St. Louis offers residents both a high quality of life and a lower cost of living than the national average. While a resident enjoys the amenities of a large metropolitan area, his or her salary goes much further than in many other cities. For example, the cost of housing in St. Louis is low, and many residents can buy comfortable homes close to the Medical Center (
The Washington University Medical Center Housestaff Auxiliary (WUMCHA) provides a large network of support for the resident and his/her family who relocate to St. Louis. WUMCHA is a group of female residents, fellows, medical students and attendings affiliated with the Medical Center, and female spouses and significant others of the same. The Auxiliary was formed to address the special needs and life stresses encountered by the resident when adjusting to the St. Louis community. WUMCHA offers support and friendship to its members through a variety of social activities for both children and adults. Important information on such subjects as housing, job hunting, babysitting and schools is also compiled and provided to the resident. Please visit
Several years ago, options for child care expanded as the Washington University Family Learning Center
opened in University City – near the medical school – to serve the children of faculty, residents, fellows, students and staff.
Another significant advantage to living in St. Louis is the location of the Medical Center in a stable and attractive area of the city. Barnes-Jewish Hospital sits at the edge of Forest Park in the Central West End (CWE). At the turn of the century, the CWE was the fashionable section of town, featuring many private streets lined with mansions. In the 1920s, high-rise apartment buildings and more houses for middle-class residents were constructed. The atmosphere changed in the 1970s, when the CWE suffered from urban decay and suburban flight. Over the last 20 years, Washington University Medical Center has leveraged $430 million to improve the CWE. Today, the CWE is a regenerated, vibrant area with parks, sidewalk cafés, restaurants, shops, bars and affordable housing. For this reason, many residents live in the CWE and walk to work from affordable apartments in the vicinity of the Medical Center. Click here for Washington University off-campus housing web site
Residents soon discover that St. Louis is home to an array of cultural institutions, as well as sports teams and entertainment venues. The St. Louis Symphony
is the second oldest orchestra in the United States and has long been regarded as one of the best. The Symphony – which has six Grammy awards and 56 Grammy nominations – performs a broad musical repertoire with skill and spirit. Among its programs are free summer concerts in local parks. Meanwhile, theatregoers may attend Broadway productions at the Fox Theatre
, a 1920s movie palace restored to its former glory; outstanding live plays performed by the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
; and quality productions sung in English by the Opera Theatre of St. Louis
and accompanied by the St. Louis Symphony.
, a small venue with great acoustics and comfortable seating, and Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, a summertime concert venue, both feature local and nationally known rock and jazz musicians. And there is never a shortage of sporting events with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball, Rams football and Blues hockey teams providing year-round excitement.
One of the city’s biggest centers for recreation and culture, Forest Park, is across the street from Barnes-Jewish Hospital. It comprises 1,371 acres and features tennis courts, a skating rink, a golf course, and a 6.2-mile running/biking/rollerblading track. Forest Park is also home to the St. Louis Art Museum
, the St. Louis Science Center
, the Missouri History Museum
, the Saint Louis Zoo
, the MUNY Opera
and the Jewel Box (indoor garden). Most of these attractions, including the Zoo and Art Museum, are free of charge.
In addition to Forest Park, the Missouri Botanical Garden
– with its beautifully landscaped grounds – is close by and provides an excellent getaway from a busy lifestyle. Residents and their family members or friends might also want to visit the 630-foot Gateway Arch
, which has a barrel-shaped tram that takes visitors to the top for views of the Mississippi River and downtown. Under the Arch is the Jefferson National Expansion Museum, which features exhibits telling the story of the exploration and settlement of the West. Another great place for a family outing is Grant's Farm
, the country estate of the Busch family and home to more than 1,000 exotic animals from six continents. Tram tours of Deer Park and many other attractions are offered at only a small fee for parking.
about museums, performing arts, other attractions, sports and transportation in St. Louis.