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“Touristy but nice”
Review of The Gateway Arch

The Gateway Arch
Ranked #1 of 275 things to do in Saint Louis
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Museum of Westward Expansion closed, pending installation of all new museum exhibits. As of March 2, 2015, entry-only ticket or tram ticket required to enter Arch. The nation's tallest monument at 630 feet, the Gateway Arch has beckoned visitors since June 1967. The Gateway Arch commemorates Thomas Jefferson and the role St. Louis played in the westward expansion of the United States. A visit to St. Louis isn't complete without standing at the Arch's base and playing professional photographer, but the view from the outside is only half of the experience. Attractions within the Arch include the Journey to the Top (the last tram leaves one hour before closing); educational programs (will be housed at the Old Courthouse); award-winning documentary movie, Monument to the Dream; and a gift shop. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Note: the address shown is for the Old Courthouse which is acting as the Gateway Arch Ticketing and Visitor Center throughout construction. Pedestrian entrance to the Arch Grounds is at Walnut Street at Memorial Drive or via the Grand Staircase from the riverfront.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Reviewed October 30, 2012

Nice place but a bit confusing. The park surrounding the arch is beautiful but would be a lot of walking for young children as you had to park quite a distance away or climb a lot of steps. If you were staying in a hotel nearby, it would be a short walk to get to the arch. They had a nice mercantile store with old fashioned candy and the usual gift shop with souvenirs. The museum was free but it had no natural order to it and I had to keep going back to see something I missed walking in one direction. The park rangers were available and helping explain the exhibits which was very nice. I did not go up into the Arch but I did like seeing the small capsules and being able to sit in one before deciding whether to buy a ticket or not.

Thank Deb_traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 29, 2012

I am from St. Louis and anytime some one new come to St. Louis you gotta take them to the Arch. It's neat to walk around outside, down by the rive. It's neat to walk around the museum and then its neat to go up in the little trams (which my older brother peed in one of when he was just a little guy) and look out over downtown.

Thank Stephen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2012

The Arch looks amazing from outside, very cool to stand underneath and look up at it. Waited in line about 45 minutes to get through airport style security (remove coats, belts, empty pockets) to get into area below arch. Waited in line another 10 minutes to buy tickets to go to the top, soonest ticket available was 45 minutes away. Looked around gift shops and an average "museum" before we get into another line to go to top. Once they were accepting tickets for our time we again got in line for about an hour and half before finally making it to the top. The view from the top is amazing, however its through a tiny window with way too many people waiting to peek through. We then no joke waited in line again, this time ONLY about 25 minutes, to go back down. It was cool, but all together we waited in line for over 3 hours and were only at the top for 5 minutes maybe.

Thank crawford501
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2012

Unseen at park level is a huge underground visitor center with a museum and gift shop, etc. Entrance is at the base of either arch leg. You get a ticket which assigns a specific time to take the trip up. It was a quiet day when we went so the wait was only a half hour. Visit the museum and shop and have a snack while you wait. Once in line, it's like so many theme park rides - there are several stages before you actually go down a couple more levels to get in the car. It's likely the tiniest "car" you'll ever see 5 people squeezed into. There is a model you can check out in the visitor center so you'll know what you're in for. I'm a big person and it wasn't as bad as it looked from outside the car. My wife is claustrophobic so she didn't go. The actual ride up is only a few minutes and it ratchets like a roller coaster car and rocks a little as it goes up. No outside view from inside the car and no sensation of height until you look out the small observation windows at the top. If you are someone who is afraid of heights only if exposed outside, this may not be a problem. You get out at the top and can spend as much time as you want looking out both sides of the arch. Mississippi river on one side and downtown St Louis on the other - 630 feet up! From the time you step in line when it's your time until the return down, allow about 1 hour. The rest of the time is waiting for your time to go. There is another museum up in the park to visit if you have several hours to wait.

Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 29, 2012

This national park needs a little updating, but its still a good place to visit. Too bad like most national parks, the price to enjoy any of the attractions just keeps going up. I don't know if the $15 to right to the top of the arch is worth it. There is a free museum that is pretty interesting dealing with western expansion along with a good exhibit on how the arch was built.

Thank ClarkJ55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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