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St. Louis

One of the nation's most charming cities, St. Louis is the largest metropolis on the Mississippi River. The "Gateway to the West" is a thriving hub for 2.6 million people that retains the friendly character of the Midwest while offering the fun and culture of big-city living - including museums, theaters, an active music scene and cohesive neighborhoods served by ethnic restaurants.

Living here is surprisingly inexpensive, and getting around is easy: Convenient highways make it possible to live in any part of the city, and a light-rail line - MetroLink - runs from Lambert International Airport through downtown, with a stop at the Medical Center.

Forest Park - a haven for those who seek either solitude or exercise - offers a wide spectrum of athletic opportunities including public tennis courts, three golf courses, an outdoor ice rink, picnic areas, playing fields, a lake and a seven-mile paved trail. The park is home to the St. Louis Science Center, the St. Louis Museum of Fine Arts, the Missouri Historical Society and the 83-acre St. Louis Zoo.

St. Louis is a sports-minded city that enthusiastically supports world-championship-caliber Rams football, Cardinals baseball, Blues hockey and a number of semi-pro teams.

Many other types of affordable entertainment also are available. The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is among the country's best, and several first-rate theater companies practice their art here. The Fox Theatre presents Broadway shows, dance performances and concerts. Blues, jazz and rock bands are hot attractions in local clubs, and a large outdoor venue draws major concerts.

St. Louis' central location makes exploring nearby cities easy and inexpensive. Outdoor activities can be found within and around the metropolitan area - bike trails line both the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, and the Ozark mountains and river valleys are perfect for backpacking, camping and canoeing.

For more about St. Louis, please visit http://www.explorestlouis.com.