More than 2.8 million residents call one of the 79 neighborhoods in St. Louis home. Known as the "Gateway to the West" to tourists, locals affectionately call their city the "Lou." No matter what you like to call this Midwestern hub, one thing's for certain: There are no shortage of fun (and many free) things to do in a number of St. Louis neighborhoods.
Like any big city, many of the best neighborhoods in St. Louis are diverse, eclectic and have their own distinct history and personality. Here are a few of the most popular St. Louis neighborhoods to start apartment hunting if you're looking to make a move to this Midwestern hotspot.
There's no mistaking the Gateway Arch — St. Louis' most-recognized symbol, reaching 630 feet into the sky along the Mississippi shore. Did you know it features 900 tons of stainless steel and, in its entirety, weighs 43,226 tons? That's not all downtown St. Louis has going for it when it comes to popular attractions.
Considered one of the best neighborhoods in St. Louis, downtown is also home to Busch Stadium Park, where you can watch the St. Louis Cardinals play and the St. Louis Blues Museum. The area is also accessible. There are a number of great restaurants, bars and shops along nearby Washington Avenue. Access to public transportation and three major highways makes it easy to get around, too.
Some locals consider Downtown West part of Downtown St. Louis but the area is different than its more buttoned-up downtown. Notably, it's home to the City Museum, a 100-year-old warehouse in which artists used repurposed architectural and industrial objects to build miles of fun tunnels, slides and bridges, among other exhibits.
The City Museum sits among other former warehouses, especially in the Washington Avenue Historic District, that have since been converted into residential lofts, bustling restaurants and bars and trendy coffee shops.
The Central Library occupies an entire city block and is located between Downtown West and Downtown.
Bordered by St. Louis University and Forest Park, the Central West End Historic District is a beautiful neighborhood known for its diverse crowd. Here, you'll find a mix of young singles, as well as families. There are many great bars, shops, galleries and fun sidewalk cafes that line the area.
However, perhaps the most famous building in the Central West End is the Roman Catholic Cathedral Basilica, which boasts one of the world's largest mosaic art structures. Another major landmark in this neighborhood is the Chase Park Plaza Hotel, one of the city's most historic hotels.
Due to the neighborhood's age, there are lots of apartment styles to choose from, including townhomes and high-rises, many with fine architectural highlights. The area hosts a lot of the city festivals, too, so be prepared to be out and about, especially during the warm-weather months.
How Dogtown got its name might be a mystery but that hasn't stopped people from creating a website dedicated to it. Dogtown is made up of a number of communities — locals love being within walking distance from their schools, places of faith, dining and Forest Park, as well as living in mature neighborhoods.
Century-old homes in Dogtown can be identified by noticing their historical plaques mounted on the homes after the Dogtown Historical Society vets them.
Known as a young, up-and-coming neighborhood, Maplewood could be the perfect area for a resident looking to plant roots and save some green during their first few years in St. Louis. Many locals think Maplewood is the city's hipster area, and they might not be too far off in their assumptions. For instance, offbeat shops are everywhere in Maplewood, as are laid-back coffeehouses buzzing with creatives and college students.
One of St. Louis's relics also calls Maplewood home: Saratoga Lanes. This vintage bowling alley is the oldest west of the Mississippi River, according to Explore St. Louis. Beer lovers will also be more than happy to be living in Maplewood, as Schlafly Bottleworks (St. Louis's most respected craft brewery) offers tours there.
Midtown is a popular St. Louis neighborhood for St. Louis University students since that's where the university is located. But Midtown is not just for students! Those who love living within walking distance of restaurants, coffee shops and bars will find the urban atmosphere inviting, too.
Clayton is the home of the St. Louis Art Fair, one of the most celebrated events in the city, where 150,000 people flock annually. However, the community events don't stop there in Clayton. There are also the Gallery Nights receptions and Parties in the Park cocktails (perfect for a roomie weekend outing).
It's a busy and fast-paced place to call home, but Clayton always presents renters with something to do, whether you're headed to one of the best bars and restaurants in St. Louis or finding your cultural bearings at one of Clayton's many art galleries. Clayton is also the home of the St. Louis city government and the Center of Clayton, which is a 136,000-square-foot sport and recreational complex.
This is the one area that everyone is buzzing about. Cherokee Street is actually located along several St. Louis neighborhoods, including Benton Park West and Marine Villa. Cherokee Street is full of beautiful vintage and antique shops, artsy and progressive locals and plenty of Mexican restaurants. If you love all things retro and tacos — this is definitely the place for you.
However, the appeal of Cherokee Street goes well beyond great food and shopping. A lot of renters are flocking here due to the welcoming atmosphere for young startups and business owners.
Many of the businesses here are locally owned and source from excellent vendors. Most have a certain beatnik vibe, making Cherokee Street the perfect place for first-time apartment dwellers or young renters.
If you're renting with multiple roommates or love to decorate with an industrial, business vibe, then this is the place for you.
Be sure to do some exploring while in St. Louis during your apartment hunt. With literally dozens of neighborhoods, there's bound to be one with your name on it.