Historic Saint Charles makes for a perfect day trip from St. Louis.

Historic Saint Charles

Approximately 30 minutes from downtown St. Louis, the historic town of Saint Charles is nestled on the banks of the Missouri River.

The growing community was founded as Les Petites Côtes (The Little Hills) by French Canadian fur trader Louis Blanchette in 1769, and it served as the state’s first capital.

Today, visitors enjoy casual strolls along Main Street, where more than 100 shops, restaurants and cafés decorate the beautifully preserved historic district. The Frenchtown area, known for its antique shops, boasts 58 historic French Colonial and German buildings that are worth a stop, too.

While you’re in Saint Charles, visit the Lewis & Clark Boat House and Museum to learn more about the famous explorers, or try your luck at Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles. The first Missouri state capitol building and the Shrine of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne also welcome guests.