and outdoor spaces for residents to enjoy. The Katy Trail State Park, a popular biking and hiking trail, runs through St. Charles. Additionally, the city is home to several historic sites, including the First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site and the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center. For entertainment, residents can catch a show at the Family Arena or check out one of the many festivals and events held in the city throughout the year.
Plan Your Visit
St. Charles is located about 20 miles northwest of St. Louis and is easily accessible via Interstate 70. The city offers a variety of lodging options, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals. To explore the historic district, consider taking a walking tour or a carriage ride. There are also several bike rental shops in the area for those interested in cycling the Katy Trail.
Check Out St. Charles Today
Whether you’re interested in history, outdoor recreation, or simply a charming small-town atmosphere, St. Charles has it all. Check out this delightful suburb for yourself and discover why it’s one of the best places to live in Missouri.
Frequently Asked Questions
As of 2021, the population of St. Charles is approximately 73,000.
St. Charles has a humid subtropical climate, with hot summers and cold winters.
St. Charles has a lower crime rate than the national average and is generally considered a safe place to live.