St. Louis, like any large city, has a great variety of neighborhoods. The city itself offers a number of old, stately neighborhoods with great walking amenities and local businesses and character, while further out in the suburbs, you can find the classic cul-de-sac drives and large, well built homes that are usually at most a 20 minute drive from everything downtown has to offer. But when it comes to raising your kids, which neighborhoods really offer the most?
Located just 30 minutes west of downtown St. Louis, Chesterfield is the largest city/suburb surrounding St. Louis. Filled with playgrounds, walking trails, a variety of parks, and even a carousel, this picturesque area is a great place for the “urban commuter” to bring their family. It boasts numerous shopping areas, art galleries, and is also home to the locally beloved Faust Park and Butterfly House. The real problem here is distance; if you have to work in the city, you have to decide if the battle down I-64 is truly worth the hassle. Pricing, can go a long way to convincing the hesitant home owner to locate here, however, with even less than modest homes starting in the $250,000 range.
Once known as the “queen of the suburbs,” Kirkwood remains a great suburb to live in St. Louis while still remaining close to the city core. Kirkwood is almost overloaded with great schools and churches, and truly excludes that old fashioned charm that people look for in a solid Midwestern city. Add to the mix the area’s great shopping, dining, and family friendly entertainment options, almost all within walking distance of the suburb’s center square, and you have a neighborhood almost tailor made for raising a family. Affordability is not out of reach here either, with typical housing pricing starting around $280,000 dollars.
Home to sophisticated boutiques, galleries, hotels, and restaurants, historic Clayton is situation in the heart of St. Louis county, and is also home to the local government. The St. Louis Art Fair, ranked annually as the best in the nation and attracting more than 150,000 people, is also held here every September. But that’s not the only festival to pack Clayton’s streets. Seasonal farmer’s markets, Parties in the Park, Gallery nights, The Taste of Clayton, and the Big Read literary festival every fall all contribute to the bustling atmosphere that fills the area. Just north of downtown St. Louis, Clayton also offers great location for those working in the city.
This area boasts some of St. Louis’s most famous Americans, including baseball players Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola. Italian tradition runs deep in this neighborhood, with authentic Italian bakeries, stores, trattorias, and restaurants dotting the area. “Mom and Pop” is the rule here, not the exception. Even the fire hydrants are colored red green and white! Just south of downtown St. Louis, the Hill is very very to the heart of the city. Families do well here, with a good schools and traditional values taking center stage in this conservative suburb. Prices are also mostly conservative, with the average home starting at around $300,000.
West of St. Louis lies Maplewood, one of the newer and more charming districts that have risen up in the metro are in the last few decades. In fact, I’s now considered a boutique and antique destination, and is positively bursting with shopping and fine dining. The Schools in the area are considered to be some of the best in the area, and housing prices have remained steady, heaving towards a starting average of $330,000.