Thursday, March 15, 2012

St. Louis Day Trips

With the sunny weather holding off dusk longer, many of us are looking to get out more and have fun. Whether an outdoor activity or day trip, there's plenty to do, it just depends on how far you're willing to drive to get there. What if you had a hybrid car and didn't have to worry so much about burning through your gas, though?
Imagine this scenario: You've just bought a new Prius C, which gets 53 miles per gallon while driving in the city, and 46 on the highway. Let's say you live in a pretty centralized location, somewhere in St. Louis (we'll use our address, 10725 Manchester Rd, as the example). So where can you go to on one gallon of gas or less? Below you'll find three recommendations for mini road trips!

1. The Great River Road, Alton, Illinois (~35 Miles)

Great River Road

This stretch of highway is right on the Missouri/Illinois border and goes from Alton to Grafton, Illinois. It's one of the most scenic drives in the entire region, hands down! You can have a picnic by the riverside, load up some bicycles on your car and ride down the bike path, or stop and visit the Alton Museum of History and Art while you're in the area. I also like to stop by Fast Eddie's for some cheap drinks and food whenever I travel through Alton.

2. Mount Pleasant Winery, Augusta, Missouri (~37.5 miles)

Mount Pleasant Winery

Missouri is known for having some great wineries. That probably stems from the fact that the wineries here are some of the oldest in the country, having been created by German immigrants in the mid 19th century. Mount Pleasant is one of the closer wineries to make a day trip to, with a trek down highway 94 into Augusta, just shy of an hour in driving time. You don't have to be a wine aficionado to appreciate it either - there's often live music at the winery, and a great hiking trail for those who prefer to explore the area.

3. Meramec River- St. Clair, Missouri (~40 miles)
Meramec River

Mention the Meramec River to anyone from St. Louis and you'll instantly conjure up thoughts of floating, canoeing, and river rafting. Some would almost insist that it is a St. Louis tradition to go floating every year! St. Clair, which is a small town off highway 44, is a great spot for hitting the river. The nearby Old Cove Canoe shop offers rentals and float trips, and is perfect for families or large groups of friends. They're open on weekends and holidays currently, and have more general hours during the summer. 

If you're interested in daytripping to these great spots or any other St. Louis attractions on minimal gas, consider a fuel efficient hybrid vehicle like the Prius C. It's offered in four grades with a starting price of under $20,000. The Prius C One has automatic climate control, 3.5-inch multi-function display, remote keyless entry, power windows, and 9 airbags. It's also got MP3 and Bluetooth hookups so you can listen to your favorite tunes or chat hands free.
The other grades – Two, Three and Four – offer additional features, such as upgraded audio, cruise control, navigation, Toyota’s Entune with 6.1-inch screen, satellite radio, alloy wheels, heated seats and a power moonroof.

Do you have a favorite day trip spot? Leave a comment and tell us where you like to go!

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