20 St. Louis stops every music fan should have on their tour schedule


There are those people who say they're music lovers, but whose repertoire is limited to Top 40.

Then there's you. The true music connoisseur. Someone who not only knows every musician who played on John Coltrane's 1958 Blue Train album, but every word to Prince's Erotic City. Someone who still has all their concert t-shirts smashed in a drawer, no matter how many cigarette burns and beer stains left their mark on them.

Here in St. Louis, you'll discover rock-n-roll heaven at some of the nation's best venues, including The Pageant, voted among the top rock clubs in the world. While it's a must to take in a show at this University City Loop landmark, here are 20 more ways to get into the groove.

Miles Davis Statue
The jazz icon's childhood home in East St. Louis will be open to the public in the future, but in the meantime, visit downtown Alton, Ill. to discover where the "Birth of Cool" musician was actually born. Here, you'll find this iconic trumpeter captured in bronze, frozen in his legendary lean-back pose.

Saxquest Saxophone Museum
At the Saxquest music shop lives an unusual collection of saxophones from around the world. The museum features everything from pre-Civil War instruments to the rare Conn-O-Sax as well as product souvenirs, historic sax recordings and vintage catalogs that would Kenny G himself weep with joy.

Missouri History Museum
As part of its Seeking St. Louis exhibit on the second floor, the Museum celebrates the musicians and venues that put a spotlight on the city. Through costumes, artifacts and photos, the region's musical history is told in a way to entice your eyes and your ears while you build appreciation of St. Louis's contribution to the world stage.

St. Louis Cityscapes And City ViewsRaymond Boyd via Getty Images

Blueberry Hill
For pop culture fans, Blueberry Hill is their mecca. Endless music artifacts line the walls as do displays of 1980s toys and Pez dispensers, and the largest collection of Chuck Berry memorabilia in the world. The restaurant serves up one of a hell of a hamburger upstairs, and downstairs in the Duck Room, music from local and national bands every night.

Chuck Berry Statue and the St. Louis Walk of Fame
Speaking of the "Father of Rock 'n Roll," the city honors one of its most famous sons with a statue of Chuck Berry in the heart of The Loop. As you walk over to snap your pic for Instagram, be sure to take in the Walk of Fame under your feet, celebrating musicians like James "Cool Papa" Bell, Nelly and Tina Turner.

Vintage Vinyl
Thanks to Vintage Vinyl, record players in St. Louis never have to go naked again. With 7,000-square-feet of new and used vinyl as well as CDs and DVDs, the store has been a magnet for music lovers for almost 40 years. Stop in on a weekend and there's a good chance you'll rub elbows with the country's top musicians and even catch an acoustic set from them if you're lucky.

National Blues Museum
This ode to the blues is a must-do on any music lover's list. This artifact-filled journey takes you through the history of the genre and lets you jump into action with interactive exhibits where you can join a jug band or record your own music. Best of all, blues musicians from across the country perform every week during Howlin' Fridays.

Magnolia Café and The Stage at KDHX
Located on the ground floor of St. Louis's independent radio station, Magnolia offers you a platform to share your thoughts and a sandwich with your fellow music fans. In the evenings and on weekends, grab a smoothie or coffee before you head to The Stage for entertainment from local and traveling artists or bluegrass jams and rap battles.

Jazz at the Bistro
Within steps of KDHX is the Harold & Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz, home to the award-winning Jazz at the Bistro concert series. The sophisticated setting allows you to order up dinner and drinks while you enjoy the sounds of up-and-coming musicians, local legends and national jazz icons. Once a week, they host Thursday Morning Coffee Concerts featuring music and donuts.

Steve's Hot Dogs
Lovers of '90s alternative rock and hot dogs unite! Steve Ewing of The Urge fame still rocks St. Louis with his mix of ska, punk and funk, but during the day trades in his mike for a spatula. His mouthwatering lineup of award-winning hot dogs, including The Bacon Bacon Jamaican and the Molotov Dog, are the perfect way to get the protein you need for mosh pit diving.

Sofar St. Louis (Various Locations)
Get a tour of St. Louis's attractions as well as the Midwest's musical talent with the national movement Sofar. Throughout the month, secret gigs pop up in neighborhoods across the city where guests can catch an intimate show in a nontraditional setting, from rock climbing gyms to local street corners. But you have to sign up at www.sofarsounds.com/st-louis to be in the know.

The Hideaway
Are you a country music fan? Then Mark Dew is your man. Every weekend, Mark and his trusty keyboard crank out country hits from the '70s, '80s and '90s while octogenarians and Millennials show off their moves under the disco lights at this beloved neighborhood bar. With no-nonsense cocktails and plenty of PBR and Busch, The Hideaway is the perfect dive bar.

St. Louis Cityscapes And City ViewsRaymond Boyd via Getty Images​​​​​​​

Scott Joplin House
The "King of the Ragtime Writers," composer Scott Joplin crafted his signature sound from his brick house on Delmar. Today this Missouri State Historical Site preserves the integrity of Joplin's home base, giving guests an inside look at one of the most important musicians in American history and celebrating the sound that influenced millions.

Not So Quiet! Concert Series at the Saint Louis Public Library
Once a month, Downtown's Central Library is no longer a quiet zone, but home to rowdy rock n' roll. The NSQ! series features a variety of performances held either in its auditorium or, in the summer months, on its historic steps. This year's lineup includes everything from jump swing by Miss Jubilee & the Humdingers to Rear View Mirror, a tribute to Pearl Jam.

Old Rock House
This St. Louis favorite hosts the hottest rock bands in an intimate setting that makes every seat a front row seat. Grab a beer and high tail it to the dance floor or relax with the other wallflowers in a cozy seat with a craft cocktail and a plate full of sliders. The historic building ensures every show is like nothing you've ever experienced.

The Sheldon Art Galleries
The renowned Sheldon Concert Hall also houses a collection of instruments from around the world in its art gallery. Now through August 12, 2017, you can watch horns evolve over the centuries at Amazing Horns – Bridging Continents, Bridging Times. In addition to a 1,000 clay trumpet from Peru, the curated collection also includes a clarinet from Artie Shaw and a 12-foot long bike-powered "Pedalphone."

Music Folk
This Webster Groves music store specializes in old-timey instruments that fuel today's acoustic rock scene. Offering everything from banjos and fiddles to guitars and dulcimers, it's a haven for folk rockers and the fans who love them. On the first Tuesday night of every month, sit in an Old School Jam and let your inner Marcus Mumford free.

The Way Out Club
The Way Out is the way every good rock club should feel. Its eclectic atmosphere, with its vintage TVs, old hub caps and girlie posters, attracts both punk rockers and hippies, while its stage hosts the best acts St. Louis has to offer. From DJs to ska bands to death metal bands, whatever your vibe, you can find it here.

Whittaker Music Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden
Yes, the place where grandmothers go to see orchids is also the hottest (literally and figuratively) music venue in the summer. The free Whittaker Music Festival welcomes thousands to the Garden every Wednesday night for performances from St. Louis favorites. Bring a picnic basket and a blanket and savor the sounds under the stars.

BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups
Get your fill of homecooked Cajun food and southern sounds in this Soulard landmark. BB's dubs itself "part music club, part music museum" for good reason. This mid-1800s building — a former hotel and brothel — has welcomed the country's most renowned blues performers over the years and its memorabilia-lined walls are a testament to their talents.



Nicole Plegge is a freelance writer and pop culture aficionado based in St. Louis. While she's busy writing for a variety of websites, magazines and blogs, she still can't get over never being able to attend the Eastland School for Girls.