Have you traveled across the plains through the gateway to the west? Well, get ready to do that for WordCamp US (WCUS)! This year, St. Louis, Missouri, known for BBQ, baseball, and beer, is playing host to the largest WordPress conference in the nation. As a WCUS organizer and St. Louis resident, I have some inside information just for you.
Although the event organizing team is in full-on planning mode, we have already started to release some of the awesome details, making it worth adding this WordPress community event to your destination list this year.
What, When, Where
WordCamp US, November 1-3, 2019, will be located in the heart of downtown St. Louis, Missouri at the America’s Center Convention Complex. The convention center is super easy to get to, no matter whether you are a local or visitor. It’s 10 blocks from the historic Gateway Arch and many other local attractions. To find out more about hotels and the venue for WCUS, click here.
Information about WordCamp US is being released daily from the organizing team on what to expect this year at the event. Here are some exciting things we know so far:
- Networking – There are WordPress community members and friends attending from all over the US and beyond.
- Workshops – Workshops are new to WCUS this year and will include a variety of topics.
- Community Tracks – This is also a new activity at WCUS, and it will focus on WordPress community topics such as meetups, diversity, and KidsCamp.
- Speakers – Six rounds of speakers have been announced from various roles and industries.
- KidsCamp – Its official. KidsCamp is happening at WCUS this year.
- Contributor Day – Honoring contributors is a big part of this event every year.
Can You Volunteer?
If you are attending the WordCamp US, consider volunteering. The organizing team is looking for a significant amount of volunteers to help out at the event. It can be a small commitment of time, but every little bit helps the event run smoothly. Sign up to volunteer here.
You can continue to follow the WCUS blog to get more information on the event.
Exploring St. Louis
If this is your first time visiting St. Louis, you are in for a treat. No matter what interests you, there is something for everyone in this city. Autumn is one of the best times of the year to visit, too. As a local, I want to share some of my top spots around the city.
- The Gateway Arch – This is a must-see! Known as the gateway to the west, not only is it historic, but it’s just really cool. Bonus tip: you can ride all the way up to the top to get a stellar city view.
- Busch Stadium and Ballpark Village – Are you a baseball fan? Whether you root for the Cardinals or not, the stadium is beautiful. A few years ago, Ballpark Village was built. It’s a cool spot for food, beer, and sports. If you want an awesome view of the stadium, take the elevator up at the Hilton to the rooftop bar.
- St. Louis Zoo – First off, its free! It’s also just a really great zoo filled with lions, bears and tigers… oh my.
- Anheuser-Busch Brewery – The brewery is massive. If you take a tour, you get two free beers at the end. Also, occasionally the Budweiser Clydesdales are there. (For beer drinkers interested in local breweries, there are plenty around the city to visit, such as Urban Chestnut, 4 Hands, Schlafly, and Brew Hub Tap Room.)
- City Museum – This venue is essentially an adult playground. The great news is that WordFest is here this year.
There are many more places to visit while you’re in town for WordCamp US. Check out a pretty solid list here.
Here are a few of my favorites broken down by category:
- BBQ – Sugarfire Smoke House (Honorable mention: Pappy’s Smokehouse)
- Deli – Blue’s City Deli (Honorable mention: Mom’s Deli)
- Southern/Soul Food – Sweetie Pie’s
- Pizza – Dewey’s Pizza
- Beer + Wings – Syberg’s
- Brunch – Shack Breakfast & Lunch
- Tacos – Mission Taco Joint
- Mexican – Rosalita’s Cantina
- Cajun – Broadway Oyster Bar
- Food Truck – Seoul Taco Food Truck
- Bonus: Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
My favorite winery (and where I got married back in 2015) is Chandler Hill Vineyards. This is located west of the city in Defiance. Augusta is known as Missouri wine country. So if you are into wine and wineries, I definitely recommend staying a day longer and drive out to the country to enjoy some tasty wines.
IMO’s Pizza is also worth mentioning. It is not a personal favorite (as I am from the Northeast and New York/New Jersey style pizza will always have a special place in my heart), but the born-and-raised locals enjoy this St. Louis style pizza. You should start Googling ‘provel cheese’ now.
Bottom line, WordCamp US 2019 is going to be lit! It is a solid event in an awesome location. If you are considering attending, which you should, be sure to have a plan for all the fun places and restaurants you want to visit during your stay.