Brentwood is a suburban neighborhood located southeast of Forest Park. Granted, it’s probably not the most exciting area of St. Louis, but it is a highly sensible place to make your home for the next four years. Rent and condo prices are generally more affordable, as compared to Clayton and the Central West End. Within a few blocks of each other, you have access to the St. Louis Galleria, Nordstrom Rack, Trader Joe’s, Target, Whole Foods and the list goes on. The surrounding area is mostly residential, filled with a good mix of young professionals, families and retirees. Living in Brentwood is probably more suitable for people who can drive. The area has ready access to several of St. Louis’ major highways, and the commute to school is 10 minutes by car on Interstate 64. However, you can also ride the MetroLink using the free Metro pass distributed to WUSM students, and there are free parking garages so you can drive to the station. Brentwood is a great option outside of the Central West End for those looking for a space that’s affordable, safe, convenient and comfortable.
— Jane W., M1
Central West End
A large number of first-year medical students choose to live in the Central West End, and for good reason. The Central West End (CWE) is adjacent to the WUSM campus and Forest Park. It is filled with young professionals and students, which creates a nice, lively and safe atmosphere. Most apartment buildings are only a short walk from class and you will probably run into several of your classmates on the way to lecture in the morning. There are several grocery stores nearby, which adds convenience, especially for people who don’t have cars. You will also be close to the CWE MetroLink stop, which gives you easy access to the Danforth Campus and to the rest of St. Louis. There are a lot of great housing options for any budget and a large assortment of cafes, restaurants and bars for all of your studying, food and entertainment needs. A lot of students choose to live in the CWE for the convenience and affordability of the area, and because it acts as the hub of student life for a large portion of medical students.
— Emma B., M1
The Grove is a wonderful neighborhood to live in for a number of reasons. It is experiencing a revival, meaning new businesses are opening all the time. You can expect to live within walking distance of a handful of restaurants, bars and shops. Most of them have a hipster vibe (in a good way), and almost all of the LGBTQ bars in the city are located in the Grove. My commute to school is no farther than that of many of my classmates in the Central West End. It takes about 15 minutes walking or five minutes by bike. Another big advantage is that apartments here tend to be larger and cost the same as, or less than, units in other nearby neighborhoods, so you get more bang for your buck. A lot of the buildings only have a few units, which cuts down on neighbor noise and gives the apartment a more homey feel. Overall, it is an eccentric, vibrant neighborhood, and you’ll be spending lots of time in the Grove anyway, so you might as well live there!
— Curtis A., M1
The Tower Grove/Shaw neighborhood is situated to the south of the Grove, about three miles away from campus. While this distance may seem a bit far from all of our friends living in the Central West End, Tower Grove/Shaw has a unique personality that is unlike any other area of St. Louis. About 20 years ago or so, this neighborhood was the haunt of the young Bohemians of St. Louis. Since then, these artists and avant-garde free thinkers have grown up and stayed to raise families here, and so the area has become very residential and family-friendly. The neighborhood consists mostly of cozy two- or three-story single-family houses with backyards, punctuated by some small apartment buildings. Rent costs about $600-$700 a month for a one-bedroom, and there are great opportunities to buy a home here as well (looking at you, MSTPs). The neighborhood is centered around the Missouri Botanical Garden, which is a fantastic exhibition of Kingdom Plantae with beautifully manicured grounds, and Tower Grove Park, a 289-acre park that is host to events such as the Tower Grove Farmer’s Market and St. Louis Food Truck Festival. Running through the neighborhood is South Grand Boulevard, where you can find Rooster (a favorite brunch spot), Jay’s International Food (offering grocery selections from all corners of the world) and the Upstairs Lounge (better known as “The Lounge,” the No. 2 dance club in St. Louis according to Google). For a study atmosphere away from school, go to Mokabe’s Coffeehouse (open seven days a week until midnight!), the neighborhood Hartford Coffee Company or the London Tea Room. The only downside of living in Tower Grove/Shaw is the distance from friends, but a quick 15-minute drive or bike ride gets you to school, and on the weekends an Uber split between myself and my two roommates ends up costing each of us less than $3 to get to the Grove or Central West End.
— Zelun W., M1
I live right off of the University City Loop (the Loop), close to Washington University’s Danforth Campus. Although it can sometimes feel a little isolating to live somewhere other than the Central West End, I love almost everything about where I live. Not only can I walk to the Loop, where there is great shopping and food, but I also am near Forest Park, which is about a block away. It is very convenient to be able to use the undergraduate and law school libraries, and the amazing new fitness complex on the Danforth Campus is also open to medical students. Luckily for me, transportation to campus is also incredibly easy. I usually take the MetroLink, which is a seven-minute walk from my house and has a stop on the medical school campus. The best part about using the Metro system is that it is free for Washington University students!
— Devon C., M1
The Hill has been a great place to live so far. It consists mostly of houses, so rent is a little higher, but you get much more space. If you share the rent, it’ll be cheaper than the Central West End. I have a dog, so it is nice to have a yard, and my wife and I finally have enough space to store all of our “use-them-just-often-enough-to-be-annoyed-at-not-having-them” items. It’s nice that we can walk to more than a dozen Italian restaurants and several pubs, as well as Tower Grove Park (the second-biggest park in STL). There also is an astonishing density of automobile repair places, for whatever that’s worth. The downside is that it is a little more than three miles to school, and not super bike-friendly, so having a car is pretty important. Also, the houses are mostly older, so you may have to deal with some of the maintenance issues that come with that. Despite those things, I plan to stay here all four years (at least)!
— Andrew S., M1
The Skinker/DeBaliviere neighborhood is located north of Forest Park between the medical school and the Danforth Campus. There are many quiet, dead-end streets that provide a much-appreciated break from the busy Central West End and give the neighborhood a cozy feel. Apartments, condominiums and houses are all available, and you will find that many of your neighbors are medical students, graduate students or resident physicians. There are a handful of nearby coffee shops and restaurants, including Kayak’s (a favorite
of Washington University undergraduates), Pura Vegan Café and the cleverly named 2Schae Café. For more variety in food and entertainment, the Central West End also is easily accessible by foot or by public transportation. The nearby Forest Park/DeBaliviere and Skinker MetroLink stations make this neighborhood just one or two Metro stops from campus, so it is not necessary to have a car to live here. Located adjacent to Forest Park, Skinker/DeBaliviere is just a short walk away from the museums, zoo, golf courses and trails inside the park. One downside of the neighborhood is that although I feel safe walking around during the day and evening, the streets empty out at night and it can feel pretty dicey, which might be a problem when returning home from a night out or a late shift at the hospital.
— Noah E., M1