Ultimate Tourist St. Louis – Matthew Fan

Matthew Fan, Age: 16, Grade: 11
School: John Burroughs School

Essay

I felt sad when I once heard someone ask, “What’s there to do in St. Louis?” I was sad he was missing out on so much. St. Louis is like a kaleidoscope. If you don’t look inside, you don’t realize how amazing it is. If you peer inside, however, you’ll find spectacular patterns and vibrant colors just like the people and attractions that make St. Louis so appealing. While I could list scores of great places to explore, three I especially enjoyed with friends were Art Hill, Castlewood State Park, and Busch Stadium.

I visited Art Hill, one morning with friends at my side and a drone in hand. After parking near the Art Museum, we headed halfway down the hill where we sat on velvet grass, admiring the magnificent fountains. ¬†What a view! And when I flew my drone over Art Hill, I saw the grandeur that wowed people in the 1904 World’s Fair. At the top of Art Hill in front of the Art Museum, the statue of King Louis IX, for whom St. Louis was named, triumphantly surveys the panorama. My friends and I people-watched, observing parents running after children, an older couple feeling the sparkling water, and strangers smiling as they were asked to take pictures of others.

About noon, we headed to Castlewood State Park where we’d agreed to spend the afternoon hiking. We chose the popular Riverview Trail that leads to breathtaking vistas of the Meramec River Valley. Hiking across the roots and pebbles, we passed happy pets with their owners, adventurous bikers, and laughing families. When we reached our destination, a cliff high above the river, we sat on the edge and dangled our feet above railroad tracks far below, watching trains roar by. After I launched my drone, we pressed our heads together, marveling at the screen that displayed stunning views of the cliffs and forests. It’s amazing that St. Louis residents and visitors can enjoy an oasis of nature so close to the city!

Late at night, I cheered and jeered at our iconic Busch Stadium. In the Emerson Suite for a birthday party, I sat with teens I’d only just met. But just as when I visited other great St. Louis attractions, St. Louis brought us all closer. The game was thrillingly close, and every Cardinals fan carried the St. Louis spirit. Don’t believe me? The galvanized crowd did the wave four times in a row! But nothing beat Carpenter and Pham scoring in the 8th inning, making the crowd go ballistic. Around me, my new friends cheered in different languages as we bonded through our mutual love of St. Louis and of the Cardinals winning.

So how was my summer in St. Louis? It was overwhelmingly spectacular. But don’t take it from others or me. Go out and experience everything that St. Louis has to offer! And soon, everyone in St. Louis will ask, “What isn’t there to do in St. Louis with friends?”