The Central West End Neighborhood in Saint Louis claims to be the very heart of the city. With its beautiful basilica and booming cafy culture, it may be justified in its claims. Either way, the area has a long history as an important corridor in the city's development. In addition to upscale homes owned by former prominent city members, Tennessee Williams also wrote plays living in the area.
The most notable attraction in the area is also one of the largest. The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis towers over the neighborhood. Not merely a religious fixture, the Basilica also houses the world's largest collection of mosaic art. Built by a father and son team over the course of 80 years, there is no denying that the Basilica is an impressive anchor to the neighborhood and provides a strong draw for tourists.
Also drawing in the tourists and other St. Louis locals are the shops. The Central West End Neighborhood in Saint Louis has a large collection of specialty and boutique shopping options that just can't be found elsewhere in the city. As a result, the shops are packed with people looking for that perfect thing in out of the little boutiques, or having it specially made.
The shops make the neighborhood good for people watching and being seen. As a result, many restaurants and cafy stops have sprung up in the neighborhood, giving it a Continental feel while still allowing locals to feel at home. Visitors will enjoy a glass of regional wine and a sunny spot to watch the hustle and bustle.
There are not many activities for children, and parking can be an issue at peak hours and during the three annual festivals. Be sure to plan ahead and take a cab into the area during the rambunctious Halloween Festival, the summer Central West End Wine and Art tasting, and the yummy Greek festival that happens over Labor Day.