8 Exciting Weekend Getaways You Should Experience!

Starved RockThere’s no doubt about it – Edwardsville and the surrounding St. Louis area is a great place to be. There’s so much to enjoy, and it’s a wonderful place to live! Sometimes, though, it’s nice to get away from it all and enjoy a new, exciting place full of brand-new adventures.

Here’s a list of 8 exciting weekend getaways for you to enjoy close to (but just far enough away from) your home!

Chicago – One of the first weekend getaway destinations that many St. Louisans think of is Chicago! Though it’s a bit of a drive away, the time on the road is definitely worth the adventures that await you in the Windy City. Be sure to check out Millennium Park and nearby Michigan Avenue. Navy Pier, which sits right atop Lake Michigan, boasts many fun activities for you to enjoy, including a Ferris wheel! Don’t forget about the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Field Museum, and several other great activities in and around the city!

Springfield, Illinois – If you’re a history buff and need a quick breather from the St. Louis region, Springfield is a great place to visit for the weekend! There are several museums and plenty of history for you to enjoy. Visit downtown to take in the local shops and eateries or walk on the wild side at Lake Springfield!

Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri – Is the city not your scene? Try going west to the Lake of the Ozarks! Just a few hours spent on the road will get you to the beautiful lakes and all of the attractions that come with it. Enjoy relaxing on the huge lake and listening to the birds chirp and the waves lap. Rent a jet ski and take a spin on the lake. You can also choose to take your adventure on land and enjoy mini golf, go-carting, and lots of great dockside restaurants. You can’t really go wrong at the Ozarks!

Starved Rock State Park and Dekalb, Illinois – If you want to be one with nature but not be too far away from civilization, head north to Dekalb, Illinois, about an hour west of Chicago. You can walk around Dekalb and nearby Sycamore and enjoy the college town feel while having all you need at your fingertips. Go south just a little bit on Interstate 39 to get to Starved Rock State Park, a gorgeous gem that features several different waterfalls and beautiful gorges.

Memphis, Tennessee – Want some culture in your getaway? Check out Memphis! You’ll want to take in the sights at Graceland for some Elvis history and other sites like the Memphis Zoo. Don’t forget to sit back and enjoy some barbecue – it’s some of the best in the nation!

Branson, Missouri – Another fun weekend getaway to take in is at Branson, tucked in the southwest corner of Missouri! There are so many great activities to do in Branson including riding the roller coasters at Silver Dollar City, catching some great shows, ziplining, horseback riding, enjoying the lake, and acting like a kid again at the numerous water parks. The choices are nearly endless in Branson.

Galena, Illinois – Up in the northwestern region of Illinois is a town that is an artist’s dream. If you enjoy art or are an artist, be sure to check out the art galleries, antique stores, and boutique shops on Main Street. Get away from the busy streets by golfing, taking a river cruise, or indulging in a kayaking excursion. For the full effect, stay at one of Galena’s great bed and breakfast locations and explore the wineries in the area!

Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana – If you love water parks, and we mean REALLY love water parks and fun rides, then head over to Santa Claus, Indiana and spend your weekend at Holiday World! Take a daring ride on the Mammoth, one of the largest water rides or take in a show. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Garden of the Gods and Southern Illinois – Whoever said that Illinois is flat and boring has never seen the beauty of southern Illinois! Visit the southwest portion of the state to take in some great hiking at Giant City State Park, visit the humongous Bald Knob Cross, and learn about some local history. Check out the southeast section of Illinois and take in the rocky glory of Garden of the Gods or go see Cave-In Rock, a place where pirates used to hide out in olden times, right on the Ohio River. Oh, and we definitely recommend renting a cabin for this southern getaway!

Vacations and getaways are always fun, but there’s nothing like coming back to the comforts of your home. If you’re looking for a great home in Edwardsville or the surrounding area, pick up the phone and call the Massey Team at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298. You can also check out our most up-to-date listings at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

Top 15 Fun Things To Do in St. Louis

fun things to do in STLAre you moving to the St. Louis area soon? Congratulations! You will soon be learning why St. Louis has been deemed one of America’s most livable cities and how historically rich the city and the area around it are!

Whether you’re already living in the area, have lived here for a little while or several years, or are moving here soon, you don’t have to worry about ever being bored! While St. Louis is relatively small compared to other cities like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, you’ll find a plethora of activities and events to enjoy with friends and family alike. Check out our favorite 15 things to do in the Lou below!

1. Go to the Top of the Arch – When you think about the city of St. Louis, you will more than likely picture the Arch towering majestically over the cityscape. Why not bring yourself up to the top and check out the city at a bird’s eye view? Take a 630-foot ride to the tip-top of the Arch, and you will see lines and lines of buildings and lights. Once you’re done, go below the Arch to check out the museum, which recounts the settlement in St. Louis and the explorations of the west.

2. Cheer For the Home Team – St. Louis is definitely a city that’s passionate about its sports. During the spring and summer months, buy a ticket to a Cardinals baseball game in Busch Stadium, and check out the St. Louis Rams in the Edward Jones Dome during football season. You can’t enjoy St. Louis to the fullest, though, without going to a St. Louis Blues hockey game at the Scottrade Center. There’s nothing quite like hearing someone honk 3 times and hearing everyone shout, “LET’S GO BLUES!”

3. Visit the Zoo – The St. Louis Zoo is one of the nation’s top zoological parks and houses thousands of animals. Take the Emerson Zooline Railroad for a ride around the park. Check out fun areas including Big Cat Country, Penguin & Puffin Coast, the Interactive Stingray Pool, and so much more. The best part? It’s free! Just be sure to grab a fun souvenir or two before you leave.

4. Embrace the Night Life – Nighttime in the city is always hopping and fun in the Lou. Check out Laclede’s Landing or Washington Avenue for blocks and blocks full of awesome bars and dance clubs. Visit Soulard, the oldest neighborhood in the city, for your music fix. If you’re into swing dancing, be sure to stop by Grandel Theater every Tuesday night and dance the night away with Lindy Hop St. Louis.

5. Check Out Forest Park – Perhaps one of the best parts of St. Louis, Forest Park encompasses 1,371 acres of land situated right in the center of the metropolitan area. In fact, it’s about 500 acres larger than New York City’s Central Park! Enjoy all that Forest Park has to offer including its scenic walking and biking trails, the St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri History Museum, the St. Louis Science Center, the zoo, the Muny, and the Jewel Box, a flower conservatory that’s a popular venue for special events!

6. Feel the Rush of Adrenaline at Six Flags – Just to the west of St. Louis is Six Flags! Zip around loops on The Batman, face harrowing curves and dips on the Screaming Eagle, go on a water adventure on Thunder River or at Hurricane Harbor. You can also see live shows and concerts, meet your favorite cartoon characters, and so much more! Go with a group for a discount or grab season tickets for you and your loved one.

7. Sample Some Beer at the Local Breweries – Beer is a big part of the city, so be sure to take time to visit the historic Anheuser-Busch Brewery where you can sample a variety of premium brands of beer and even visit with the Budweiser Clydesdales! Another place to stop is Schlafly Bottleworks; you’ll get a free brewery tour, and you can enjoy sampling different styles of beer, listening to live music, and eating delicious food at the Schlafly Tap Room.

8. Run Wild at the City Museum – Before you skip to the next activity, you should know that the City Museum isn’t actually a boring, ho-hum museum. It’s a unique location that’s pretty much an absolutely enormous playground for people of all ages. Filled with caves, slides, and lots of things to climb on, the City Museum is full of wonderful activities to do, including interacting with over 10,000 sea creatures, venturing through the Museum of Mirth, Mystery, and Mayhem, and wandering through tons of fun mazes and exhibits. Make your own work of art in Art City, play on equipment at the very top of the towering building, or feel the rush of adrenaline as you zip down a three-story high slide.

9. See the Animals at Grant’s Farm – Can’t get enough animals? Visit Grant’s Farm for an up-close and personal experience like no other! You’ll see African elephants, tortoises, bald eagles, deer, cattle, fennec foxes, buffalo, ostriches, and so much more when you stop by for a visit. See shows, take tours, and don’t forget to check out the carousel!

10. Discovery Something New at the Science Center – Located in Forest Park, the Science Center is a definite must-see to add to your list. Find out about animals, see a life-sized animatronic T-Rex and other dinosaurs, and marvel at the wonders of our solar system! You can even build your own arch! Don’t forget to check out the Omnimax Theater for unforgettable shows shown in a manner like no other!

11. Feast on the Foods of St. Louis – You can’t live in or near St. Louis without having tried some signature foods. Go to restaurants on The Hill to try delicious toasted ravioli. Visit a local pizza parlor to savor St. Louis style thin-crust pizza. Swing by Dooley’s Beef N Brew House for mouth-watering bbq. Top it all off with scrumptious frozen custard at Ted Drewes at the end of the night.

12. Enrich Your Life with the Arts – Love the arts? You’ll love St. Louis! Visit the Art Museum in Forest Park and wander through the many halls and coves of the museum. You can find numerous amounts of famous paintings, sculptures, and so much more! If music is more up your alley, then you’re in for a great treat. Grab some tickets to one of the many shows at the St. Louis Symphony for a breath-taking show.

13. Jam to Some Live Shows – There’s always happening in St. Louis on the live band scene. Check out some live music at places like The Pageant or the Scottrade Center. See outdoor acts at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater or catch touring acts at the famous Blueberry Hill.

14. Get Lost in the Missouri Botanical Gardens – For plant and outdoor lovers or just those seeking some peace or a new kind of adventure, the 79 acres of lush gardens, landscape architecture, greenhouses, and conservatories that make up the Missouri Botanical Garden are just what you need! The oldest botanical garden in the nation, the Missouri Botanical Garden features a Climatron, which recreates a real rainforest experience for you to talk through, peaceful Japanese gardens, and fun and educational Children’s Garden. There’s always something fun and new to do here!

15. See Live Theater – Love drama? Don’t start it – just go watch it in St. Louis! You can get your Broadway fix at the Fabulous Fox Theater when you see plays, concerts, and dance troupes perform. For an enjoyable outdoor experience, come to The Muny, the nation’s largest outdoor amphitheater dedicated just to musical theater!

Need to find your dream home close to St. Louis? We can help! Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298, and we can help you find the perfect home for you! Be sure to also check us out online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see what we can do to help you find that one perfect place for you!