The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is across the Mississippi from Downtown St. Louis in modern Illinois. Cahokia was an immense Native American city inhabited from about AD 800-1400. Known for its striking earth mounds, it was home to some 20,000 people at its peak around 1300, making it by far the largest city in the Americas north of Mexico, and larger than London and Rome at the time. The 100-foot tall Monks Mound was once the residence of the paramount chief; other mounds were home to other prominent clans and families. Cahokia was a major center of the Mississippian culture, a group of mound-building societies that spread as far north as Wisconsin and across the Southeast as far as Florida. The city was abandoned by 1400, and other native peoples settled in the area. The Illinois state government acquired the site in 1923. It became a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. The grounds feature many mounds and other features, and the Cahokia Museum and Interpretive Center.

Monks Mound at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

View from the top of Monks Mound

Monks Mound across the former Grand Plaza

Cahokia Museum and Interpretive Center


Downtown includes the historic core and central business district of St. Louis. It is home to many of its attractions, businesses, and major employers. With most major attractions within easy walking distance, Downtown St. Louis provides a good example of an important redevelopment strategy often overlooked in other cities’ downtown revitalization plans: the clustering of attractions in a compact, walkable area.

The Mississippi River waterfront at Gateway Arch National Park

Looking toward Downtown with the Gateway Arch in the background

The Old Courthouse was the site of many historical events. The Dred Scott citizenship case was heard here in 1857.

Old Courthouse

Located next to Busch Stadium, Ballpark Village is a major redevelopment project spearheaded by the City of St. Louis and the Cordish Companies. Phase 2 is currently under construction. Even during away games, fans gather to watch the St. Louis Cardinals on the big screens.

Ballpark Village

Inside Ballpark Village

Sweetie Pie’s soul food restaurant, made famous by its Oprah Winfey Network show

St. Louis’ beer culture extends far beyond macrobreweries like Anheuser-Busch. The metro area is home to over two dozen craft breweries making a wide variety of beers. Four Hands Brewing

Gateway Arch

The Gateway Arch above the Old Cathedral

The arch by day

The arch by night

Entrance to the museum

View of Downtown from the top of the Gateway Arch

View of East St. Louis from the Gateway Arch


Originally the Bavarian Brewing Company, the brewery became the E. Anheuser Company when German immigrant Eberhart Anheuser took it over in 1860. It adopted its present name when Augustus Busch, Anheuser’s son-in-law, joined the business in 1869. Anheuser-Busch pioneered the use of pasteurization and refrigeration in its quest to create the country’s first nationwide beer brand, leading to the successful introduction of Budweiser in 1876. The brewery is now one of St. Louis’ major employers and top tourist attractions; its various historic buildings still feature their original ornamentation. In 2008, the company was bought out by the Belgian conglomerate InBev, becoming Anheuser-Busch InBev; the St. Louis facility serves as the North American headquarters.

The stables, sometime home of the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales

Lagering tanks

Mash room

Article and images by Bill Delaney.