Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri
A blooming good time at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis

Toe the Line

Hop between southern Illinois and northern Missouri this weekend and you can treasure hunt—at an antiques festival and a book fair—and mark Earth Day with an herbal excursion. Here, a three-part itinerary:

  1. For an arena-sized array of antiques, head for St. Louis Antique Festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 28 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 29 at the Belle Clair Fairgrounds. Some 85 dealers are expected at the two-day affair, bringing with them collectible porcelain and china, vintage jewelry and dolls, art glass, coins, and furniture. Admission is $6.
    GO St. Louis Antique Festival, Belle Clair Fairgrounds, 200 S. Belt East, Belleville, Illinois. 618-235-0666, bcfairgrounds.net.
  2. Bibliophiles will want to check out the 63rd Annual Greater St. Louis Book Fair, Thursday, April 26 to Sunday, April 29 at the Macy’s West County Center in Des Peres. Among the treasures for sale: A rare first edition of Irma Rombauer’s 1931 classic The Joy of Cooking, an 1897 edition of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and a 1920 copy of Louisa May Alcott’s children’s story The Frost King, amonghundreds of hardbacks, paperbacks, CDs, and comic books. Proceeds from the non-profit event go to charity.
    GO 63rd Annual Greater St. Louis Book Fair, Macy’s West County Center, Des Peres, Missouri. 314-993-1995, stlouisbookfair.org.
  3. Get into the spirit of Earth Day at the Missouri Botanical Garden at its 10th Annual Herb Days Plant Sale, 12 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 26 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28. More than 13,000 fresh herb plants will be for sale, including basils, mints, lavenders, and thymes, as well as hard-to-find ornamental and edible plants. Representatives from the St. Louis Herb Society will be on hand to answer questions. If you can start your weekend early, consider attending Melanie Fathman’s lecture “A Visit to a Chinese Herb Shop,” at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 27. Admission to the Garden is $8.
    GO Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, Missouri. 314-577-5100, mobot.org.

Where to stay: The Hotel Ignacio (3411 Olive St., St. Louis; 314-977-4411, hotelignaciostl.com) is St. Louis’s newest boutique hotel, 51 rooms located in vibrant midtown; rates range from $170 to $300 a night. Dwell 912 (912 Hickory St., St. Louis; 314-599-3100, dwell912.com) is a modern refuge in the heart of the historic LaSalle Park neighborhood; rooms are $150 to $175 a night.

Where to eat: Sasha’s on Shaw (4069 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis; 314-771-7274, sashaswinebar.com) offers savory and sweet crepes, along with an extensive wine list. Sidney Street Café (2000 Sidney St. St. Louis; 314-771-5777, sidneystreetcafe.com) is a popular local choice for a romantic evening of fine dining.


Photograph: Courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden