St. Charles is the fastest-growing county in Missouri. The city which served as Missouri's first state capitol is famed for being the organization point of the Lewis & Clark Expedition in 1804.
St. Charles sits on the bank of the Missouri river and is located 30 miles west of St. Louis. Founded in 1769 as a fur trade and trapping center, its past is still evident in the downtown historic district, filled with French-influenced buildings 100 to 200 years old. Yet, further out, the city offers modern tract homes and shopping centers and industrial parks with office buildings.
Growth is the defining characteristic of St. Charles County. St. Charles is the second-largest city in the St. Louis metropolitan area with a population of 61,000. The history of the city offers a mix of both new and old housing, with some houses more than 80 years old. The economic boom of the late 20th century contributed to a population increase of 33 percent between 1990 and 2000.
Cost of Housing
Although housing costs have inched up in recent years, the affordability of the area is still attracting many residents to St. Charles. Housing prices range from about $100,000 for a three-bedroom house with about 700 square feet to about $300,000 for 2,000 square feet. Housing costs may be higher in the community's 150-year-old historic district.
Apartment rentals are plentiful in St.Charles. Nearly a fifth of the housing developments are rental units. The average price for a two-bedroom, one-bath apartment is about $600 a month.
The schools of St. Charles are reputable and are served by the St. Charles School District. St. Charles' Borromeo School and St. Peter's School, both elementary schools, are among the private schools. Lindenwood University, a liberal arts college, also is located in the town.
With its location directly on the Missouri river, St. Charles features a river boat casino, Ameristar. Katy Trail, the longest bike trail in the country at 225 miles, also winds through St. Charles, stretching on throughout much of Missouri. St. Charles' historic district is filled with shops and stores, as well as scores of restaurants. Visitors can tour Missouri's first state capitol building and the Lewis and Clark Museum, named after early explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who trail-blazed across the western United States, from near St. Louis to the Pacific coast from 1804 to 1806.
The drive to downtown St. Louis takes about 30 or 40 minutes on Highway 70.