Outlined here is a very fast glimpse during a one-day tour of the historic French Creole Corridor on both sides of the Mississippi River departing from St. Louis. Dividing this trip into two day segments, one for the Illinois bank and the second for the Missouri side, is highly recommended. Sites listed in the tint boxes are suggested for visitation only if two days are available. Abundant overnight accommodations exist in Ste. Genevieve’s numerous historic B&Bs, hotels and motels, in addition to a variety of restaurants and nearby wineries. The Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center, 800-373-7007, provides tourist information. Some sites are closed on holidays and in winter months. Before visiting, please check days/hours open and wheelchair accessibility; phone numbers for each site are provided below.
Prepare yourself for a historical ride into a universe that is very close to us, yet at the same time, is so buried by the dust of time and the wrecking ball of modern development as to be almost invisible except to the practiced eye. In the eighteenth century, this universe consisted of roughly 1,000 square miles of the Mississippi River Valley, from St. Louis and Cahokia on the upriver end to Kaskaskia and Ste. Genevieve downriver. This region today provides the best introduction to French colonial life available anywhere in the United States.