360 restaurant and bar at the Hilton at the Ballpark, St. Louis, MO

Busch Stadium from Three Sixty roof top bar at the Hilton St. Louis

The Cardinals are headed to the play offs, and on Monday, October 6th they’ll return to St. Louis to finish off the Dodgers. You can’t take your dog to the play off games, but for those of you wondering if you should take your dog to St. Louis, Henri says “Yes!”

12 in 14!

The Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark is within 100 yards of Busch Stadium and an easy walk to the Gateway Arch. Your dog can join you in the lobby bar and on the Starbucks patio. You, the human, will want to check out the Three Sixty on top of the 25-story east tower. They don’t allow dogs, but the view is spectacular. You can see the St. Louis skyline, the Arch, and every base in Busch Stadium.

With the right room, and a $75 deposit, so can your dog.

The only drawback to the Hilton was the inconvenience of potty duties, at least for us. Henri was afraid of the automatic arm thingy at the entrance to the parking garage and wouldn’t potty in the small grassy area next to it. Instead, we had to cross four lanes of traffic to get to the grass at Kiener Plaza.

FYI…

Hold tight to your leash lest your dog chase a rabbit across those four lanes of traffic, down a sidewalk, and back across those same four lanes of traffic, getting tapped on the rear by a cab in the process. The terrier, who shall remain nameless, wasn’t hurt, just scared, which he deserved.

Mommy drinks because he’s bad.

Red fountain at Kiener Plaza

Red fountain at Kiener Plaza

Kiener Plaza is actually a great place to walk your dog. It’s an attractive green space with sidewalks, an amphitheater, and a fountain featuring a runner statue to honor its namesake, Olympic U.S. track athlete Harry J. Kiener. On Cardinal game days, the fountain water is dyed red.

You’ll want to make sure to take a stroll down to the Gateway Arch and the Mississippi riverfront area. You can catch a carriage ride back to the hotel or tour downtown with the St. Louis Carriage Company. We suggest you request our buddy, Quaker, the company’s only working Clydesdale. He and his driver took us to the Broadway Oyster Bar for lunch.

 

Henri likes the girls

Henri likes the girls

The Broadway Oyster Bar is one of those local dives that I’m always thrilled to find. It’s got a funky little patio with tacky New Orleans décor- that’s totally awesome- a great menu, and they brought Henri his own water bowl.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you know what I had. They serve theirs (Blue point or Gulf, if you order raw) with a homemade gin cocktail sauce. The muffuletta was also good, but the quarter size was plenty.

Though the patio is dog-friendly all the time, I was told it gets pretty loud, crowded, and rowdy at night.

Please use your best judgment as to whether or not this is the right place for your dog.

 

On game day, we got up early to join the festivities. We’d done our obligatory tourist photos the previous day, and thank goodness for that.

The downtown crowd is pretty large and the atmosphere is carnival-like. Kiener Plaza was filled with vendor tents and people. I had hoped to go into the fan store to get Henri a jersey, and though they do have a pet section, they don’t allow dogs. We got him some baseball beads from a vendor.

We walked around Busch Stadium, but as game time drew closer, the traffic thickened and the people got rowdier. It was time for Henri to have a break and me to head into the ballpark.

Since our visit to St. Louis last year, Ballpark Village has opened. They were just starting on it last April, so I don’t know anything first-hand. I’m sure with the Cardinals in town, the place will be hoppin’ all day. However, for the purposes of this post, I made a few calls. The only restaurant in BV that allows dogs is the Drunken Fish. It’s a sushi place with a patio, and according to their website, they have been voted ‘Best Happy Hour in St. Louis.’

Somebody get back to me on that!

Enjoying brunch with my peeps

Enjoying brunch with my peeps

If you find yourself staying the weekend, you need to set aside Sunday for a drive to Forest Park. Since it’s baseball season, I’m assuming it’s sunny and the weather is fabulous.

Start at Boathouse restaurant for brunch. Family-friendly and crowded, there will likely be a wait. This place is d o g – f r i e n d l y with the pet policy posted right on their website. In accordance with that, make sure your pooch is ‘socially-friendly’ and ‘on a leash.’

Now, put your name on the list, get yourself a mimosa from the bar, and enjoy the sun. They’re pretty efficient. It won’t be long.

 

After your meal, you should rent a paddle boat from the dockside next to the restaurant patio. Do it. Do it for me. Because. Well. We skipped it. The line was long, and they really need a Fast Pass system, like Disney World. If I ever go back, I’ll just get another drink and bask in the sun while I wait.

The journey across Post-Dispatch Lake will take you past the Saint Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Zoo, the World’s Fair Pavilion, Art Hill, Grand Basin, and the Government Hill Fountain, not to mention all the wildlife. Tourist Fail. I apologize.

Happy dog in Forest Park

Happy dog in Forest Park

Instead of paddle boating, we opted for a leisurely stroll, with a rest by the lakeshore. It gave me a chance to digest my lunch, and Henri some happy-dog time. I can’t tell you what Henri would have thought of paddle boating, but he’s always okay with walks and rolls.

It was a busy day with lots of people walking, biking, and playing frisbee. There was even a lab or two in the water. The only thing that could have improved the day was ice cream. So, we did the Andy’s drive-thru, where Henri got a pup cup with a dog bone on top, on the way back to the hotel.

 

 

The last thing you really need to do in St. Louis is eat at Mike Shannon’s Steaks and Seafood. It’s right next door to the Hilton, and I suggest you make reservations.

Do not. I repeat. Do not. Look at the prices. Just make a reservation on the patio, take your very well-behaved dog, someone else’s credit card, and enjoy a really great meal. The starters alone are amazing!

With all the seafood options, I struggled a bit. Under Fresh Catch there is a Soy Truffle Vinaigrette dress option for your choice of fish, but the carnivore in me won again. I chose the 8 ounce filet, with no ‘On Top of the Meat.’ I’ve never seen any reason to decorate a perfectly good cut of beef. Lightly seasoned and medium rare will do. I don’t remember what side I had, probably asparagus, but does it matter? The steak was fantastic.

No. Henri didn’t get any. That’s what he gets for chasing rabbits.

Team Store

Outside the Card’s team store

With the exception of Ballpark Village, most places in downtown St. Louis that have an outdoor patio will allow well-behaved dogs. From the Hilton’s centralized location, you can walk to several, or take a carriage ride with our buddy, Quaker.

Regardless of the season, St. Louis is dog-friendly and fun. But hey! Why not catch a baseball game if you can? Purina even sponsors a Pooches in the Park event that allows you to take you dog to the game with you each year.

So, c’mon Cards.

12 in 14!