The Arch has been a popular tourist attraction since its completion in October 1965. Designed to last 1,000 years, it reaches ... More
The Arch has been a popular tourist attraction since its completion in October 1965. Designed to last 1,000 years, it reaches 630 feet in height; on a clear day, you can see for about 30 miles from atop the structure. Groups of 20 or more can take a guided tour of the landmark. The tour includes a documentary film on the building of the Arch, a visit to the Museum of Westward Expansion and a trip to the Old Courthouse , which is famous for hosting the legendary Dred Scott Trial.
My husband and I walked to the arch from our hotel at Union Station, the weather was kind of warm because it had rained earlier in the day and there was a lot of people walking to the game that day which was a Saturday. When we finally got to the arch there were so many people lined up to go up to the arch so my husband and I got a few pictures and made our way to the Metro which we found went right to our hotel so we ended up taking that the rest of our stay to get to the places we needed to go.
Every time i go 2 saint louis i always have 2 go see the arch.its a priority! i love it soo much!it so pretty and holds so much history!!i have 2 say its the thing in this whole world i love the most!i am going tomrrow and i can not wait im leaving ight after track practice!!!yay!!!
I have been to St. Louis twice (1997 & 2005) And been inside the Gateway Arch both times. I have to say I became instantly hooked to the Gateway Arch. I am supprised at how the Arch can hold so many peaple during the summer season. The Tram is cramped, And durring the summer season can be Hot. But the view is awesome. I love walking underneath the Arch and see how huge the Arch looks. The museium has so much to see and do while you wait to go to the top of the Arch. The best time to look at the Arch is at sunset and sunrise as well as night when the lights shinning on the Arch are on. On my last trip to St Louis in 2005 The Arch was celebrating it's 40th Birthday. It was the best trip i have ever taken
If you can handle these few simple statements then you can have an enjoyable trip at the Gateway Arch.
I work at the arch. I hate when people get to the top expecting a life changing experience. IT'S AN OBSERVATION DECK. There are 32 small windows to look out. There is no bathroom at the top. One side has air conditioning. No food or drink is allowed at the top.
If you are afraid of heights or claustrophobic DO NOT go up there. Stay in the museum. There is a lot to read. Go to the gift shop or the levee mercantile. The levee mercantile has amazing goodies to eat. Although you may want to bring your own drinks because the soda machines are pricey.
As far as the Arch being "kid friendly" what do you expect? Don't let your children run wild at the top (or the bottom for that matter). We are a National Monument NOT a child play area. Your child can become a Junior Ranger and receive a badge if he or she so chooses. Thats pretty fun.
If you are planning a trip to the Arch do not go on the weekends in the summer. Between 4000-6000 people visit each Saturday and each Sunday. So chances are you will wait in lines for an hour. If you visit during the winter lines should be shorter but also be advised that field trips and group tours are a possibility and you may have to wait in lines.
Be respectful to the tour guides there. WE know what we are doing. We know the lines can suck. If its a rainy day the view might not be amazing. Do not yell at us if you are not enjoying your trip. We will do our best to accommodate you but we are only human. We have feelings too.
If you are disabled be warned that the arch is NOT disabled friendly. It was built before the Americans with Disabilities Act. Now it would be terribly expensive and almost impossible to make the Arch disabled friendly. To get to the top of the Arch you must climb at least 96 stairs, (not all at once though). Also, there are NO wheelchairs or strollers allowed at the top.
The Arch has an amazing view if you enjoy the Saint Louis skyline. I believe it is much prettier at night. There are 2 movies which I believe are great. The boat rides are fun if you enjoy boat rides. The museum is not very interactive but there is a lot to read and there are ranger lead tours everyday.
The Arch is actually a great place to visit. I hope I didn't turn you off from wanting to visit. I'm just trying to be as truthful as possible.
I went to the Arch when I was younger, and it is still as beautiful today as it was then! Our favorite part of the visit was getting a riverboat ride on the Mississippi. The view was SO fantastic, and it was great fun for the kids!!
We also enjoyed the documentary, but I would suggest seeing it AFTER going up in the Arch, otherwise, you may end up losing your nerve to go up in this magnificent structure!! We were glad there was a parking garage fairly nearby, but we did have to walk a ways to get there. This monument is a MUST SEE if you are in St. Louis. My only suggestion for it (and for most of the sights in this city) is that there needs to be signs posted showing you how to get to the Arch. There are many weird one way streets in the downtown area, and if I wouldn't have had a map from mapquest, I would fear that we would have been lost. And even though this part of St. Louis doesn't have the 'bad' reputation that other parts of the city has, I would not want to be lost down there after dark!!!! (Especially due to the fact that we were from out of state).
The arch is one of those places you have to see for yourself to truly appreciate the massive scope of it. Looking at the outside of it, my offspring almost fainted at the sheer size of it - appx 630 feet tall. That being said:
PARKING: If you arrive before 9am, you only pay $4 to park in the Arch garage no matter when you leave inside of the 9 hour flat fee limit. We parked there then walked to explore the river, the Old Court House, etc.
TICKETS: Save time and print online. If you do, you won't have to wait in the ticket line. All we had to do was present our printout to the ticket taker at the tram entry way.
BEST TIME TO TOUR: As early in the am as possible. We chose 8:20am but they let us all on early. No big crowds or long wait.
NOT FOR THE CLAUSTROPHOBIC: Think 3 sides of a square. Take your loveseat, bend it into 3 pieces (figuratively not literally). Now put a tight steel bubble around yourself with barely enough room to stand erect and you have the inside of the arch tram car. Make sure you all use lots and lots of deoderant because you will be closer than you ever thought possible - pretty much knee to knee.
WESTWARD EXPANSION MUSEUM: Located inside of the arch and free of charge. Make sure you include enough time in your Arch visit to check it out. I found it very interesting and at some times poignant.
The Gateway Arch should not be missed. Although I would recommend going early if you are there in peak tourist season. We got there before 9 and just breezed through security, tickets and right up to the top without much crowd. But when we left an hour or so later it was really starting to get crowded and I saw alot of line standing. I took 2 of our kids up to the top while my husband stayed grounded with our oldest. They had plenty to do while we were up in the Arch. I had read alot about the tram ride up ect but did not find it uncomfortable at all. But again we were early and it was just me and two kids so I can see how with 5 people especially all adults it would be crowded. But I still think it would be worth the trip. I want to go back and go up at night now!
Being in St. Louis, the ARch, riverboat McDonald's, Zoo, and maybe th brewery are about the only fun thing to do here, in my opinion.
This was my third time to ride the arch,I had an e-ticket. They put me on the arch at the time I got there, I did not have to wait. I road up in a tram by myself, which I enjoyed. I looked out of each window. When I rode the arch, a guy proposed to his girlfriend while I was in the top. The arch is memorable. You can get great pictures of the arch, and it's enjoyable seeing the pools on the roofs of hotels below. They were there 20 years ago, by the way, so I realy enjoyed this part of my trip.
We were driving East of Illinois on Interstate 64 in East St. Louis Park, Illinois. You can see the arch from there. The name can also be confusing because it can also be known as the Golden Arch because of McDonald's. The Gateway Arch leads to the Western United States. The surounding land is Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. To visit the museum, go to the theater below, or take the tram up into the arch, you must go through secruity by going through a metal dectector. In the museum, there are wagons, pictures, animals and objects found in the west and even audio anamatronics of people. We didn't see any shows because a member of my party was afraid of effects and we were scared to go up in the arch because we were afraid of heights. Still, our visit to the Gateway arch was enjoyable.
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