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.

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