Hiking through the woods, observing and photographing all the beautiful flora and fauna is definitely my favorite past time, but sometimes it’s also fun to observe my fellow human creatures in their less than natural urban environment. Like their woodland counterparts, these creatures must also forage for food and drink. What better place to observe this urban phenomenon than in the historic Soulard neighborhood, merely a hop, skip and jump from downtown St. Louis.
One of the main attractions here is the Soulard Farmer’s Market. Definitely a foraging hot spot, people have been buying and selling their goods and wares here for over 200 years. It’s one of the oldest farmer’s markets in the United States, dating back to 1779 when it was an open air market where local farmers gathered to sell their produce. The original building was erected in the 1840’s and was replaced in 1929 with a Renaissance style structure. While colorful fresh produce abounds here, it’s not the only option. There is so much more to be had in this market – from baked goods to fresh meat, and handmade items like soaps and jewelry – the list goes on and on.
There’s always something interesting to see. The sights, sounds and smells will keep you intrigued for hours. It’s impossible to leave this place with an empty stomach or an empty shopping bag.
Next we attempted to enjoy a short hike through the urban landscape, but the heat and humidity of a 90+ degree summer day in St. Louis got the better of us and it wasn’t long before we worked up quite a thirst. Lucky for us, this neighborhood also houses one of the most famous watering holes in the world. Actually, it’s the headwaters of an endless river of amber liquid that serves as the main artery to millions of other watering holes throughout the world. Founded in 1852 this is the headquarters and original brewery of Anheuser Busch and the famous line of Budweiser beers. There couldn’t be a more perfect way to beat the heat and conclude this urban adventure than by taking a free tour of the brewery and enjoying a complimentary sample of ice-cold brew.
After a successful day of foraging in the urban environment, we came home feeling satiated and satisfied. With all of its exciting sights and sounds, the occasional trip to the city can be a lot of fun. But I must admit, the hustle and bustle of the crowds and all the noisy traffic tends to wear me out, and at the end of the day it just feels so comforting to return to the more familiar flora and fauna of my peaceful little country home.