Earlier this summer I took a road trip with two of my girlfriends to Saint Louis, MO for no other reason than to enjoy a weekend getaway, complete with mixed CDs, girl talk, a bag of White Cheddar Puffs and the open road. Here’s how to make your next road trip count.
1.) Visit your university rival and poke fun. We knew we were in enemy territory when we stumbled upon this hoodie display at a gas station on the way to our final destination. We had no choice but to put Mizzou in its place.
2.) Find a local winery and indulge in the free samples. (Unless you’re driving of course!) I found a great winery located right off I-70, Stone Hill Winery (the New Florence location). We each walked away with a bottle to enjoy during our stay in Missouri. I bought a bottle of the Chambourcin. Next time I would like to stray further from the highway and see an actual vineyard. There are lots of great wineries around the area.
3.) Track down a roadside attraction and take lots of silly pictures. If you’re driving down I-70, I recommend Nostalgiaville. It’s a kitschy store that sells posters, costumes, knick knacks, postcards, lunch boxes, figurines and much, much more. I brought home an R2-D2 lunch box. (Who doesn’t need one of those, right?)
4.) Visit a botanical garden. Working at The Herb Companion has taught me to appreciate herbs and flowers. That’s one of the reasons I was excited to trek around the Missouri Botanical Gardens. I loved the Climatron and the herb garden. Also, I’m sure everyone “enjoyed” hearing me ramble on about the medicinal properties of the various herbs we encountered. I was super excited when we came across a turmeric plant, which I recently profiled in the magazine. (I was even more excited when I recognized the stock art they used in their plant profile sign. Dork alert!)
6.) Go shopping in a quaint downtown area. We lucked out because our friend Bailey, who we were staying with, happens to live right on The Loop, a six-block shopping district that offers shopping, restaurants, bars, live music, midnight movies and a Walk of Fame. With everything in walking distance, we were able to do a lot of window shopping without the hassle of parking. (Cue floppy hat photo-op.)
7.) Tour a local brewery. Yes, we went on the Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour. (i.e. Budweiser) And why not? You get two free drinks afterward—and you get to see Clydesdales!
8.) Eat at lots of great local eateries. We hit up Cicero’s Restaurant, a fun little sports bar complete with a large selection of on-tap beers, Cheese-ology, a restaurant that serves endless combinations of macaroni and cheese, Fitz’s American Grill, a cute restaurant that makes their own root beer in-house, Pi, a fun pizza shop, and Ginger Bistro, an Asian fusion restaurant that serves decent sushi.
I left you with a photo of my sushi in my last travel post, so I thought it fitting to do the same here. They call this the Dinosaur Roll.