Having lived and worked in St. Albans for 22-years, Melinda McCarthy has seen the area grow from a rural retreat to a much more active community. “My kids are grown now, and my oldest son lives in Chicago and hasn’t been back here for years,” she says. “He came home not long ago and said, I can’t believe all the stuff they have now, why didn’t they have all of this when we were growing up? If you’ve been here before and you think you’ve seen St. Albans, you haven’t: You need to come back. Everything has changed—but the beauty remains constant.”
The public will have the perfect opportunity to see St. Albans on May 19, when the community will host a first-ever showcase of homes from 1 to 4 p.m., notes McCarthy, a broker for St. Albans Realty Company. All of the community’s real estate companies have pulled together to coordinate open houses at most of the area’s on-the-market homes, along with a day full of activities. “The idea is to entice the people who don’t live in St. Albans to come and understand how fun it is to live here,” she says. “It’s like a little resort.”
The day’s events include free demonstrations at the lake from St. Louis Sail & Paddle, where guests can try out Hobie Kayaks with Mirage Drive and Bic Stand-up paddle boards. In addition, visitors can enjoy a meal at The Gardens at Malmaison or tour the adjoining Studio Inn. Families will enjoy stopping by Head’s Store for sandwiches, candy, ice cream or Starbucks coffee; and parents can learn about membership at The Country Club at St. Albans. The club boasts the Tavern Creek Course and the Lewis and Clark Course, which are ranked No. 7 and No. 9, respectively, in Missouri by Golf Digest. McCarthy adds that the club is offering a reduction on the initiation fee for those who purchase a house in St. Albans.
For those in the market for a home, St. Albans offers properties in a variety of price ranges and styles, from European patio homes, to stone houses overlooking the river bluffs, and the brick-and-stone homes throughout St. Albans’ many neighborhoods.
But really it’s the community itself that’s the big draw, McCarthy says. “It’s so Norman Rockwell, it will just kill you,” she jokes. “We have a Fourth of July celebration with fireworks, where the kids decorate bicycles and put bows on their dogs; we also have turtle races, hot dogs and cotton candy, and we sing Happy Birthday to America.” One of the celebration’s highlights is when the kids fill out postcards and launch helium balloons to see which one travels the farthest. The area also hosts other celebrations throughout the year, including parades, a fall festival and more.
First-time visitors often are amazed at how close the serene community really is to St. Louis, McCarthy adds. To get there, take Highway 100 about 10 minutes past Highway 109, turn right on Highway T and take it for 3.5 miles. “The entrance is on the right—you’ll see the club house and you can’t miss it.”
On the Cover: St. Albans hosts a showcase of homes from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, with open houses throughout the community. On the day of the showcase, maps will be available near the community’s front entrance in a brochure box with balloons attached. For more information, call 636-458-4400. Cover photo by Larry Steinbrueck