Visiting the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, was one of my favorite experiences from last summer! At the time, I had been roadtripping from Washington D.C. to Tucson, Arizona, and I specifically made St. Louis a stop on my drive because I wanted to see the giant arch.
The Gateway Arch is a 630-foot tall monument located in St. Louis. It was constructed in 1963 from concrete and then surrounded by stainless steel. Watching about the construction of this giant arch was fascinating and an architectural challenge. Inside the arch are a few *very* tiny trams to take you to the top of the arch, where there are viewing windows to look outside (more on this later!).
Today, the arch continues to be the world’s tallest arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and Missouri’s tallest accessible building (via the tram).
The arch goes by several names. It is known as the “Gateway to the West” because it was built during the westward expansion in the nineteenth century. Because of its historical significance, it is also the Gateway Arch National Park. It’s not your typical “national park” because there isn’t a forest and the park is quite small, but it is still considered a park. If you want to know more about the history of the park, visit the NPS website about the monument.
It’s located right in downtown St. Louis, wedged between the historic Old Courthouse and Mississippi River. In fact, on the other side of the river is Illinois and it’s actually cheaper to rent a hotel room in Illinois, about a 15 minute drive away from the arch, and drive to the arch. That’s what I did and I would highly recommend it.
It’s free to visit the exterior of the arch itself and there is a little park around it, but you will have to pay for parking somewhere nearby. To get inside the arch and ride to the top, tickets cost about $15 for adults and gets you full access to the trams and museums at the base of the arch in the visitor center. At the Visitor Center, you can also buy Riverboat tickets to ride along the Mississippi River for about $20 or combo tickets for the two attractions for little over $30. I, personally, did not ride the Riverboat due to funds, but I would love to go back and take the Riverboat.
Instead of taking the Riverboat, I rode to the top of the arch and watched the sunset. It was beautiful from up there.
There also happened to be a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game happening at the same time. The stadium is a quick walk from the arch and was visible from atop the arch. I would have also loved to go to the game because I love baseball, but I only had a few hours in St. Louis and the arch was my top priority.
At nighttime, they light up the arch with lights and it looks really beautiful!
In total, a visit to the Gateway Arch should only take a few hours and less than $50, and it is well worth it! Nearby is the restaurant Spitfire BBQ, where my uncle and I ate lunch/dinner. Although I am vegetarian, my uncle said that the BBQ was incredible and the vegetarian options weren’t too terrible so I recommend it if you’re in the area and looking for something with local authenticity.
Overall, I would highly recommend visiting the Gateway Arch and would definitely go back!
Thank you for reading! Have you ever visited the Gateway Arch? Do you want to?? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!