Founded in 1818, SLU was the first university in St. Louis, Missouri. SLU and the city have been shaping each other ever since. Maybe you can’t call St. Louis a college town — with nearly 3 million residents in the metro area, it’s too big for that. But it might be something better: a college city.
Located in the middle of SLU’s campus is the Grand Center Metro Stop, which can take you to sports stadiums and shopping centers throughout the St. Louis area day or night. Bonus: freshmen and sophomores who live on campus get free Metro passes. So explore.
St. Louis is home to nine Fortune 500 companies, including Monsanto, Express Scripts, Emerson Electric and Edward Jones. It’s also a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship, with Popular Mechanics ranking St. Louis the No. 1 start-up city in America. No wonder there’s a strong SLU alumni network of more than 51,000 in St. Louis.
Like other great American cities, St. Louis is a collection of unique neighborhoods, each with their own personality. Check out the sidewalk cafés and eclectic galleries in the nearby Central West End. Or pick up some fresh produce at the one of the nation’s oldest farmers markets in Soulard near Downtown.
If you don’t already have a firm position on the appeal of Provel cheese, toasted ravioli and the best barbecue in the United States, it’s time to develop one. (Start your research on The Hill, a mecca of Italian-American dining southwest of campus or Pappy’s Smokehouse, which is walking distance from campus.)
One the city’s best concert venues just happens to be on campus. SLU’s Chaifetz Arena has recently hosted Carrie Underwood, Ellie Goulding, Sam Smith and Arcade Fire. At SLU, you’re also just steps away from Grand Center, the city’s thriving arts and entertainment district, with live theater and concert halls. For nightlife, stroll down The Loop, which considered one of the “10 Great Streets in America.”
Known as one of America’s best sports cities, St. Louis is home to two professional teams: the Cardinals (baseball) and the Blues (hockey), whose fans fill the vibrant Downtown area on game days. SLU has 16 Division I NCAA sports teams, including men’s and women’s basketball and soccer. Students get into all SLU sporting events free with their student IDs.
In the nearby Forest Park — bigger than New York City’s Central Park — you will find the Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri History Museum and Saint Louis Science Center. (All of which have free admission.) For something a bit more funky, check out the 10-story slide, indoor cave system and rooftop Ferris wheel at the City Museum, which is open until midnight on weekends.