A recent Wallethub study found that St. Louis, Missouri, was one of the most pet-friendly cities in the country, thanks to its affordable pet care costs and proliferation of veterinarians, pet-friendly businesses, and animal protection laws.
St. Louis is a great spot to live if you want your pets to live happy lives, but this Midwestern city's got more than just a bunch of Petcos. The city is full of fun (and free!) museums and sites, like the St. Louis Science Center, which is getting a new IMAX theater this fall; the St. Louis Zoo, and the Contemporary Art Museum. There are a few not-free sites that are worth the price of admission, too, like City Museum, a 10-story former shoe warehouse that's now full of child-friendly interactive art installations using found and re-purposed objects.
Though St. Louis's winter weather might make you think it's not much of an outdoorsy spot, the city is home to over 100 parks, including the 1,300-acre Forest Park, which is considered one of the best urban parks in the country. St. Louis is also the very devoted home to the multi-Word Series champs St. Louis Cardinals, who play at Busch Stadium, if baseball's your thing; they're often quite good, and the games are always fun.
The food scene here is pretty spectacular—there are plenty of diverse eateries in town, but local staples like St. Louis-style pizza (seriously, it's great) and toasted ravioli are worth a try, as are the "concretes" at famed frozen custard chain Ted Drewes. The city's notably home to Anheuser-Busch, if you're a Budweiser fan, though there are lots of local breweries in town, plus the bars stay open until 3:30 a.m., unlike in some places.
Best of all, St. Louis has a lovely collection of historic and walkable neighborhoods, all of which are within easy commuting distance to the commercial hubs (St. Louis is known as the "20-minute city," thanks to its relatively light commuting-time average), and many of which are full of gorgeous homes priced much lower than what you'd find in Manhattan. Here's a taste of what's out there.
3942 Flora Pl., Shaw
This six-bedroom, two-bath turn-of-the-century house, also pictured top, is located in St. Louis's Shaw neighborhood, a local historic district and largely residential area that's home to the popular Tower Grove Park and a lot of Victorian architecture. This property's got quite a few period details, including leaded art glass windows, oak hardwood floors and oak detailing, and multiple decorative and working fireplaces. Other highlights include a lovely backyard garden and a handsome three-season patio. The house is priced at $500,000.
5070 Westminster Pl., Central West End
Central West End is one of the most coveted neighborhoods in St. Louis, thanks to its gorgeous houses, walkability, vibrant restaurants and boutiques, and proximity to Forest Park. This six-bedroom, four-bath townhouse was built in 1905, and has period details like crown molding, bay windows and intricate woodwork on the front door, along with a modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Additional highlights include a spacious backyard and wooden deck, and a walk-in closet in the master bedroom. The house is priced at $669,000, cat sadly not included.
1525 Missouri Ave., Lafayette Square
If you've got a little more cash to play with, this seven-bedroom, six-bath historic house makes up 6,675 square feet, and includes office space, a carriage house, and a two-bedroom apartment. Built in 1893, the property's got vintage details like ornate wood-paneled ceilings, stained-glass windows, and gorgeous bay windows in the living room and master bedroom. Other highlights include a multiple fireplaces and a patio enclosed in ornate wrought-iron. The house is located in Lafayette Square, the city's oldest national historic district and one filled with Victorian mansions (like this one) in addition to the 30-acre Lafayette Park. The house is priced at $824,900.
1846 Menard St., Soulard
Soulard is a lively historic neighborhood located close to the 19th century Anheuser-Busch Brewery, known for its blues scene, farmer's market, and surprising number of allegedly haunted houses. This presumably not-haunted three-bedroom, three-bath Victorian was built in 1885 and initially housed a saddle shop, though it's since been transformed into a residential space. Highlights include exposed brick, big storefront windows in the living room, a funky eat-in kitchen outfitted with quartz countertops, and a master bath with his-and-hers sinks, a tub, and a glass-enclosed shower. The house is priced at $479,000.
644 Vassar Ave., University City
If you're looking to live close to Washington University in St. Louis, this four-bedroom, five-bath English-style country house is in University City, about a five-minute drive from campus and close to the popular Delmar Loop entertainment hub. Property highlights include quaint casement windows, a historic fireplace in the living room, and a large kitchen with stainless steel appliances and a breakfast nook. There's also a charming backyard with a wooden deck, and some great wallpaper throughout. The house is priced at $459,000.
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