St. Louis is known for the Gateway Arch and... well, actually, that's pretty much what it's known for. The Louisiana Purchase Exposition (more widely known as the "St. Louis World's Fair") was held there in 1904. Also headquarters of one of the world's largest brewing conglomerations, before they were bought by ''another'' of the world's largest brewing conglomerations, though St. Louis is still the North American headquarters.

St. Louis sits just south of the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, a naturally strategic place for a major settlement (the ancient UsefulNotes/{{Native American|s}} city of Cahokia, the largest pre-Columbian settlement in what would become the US, was more or less just on the other side of the river) which helped it grow into a huge city and made it a big deal back when riverboats were considered a speedy form of transportation. However, the city has been gradually declining in importance (and population) for quite a while now. It's lost population in every census since 1950 and is no longer even the largest city in Missouri, though some of those people just moved to the suburbs and the metropolitan area still has a larger population than UsefulNotes/KansasCity's. The suburbs across the river in Illinois go by the description "Metro East" for obvious reasons.

Its nickname is "the Gateway to the West" (''cf.'' the Gateway Arch), presumably because a gateway is a place you ''go through'' to get to where you were ''actually interested in going''. Missourians who live more than a couple of dozen miles from the Arch may instead call it "the Exit from the East." Politically, St. Louis is a fairly deep blue stronghold in an otherwise mostly pink-to-red state, a trait it shares with Jackson County (Kansas City) and Boone County (the University of Missouri–Columbia). Speaking of counties ... Missouri has 114 counties, plus the City of St. Louis, which is not in any county. It used to be part of St. Louis County but voted to secede in 1876.

The Gateway Arch has a viewing area at its apex which can be reached by so-called tram cars that ascend either leg of the arch. Each tram consists of a chain of cars with circular cross-sections, which remain horizontal as they travel up and down the changing inclines. Definitely not for the claustrophobic, however, since each car holds five people with no standing room, and looks a bit like a washing machine drum.

St. Louis is one of the most segregated cities in the country, and has a very distinct dividing line. Delmar Boulevard separates the poorer, almost entirely Black neighborhoods to the north from the mostly White neighborhoods to the south. In terms of overall diversity, the city is about evenly split between White and Black, who together make up over 90% of St. Louis, and is home to the nation's largest Bosnian population.

St. Louis is home to:
* [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams The St. Louis Cardinals]] (UsefulNotes/{{Baseball}}; used to be home to the football ones also, but they moved to Arizona. The Cardinals are second only to the UsefulNotes/{{New York|City}} Yankees in total World Series titles won.)
* The St. Louis Rams ([[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague NFL]]; they moved to town a few years after the Cardinals left....Before they moved back to Los Angeles.)
* [[UsefulNotes/NationalHockeyLeague The St. Louis Blues]] (UsefulNotes/IceHockey)[[note]]at one time the league's best expansion team, progressing to the Stanley Cup Finals in their first three years of existence, only to lose twice to UsefulNotes/{{Montreal}} and once to UsefulNotes/{{Boston}}; now the Blues are the only still-active team from the 1967 expansion that ''doesn't'' yet have at least one championship[[/note]]

These days almost nobody says "Saint Louie" unless they're joking. Or they're referencing WesternAnimation/YogiBear.

!! People from St. Louis
* Scott Bakula: Born in St. Louis, attended Kirkwood High School.
* Creator/JonHamm: Born in St. Louis, grew up in nearby Creve Coeur.
* Creator/EllieKemper--perhaps best known as Erin from ''Series/TheOffice'' and now starring as the title character in ''Series/UnbreakableKimmySchmidt''--was born in Kansas City but moved to St. Louis as a child. Fun fact: she went to the same high school as Jon Hamm had, and he taught her eighth grade acting class.
* Beau Willimon: Born in [[UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC Alexandria, VA]], but mostly raised in St. Louis.[[note]]He was a [[MilitaryBrat Navy brat]]; his father settled in St. Louis after he finished his Navy service to be a lawyer.[[/note]] Creator of ''Film/TheIdesOfMarch'' and the [[TransAtlanticEquivalent American adaptation]] of ''Series/{{House of Cards|US}}''. Also a veteran of Jon Hamm's 8th-grade drama class.
* Creator/JohnGoodman
* Creator/VincentPrice
* Creator/CJCherryh
* Bob Costas
* Phyllis Diller
* Creator/TSEliot
* Red Foxx
* Ulysses Grant
* Creator/JamesGunn
* Scott Joplin
* Creator/KevinKline
* Stan Musial
* Dan O'Bannon
* William Tecumseh Sherman
* Phyllis Smith (Phyllis from The Office)

!! In fiction
* ''Series/{{Defiance}}'' is set in the city formerly known as St. Louis -- the Gateway Arch survives (and is host to a radio station) while much of the city ended up buried underground.
* ''Film/MeetMeInStLouis'', of course.
* The ''WesternAnimation/SpiralZone'' episode "Island in the Zone" is set in St. Louis.
* Much-hated, short-lived sitcom ''Series/WorkIt'' is about two St. Louis men who see no option but to dress as women to get employed.
* ''Series/TheJohnLarroquetteShow''
* The City appears in ''[[Film/NationalLampoonsVacation National Lampoon's Vacation]]''.
* ''Series/MastersOfSex'', based on the real-life studies of Masters and Johnson at Washington University in the '50s.
* In ''[[Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians The Lightning Thief]]'', Percy goes up the Gateway Arch, then in an emergency ''jumps straight'' into the Mississippi River. [[WritersHaveNoSenseOfScale No, really]]. In real-life, he would have been swatted before he even reaches the street separating the complex from the river, because there's a freaking stairway in front of the arch. A ''gently sloping'' stairway.
* ''Literature/AnitaBlake: Vampire Hunter''.