Two of my very good friends (who happen to be sisters) live just outside of St. Louis, Missouri. They both are enrolled in Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and had spring break earlier this month. My university days are over, but I still needed a break–if only for the weekend! I packed an overnight bag, picked up a mocha from one of my favorite coffee shops, and hit the road for a girl’s weekend!
After I arrived from northern Indiana, Saturday morning we made the short 30-minute drive to St. Louis. It being the first week of March, we didn’t know what to expect, but thankfully, the temperatures were in the high 50s, and we only needed a cardigan to get by. So first on our agenda was the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Literally 3 minutes from our destination, we spotted an adorable pastry shop, La Patisseire Chouquette, and just had to pop in. I’m so glad we took a slight detour. This shop was so fun! Every corner was beautifully decorated, and the sweets were absolutely delicious. We opted to share a chocolate mousse, passionfruit cake, and a variety of macaroons. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend stopping in for a relaxing afternoon tea and trying one of their immaculate desserts! Some of the items were almost too pretty to eat (almost).
Back on schedule, we made it to the Botanical Gardens. The campus is huge! Buildings of diverse architecture are sprinkled throughout and paved paths wind about the lush campus. It being so early in the season, we didn’t get to see very many blooming flowers, but everything was still stunning. I can only imagine what the gardens look like in the peak of spring–I may just need to come back and see for myself! This is not a place to rush through; take your time walking the paths and stop to appreciate the views. There’s a café on campus, so you could literally spend your entire day here if you wanted to!
Next, we headed to McPherson Avenue in Central West End, an artsy small area where you can walk in and out of shops and stop to get a bite to eat along the way. We spent some time searching through Left Bank Books bookstore. If you’re a bookworm, you will fancy this shop! They have a large selection of books, including an entire downstairs selection of used books. I found two books covering one of my favorite topics–food!
We hadn’t eaten since the pastry shop, so we headed across the street to Mission Taco Joint for dinner. This place quickly got packed, and I can attest to why: the food was awesome! So many bold flavors–everything was delicious. Sadly, I could barely eat my entrée, as I loaded up on their house-made salsa and chips and could hardly eat another bite (please tell me I’m not the only one who does this).
Even though we were filled to the brim with chips and salsa, we couldn’t resist finishing off our day with something sweet from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams located just around the corner. There were so many flavors to choose from, I couldn’t pick just one so I sampled three scrumptious flavors: dark chocolate, coconut, and peanut butter. If you can’t make it to the shop in person, you can actually order pints online!
What a day! The food, the scenery, the laughs – this was a much-needed mini-getaway, and I can’t wait to visit again.
What do you like to do in St. Louis? Where is your next weekend getaway going to be? Let us know in the comments below!