Visit Washington Avenue Historic District to spend a day discovering many retail, dining and entertainment attractions. For more than half a century from the late 1800s, this downtown corridor was the epicenter of the city’s garment-making industry. Clothing factories and warehouses lined the streets and filled up with fans of fashion. Today Washington Avenue Historic District is a revitalized area of boutiques, nightclubs, lofts and museums.
Washington Avenue cuts through the heart of the district, with impressive grand brick, stone and terra-cotta buildings. In its heyday the avenue was nicknamed Shoe Street, USA, because of the large number of footwear manufacturers here. Stroll the wide sidewalks to admire refurbished lofts and find clothing and accessories stores. Browse the works of regional artists at independent galleries.
Have something to eat at casual cafés, fast-food joints and sleek restaurants. Talented chefs serve Asian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and South American dishes, in addition to typical North American fare. As night falls, lounges, pubs, speakeasies and wine bars attract a lively crowd of hipsters and office workers.
Set aside time for a glimpse into the life of the family of a renowned fur trader at the Campbell House Museum. The City Museum has dozens of factory elements repurposed as one-of-a-kind slides, among other family-friendly attractions. Peruse thousands of books and attend cultural festivals, such as a celebration of hip-hop, at the majestic Central Public Library.
Music lovers flock to the National Blues Museum to explore the evolution of one of America’s most influential music genres. Peruse original artifacts and photographs of blues legends such as Muddy Waters. Watch archive concert footage and have fun creating your own blues song.
Washington Avenue Historic District spreads across areas of Downtown St. Louis and Downtown West. Experience the energetic and contemporary vibe by getting around on foot. Major transit stops, such as Civic Center and Convention Center, are short walks away.