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Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options-house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, the convenience of location-it all can be quite overwhelming. That’s why we’ve researched 5 of the best neighborhoods in Saint Louis, just for you.
(and by the way of introduction, we’re Bellhop—your friendly Saint Louis movers). We’ve examined what it’s like living in each of these highlighted neighborhoods. And we’ve created in-depth guides with insider scoops on close-by, popular destinations. Soon, you’ll be living like a local.
A Little About Saint Louis and its Neighborhoods
Saint Louis is the largest metro area in the state of Missouri. Its signature 630-foot Gateway Arch monument stands at the edge of the city, welcoming newcomers to enter through its towering walls. The city’s low cost of living (with houses at about half the cost of the rest of the country), strong job market, and low unemployment rate have made Saint Louis a secure home for many professionals and families.
At the heart of the city, Saint Louis’ bustling downtown features green lawns, walkable pathways, and art installments between the towering city buildings. Dozens of restaurants, taverns, venues, clubs, and casinos are scattered throughout the city and cluster around the Soulard neighborhood. Venues and museums display the city’s cultural and historical past and present.
Today, Saint Louis’ 308,000 residents are wonderfully diverse, with locals from Germany, Italy, Ireland, Poland, Bosnia, Ethiopia, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The city’s melting-pot-feel is one of its greatest features. And the numerous cultural traditions of its residents have been incorporated into dozens of Saint Louis’ annual celebrations and festivals.
Saint Louis is full of amazing places to live. The city is home to 79 distinct neighborhoods, each with its own vibe, culture, and offerings. With many growing and popular neighborhoods, you may be wondering where you should buy or rent. Look no further. Below we’ll explore the 5 best neighborhoods in Saint Louis to get you started on your search for your new home.
Central West End
This grand residential area, tucked against Forest Park, is one of the most extravagant neighborhoods in the city. Close to downtown and midtown, this neighborhood is popular among a diverse group of residents. Locals range from young students to families and empty nesters.
What’s Happening in Central West End
The nearby major hospitals serve as major employers for many residents living in the area. Both Saint Louis University and Washington University in Saint Louis are just a skip away as well.
The Central West End blends its beautiful and historic homes with trendy businesses along Euclid Avenue. Its local and large library and 24-hour coffee shops sit around the corner from historic mansions, high-rises, and antique stores. Locals are constantly running errands on foot.
City fixtures like the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (with its largest mosaic collection on the globe), the World Chess Hall of Fame, and the Chase Park Plaza Cinema call Central West End home. Nearby restaurants run by world-renowned chefs, like The Preston Restaurant, the Chase Club, and Moxy Bistro neighbor local salons, art galleries, boutiques, bars, and cafes.
Schools near Central West End
This area of the city has a long list of well-rated schools. These include New City School, The Biome Charter School, Stevens Middle School. Loyola Academy of St. Louis, Rosati-Kain High School, Metro Academy, and Classical High School, and St. Louis University High School. Read more about Schools in St. Louis..
Homes near Central West End
Central West End’s homes will make anyone want to retire rich. The beautiful houses of this area are framed by trimmed green lawns. Here you’ll find stunning historic brick homes, updated townhomes, and modern flats.
Saint Louis’ bustling downtown features several small parks. Its walkable streets weave between towering city buildings. This incredibly foot-friendly city center allows for its closeby residents to be able to do anything. Locals can get to and from work, run errands, and reach some of the city’s best entertainment just by strapping on a pair of sneakers.
What’s Happening in Downtown
Out of all its neighborhoods, Saint Louis’ downtown is the most walkable. Here, locals live just blocks away from restaurants, nightclubs, coffee shops, and the Cardinals and Blues home games. The urban core of Saint Louis, downtown is home to the area’s most known destinations. Visit the Gateway Arch, City Museum, Ballpark Village, and Kiener Plaza.
The pedestrian-friendly city center also offers a few public transportation options. Millions of people ride the St. Louis MetroLink system each year. This system includes the MetroBus lines and MetroLink light rail trains.
Biking is also common in Saint Louis’ downtown. Many of its streets are lined by protected bike lanes. Additionally, downtown offers electric scooters that you can pick up and ride for a small per-minute fee.
Schools near Downtown
Downtown’s schools include some great options including Mason Elementary School, Marian Middle School, St. Louis University High School, Metro Academic and Classical High School, Soldan High School, and Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience.
Homes near Downtown
Housing in Downtown is dominated by towering industrial lofts with exposed brick walls and buffed cement floors. Roofside pools and massive windows are a few common features among Downtown’s modern flats.
Although this neighborhood is small, with a population of just over 2000 people, it’s one of the most iconic and historic neighborhoods in the city. This stunning neighborhood is full of the city’s more prospering local businesses and residents. Lafayette Square is Saint Louis’ oldest historic district, and its charm is admired throughout the city.
What’s Happening in Lafayette Square
Families and their pets are commonly seen strolling amidst the ample green space of Lafayette Park. This area is the oldest publicly owned park west of the Mississippi. Local eateries, from high-end restaurants to the charming Square One Brewery, are walking distance away.
Throughout the year, the community gathers for free summer concerts, local events, and historic home tours. Residents can also stroll through the specialty shops or travel three blocks north to reach downtown.
Schools near Lafayette Square
Some of the best schools near Lafayette Square include Lafayette Preparatory Academy, New City Schoool, Roosevelt High School, and Mallinckrodt Academy of Gifted Instruction among others.
Homes near Lafayette Square
Lafayette Squares’ gorgeous historic architecture is the eye-catcher of this neighborhood. Multi-colored victorian homes with beautiful wood trim and flowering gardens line each block.
Although packed, Clayton is small in scale, stretching just about five square blocks. The area, therefore, is extremely walkable, with elegant homes just a short walk away from the business district.
Clayton boasts of excellent schools, lower property tax rates, and great parks and recreation centers. This walkable business district has been rated as one of the best suburban neighborhoods in the country.
What’s Happening in Clayton
In the 60s, Clayton’s commercial center rivaled downtowns. Today, many business headquarters, lawyers, and other professionals fill up the corporate office spaces in this thriving neighborhood. Throughout Clayton, high-rise offices and smaller retailers sit side by side.
Nextdoor to residential streets, there are art galleries, boutiques, and antique shops. Neighborhood restaurants provide plenty of cuisine options for Clayton locals. Check out Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Sardella, bar Celona, and The Crossing. Near the east end, local shops, restaurants, and bars cater to a younger culture.
Schools near Clayton
Clayton is home to a long list of great schools, including Glenridge Elementary School, Ralph M. Captain Elementary Schoool, Wydown Middle School, and Clayton High School, among others.
Homes near Clayton
Many families and professionals have found a comfortable home amidst the area’s single-family houses, ranches, and mansions. To the east, housing adjusts to provide affordable rental spots for students of Fontbonne University and Concordia Seminary.
Squeezed between downtown and South City, Soulard is super close to all the amenities and major job offerings in the city. The nearby Anheuser-Busch brewery points to its strong brewing heritage, which was founded on the immigrant migration of Germans and Eastern Europeans in the 1800s to the area.
To the south, you’ll bump into the oldest and largest farmers market in the city, which has been operating since 1779. Filled with history and culture, Soulard also packs in 40 local bars and restaurants. This popular neighborhood also features dog parks, co-op gardens, and some of the best BBQ in the country.
What’s Happening in Soulard
Love the nightlife? Soulard should be on your list. Surrounding Soulard’s homes are cozy clubs, jazz and blues venues, pubs, and cafes. This lively neighborhood is full of shops, eateries, bars, and art galleries. It also throws one of the biggest Mardi Gras parties outside of New Orleans.
This neighborhood fully won our hearts with its menu. Besides the bustling Farmer’s Market, full of fresh meat and local produce, Soulard offers a wide range of delicious dishes. Far-flung international dishes from Vietnam, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Japan will match any occasion or craving you might have.
Schools near Soulard
In Soulard, you’ll find high-rated nearby schools like The Soulard School, Madison School, Peabody Elementary Schoool, and McKinley Classical Leadership Academy High School, among others.
Homes near Soulard
Housing in Soulard is a mix. Its good location but younger, the urban crowd keeps housing prices in the mid-range for the city. Families fill the area’s charming red-brick townhomes decked with small balconies and courtyards.
There you have it: the 5 best neighborhoods in Saint Louis!
We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhops. As we said, we coordinate local and long-distance moving services in Saint Louis, and we would love to help.
Interested in learning more about St. Louis? Check out our other St. Louis guides below:
- Moving Guide to St. Louis
- Best Up and Coming Neighborhoods in St. Louis
- Best Schools in St. Louis
- Best Family-Friendly Neighborhoods in St. Louis
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- The 5 Best Neighborhoods for Families in Nashville - August 16, 2023
- The Best Places to Live in Washington State (A 2023 Guide) - August 16, 2023