St. Louis Overview

Nestled between two major rivers the Missouri and the Mighty Mississippi (that create the 4th largest waterway in the world), St. Louis boasts a proud history and continues to offer residents a vast array of cultural opportunities, community events, cutting-edge restaurants, winning professional sports teams, revered universities, and live music. 

With nearly 3 million people in the bi-state region, Greater St. Louis is the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, the 2nd largest in Illinois, and the 22nd largest in the country. At 630 feet, the Gateway Arch is the world’s tallest arch and the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere.  Built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States, it is the centerpiece of the Gateway Arch National Park and the most recognizable symbol of the city. 

St. Louis is a center of medicine and biotechnology, it is home to ten Fortune 500 companies and Cortex Innovation Community, the largest innovation hub in the Midwest (generating 3,800 tech jobs in 14 years with projections to create ten thousand more upon project completion). While it’s true that sometimes you have to hunt, St. Louis truly has some of the most extraordinary offerings—all at the ready for the locals to enjoy!

Click these links to explore St. Louis! You'll find world-class museums and performing arts, parks with great hiking, biking and running trails, the best place to grab a burger, and activities for people of all ages.

HIGHER EDUCATION

The oldest university west of the Mississippi River, one of the country's most highly regarded universities, and a host of other strong schools make up St. Louis' robust higher education landscape.

Higher Ed--Wash U

Washington University in St. Louis is among the world’s leaders in teaching, research, patient care, and service to society. As an institution, it is committed to learning and exploration, to discovery and impact. Founded in 1853, Wash U educates 16,000+ students each year, bringing enormous diversity and exposure to the midwest, and continues to be a pride point for St. Louis.

Higher Ed--SLU

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic universities. SLU, which also has a campus in Madrid, Spain, is recognized for world-class academics, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Guided by our enduring Jesuit mission, we offer our nearly 13,000 students a highly rigorous and deeply transformative education that helps them develop into bold, confident leaders. 

Higher Ed--Webster

Webster University is committed to ensuring high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence. Revered for its fine arts programs and multiple international campuses (in Tashkent, Leiden, Bangkok and more), Webster University's interdisciplinary centers, incubators of academic research, and issue-focused institutes each contribute to the student experience for more than 12,000 individuals living and working around the world.

Higher Ed--UMSL

With more than 16,000 students, University of Missouri-St. Louis is the largest public research university in eastern Missouri. While UMSL graduates can be found in all 50 states and countries around the globe, their greatest impact is felt right here in St. Louis. More than 75,000 UMSL alumni call the St. Louis region home. They drive the region’s economy and contribute mightily to its social well-being.

UNIQUE DIFFERENTIATORS

Whitfield parents share qualities about St. Louis and the Midwest that set us apart from other parts of the country.

You really get all 4 seasons: summer, fall, winter, spring.

St. Louis is one of the most philanthropic cities in the country!

Chicago, Memphis, and Kansas City, etc. are all within driving distance and are close enough to visit for a long weekend.

St. Louis is the perfect blend of a large city with affordable housing, dining and theater. Very easy to navigate and traffic is always at a minimum!

A great place to raise a family. An easy-going lifestyle. At the center of activities around the whole country...it's easy to get to just about anywhere from the middle of the US.

St. Louis has over 40 professional and small professional theater companies, performing live theatrical productions on just about any weekend of the year.

St. Louis has incredible neighborhoods which reflect the amazing history. You can step into a different time and place by visiting places like The Hill, The Grove and the Central West End.

Free museums, beautiful public parks, cultural diversity, metro ride to baseball games.

You will never need to drive more than 15 minutes even in the worst traffic!

The water tastes great straight from the tap!

HIDDEN GEMS

St. Louis is home to some amazing hotspots that may not be listed in Zagat's.  Here's a list of local favorites from Whitfield parents.

st. louis public library exterior

"Established in 1865, the St. Louis Public Library has some of the most beautiful and historic architecture in the area! The building is just as extraordinary as the more than 4 million items in its collection."

Gems - BBQ

"For BBQ, head straight to Sugarfire in Olivette, Pappy's Smokehouse in Grand Center, or Salt + Smoke in the U. City Loop, Hampton Ave., CWE or St. Chuck."

Gems - Art

CAM

"St. Louis has an amazing and accessible art scene, especially for emerging and contemporary artists featured at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM), St. Louis Fashion Lab, Foundry Art Centre, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, and the galleries on Cherokee Street."

Many thanks to Whitfield parents for sharing their perspectives and advice about St. Louis!

Darcy Glidewell (Natalie '24), Asim Raza (Riyaz '24), Sharon Charmley (Jacob '23), Darci McCracken (Lucy '18, Dean '22),
Dyan McGuire (Maggie '24), Dave Cooperstein (Grace '25)