In downtown, the St. Louis Cardinals play at Busch Stadium.

How to Bookend Your Next Cardinals Baseball Game

Tuesday April 23, 2024

By Rachel Huffman

St. Louis Cardinals baseball is about more than just baseball. Fans know that games at Busch Stadium are part of a greater experience, which immerses them in the local community.

Before and after the crack of the bat, explore nearby attractions, grab a bite to eat and dance until you drop.

Here are some ways to bookend your next Cardinals baseball game.

These Boots Are Made For Walkin’

St. Louis Cardinals baseball is synonymous with delectable dishes and frothy brews. Before you belly up to the bar, though, we suggest taking in the sights of downtown.

A stone’s throw from Busch Stadium, the Gateway Arch stands at 630 feet, making it the tallest monument in the U.S. The iconic structure honors the country’s pioneering spirit, and today, up to 6,700 visitors a day can take the tram ride to the top. Back on solid ground, wander through the curated exhibits in the Museum at the Gateway Arch, which showcase more than 200 years of the region’s history.

The Gateway Arch also has a brand-new virtual-reality experience, Cobblestones & Courage, which transports visitors to the 1850s St. Louis riverfront era. Surrounded by the sights and sounds of the working riverfront, you can learn real stories from three individuals: John Parker, an enslaved dock worker who loaded and unloaded steamboats to make money to buy his freedom; Anna Hormann, who emigrated from Germany to St. Louis with her family; and James B. Eads, who designed a “submarine” to salvage cargo from sunken steamboats at the bottom of the Mississippi River.

A perfect pit stop between visits to the Gateway Arch and Busch Stadium, Citygarden is dotted with conversation-starting sculptures, lush plant life, rain gardens, dancing fountains and a 180-foot-long shallow pool with a six-foot-tall waterfall where you can cool off in the summer – just make sure you have a towel handy.

Citygarden is a wonderful place to go before or after a St. Louis Cardinals game.
Citygarden | Photo by Steve Hall

For another activity that won’t break the bank, head to the Economy Museum. Offering free admission, the museum located inside the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis teaches visitors about scarcity, market equilibrium, global trade, the function of the Federal Reserve and more in unexpected ways. Learn to identify the security features of cash. Try to lift a 28-pound gold bar. Buy stocks on the International Stock Exchange. And when it’s time to leave, walk out with a small bag of shredded bills as a souvenir.

Farther afield, City Museum is an all-ages architectural playground, where you can navigate an underground tunnel system, rocket down a 10-story slide and drive a school bus that hangs off the roof, while Soldiers Memorial Military Museum honors local military service members, veterans and their families with rotating exhibitions.

Housing a host of activities, including the St. Louis Aquarium and the St. Louis Wheel, St. Louis Union Station will keep you entertained for hours before or after a Cardinals baseball game. Feeling peckish? Indulge in a Freak Shake with extravagant toppings such as cotton candy, potato chips and Funfetti cupcakes at The Soda Fountain or charcuterie and cocktails at The Train Shed.

Katie's Pizza and Pasta Osteria serves a seasonal fig and beet salad.
Katie's Pizza and Pasta Osteria | Photo by Cassidy Hintz

Need more fuel to cheer on the home team? Share a spread of cannellini bean dip, artichoke toasted ravioli, Neapolitan meatballs and eggplant Parmigiano at Katie’s Pizza and Pasta Osteria – the location in Ballpark Village also serves personal pizzas from its takeout window!

Dig into a plate of pulled pork or brisket served with a Cheddar-bacon popover and two sides such as White Cheddar Cracker Mac, sweet pepper potato salad, creamed corn and beef-fat fries at Salt + Smoke. Sink your teeth into custom-built tacos and wash them down with tequila-infused cocktails at Condado Tacos. Or order the best gumbo in town, featuring andouille, chicken and seafood, at Broadway Oyster Bar, which draws crowds of revelers every day regardless of the Cardinals schedule.

In recent years, Broadway Oyster Bar has been joined by The Garage and The Honky Tonk, forming a triangle of musicality and merriment in downtown St. Louis. Offering live music until the wee hours, the three venues don’t charge a cover, so you can hop from one to another depending on your mood.

Dancing queens, Tin Roof plays the music that you need to bust a move, too! In the main room, live performances include country hits, classic rock, emo songs and more, while a DJ controls the dance floor in the back with hip-hop, R&B and house tracks.

A pint away from the ballpark, 4 Hands Brewing Co. has one of St. Louis’ favorite tasting rooms, which offers low-key fun. Set in a 20,000-square-foot facility in the LaSalle Park neighborhood, the tasting room has industrial chic décor, with exposed brick and classic arcade games lining the walls. Imbibers should start with City Wide – an American pale ale touted as “the beer we drink, and the people we serve” – or City Wide Pils – an American pilsner brewed with Citra hops – both of which benefits the community.

Ballpark Village is the perfect place to go before and after a Cardinals baseball game.
Ballpark Village | Photo by Max Touhey

Of course, if you just want to stroll across the street after the game, Ballpark Village covers all the bases with food, drinks and entertainment. Play Skee-Ball at Sports & Social St. Louis or ride the mechanical bull at PBR St. Louis. After a particularly eventful game, you can also watch replays on the 40-foot screen at Bally Sports Live!

Steps from Ballpark Village, 360 St. Louis – and the sophisticated socialites that it attracts – sits atop the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark. Here, the elevated snacks and top-shelf sips come with a stunning backdrop.

All these attractions and activities are within walking distance of Busch Stadium, so you don’t have to worry about transportation – just wear good walking shoes!

On The Road Again

If you want to avoid some of the crowds, take the party to Soulard, one of the oldest and most charming residential neighborhoods in St. Louis. A shuttle, which runs to and from Busch Stadium, will drop you in the heart of the action.

There’s no shortage of restaurants and bars in the area, but the liveliest haunts include 1860’s Saloon, Game Room & Hardshell Café, Bogart’s Smokehouse, Hammerstone’s and Molly’s in Soulard, which boasts one of the best terraces in the city.

Molly's in Soulard has one of the best terraces in St. Louis.
Photo courtesy of Molly’s in Soulard

The Anheuser-Busch Brewery and Biergarten is also a cornerstone of Soulard. Founded in the 1850s as a small neighborhood brewery, Anheuser-Busch quickly transformed from a local fixture into a national presence. Today, it serves as a hub for brewing innovation, using the highest-quality ingredients, grown by American farmers, to produce more than 30 brands of beer. Guests can tour the innovative space before enjoying a cold one – on the house.

A vibrant addition to the entertainment scene in St. Louis, Armory STL is massive – and we’re not exaggerating. The venue has almost 6 acres of flexible indoor space, where everyone in your group will find an activity that they enjoy, from table tennis to corn hole and four-square badminton to Shut the Box. There are also putting greens, adult seesaws and a bright-green, two-story slide.

Hungry? The kitchen serves up scrumptious dishes such as the spicy bacon and egg burger with crispy shallots and Sriracha mayonnaise; the brat, apple and Cheddar press with caramelized onions; veggie tacos with roasted sweet potato, black beans, avocado, pickled onion and avocado-yogurt sauce; a pulled pork chip board; and creamy garlic wings. For those 21 and older, there’s approximately 500 feet of bar space where you can order your drink of choice. Overall, the vibe is fun and casual, and entrance is free.

With a car, you can go anywhere before and after a Cardinals baseball game, but at these go-to spots, you’ll likely find other fans clad in red, looking for a good time.

Time To Rest Your Weary Head

As the revelry comes to an end, you won’t want to be far from your bed. Luckily, downtown St. Louis offers almost 8,000 hotel rooms, representing all the major national hotel brands as well as several boutique options, including Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch, Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis, Hotel Saint Louis, Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch, Live! By Loews St. Louis, Magnolia Hotel St. Louis and The Westin St. Louis.

Live! By Loews St. Louis offers easy access to Cardinals baseball games at Busch Stadium.
Photo courtesy of Live! By Loews

From these comfortable accommodations, you have easy access to world-class attractions, tempting restaurants and buzzing bars in the area – not to mention, all the festivities that define Cardinals baseball. Game on!