I promised to write an entry and share my photos of Saint Charles, Missouri, just outside of Saint Louis, after making a quick visit on my trip to pick up Hawthorn, my sweet Ragdoll kitten, who is doing wonderfully. She is so full of fun and energy.
Saint Charles is old, so old in fact it is the oldest city on the Missouri River, the third oldest city west of the Mississippi and one of the original five counties of Missouri. It's been settled since 1769 and interestingly, it was Missouri's first state capital and home to the first railroad bridge to span the Missouri River. It's been hit by tornadoes and floods and survived beautifully. It's been home to Daniel Boone and it was the starting point for the infamous journey of Lewis and Clark.
Being located on the Missouri River is of particular interest to me because I'm drawn to towns located on the banks of rivers. They're something special and it's a great place to spend time and to walk or run. When I lived in Parkville, another Missouri town situated along the Missouri River, but on the opposite side of the state being next to Kansas City, I used to run the riverside trails in pretty English Landing Park.
I was fortunate to see Main Street firsthand after seeing it on the Internet several different times. The 13-block stretch can't be done justice via pictures. It's something to see. It reminds me of Massachusetts Avenue in Lawrence, KS in the sense of the length. There's not many cities and towns that can boast such impressively long downtown main streets. I'd say the architecture in Saint Charles is far more impressive though and makes much more of a statement. It's very reminiscent of Boston. One thing I've always liked about Saint Louis is its similarity to New England and the East Coast. I adore these architectural building styles; if it were possible to stand in one spot for all eternity, I'd do it around architecture like this.
Saint Charles is home to one of the nation's largest Christmas festivals. There's a museum for Lewis and Clark as well as the home Boone shared with his family. Suffice it to say, there are so many festivals, fairs, events and places to visit, I may just come back and write another post detailing all there is to see and do in Saint Charles. If you'd like to dive right in, I suggest the Saint Charles pages on greatriverroad.com as an easy-to-read guide.
I'll be back to take more pictures.