Central West End
Growing up in the surrounding St. Louis area, I’d visit the city with family and friends countless times on the weekends. The Central West End (CWE) was always the fun yet sophisticated area of St. Louis to explore. Located adjacent to both Forest Park and the medical campus, as well as in close proximity to the Danforth Campus, the area has the vibe of young professional meets college student with a zest of European style thrown in. Though CWE is one of the nicer neighborhoods of the city to live in, you can find a range of housing costs based on apartment building and location. Most apartments within CWE are a short walk to class, and the good majority of medical students live here. Living in the area is great because you’re surrounded by delicious restaurants of all varieties, several cafes to study in, fun nightlife, and easy access to Forest Park. No matter what your taste or interests are, you’ll likely find at least some, if not all, of them conveniently located in the CWE.
– Hayley M., M1
If you have a car and are looking for a quieter, more suburban area to live in, then you should definitely consider living in Clayton. Clayton is a 10-minute drive to the medical school, just west of Forest Park. The tree-lined, quiet neighborhoods in Clayton are incredibly safe, and your neighbors will generally include a nice mix of young professionals and families. Downtown Clayton boasts some fantastic restaurants and coffee shops, beautiful parks and the Clayton pool (access to which is very cheap, if not free, for Clayton residents). I personally prefer keeping my school and home life separate, and enjoy the more slow-paced nature of living in Clayton. The downsides are fairly obvious — driving to school/ social gatherings in the Central West End, paying for parking at the medical school, and the fact that few medical students live within walking distance. Many students believe that living in Clayton is expensive, but you can find housing in the Demun or Moorelands neighborhoods that is similar in price to the apartments in the Central West End. I have lived in Clayton for the past two years and think it was a great decision. I have probably left out some other great aspects of living in Clayton, but if anything I mentioned appeals to you, definitely take the time to check out the area!
– Alexandra K., M1
DeBaliviere/North of Forest Park
The DeBaliviere area (pronounced DE-BAL-I-VER this side of the Atlantic) is located between the Danforth and medical campuses, north of Forest Park. For those looking for a more suburban feel, this might be an ideal neighborhood, though your experience will vary greatly as you travel eastward. Are you looking to prove you can still keep up with college students? Skinker/DeBaliviere is within walking distance of the University City Loop, where you can enjoy some Seoul Taco or maybe pour a few back. In all seriousness, this area is an interesting mix of Washington University students of all ages and some residents who are not paying tuition. It becomes much less academic, and more affordable, as you move eastward. Commuting is easy: within five to 10 minutes from the Skinker or Forest Park MetroLink stop (12:30 a.m. last train) or a scenic 15-20 minutes biking in or along the park, if you’re into that sort of thing. Finally, after crossing DeBaliviere you’ll find yourself in a maze of quiet dead-end and roundabout side streets where you could find a home in a mix of larger apartment buildings and smaller dwellings, or just get lost trying to pick up that chair from Craigslist.
– Zach B., M1
The Grove is a modern, hipster neighborhood located in the blocks surrounding Manchester Avenue, between Vandeventer and Grand, in midtown St. Louis. Filled with tons of local restaurants, a wide selection of bars (and the Urban Chestnut Brewing Company), and a number of annual festivals and art shows, The Grove has a lot to offer, especially when you’re craving a brief interlude in your busy med school schedule. The Grove is also within a 10-minute walk/drive of Forest Park, the Missouri Botanical Garden and the brand new St. Louis IKEA. There are two or three grocery stores in the surrounding neighborhoods, although they take a bit longer to reach due to some construction in the area. Best of all, the neighborhood is full of students and young families, and most of the houses are newly renovated, making it a fairly safe place to live.
– Mary I., M1 (St. Louis University)