It is getting closer and closer to that amazing time of the year, Sigma Tau Delta’s Centennial Convention! This year’s convention will be held in St. Louis, MO, also nicknamed the Gateway City due to its Gateway Arch. I will touch more on that architectural beauty later though. Let’s start with what to pack. St. Louis’ average temperature in April is a high of 63 degrees Fahrenheit with an average low of 43 degrees Fahrenheit. You may want to pack some light clothes with a couple of jackets for some cooler nights. Don’t forget to pack some red and black attire for the Awards Luncheon.

Now that you are properly packed for the days ahead, you will need to know some of the best places to eat. One thing St. Louis is known for is its amazing barbecue. I have compiled a list of the top three places that you need to try during your stay in Gateway City. Coming in first, we have Pappy’s Smokehouse. This smokehouse serves Memphis Style barbecue and always prepares their meat daily, slow smoking the meat for up to 24 hours over sweet apple or cherry wood. Though because of this, they can run out of certain items on their menu. It is best to call ahead of time to make sure the food you want will be available.

Coming in second place, we have Sugarfire Smokehouse. This smokehouse opens at 11 a.m. every day and closes whenever they are sold out. Many awards and recognitions have been bestowed upon this smokehouse, including, “Best Sandwich in the World” (World Food Championships) and a quote from Snoop Dogg himself, “Great . . . Show. And the Barbecue was good.” They have also been featured on BBQ Pitmasters, Beat Bobby Flay, and Burgers, Brew & Que. This barbecue place is more than recognized and they continue to put out the best food they can.

The third recommendation I have for barbecue places in St. Louis is Bogart’s Smokehouse. This smokehouse was ranked the best barbecue in Missouri by yelp. As you may have noticed, all these places are popular, and each stand out in their own way. Bogart’s Smokehouse opens at 10:30 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m., unless they sell out before then. The prices for the food are reasonable, especially for the quality you are receiving. If you love this barbecue place, you may want to look into some of the merchandise they sell. They sell sauces and rubs, along with shirts, hats, and tumblers.

If you are looking for more vegan friendly options, St. Louis also provides amazing spots to check out, one being Treehouse. For this place, reservations are recommended. Their hours vary but they are mostly open at 5 p.m., and open on Saturday and Sunday for brunch at 10 a.m. They take pride in their cuisine and the process of creating it.

Another place to check out for vegan options is Pizzahead. You may have guessed what this restaurant specializes in based on its name. This place is a great option if you are looking to split a meal or try something new. They offer full-sized pizzas, along with individual slices. So, if you only want to have two slices and not an entire pizza, this could be a good option for you! They even have an option for you to build your own 20″ pizza!

If you are looking for live entertainment while you eat, another thing St. Louis is known for is its blues music. Sit back and eat a meal while you enjoy the live music of blues artists in any one of these restaurants: Blues City Deli, Broadway Oyster Bar, and Evangeline’s Bistro. Blues City Deli provides live entertainment Thursdays and Saturdays and Broadway Oyster Bar has live music nightly. Evangeline’s Bistro’s posts their live entertainment schedule on social media, so check out their offerings after arriving in St. Louis.

You can also explore the history of blues music at the National Blues Museum, which is open every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Not only does the museum display the history of blues music, but it also offers other programs and activities, such as: Thursday Night Blues Jam, Lunchtime Live, and an interactive exhibit to create your own blues tune by dropping words and phrases into pre-metered sections.

And last, but certainly not least, is the Gateway Arch. You can take a 45–60-minute tram ride to the top of the arch for $15. You are not allowed to stay up there for too long though, so make sure you use your time wisely and soak up the scenery. Besides the arch itself, there are other activities you can do relating to this monument. There is a virtual reality theater for $10, a documentary movie that lasts 35 minutes for $7, and a riverfront cruise that lasts an hour and only costs $24.

There is so much to do in this bustling city full of wonderful barbecue, live music, and scenery. It is best to find what you want to do and make the most out of your visit. Get out there and try something you have never tried before. Make the most out of your visit and create memories that will last you a lifetime.

Destiny Jones
Student Representative, Southwestern Region, 2023-2024
Epsilon Theta Chapter, Vice-President
Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia, AR