Ste Genevieve



On the Mississippi River southeast of St. Louis, this small town—more than any other in the Midwest—has retained a French-Creole heritage. In fact, some of its historic structures rival those found in states (such as Louisiana) that are more closely associated with Creole culture. A few of them are essentially log houses, but the logs are vertical and the trussed roofs give the structures a much more European feeling. Be sure to see Amoreaux House, one of the country's oldest standing Creole houses; Bolduc House, unusual architecture in a French-colonial house from the 1700s; the Felix Valle Home State Historic Site, unlike the rest of town, this house is in the American federal style; and the Guibord-Valle House, another vertical-log house from the 1700s. St. Genevieve's Historical Museum documents the community's heritage. It also has a number of birds stuffed and mounted by John James Audubon.

One of the most exciting times to visit St. Genevieve is the second full weekend of August, when it holds the annual Jour de Fete, a Gallic-flavored festival that gets everyone singing and dancing. 50 mi/80 km southeast of St. Louis.

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