Located between the Central West End and the U City Loop, Legacy Books & Cafe is the everything place. The grill is always hot, even for vegans. Books are for sale, but if you wanted to bring a book and chill all day, no one would object. Legacy also hosts an open poetry reading spot. The atmosphere is relaxed and inviting, and after visiting a couple times, everybody knows your name.
Big Sleep Books specializes in mystery and suspense novels, and features a stylish mural of an old Hollywood film and mystery greats, most noticeably Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. The store sponsors frequent events and author signings, and supports a network of area mystery writers, who are featured on their website.
A friendly neighborhood deli, Macklind Avenue Deli has all the amenities of the local convenience store complete with the compassion of a local bakery. Fresh, homemade pastries and desserts are always available as well as a wide assortment of snacks and wines. The full deli offers homemade salads, pasta dishes, and can fashion a sandwich out of just about anything. The staff is quite familiar with the customers and the store has a family feel. Grab a bite for later, or enjoy a sandwich and drink on the sunny patio outside. -Cathryn D. Blue
Bling Boutique, LLC specializes in women's accessories and clothing. Located on historic Main Street in St. Charles, this small boutique is worth the stop. Carrying unique pieces of fine and costume jewelry, this boutique has exactly what's needed for the hipsters who like to stand out from the crowd. The staff is full of styling gurus who have eyes for the "look" that customers are craving. Find necklaces, bracelets, earrings, pendants, rings, barrettes, scarves, and countless other fashion accessories. A small selection of clothing is also available. Look good on any budget. -Cathryn D. Blue
The brainchild of a graphic designer, Belle Fleur Vignettes creates floral masterpieces with a unique style that are very natural, earthy, and have a signature of bold color and amazing texture. The mantra of this unique floral boutique is to "catch the moment with flowers." The owner pays special attention to each clients' needs, creating bouquets that fit customers' personal tastes, favorite color schemes, and the mood of the occasion. Belle Fleur can design floral vignettes for weddings, parties and showers, or a simple friendly "hello." Many designs come directly from the cutting garden, enabling clients to enjoy seasonal, fresh flowers. The prices aren't that bad either. -Cathryn D. Blue
The Bear Factory, located on the beautiful, historic Main Street in St. Charles, peaking out over the Missouri River, is no ordinary toy store. With an inventory of over 5000 novelty bears, handcrafted by local, national, and international artists, this store caters to the bear aficionado. These cute, cuddly bears are designed by the different artists to represent various cultures, celebration themes, periods in history, and even epic tales of Greek and Roman mythology. Besides the incredible display, The Bear factory enjoys interacting with their customers and shows it with incredible customer service and enthusiasm. Stop by to browse the selection or pick up bear-making supplies for a private bear-making agenda. Bear building classes are also available and make a great outing with the family. -Cathryn D. Blue
Got a special occasion coming up? Need a gift for the someone who has everything? Any Basket Under The Sun is a one stop shop for everything in thoughtful gifts. This independently owned basket crafting shop carries a variety of styles, colors, and decorations. The staff can fashion a basket for any type of occasion: weddings, baseball championships, grandma's birthday, you name it. Each basket is unique and specially made to fit the individual and the occasion. Prices of baskets vary based on what's inside, which can be supplied by the staff person or by the client. Baskets can be purchased in store or delivered, but allow for a 48 hour window between the order and the completion of an immaculate basket. -Cathryn D. Blue
Located in a 100-year-old brick house in the historic Frenchtown of St. Charles, 2nd Street Beads is everything the beader needs to get started and keep going. The friendly staff champions a hands-on approach to the art of customer service, instructing clients on the ins and outs of beading as well as allowing them to practice techniques before committing to a purchase. The consummate inventory of beads and supplies include precious and rare stones, as well as silver, gold, and crystal, and expert jewelry making equipment. The store also offers classes for beginner beaders; the classes enable those aspiring bead artists to learn about the craft, while also offering a fun way to spend an afternoon. Stop by the website to order online or stop in the store and enjoy the rustic, quaint atmosphere. -Cathryn D. Blue
The Grand Boulevard Shopping District is where international flavors meet local charm. The Vine Market and other grocery stores cater to large immigrant populations residing in the area. The stores make it easier for immigrants to acclimate to St. Louis and introduce native St. Louisans to a multicultural palate. Representing Mediterranean tastes, The Vine Market carries a great variety of Lebanese, Moroccan, and Greek foodstuffs, desserts, and beverages. If visiting for the first time, be courageous and take risks. Baklava is made fresh every week, but it goes fast, so don't wait until Friday to try it. If the flavors of The Vine tickles the nerves, visit also The Vine Cafe or The Vine Hookah Lounge for a deeper exploration of this rich culture. -Cathryn D. Blue
Offering competitive rates of exchange and solid business practices since 1974, AJ & R Pawn Shop, located on the bustling South Grand strip, is a great place to find stuff. This re-seller has everything: musical instruments (including bagpipes for those with fancy ambitions), stereos, video games, sports equipment, jewelry, and even furnaces. Many of the items available for sale are of surprisingly high quality, with equally surprising low prices. If your pockets are looking a bit emaciated, take a look around the house for unwanted treasures that can be turned into cash or traded. -Cathryn D. Blue
Art Dimensions is a nonprofit organization for artists by artists.
Their goal is to bring art to the people without the ridiculous overhead or the need to belong to an artist's guild. Located at 2720 Cherokee, Art Dimensions is ...
The Grand Boulevard Shopping District is where international flavors meet
local charm. The Vine Market and other grocery stores cater to large immigrant populations residing in the area. The stores make it easier for immigrants to acclimate to St. ...
Mary Ann Lee Conservation Carousel (St. Louis Zoo)
On the north side of the St. Louis Zoo, a
hop and jump away from the Penguin and Puffin Coast sits the majestic Mary Ann Lee Conservation Carousel. This historic carousel features hand carved and painted wooden animals that ...