Tourism

St. Louis Fire, illustration in a German book from 1857.
Henry Lewis | Wikimedia Commons

Fires, floods, tornadoes, oh my! St. Louis has been witness to many kinds of disaster over the years and on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we talked about the most disastrous ones … and where you can find remnants of their existence still today.

The Meramec Caverns near Stanton, Missouri have been open to tourists since 1933.
Marcin Wichary | Flickr

Updated June 9 at 6:30 p.m. - Meramec Caverns will re-open Friday morning, months after it stopped cave tours because federal regulators measured high levels of a toxic chemical known as trichloroethylene, or TCE.

The popular tourist attraction in Franklin County installed air-lock doors and ventilation, and on Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said tours in "the upper levels of the caverns" could resume.

The Ferris Wheel moving to Branson from Chicago
Terence Faircloth | Flickr

It’s not a hoax—Chicago’s Navy Pier Ferris wheel is moving to Branson. The Track Family Fun Parks is paying $2.5 million to install the wheel in the Ozarks tourist town.

Known for its go-carts and bumper boats, CEO Craig Wescott said The Track had been thinking of adding a Ferris wheel for some time, and jumped on the opportunity to buy the Navy Pier wheel.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

“As St. Louisans we totally don’t know our own city,” said Mike, a caller during Thursday’s “St. Louis on the Air” program. He often comes across out-of-town visitors who are “agog” at the architecture they can find here…and that’s not even off the beaten path.

Great River Road, fall 2012
Mary Delach Leonard | file photo | St. Louis Beacon

St. Louis is an urban island floating in a sea of green. We may not think about it often, but our urban island is surrounded by corn and bean fields, cattle pastures, vineyards, oak forests and, of course, rivers and their valleys. This countryside teems with wild turkey, bluebirds, butterflies, geese and ducks, fox, deer and bald eagles. As all island-dwellers know, sometimes you just have to get off the island to be rejuvenated. Fortunately for us, that’s easy to do.

(Courtesy Lemp Mansion)

The open road. Curving, meandering highways. Roadside diners and trips to remember yesteryear. These are the types of images most often associated with Route 66.

But in addition to tourists and explorers, some unsavory characters have lived and traveled along the roads that became Missouri's Route 66. Author Lisa Livingston-Martin tells their stories in her new book, Missouri's Wicked Route 66: Outlaws and Gangsters on the Mother Road.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri House has rejected 12 of the 13 budget bills passed last week by the State Senate.

The move was part of the normal procedure for preparing for final budget negotiations.  However, some House members took the opportunity to criticize the Senate for cutting more than $3 million from the state’s tourism budget.  State Rep. Don Ruzicka (R, Mount Vernon) urged House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City) to try to get the cut restored.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich (R) has released audits today of the Missouri Division of Tourism and of the former State Water Patrol.

First, one audit concludes that Lt. Governor Peter Kinder (R) may have had a conflict of interest by serving as chairman of both the state Tourism Commission and a nonprofit group that put on the Tour of Missouri bicycle race.

It notes that the Tourism Commission has no conflict of interest policy and recommends it adopt one.

Missouri Hopes For Boost From Civil War Tourism

Jun 22, 2011

With 2011 marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's beginning, tourists and history buffs are expected to travel to famous battle sites, such as Gettysburg and Bull Run, in record numbers. Missouri would like some of that attention — only Virginia and Tennessee contain more Civil War battle sites.

Missouri was on the western front of the Civil War. The Battle of Wilson's Creek was fought there; in total, more than 1,000 skirmishes and battles took place in the state.

(via Karen Hill/Missouri Botanical Garden)

The Missouri Botanical Garden will host a Chinese lantern festival next year.

The exhibition—the first of its kind in the United States—will feature 26 large, brightly-colored lantern displays from China's Zigong province.

(St. Louis Board of Aldermen)
  • A member of a long-time political family in St. Louis is leaving his post as alderman for the 11th Ward. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Ald. Matt Villa says he needs to focus on expanding the family's business, Villa Lighting.