Welcome to St Louis!! We are glad that you are here!
1875, the City of St Louis withdrew from St Louis County, because the City felt that the County would be a money drain against the City's finances. The end result was a City that was land and river locked and could not grow, while the County hasn't stopped growing. The City of Clayton (in the County) became a second business and financial district for the area and over 90 municipalities were incorporated (with St Lous County still handling the unincorporated areas). Today the City of Clayton houses the primary government centers for the County, but branches have been established in each of the geographic sections of the County (West, South, North and Central). Besides the County government, there are over 60 municipal police departments, 23 fire protection districts and 20 municipal fire departments located in St Louis County. While each municipality provides some services to it's population (some of which are encompassed within a City Block, while others have 50,000 residents), the County provides an excellent Library Service, Parks and Recreation Department, Community Colleges, and much more. One of the outstanding items of interest is that the County Residents agreed many years ago to establish a special taxing district which provides funds to help ensure that the Museums, and the Zoo which are located in the City of St Louis receive County taxes to help support them. As a result, unlike many other cultural institutions throughout the US, our Museums and Zoos are either free or have very nominal admission costs for both County and City residents.
For reference, when you are searching for homes in the metropolitan St Louis area, one of the common starting points is the geographic area that you are interested in, as well as price, home amenities and school districts (we have over 30 school districts). As a result, I've prepared the following "short-course" on what cities and towns are located in what areas.
The Mid-Central area includes: Brentwood, Crystal Lake Park, Des Peres, Frontenac, Glendale, Huntleigh, Kirkwood, Ladue, Maplewood, Olivette, Richmond Heights, Rock Hill, St Louis County (unincorporated areas), University City, Warson Woods, Webster Groves
The West County area which includes: Allenton, Ballwin,
Clarkson Valley, Clayton, Country Life Acres,
Creve Coeur, Des Peres, Earth City,
Ellisville, Eureka, Fenton, Glencoe, Grover,
Maryland Heights, Olivette, Peerless Park, St Albans, St Louis County (unincorporated areas), Town and Country, Twin Oaks, Valley Park,
The South County area which includes: Affton, Bayless,
Belle Villa, Crestwood, Fenton, Grantwood Village, Green Park, Lakeshire, MacKenzie, Marlborough,
Mehlville, Oakland, St George, St Louis County (unincorporated areas), Sappington, Shrewsbury, Sunset Hills, Wilbur Park.
The North County area which includes: Bellefontaine Neighbors, Bellerive, Bell-Nor, Bellridge, Berkeley, Beverly Hill, Black Jack, Breckenridge Hills, Bridgeton, Calverton Park, Charlack, Cool Valley, Country Club Hills, Dellwood, Edmundson, Ferguson, Florissant, Flordell Hills, Glen Echo Park, Greendale, Hanley Hills, Hazelwood, Hillsdale, Jennings, Kinloch, Moline Acres, Normandy, Norwood Court, Northwoods, Overland, Pagedale, Pasedena Hills, Pasedena Park, Pine Lawn, Riverview, St Ann, St John, St Louis County (unincorporated areas), Spanish Lake, Sycamore Hills, Uplands Park, Velda City, Velda Village Hills, Vinita Park, Vinita Terrace, Wellston, Woodson Terrace
Many of these towns and cities are small enough that they do not have their own websites. Some will contract with the County or other municipalities to provide services such as Police and Fire Protection and even care and maintenance of their streets, while some will handle those type of services on their own. Adding to the confusion, the US Postal Service has "regional" zip codes for some areas, resulting in cities and towns that share zip codes. This periodically results in people presuming that an areas is in the wrong city based on it's zip.
To help you visual the metropolitan St Louis area, please refer to the following St Louis map.