Where to Live in St Louis (around Washington University)
I get asked a lot by friends and people I meet who are coming to grad school or undergrads moving off campus. Where should I live? Well, this is my attempt at putting down my thoughts for that.
There are really four nice areas to live in around Wash U.
They are: Skinker-Debaliviere, The Loop Area, Dogtown, and the Central West End. I recommend living in one of these areas because quite a few students live in these areas (esp. Wash U students).
First, there's the Loop, it's a bohemian/college commercial area full of restaurants, bars, shops, ice cream, etc. Most Wash U undergrads, grads, and quite a few medical campus students live in this area. The area south of Delmar is nicer than north of Delmar and safer, but it's also more expensive. So I recommend looking at apartments within two blocks of Delmar and between Big Bend and Skinker Rd. There's plenty of public transportation in the area, and there are a lot of things to do within walking distance and a weekend farmer's market. Most of the apartments are in large, rather collegiate apartment buildings.
I live in Skinker-Debaliviere which is right next to the Loop. It's about half college students (both undergrads, grads, and medical). It's within walking distance to the Loop and right next to Forest Park (which is huge and awesome), It's also a little quieter with half the houses owned by families. Most of the apartments (75%)in this area are like mine. They are turn-of-the-century homes that are duplexes or have been divided up into apartments. I like that a lot. I recommend the area south of Delmar, north of Forest Park Parkway, east of Skinker and west of Des Peres.
Dogtown is south of Forest Park, and by far the cheapest of the four areas to live in. It is also the most residential, the safest, and the quietest. More of the residents are families rather than college students. But quite a few students really enjoy that. It's biggest drawback is that it's a rather large clip from either the main campus or the medical campus, and there's not a lot of access to public transport. Most of the rentals in Dogtown are single-family homes with a few small apartment buildings.
Finally, more than half of medical campus students choose to live in the area right around the medical campus which is known as the Central West End. The Central West End is one of the most trendy areas in St. Louis. It's also the most expensive place to live of the three areas. There are quite a few night spots, shops, very nice restaurants, all-night coffee shops, etc. It's also typically within walking distance of the medical campus and a slightly longer walk to Forest Park. Most of the housing that college students can afford in this area consists of apartments in large complexes. Some graduate students, however choose to buy condos on the eastern side of the CWE. I recommend staying nearer to Lindell Rd (those areas are nicer, but it's also more expensive)
It all really depends on what you're looking for in a place to live, but those are my thoughts.