For as long as I can remember, even since I was a kid, going to the top of The Arch in St. Louis has been on my bucket list. This summer, our family had a chance to experience it. If you ever have the opportunity, you just have to do this.
What can you expect? And what tips could we give?
- Go early. If you go early it is way less crowded. We arrived as close to opening as we were able. It wasn’t crowded at all. As we left, I noticed lines were much longer.
- Get tickets online in advance. I read several blogs before we went where visitors shared that tickets were sold out when they arrived. To avoid this, just go to the Gateway Arch website.
- The Arch is a national park now and the newest one at that! It was just declared a national park one year ago.
- You will need to venture underground to get to access the arch.
- You will pass through an airport-type security before you can enter the arch or museum.
- The park has been completely renovated. The museum that you have to pass through to go up into the arch is state-of-the-art, brand new and beautiful. There is a cafe, gift shop and clean restrooms.
- The Gateway Arch is the tallest structure in Missouri standing at 630 feet. Even after venturing to the top myself, it is a little surreal that we actually went to the top!
- You will be in very close quarters with people. Traveling up you will ride in a tram, and each pod holds five passengers. They are small. My husband had to duck his head.
- While in your pod riding up to the top, the door has a window so you can see the gears and inner workings of the arch, much like you might imagine in an elevator. My ten-year-old got motion sickness from it and we instructed her to close her eyes or look away.
- When you get to the top, it is surprisingly crowded. There were probably forty or more people up there, which I was not expecting.
- When you’re at the top you can feel the arch swaying a little if you stand still. I had read about it in advance, that it was normal, so it didn’t scare my crew.
- There are windows at the top so you can peer out and see the city on one side, and the Mississippi River on the other.
Our favorites? I loved the adrenaline of going to and being at the top. My husband had been when he was a kid, but it had been a long time so he was glad to get to go again. Madeline, my five-year-old said she loved going up and down the arch. Anna Claire, my oldest, loved the cafe and gift shop and said the whole thing was a neat opportunity.
I hope you will make a point to venture to The Arch! It’s an experience of a lifetime.
Here are some more pics. Enjoy!