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Scaredy Cat Driving in the "Big City"

Illinois
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Scaredy Cat Driving in the "Big City"

I will be driving to St. Louis the end of March with my17 year old daughter and her best friend to visit Washington and St. Louis Universities. I am an experienced driver, I am a good driver, and I hate driving in cities of any kind. Totally stresses me out! Highways are fine, I just hate cities with their one way streets, merges, locals honking at me and showing me their fingers, ha ha etc. We will be coming in on a Sunday and staying at the Drury Inn @ the Arch for two nights. Visiting Wash U on Monday-should I drive or catch a cab? SLU on Tuesday-can we walk to campus? Tempted to park the car Sunday and not get back into it until we're leaving town. Any advice or reassurance greatly appreciated-thanks!!

St. Louis
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1. Re: Scaredy Cat Driving in the "Big City"

There is a Metrolink stop right by Wash U, so you won't need to drive there. For some reason, they didn't put a stop very close to SLU. I find parking around the SLU campus to be pretty easy. I suggest you call the campus and ask them where you can park.

For driving near SLU: Market Street is a straight shot from your hotel to campus. I hate driving on Grand, which is the main street by SLU campus. Cross it and use the couple of roads just west of Grand to avoid frustration.

Parking at Wash U. is really pretty easy on weekends. I parked next to the Kemper Museum at the front of campus Saturday. It was free and the lot was about half full.

What else do you need to know?

St. Louis, MO
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2. Re: Scaredy Cat Driving in the "Big City"

Cabs are minimal in St. Louis versus other cities. Parking and driving near Wash U shouldn't be too bad. It's more like suburban driving. Around St. Louis U, there will be more one-way streets and the driving is more city-like.

Downtown STL does have quite a few one way streets, and parking can sometimes be at a premium.

If you are near St. Louis U around lunch time, try eating at Pappy's - Best BBQ in the country. (It's been on the Man vs. Food show on TV.)

Illinois
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3. Re: Scaredy Cat Driving in the "Big City"

Thanks so much for the replies. Tell me more about this Metrolink-bus? Cost? I'm usually a really thorough trip planner but have been so busy lately that I'm behind on my planning here. If the weather is good I think we'd be up for the zoo-yep, going to college and to middle age but we're zoo people-and totally into the City Museum-looks fantastic but again, AS LONG AS I DON'T HAVE TO DRIVE THERE! Walking distance from Drury at the Arch, or hopefully, on the Metrolink? Other must see's for the young at hearts? Will be doing the Arch, thumbing our noses at the Cardinal's stadium (sorry, Cubs fans here :)) Cool shopping? And, is it safe to walk around-all females-not to sound like a paranoid idiot but are we ok during the day or should we avoid certain areas/streets-I know in Chicago sometimes you seem fine and then step a block over and it's scary...thanks again!

Saint Louis...
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4. Re: Scaredy Cat Driving in the "Big City"

Metrolink is about $2.25. They have a 2 hour pass that is $2.75 I think. There is a station across the stadium from you. You can take that to the Skinker or Big Bend station for Wash U. Might as well have a cab take you to SLU. It's not far but would be a long walk. As mentioned- get some BBQ at Pappys when you are near the SLU campus. Get to Pappys early (11:15 or 11:30 am) to avoid the long lines. I'd probably take a cab back from The City Museum. If you are there late I would be a little cautious walking back. Not that it is dangerous, you just don't have many people out downtown in the evenings unless there is a sporting event.

You could take the Metrolink to the Delmar station and explore "the loop". It is just north of Wash U. Check out CityGarden about 4 blocks west of your hotel. Nice little outdoor park w/ sculptures. The Zoo and Forest Park are beautiful. It is a little hike from the Forest Park Metrolink station to the zoo. Stop by the Art Museum while you are there. Have a great trip.

Illinois
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5. Re: Scaredy Cat Driving in the "Big City"

Thanks for all the great advice. Pappy's is now on my dining list and I was reading about the Loop today and think we will definitely have to hit that too. Metrolink and cabs are probably how we'll get around-will do some research but I'm sure the hotel can help me chart that out too when we get there. I think I am going to have to drive to SLU because we're visiting them after we check out on Tuesday and then heading on to Peoria for another school visit. Makes me feel better just to float this by some other people so thanks!

And, do you think the kids will like City Museum-2 17 year olds and a 15 year old but my nephew first went when he was 15, and again when he was 16, and loved it.

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6. Re: Scaredy Cat Driving in the "Big City"

librarychick, you are staying at the best hotel in St. Louis in my opinion. You can walk to the Arch, it will take you about five minutes from the Drury. It is just across the street from the hotel. Be sure to take your swimsuits - the DP has a wonderful indoor pool with a great view of the Arch from the pool area.

Yes your teens will love City Museum. My husband and I are grandparents (63/61) and we have been taking our grandkids to CM for years and even we love it! Be sure to check their hours before you visit. I think you should reconsider taking a cab to CM - it is not far and you would only need to be on two different streets to get there - very easy.

Saint Louis...
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7. Re: Scaredy Cat Driving in the "Big City"

Your teens definitely will like the City Museum. In fact, you may have a hard time getting them to leave. Or, they might have a hard time getting you to leave.

Illinois
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8. Re: Scaredy Cat Driving in the "Big City"

Well, I was just on the website for City Museum and see that it is closed Monday and Tuesdays, and only open until 5 on Sunday-we get in Sunday and leave Tuesday. I think we will be in early enough Sunday to go-but will it be overrun with people on the weekend to the point of not being enjoyable?And, do they have their own parking or where should I look to park if we go straight there once we get into town?

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9. Re: Scaredy Cat Driving in the "Big City"

librarychick - CM has their own parking lot. I think the cost is $3. It will probably be crowded, but it is a big place, spread out on several different levels and also indoors and outdoors, so even if it is crowded, it will still be fun..

St. Louis
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10. Re: Scaredy Cat Driving in the "Big City"

We went on a very busy day a couple of weeks ago. It was a Sunday. Despite the crowds, it will a lot of fun, so I say go anyway.