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7 cool treats in historic St. Louis: Part 1

A Bob Cassilly concrete frog guards the playground at Lafayette Park.
A Bob Cassilly concrete frog guards the playground at Lafayette Park.
Photo by Amy Borrelli

Despite the sweltering summer heat in St. Louis, you’re never too far from some frosty relief – and a bit of the past. The city where the ice cream cone was invented knows a thing or two about pairing frozen desserts and history.

So kick back, cool down and soak up some local ambiance in the waning days of another sweltering St. Louis summer.

Cool treat #1: Stroll through Lafayette Park sipping a Frappicano.

Stop by Park Avenue Coffee, 1919 Park Ave., for their frozen blended coffee drink, the Frappicano; choices include summer flavors like Wildberry Tart and Wildberry Green Tea, or year-round favorites such as Funky Monkey or Turtle Mocha.

With drink in hand, saunter across the street to one of the oldest public parks in St. Louis, Lafayette Park, and follow the winding paths, with stately elm and oak trees providing plenty of shade. Delights appear around every curve: British cannons from the Revolutionary War, statues of Thomas Hart Benton and George Washington, the solitude of the Rockery, playful concrete animals sculpted by Bob Cassilly (mastermind behind the City Museum).

It’s easy to imagine hoards of proper Victorian gentlemen and gentlewomen picnicking or taking carriage rides through the park, hands down St. Louis’ most popular in the late 1800s before it was decimated by the 1896 cyclone.

The Lafayette Square neighborhood surrounding the park boasts nearly 400 Victorian homes, popularly known as “painted ladies.” Some of the exteriors were featured in a scene in the 2009 George Clooney film, "Up in the Air."

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