Settled during the mid-eighteenth century by French-Canadian farmers, Ste. Genevieve is the oldest European settlement West of the Mississippi River. German and Spanish influences add to the region’s international flair. The historic structures have been so carefully preserved that walking down Main Street is like going back in time. Bed & breakfasts, art galleries, and antique shops are plentiful—with nary a fast food chain or big box store in sight.

 

As we walked along, we met many folks who stopped to greet us—and at first we thought they had strategically planted gays throughout town.  For Ste. Genevieve’s rich tradition of architecture, art, and cuisine has attracted some rather progressive and interesting people who are proud to call Ste. Gen. their home.

 

Visitors can enjoy a healthy homemade wrap at Station 2 Café served in an eco-friendly dissolvable container! Take a tour of the Bolduc House Museum, and check out the gift shop—their mascot is a squirrel!!! Take a trip down memory lane (or maybe down the rabbit hole) at LuLu’s Gallery filled with retro antiques and conversation-starters as fun and wacky as the shop owner herself.  Find treasures like rare paintings and kitschy vintage ashtrays at Joseph Sisters.  And indulge in a delicious bite-sized dessert at Stella & Me Lunch Café.

 

The town has several unique hotels and bed & breakfasts to choose from, each beautifully restored with its own special charm.  Perhaps the most breathtaking of the area accommodations is White Cliff Manor.  Positioned a few miles outside town, this gorgeous estate combines the peace of the countryside with the elegance of an historic French colonial home.

 

The Ste Genevieve wine country has become one of the most popular tourist destinations and is host to more than a handful of independent wineries and microbreweries.  But the region’s hills and valleys offer more than vineyards.  Recreation enthusiasts will enjoy hiking, camping, long distance bike trails, golf courses and conservation areas.

 

Whether you drive down for the day or stay for the weekend, Ste Genevieve has so much to offer St. Louis LGBTers.  Pop down for their 4th Friday Art Walks, or plan a weekend stay during the Jour de Fete festival in August.  Whatever you do, leave your stereotypes in the city and pack an open mind, because this little old town is welcoming you with open arms.

 

BY: KRISTEN GOODMAN

 

Restaurants/ Cafes:

Station 2 Café

573 883 3600

facebook.com/pages/Station-2-Café

 

Stella & Me Café

573 883 3078

facebook.com/pages/Stella-and-Me-Café

 

Cooking School:

Rosemary & Thyme Cooking School

573 883 7699

rosemarythymecookingsch.com

 

Shopping:

Lulu’s Antiques

573 883 8885

173 North Main St.

 

Show-Me Shop

573 883 2557

show-meshop.com

 

Sweet Things

573 883 7990

sweetthingsstegen.com

 

Mélange

573 883 7919

inkleinedtostamp.com

 

Historic Sights:

Bolduc House

573 883 3105

bolduchouse.com

 

The Ste Genevieve Museum

573 883 3461

ste-genevieve.com

 

Wineries:

Sainte Genevieve Winery

573 883 2800

saintegenevievewinery.com

 

Cave Vineyard

573 543 5284

cavevineyard.com

 

Chaumette Vineyard

573 747 1000

chaumette.com

 

Charleville Winery and Microbrewery

573 756 4537

charlevillevineyard.com

 

Bed and Breakfast:

White Clift Manor

888 388 5445

whitecliffmanorbnb.com