Sainte Genevieve Offers Historic French Colonial Adventure

Story & photos by Leah O’Donnell, Healthy Planet Lifestyles Editor

Breakfast in bed, a night out at cooking school, activities for the kids, shopping with friends, delicious Missouri wines, and a relaxing step back in time make Sainte Genevieve the most incredible getaway. This is just a sample of what I experienced on my visit to historic Sainte Genevieve, MO. There is something for everyone whether you want to go away for a romantic weekend, have a girl’s trip, or treat the kids to a fun weekend. Sainte Genevieve is the oldest city in Missouri and prides itself on their dedication to preservation and restoration. From the bed and breakfast we stayed at to the historic homes, restaurants, and shops we visited, the history and charm are apparent. This is a destination worth the short 90 minute drive from St. Louis.
Sainte Genevieve offers multiple options for accommodations and is known for their bed and breakfasts. I stayed at the Inn St. Gemme Beauvais on my visit and could not have asked for more. Owners Jan and Kathy Brans have done a remarkable job of creating a modern bed and breakfast while keeping the historic appeal. The bedrooms are luxurious, comfortable, and offer ample space. Guests enjoy a four course breakfast that is delectable. Also included with your stay is Tea Time each afternoon, as well as wine and hors d’oeuvres in the evening. The St. Gemme Beauvais Restaurant serves local wines and incredible entrees that are a wonderful option for dinner. I enjoyed the Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce and my husband devoured the Pork Tenderloin, along with a bottle of wine from local winery Crown Valley. Prices are reasonable and the personal service is unbeatable. My husband and I felt like we were the only ones at the Inn during our stay, even though it was full. This is a superior place to stay for a romantic getaway or with friends. Owners Jan and Kathy also have a second Bed & Breakfast just across the street from Inn St. Gemme Beauvais called Dr. Hertich’s House. This is another great option offering the same amenities, with a few different suite choices. To learn more about the Inn St. Gemme Beauvais or Dr. Hertich’s House, visit their web site at www.stgem.com or www.drhertich.com. You can also call toll free 1-800-818-5744. Book your stay today.

When it comes to things to do in Sainte Genevieve, the choices are numerous. One of the best things I did during my stay was to attend Rosemary and Thyme Cooking School. This is a blast! Owner and Chef Yvonne Lemire will instruct you on creating an array of gourmet dishes using many local and organic foods. The menu is catered to your individual requests or specific needs. This is the perfect night to share with a group of girl friends or couples. On my visit we had a wine tasting provided by Ste. Genevieve’s own Charleville Vineyard. Yvonne makes this experience a celebration of food and friends. Learn more online at www.rosemarythymecookingsch.com or contact Yvonne at 573-883-7699. Next on the list of fun things are the shops located on and around historic Main Street. The local boutiques, antique stores, art galleries, jewelry stores, and other specialty shops make this an ideal place for finding unique gifts and one-of-a-kind items. Kathy’s Pour Les Femmes is a boutique that has a large assortment of ladies clothing from socks to dresses and everything in between. Fair trade clothing is also available here. The assortment of merchandise makes this a fun store. This is one shop you want to be sure not to miss. Joseph Sisters Shop & Gallery offers a variety of fair trade items as well along with specialty jewelry and beautiful art. The store, Only Child Originals had many recycled products and handmade, custom jewelry. Another neat store is the Center for the Arts. Owner Diane Wilson has created incredible art with 3D photography, hand dyed silk scarves & clothing, and adorable tie-dyed clothing and bags. I highly recommend planning a day of shopping at all the stores in town. Each shop owner is personable and can share a bit of history with you along the way. There are also many restaurants to please the palette. I had lunch at Stella & Me Lunch Café and the food was incredible. This café has a quaint charm and a fantastic seasonal menu. Delicious! I also recommend checking out Station 2 Café, which uses compostable containers and has a diverse, fresh menu. The downtown area has something for everyone.
Sainte Genevieve’s Welcome Center can provide you with information for things going on around town, setting up historic tours, and a complete list of upcoming events. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed touring some of the homes and buildings that are rich with history. Enjoy the Art Walk every fourth Friday. Local artists display and sell original pieces in front of the store fronts. They are also offering a Summer Music Festival with concerts every Friday and Saturday night in June. A few other great events to put on your calendar are The French Festival on June 11th and 12th and Le Tour de Ste. Genevieve on June 12th. The French Festival includes living history, live traditional music, French cuisine, wine tasting, re-enactors in period dress, free street dance, parades, and much more. Le Tour de Ste. Genevieve is a bicycle road race which attracts riders from all over the country. There are many other events and celebrations throughout the year, so be sure to check the tourism web site to learn more.

Last, but definitely not least are the numerous wineries around Ste. Genevieve. There are at least seven wineries within a thirty minute drive of downtown. Many have their wines available for purchase at locations in town as well. I have been to Crown Valley Winery on several occasions, as well as Charleville Winery & Microbrewery, Sainte Genevieve Winery, Cave Vineyard, and Chaumette. Each one has their own unique wines and atmospheres. Be sure to check them out on your visit as well.

Feel relaxed, pampered, and entertained on your next trip by visiting Sainte Genevieve. To start planning your outstanding getaway, go to www.visitstegen.com or contact their Welcome Center today at 800-373-7007.

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