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East St. Louis

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Travel Warning WARNING: On the whole, East St. Louis is a totally unsafe and dangerous area. One should avoid visiting this area unless absolutely necessary business trips or other purposes. It is an area with high crime, widespread violence, and drug rates. Visitors should avoid walking the streets as well as casual/general sightseeing day and night at all costs. Visitors should be familiar with the area before arriving in East St. Louis, as no area in East St. Louis is secure at all. Know exactly where you are going. The East St. Louis Park District, the East St. Louis Police Department, and Illinois Southwest Tourism Bureau can be marginally helpful with any questions.

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

Get in[edit]

Roads[edit]

Four major interstates lead into East St. Louis: Interstate 70, Interstate 55, Interstate 255, and Interstate 64. Interstate 64 takes the most direct route into the city center. US Route 40 connects East St. Louis to St. Louis, MO and runs through East St. Louis. US Route 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 through many different routes.

Metrolink[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.[1]

Airports[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.[2] 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, is 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.

Amtrak[edit]

Amtrak does not directly station in East St. Louis but makes many stops nearby.[3] 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.

Get around[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

On the whole, East St. Louis is a totally unsafe and dangerous area. One should avoid visiting this area unless absolutely necessary business trips or other purposes. It is an area with high crime, widespread violence, and drug rates. Visitors should avoid walking the streets as well as casual/general sightseeing day and night at all costs. Visitors should be familiar with the area before arriving in East St. Louis, as no area in East St. Louis is secure at all. Know exactly where you are going. The East St. Louis Park District, the East St. Louis Police Department, and Illinois Southwest Tourism Bureau can be marginally helpful 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 8 AM - 6 AM 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</p>
  • V's Catering and Deli Sandwiches
  • Arthur's Barbeque

St. Louis, MO[edit]

  • Feisty Bulldog
  • Sundeckers</p>
  • Jake's Steak

Skybox Sports Bar & Grill

Sleep[edit][add listing]

East St. Louis, IL[edit]

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

St. Louis, MO[edit]

  • Drury Plaza Hotel
  • Omni Majestic Hotel
  • The Mayfair Hotel


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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