St. Louis Gay City Guide: What to Know if You’re Headed to the Gateway City

St. Louis is a city known for many things. It’s the home of the St. Louis Cardinals, Budweiser Brewing Company, the famous Gateway Arch, and gooey butter cake, among other things. It’s also a city becoming increasingly well-known for its warm, welcoming, and continually growing LGBTQ community that adds so much to the character and personality of the city itself. It’s truly a multi-cultural midwestern city where everyone can find their place.

A Look at St. Louis History

The modern-day history of St. Louis began in 1764 when French settlers established a fur-trading post in the area. Construction of a village began the following year, and the village was named St. Louis, after King Louis IX of France. As a result of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, St. Louis officially became part of the United States. Shortly thereafter, St. Louis gained fame as the point from which Lewis and Clark embarked on their exploration of the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase territories. It was officially incorporated as a city in 1832 and grew steadily as a center of commerce and trade from that point on. Today, St. Louis is a vibrant and thriving midwestern city that is home to many businesses and industries, professional sports teams, innovators and entrepreneurs of all kinds, artists, musicians, and many others who call it home and love living there and enjoy all that it has to offer.

A Few Fun Facts About St. Louis

  • Louis has more free tourist attractions than any city in the country aside from Washington D.C. Visitors to St. Louis pay nothing to visit the art museum, history museum, science center, or zoo, among other attractions.
  • In 1904, St. Louis hosted both the World’s Fair and the Olympics – it was the first U.S. city to do so.
  • Louis is well-known for a dessert called “gooey butter cake” – a cake originally made by accident when, in the 1930s, a baker added too much sugar to a butter cake recipe. You’ll definitely want to try some for yourself!

Find more fun facts about St. Louis here.

The LGBTQ Community in St. Louis

The LGBTQ Center of St. Louis

The LGBTQ Center of St. Louis is a community center serving the greater St. Louis area, and which is dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming space, as well as resources and support to the LGBTQ community, its friends, and allies. The center accomplishes this mission through education, empowerment, community building, and outreach.  

What’s the Weather Like in St. Louis?

St. Louis has four unique seasons – hot and humid summers, fall weather with beautiful leaves and crisp breezes, cold winters, and mild and pleasant springs. Those who live in St. Louis can expect that summers will be hot and humid with the average in July reaching 89°. The coldest month is typically January with the low averaging 23°. St. Louis receives 42 inches of rain on average per year.

The Best Events in St. Louis

STL Pridefest

Pridefest St. Louis is the city’s largest annual pride celebration. Since the early 1980s, the event, celebrating all that the LGBTQ community adds to the city, has been held in the last week of June. It is a festival full of fun events, parades, parties, networking opportunities, and more, and its goal is to support, celebrate, and raise awareness of the LGBTQ community in the greater St. Louis area.

Tower Grove Pride

While smaller in size than Pridefest, Tower Grove Pride is still a celebration that is very popular and has plenty of pride. Held in the Tower Grove neighborhood each year, the mission of this celebration is to build a stronger LGBTQ community in St. Louis and the surrounding area, while promoting acceptance and equality for all. It’s a yearly celebration that you won’t want to miss!

Where to Live in St. Louis

While some cities have one definitive “gayborhood”, St. Louis is fortunate to have many neighborhoods that are welcoming to and popular with the LGBTQ community. A few of the most popular include:

Soulard

Soulard is also known as “The Island” by locals, because the Mississippi River and highways of St. Louis cut it off from everything else. It is the oldest neighborhood in the city and is also often referred to as the “French Quarter” of St. Louis. Since the 1970s, Soulard has had a large LGBTQ community and remains so to this day. Soulard is a very walkable neighborhood with restaurants, bars, and shops lining its tree-lined streets. The median list price of homes currently for sale in Soulard is approximately $470,000.

Tower Grove South

Tower Grove South is by far one of the most popular LGBTQ neighborhoods in St. Louis. This neighborhood initially became popular with the LGBTQ community in the 1970s, and its popularity has only grown steadily since that time. It is known for its LGBTQ owned and friendly restaurants, shops, bars, churches, and community centers. It is an area where you’ll see your neighbors often as dog walking, cycling, walking, and jogging are all very popular. The median list price of homes currently for sale in Tower Grove South is approximately $180,000.

Carondelet

The Carondelet neighborhood has a long history. Initially established in 1767 by French settlers and annexed by the city of St. Louis about 100 years later, it is a neighborhood known for its unique character and historic homes, but also for remaining surprisingly affordable. Known for being a walkable neighborhood popular with the LGBTQ community and home to a number of LGBTQ bars, shops, and restaurants, the Carondelet neighborhood would be an excellent place to call home. The median list price of homes currently for sale in Carondelet is approximately $200,000.

Arts and Entertainment

The City Museum

The City Museum is a one-of-a-kind museum, truly different from any other in the country, and unique in many ways.  In the early 1990s, artists Bob and Gail Cassilly purchased a 10-story 600,000 square foot former shoe company warehouse in Downtown St. Louis, with the idea of transforming it into “a city within a city.” Today, the museum consists of four floors filled with miles of tunnels, as well as a full cave system, more than 30 slides, and even a circus, an arts area, and a large outdoor recreational and climbing space. You won’t want to miss this one of the kind experience!

St. Louis Art Museum

The St. Louis Art Museum is a must-try experience for any art lover. Showcasing art from all eras, all genres, and all corners of the world, visitors are sure to be inspired, educated, and amazed by the collection housed here.

Parks and Recreation

Team St. Louis

Team St. Louis is a gay sports league in the city that offers a number of opportunities to participate in a variety of sports offered throughout the year in various locations around the city. Regardless of experience level, all are welcome. It’s a great opportunity to make some friends, and have some healthy fun too.

Gateway Arch

The Gateway Arch is quintessential St. Louis and an iconic symbol that many think of when they think of the city. The Gateway Arch was built to reflect St. Louis’s important role in the Westward Expansion of the United States. Visitors can learn about that history, as well learn about how the arch was built, and even take a ride to the top for beautiful, panoramic views of the city.

St. Louis Nightlife

Grey Fox Pub

The Grey Fox Pub is a laid-back LGBTQ bar offering strong drinks, great drag shows, and regular happy hours. It’s a great place to visit with old friends, or to make new ones.

Attitudes Nightclub

Attitudes Nightclub was one of St. Louis’s first gay dance clubs, and it remains one of the most popular. With great music, strong drinks, and a lively dance floor, it’s a great place to dance the night away.

Contact a St. Louis Realtor Today

St. Louis is a diverse, multicultural midwestern city with so much to offer. If you would like to make St. Louis the next place you call home, you’ll need the help of a realtor who knows and understands the city, and who can help you find the ideal home in a neighborhood you’re sure to love. Contact a St. Louis gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!