Critical Care Medicine | Fellowship Program | Life in St. Louis

Life in St. Louis

The St. Louis region is consistently ranked among the nation’s most affordable and best places to live and raise families. With a population of nearly 3 million and the 18th largest metropolitan region in the United States, St. Louis is one of the Midwest’s key cultural destinations, boasting an abundance of museums, music and theatre venues, sporting events, family-friendly activities, and shopping and fine dining districts. The people of St. Louis are caring, friendly, and consistently ranked as one of the most charitable in the country (2nd most charitable city in America per Charity Navigator, 2016)

The 164-acre medical campus of Washington University School of Medicine, including St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, is located in the Central West End. An eclectic and vibrant district of St. Louis located just north of Forest Park in the central corridor of the city, the Central West End is known for its wide array of restaurants and sidewalk cafes, specialty shops, boutiques, art galleries, and bookstores. Many fellows reside in apartments or lofts in the Central West End within walking distance or a short Metrorail ride from the hospital, while others, particularly those with families, choose to live in surrounding suburbs.


Culture and Entertainment

Cultural and entertainment offerings are plentiful here. Many of the hallmark cultural and educational institutions boast free admission, including the Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Zoo, St. Louis Science Center, the Missouri History Museum, and the Municipal Opera (Muny). Festivals and fairs of all types — arts, music, ethnic, and others — happen year round, from the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival in Forest Park to the St. Louis Jazz and Heritage Festival in downtown Clayton to the Mardi Gras Barkus Pet Parade in the historically French Soulard neighborhood. Live theater and musical performances cater to all tastes and price ranges. St. Louisans love good food, and a wealth of independent restaurants of every ethnic variety — many near the Medical Center — meet the need for flavor.


Single Life

Singles in St. Louis can mingle and spend free time at a number of venues and events. The St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues draw sell-out crowds to their respective stadiums, while college-level sports teams frequently compete at the top of their leagues here. The closest and most popular neighborhood is the Central West End, a lively and historic district in the heart of the city that’s bustling with dining, entertainment, shopping, and nightlife. Also nearby is the Delmar Loop, an ever-evolving center of nightlife with unique stores, original boutiques, and iconic restaurants (such as Fitz’s Soda Microbrewery and Restaurant). Finally, downtown Clayton boasts high-end dining, fine art galleries, prominent boutiques, and luxury hotels. And these are just some of the exciting areas St. Louis has to offer!

Greater St. Louis is home to more than 100 parks and some 200 miles of trails for cycling, running and walking. At 1,293 acres, Forest Park — adjacent to the Medical Center — is approximately 500 acres larger than Central Park in New York and offers a multitude of outdoor opportunities. A network of hiking and bicycle trails following the area’s great rivers is emerging as one of the best in the country. Many state parks, both in Missouri and Illinois, are within easy driving distance. Three hours away is the 55,000-acre Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri’s largest body of water, as well as many beautiful rivers and streams ideal for canoeing. Many destinations for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking — even spelunking and skydiving — surround the area. And with four distinct seasons, there’s always a new set of activities to enjoy throughout the year!


Family Life

St. Louis boasts a number of family friendly attractions. Right in Forest Park, families can access one of the Nation’s best zoos for free, as well as an incredible Science Center. Forest Park also hosts a hot air balloon glow and race, a fun and exciting family event every September. The Magic House, a children’s museum filled with fun, educational, and interactive events and exhibits is just 15 minutes away in nearby Kirkwood. Purina Farms is a pet-centered attraction that hosts a number of kid-friendly (and many pet friendly!) gatherings, parties, events, and celebrations. Lone Elk Park delivers a free, scenic car ride through a wildlife setting populated with elk, bison, deer, turkey, and waterfowl, and is neighbor to the World Bird Sanctuary, a 305-acre environment the rescues and cares for over 200 animals and bird species. Finally, the City Museum is a 600,000 square-foot surrealistic, urban playground designed by the internationally acclaimed sculptor Bob Cassily inside the former International Shoe Company building.

St. Louis is centrally located, making travel to all parts of the country convenient for you and your visiting family members. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is a national hub served by 20 airlines. St. Louis is also a stop on multiple Amtrak routes. Chicago and Memphis are five hours away by car, and Kansas City and Indianapolis are even closer, making short or longer getaways convenient.


Other St. Louis Highlights

  • Washington University of Saint Louis was rated the Number 1 smartest college in America (Lumosity Smartest Colleges, 2013)
  • In 2016, the St. Louis Zoo was chosen as the nation’s best free attraction by USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice Awards. And it’s free!
  • St. Louis’ Forest Park was named the Number 1 best city park in America (Thrillist, May 2016), as “nowhere else in America will you be able to walk manicured green space, look at a Van Gogh painting, and visit with polar bears and red pandas -- all without spending a dime.”
  • The Missouri Botanical Garden in Saint Louis -- a World Class Botanical Garden founded in 1859 – is the oldest botanical garden in continuous operation in America and was awarded the third best public garden in the United States (TripAdvisor, 2013). Their 14-acre Japanese Garden is one of the largest and most beautiful in North America, while their orchid collection is one of the largest in the world. They also have free Jazz concerts in the summer.
  • The Muny in Saint Louis is America's oldest and largest outdoor theatre devoted exclusively to musical theatre---with 1,500 free seats!
  • The St. Louis Symphony is widely respected and the second oldest symphony orchestra in the country.
  • St. Louis is home to the famous Ted Drewes frozen custard, which was hailed as the best ice cream in the world (Soolnua’s World Ice Cream index, 2016)
Wash U School of Medicine
Children's Hospital St. Louis
Children's Discovery Institute
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