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East St. Louis

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Saint Louis Metro East : East St. Louis
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Travel Warning WARNING: East St. Louis is most emphatically NOT a tourist destination. The city features as having the highest crime rate in the United States in the FBI's 100 most dangerous cities list and is perceived by many as "America's most dangerous city".

East St. Louis, a city in Southern Illinois, is commonly abbreviated ESL.

Get in[edit]

By road[edit]

Four major interstates lead into East St. Louis: Interstate 70, I-55, I-255, and I-64. Interstate 64 takes the most direct route into the city center. US-40 connects East St. Louis to St. Louis, MO and runs through East St. Louis. US-50 runs through East St. Louis as well. Illinois Routes 3, 15, and 111 also enter and leave East St. Louis. The city is very accessible by road via many different routes.

By rail[edit]

The Metrolink train travels into East St. Louis on the blue and red lines. The Red Line begins at Lambert Airport in St. Louis, MO and ends in Shiloh, IL. The Blue Line begins in Shrewsbury, MO, and ends in Fairview Heights, IL. Both of these lines run through downtown St. Louis and both stop at the same East St. Louis stations: East Riverfront, 5th and Missouri, Emerson Park, Jackie Joyner-Karsee Center, and Washington Park.

Amtrak does not directly serve East St. Louis but makes many stops nearby. The closest stop is in St. Louis, MO, at the 16th Street stop, approximately 5 mi away. Other stops are the Kirkwood Amtrak Station (about 18 mi away) and Alton Amtrak Station (about 30 mi away). Taxi cabs are available at the station.

By air[edit]

There are many airports near East St. Louis. The largest nearby airport is the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, approximately 16 mi from East St. Louis. The Saint Louis Regional Airport in St. Louis, MO is around 25 mi from East St. Louis. A smaller airport is located in Mascoutah, IL, and called the Mid-America Airport, about 22 mi away. Public-use airports closest to East St. Louis include St. Louis Downtown Airport, Airport: Sackman Field, and St. Louis Metro East Airport. Taxis are available at all airports.

Get around[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

On the whole, East St. Louis is a very unsafe and dangerous area. One should avoid visiting this area unless absolutely necessary. It's an area with high crime and drug rates. Visitors should avoid walking the streets at night at all costs. Visitors should be familiar with the area before arriving in East St. Louis, but there are areas that are secure. Know exactly where you are going. The East St. Louis Park District and Illinois Southwest Tourism Bureau can assist with any questions.

Do[edit][add listing]

Katherine Dunham Museum As one of the most famous residents of East St. Louis, the Katherine Dunham Museum is centered around the life of this famous dancer. The Museum is home to many of her personal items collected from all over the world. Some of these items include African Diaspora, African artifacts, dance costumes, pictures, drawings, paintings, and Katherine's personal awards and accomplishments.

The Casino Queen is located on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River in East St. Louis. St. Louis, MO is directly across the river. The Casino Queen is known for its "loose slots" and is a major attraction for this area. It is open daily from 8am-6pm and features an array of games, a hotel, 4 restaurants, The Stage Bar, and a RV park.

See[edit][add listing]

Near the Casino Queen, on the Mississippi River, is the Gateway Geyser. The fountain mimics the St. Louis Arch directly opposite, both reaching a height around 630 ft (190 m). The Gateway Geyser is the world's second tallest fountain. The fountain runs daily from April through October from 12:00-12:15 pm and from 1:00-1:15 pm.

The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center opened in 2000 in East St. Louis, IL. As a 6-time Olympic medalist in track, Jackie Joyner-Kersee began this project to help her hometown and encourage participation in sports.

Eat and drink[edit]

Being a small city located on the Mississippi River, East St. Louis residents and visitors have the luxury of experiencing their own town along with the big city of St. Louis, MO. East St. Louis has many of the typical fast-food restaurants, but has many sit-down restaurants in town and only a couple miles away in St. Louis, MO. Here are only a few options:

East St. Louis, IL[edit]

  • Sandy's Barbeque & More
  • Javons Restaurant
  • Wishing Well
  • China Chop Suey
  • Golden Dragon Chop Suey
  • Best Fish House
  • Mello Freeze
  • V's Catering and Deli Sandwiches
  • Arthur's Barbeque

St. Louis, MO[edit]

  • Feisty Bulldog
  • Sundeckers
  • Jake's Steak

Skybox Sports Bar & Grill

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Crown Hotel at Casino Queen
  • Roual Inn
  • Royal Relax Inn
  • Indian Mound Motel
  • Royal Budget Inn


Routes through East St. Louis
MemphisSt. Louis  S noframe N  EdwardsvilleSpringfield
O'Fallon, MOSt. Louis  W noframe E  O'Fallon, ILLouisville
ColumbiaSt. Louis  W noframe E  VandaliaIndianapolis




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