St. Charles has a lot of charm, great family neighborhoods and a downtown area that is a mix of historical buildings and trendy restaurants and shops. Views from each end of the city are inspiring, filled with trees, greenery and lakes. The city itself is pretty small but full of things to do and scenic views no matter which end of town you call home.
New Town: New Town is a young community based on old, community friendly, traditional neighborhoods (five to be exact) in one small area. Located in Historic St. Charles, New Town is a mixed community with its own businesses, shops, sports clubs and housing. Houses here are in apartment or townhome form, all very reminiscent of a Rockwell painting, done up in bright colors and sitting close by each other. Apartments are available above businesses and or in townhome form. Here, they’re called “apartment mansions” or “townhome mansions,” so feel free to flaunt the fancy when you move in. Ranging in size from 700 square feet to 1300, residents can take their pick between courtyard views ($1200), garden views or simple one-bedroom places with a garage ($900). Young professionals, families and seniors call this St. Charles gem home. $$$-$$$$
West Charles: An upper middle class section of St. Charles, close to St. Peter, the western part of St. Charles has good schools, established/medium-sized homes lived in by families and young professionals. Many of the subdivisions here are full of executives and affluent folks and apartment living is full of perks (fitness centers, jogging trails, racquetball, paid utilities and free cable!). Though the area is considered “well-to-do,” the rental prices are reasonable, and a two-bedroom apartment can be scored for around $600. Living in this end of town offers proximity to I-70, historic St. Charles and great shopping locations. $$-$$$
East St. Charles: In and around the eastern section of the city (near the Hwy 94/I-70 corridor), you will find a vibrant, upper/middle-income community full of great homes and luxury apartment living. East St. Charles is the perfect location for commuters and those who like to be active—there are a ton of lakes and parks here. Renters can choose from studios (about $500), apartments (2 bedroom/$765) or townhomes ($790) in most communities in East St. Charles. Living here also puts you minutes away from St. Louis. $$-$$$$
Downtown St. Charles: Pretty much where the city began, Downtown is oozing with history. It’s located on the riverfront and filled with great places to live, dine and shop if you’re into those things. Tourists flock here for the horse drawn carriages and festivals (Bring your lederhosen, there’s a huge Oktoberfest here!) while residents stay for the scenery and cozy living. Some apartments are set atop the local businesses, exuding a quaint/yesteryear kind of vibe, you know, just in case the horse drawn carriage didn’t drive that point home. If living a few blocks away from the historic section of downtown is more your speed, there are plenty of apartments nearby that feature luxury living, garden style apartments with perfect highway access (70, 270) right in the heart of the city. One-bedrooms typically start around $445. $$-$$$
Winters are cold, so if you can snag an apartment with a fireplace or heat included in the rent, do it. Many offer them as an upgrade or an amenity, and come January, it’s worth every penny. The same goes for a garage or covered parking. Ice, and the salt used to clean the streets, can ruin a perfectly good ride. Plus, you’re less likely to freeze your tail off if your car is kept in a cozy garage.
Most apartment complexes in St. Charles include many, if not all, of your utilities in your rent. Sometimes this includes cable! Lookout, you’ve hit the big time. Keep this in mind when looking at pricing. That said, rent in St. Charles is still fairly reasonable.
The city is huge on “going green.” Recycled goods are collected from homes once a week and there are various commuter parking spots located off I-70 where you can leave your car and hitch a ride to help cut back on traffic pollution.
The St. Charles Area Transit (aka SCAT) has five bus routes running five days a week. Wanna travel at the speed of light? We thought you’d never ask, because it’s impossible (so far). Still, Metrolink, St. Louis’ light rail system has light in the name, and it’s a good way from St. Charles to the Greater St. Louis area, as well as to Illinois…and back (it just takes much, much longer than light)! You can be at the Gateway Arch or a Cardinals game in no time via the Metrolink.
For those who like to travel the open highway with the wind in their hair, there’s a bevy of highway systems at your disposal. I-70 runs east and west and can take you to St. Louis or west to St. Peters. Hwy 94 will run you north and south, bringing you downtown, to Lindenwood University and eventually connect you southbound with Hwy 64. Another highway to rely on when maneuvering around the city is Hwy 370, often used as an alternate route to I-70, when heading east to St. Louis and beyond.
St. Charles started off with a bang. It was a town filled with explorers, doers and dreamers. Today, it’s filled with friendly Midwestern/Southern (another conversation for another day) folks just looking to make a good life and enjoy what the city has to offer. Nature, history, minor league sports and university life merge in this small Missouri town.
It may be old but don’t call it boring and it may be small but don’t call it meek. Simply call it St. Charles (San Carlos, if you’re so inclined), and call it your home. Good luck and happy hunting!