You likely know it as Manchester Road, a busy thoroughfare that winds through St. Louis City and County but Missouri Route 100, as it is officially named, actually runs from downtown St. Louis to the tiny burg of Linn, Missouri. Along the way, it winds through thriving municipalities and sleepy little towns, and offers at least 100 things to do and try along the way, some listed here and some on the map, pages 22-23.
In downtown St. Louis, Route 100 begins as Chouteau Avenue and boasts its first unique dining experience: The Eat Rite Diner, 622 Chouteau Ave., is a throwback to a simpler time serving up comfort food from slingers to sliders. Further west, Planter’s House, 1000 Mississippi Ave., and founded in 2013, hearkens back to the city’s Planter’s Hotel, a St. Louis landmark from 1817-1922.
At 21st Street Brewers Bar, 2017 Chouteau Ave., 50 local brews are on draft and over 80 are available by the bottle. Heck, that’s more than 100 things right there.
Charleville Brewery and Tavern, 2101 Chouteau Ave., began its brewing history in Ste. Genevieve, the home of Charleville Winery, so it’s not surprising that among its brews is a Barleywine. With additional brews named Tornado Alley and Half Wit Wheat, there’s definitely a few interesting taps to try.
The Grove Entertainment District, which stretches nearly one mile along Manchester Avenue between Kingshighway and Vandeventer, is home to more than 45 businesses, including a variety of night clubs and restaurants such as The Handle Bar, 4127 Manchester Ave., a bike-themed bar whose calendar is loaded with expected events and the not-so-obvious, including drag shows; the Everest Café and Bar, 4145 Manchester Ave., featuring Nepalese, Korean and Indian cuisine; Parlor, 4170 Manchester Ave., featuring arcade games, pinball machines, skee-ball and pool; and Sanctuaria Wild Tapas and Diablitos Cantina, 4198 Manchester Ave., where you can enjoy Latin and South American cuisine in a 19th century French conservatory or Belgian gazebo.
At Urban Chestnut Brewing Company, 4465 Manchester Road, Fido is welcome to join you.
Continuing down Manchester, you’ll find Failoni’s, 6715 Manchester Ave. Purchased in 1916 by Alex Failoni and operated today by matriarch Rosemary and grandson Joey, Failoni’s is a south St. Louis landmark.
Carl’s Drive In, 9033 Manchester Road, is a not-to-be-missed item on this list – that is if you’re into burgers, onion rings and floats featuring homemade root beer.
At Katie’s Pizza and Pasta, 9568 Manchester Road, the menu is, well, self-explanatory but also delicious and award-winning.
Love Mexican food but need it to be vegetarian or gluten-free? Not a problem at Nachomama’s, 9643 Manchester Road.
Feeling creative? The Painted Zebra, 10907 Manchester Road in Kirkwood, provides everything you need to paint your own pottery.
After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and working in a Michelin 3-star restaurant, pastry chef Nathaniel Reid returned home to Missouri and opened Nathaniel Reid Bakery, 11243 Manchester Road in Kirkwood.
Des Peres Park, 12325 Manchester Road, is a little gem located almost directly across Manchester from West County Center , one of the region’s last surviving – dare we say, thriving, enclosed malls.
After shopping, catch a movie at the Des Peres Cinema,12701 Manchester Road.
At Amp Up Action Park, 13901 Manchester Road, kids and adults alike can enjoy an elevated ropes challenge, go-kart racing, becoming a human hamster ball, fighting virtual zombies and the very real sport of axe throwing.
Slightly off Route 100 but worth the half-mile detour is Edgar M. Queeny Park, 529 Weidman Road, which features a lake and equestrian trails among the usual amenities. The Greensfelder Recreation Complex is home to year-round events, a roller hockey arena and a seasonal ice rink.
A half-mile detour down Route 141 takes you to Paul A. Schroeder Park, 359 Old Meramec Station Road, home to a disc golf course, nature trails and more.
Located at 14523 Manchester Road, Breakout Games’ private escape rooms offer up a life-sized game of twists and turns. A different type of game awaits at The Range, 14803 Manchester Road, where a Ti Gunfighter shooting simulator provides entertainment for shooters of all ages and skill levels.
Vlasis Park, Ballwin’s largest park, is located adjacent to The Range and covers 31 acres with four tennis courts, two ponds and a sand volley ball court. When the weather isn’t park-friendly, but the kids are crawling up the wall, let them, literally, at Flying Spider, 14820 Manchester Road.
Keeping customers happy also is the goal of Frank Schmer, owner of St. Louis Home Fires, 15053 Manchester Road. The store stocks a variety of locally produced rubs and sauces in addition to grills and grill equipment.
Step out of the heat into the cool refreshment of Andy’s Frozen Custard, 15501 Manchester Road, or get crafty at Restoration Alley DIY Co, 15626 Manchester Road, where you can create one-of-a-kind decorative home pieces or custom cookies.
Fun for the whole family, West County Lanes, 15727 Manchester Road, features live music on the weekends, an arcade, a sports bar and, of course, bowling.
Take a hike at Ellisville’s Bluebird Park, 225 Kiefer Creek Road, through the Klamberg Woods Conservation Area.
In Wildwood discover Three French Hens, 16935 Manchester Road, and The Porch, 16957 Manchester Road, for home décor; Pure by Jen, 16739 Main St., for fashion; Milk and Honey, 101 Plaza Drive, and Paterson’s Family Farm featuring Maura’s Market, 16943 Manchester Road, for home and gift ideas.
If shopping makes you tired and thirsty, head to B&B Theatres Wildwood 10, 16820 Main St., where you can watch the latest blockbuster with a signature cocktail in hand.
Wildwood’s Community Park, which can be accessed by taking Hwy. 109 to Pond Grover Loop Road, is just north of Route 100.
Point Labaddie Brewery, 1029 Thiebes Road, is an independent craft brewery located on 17 acres in Labadie, Missouri, owned and operated by the Brothers Grimm, Andy and Rob, that is. Friendly dogs on leashes are welcome outdoors, which is ideal since Purina Farms, with its many dog-themed activities, barn tours and hay rides, is literally right down the road.
In New Haven, discover Robller Vineyard and Kuenzel Valley Winery, the Pinckney Bend Distillery, the Walt Theatre, and an ice cream shoppe that’s the perfect place to stop at after exploring main street.
A stay at Berger Guest House, offers opportunities to hike, fish and swim while also being close to festivals and wineries, including Bias Vineyards and Winery.
Chamois boasts the Townley House Museum, which was built in 1856 by Charles Phelps and placed on the National Historic Register in 1999.
In Morrison, travelers can stay at the Nesting Box Bed & Breakfast, visit the Nolte Hills Nursery and dine at Derailed, all within close proximity to wineries and seasonal festivals.
Frankenstein, Missouri, is not named after the monster, but rather after Gottfried Franken who donated land for a church. This small town in Osage County is the only town in America named Frankenstein and for that reason alone draws visitors to this detour along Route 100.
Hermann: Located in Franklin county, the city of Hermann is a picturesque river town that sits conveniently on the Missouri River Runner [Amtrak] line. Filled with places to raise a glass and nosh on delicious food, Hermann also offers shops and galleries, museums and tours, access to the Katy Trail and even a nearby zipline.
Linn: If you’re wondering Where Pigs Fly, wonder no more. It’s in Linn, Missouri, where a farm of the same name offers the chance to interact with farm animals, learn about agriculture and visit a pig museum. Visitors also can spend a night in the farm’s 1882 rock house. The farm’s Annual Fall Festival takes place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sept. 28.
Washington: Nestled up against the Missouri River and close to the Amtrak, this historic river town is a great place for a weekend getaway with food places like Aldo’s Pizza, Big Boys Grilled Subways and Wings, The Hotdog Man and Donut Palace as well as places to stay – the Brick Inn Bed and Breakfast and Gottfried’s Cabin – and roadside attractions such as Geisert Farms, Blumenhof Winery, Balducci Vineyards, Gary R. Lucy Gallery, Daniel Boone’s Burial Site and the Iron Spike Model Train Museum. Plus, shopping is plentiful in the historic downtown and the John B. Busch Brewery District.
No hunger Zone: Route 100 in West County delivers plenty of places to dine. For classic burgers from a well seasoned grill, look no further than The Village Bar at 12247 Manchester Road. The 1890 feed store was transformed into a restaurant in 1948. Circa Pub and Grill, 1090 Old Des Peres Road, offers a trip down memory lane with menu items inspired by some of St. Louis’ most iconic eateries. Surf & Sirloin, 13090 Manchester Road, seeks to make friends out of strangers. Reason enough to give it a try. At Hibachi Grill Supreme Buffet, 1282 Orchard Village Lane, you can ask the chef to cook a creation that is uniquely your own. At Smokee Mo’s, 110 Old Meramec Station Road, you’ll find traditional barbecue and, yes, vegan barbecue. It’s Mardi Gras every day at Bones French Quarter Bar and Grill, 14766 Manchester Road. But if Italian cuisine is what you crave, head to Candicci’s Restaurant, 100 Holloway Road, or Massa’s, of Course!, 15310 Manchester Road. Both restaurants enjoy long histories as local favorites. At Clancy’s Irish Pub, 40 Old State Road, you’ll find classic American fare to enjoy on the restaurant’s sizable patio. In Wildwood, stop in at Benedetto’s on Main, 16721 Main St., and Table Three, 16765 Main St. Both offer dining on the patio and live music through fall.
Stovall’s Grove: 18720 Stovall Lane, is an authentic, historic, honky tonk music hall that has been drawing crowds since 1935. Live music shows on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday continue to pack ‘em in, as do the Thursday night dance lessons.
Maplewood: Home to 25-plus businesses and restaurants, including Boogaloo, 7344 Manchester Road, which features Cuban, Creole and Caribbean cuisine and bar “stools” that swing. At the 103-year-old Saratoga Lanes, 2725 Sutton Blvd., test your bowling prowess before heading to Escape from St. Louis, 7403 Manchester Road, where you can try to solve puzzles such as the Murder at Denbrough Mansion or WizardQuest. The Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Blvd., is billed as “St. Louis’ premier folk music listening room since 1975” and hosts concerts, classes and more.