The Gateway Arch is massive and certainly a sight to behold. It is perhaps the most recognizable landmark in the Missouri city of St. Louis and it stands as the world's tallest arch. This monument is also Missouri's tallest accessible building and is something everyone should visit when going through St. Louis. Today it is the central piece of the Gateway Arch National Park.

For those interested in the deeper native history of America, then don't forget to explore the mind-blogging burial mounds at Cahokia. These incredible mounds have taught us so much of the history of the Native Americas and they are only some 8 miles from downtown St. Louis. Read about how to visit the iconic Alamo here - the site of the heroic story of the struggle for Texan independence.

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About The Gateway Arch

The westward expansion of the United States saw the nation expand massively. It led to the Louisana purchase from France, the annexation of Texas, the annexation of Hawaii and American Samoa, the purchase of Alaska, and the war with Mexico that saw Mexico lose all of its northern territories to the United States. At one point there was even a strong movement in the United States to annex all of Mexico.

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  • Height: 630 Feet or 192 Meters

The massive arch is located on the site of the city of St. Louis's initial founding on the Mississippi. While it was officially dedicated as a monument to "the American people" it was built as a monument to America's relentless westward expansion.

  • Designed By: Eero Saarinen in 1947
  • Completed: On October 28, 1965
  • Hours of the Gateway Arch: Summer 9:00 am to 8:00 pm; Winter 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Park Grounds Hours: Open From 5:00 am to 11:00 pm Year-Round

The main things to see and do here are: take the tram ride to the top, go on a cruise of the Mississippi River, and go to the museum.

Tram Ride To The Top

As implausible as it may seem just looking at the monument, there is actually a tram ride to the top.

  • Covid-19 Note: As At The Time of Writing The Tram Ride Is Open With Reduced Occupancy

Enjoy the sweeping views of the city from the top of the arch - some 63 stories high. One can even gaze out to stunning views stretching up to 30 miles to the east and to the west.

  • Duration: Each Tram Tour Is Around 45-60 Minutes Long (Due To Social Distancing Guest Are Currently Limited To Less Than 10 Minutes Actually At The Top)
  • Note: The Last Tram Ride Leaves One Hour Before Closing

St. Louis Riverfront Cruise

One of the best ways to see and appreciate the arch as well as the city of St. Louis is by a cruise on the Mississippi River. Here one can hop onboard a replica of a 19th-century paddle-wheel riverboat and imagine being back in time at the time of America's westward expansion and of the early pioneers and explorers.

These cruises offer stunning skyline views of the skyline and one can choose from a range of sightseeing, specialty, and dining river outings.

  • Riverboats: Two to The Original Sightseeing Riverboats are Becky Thatcher and the Tom Sawyer

The Museum

The onsite museum delves into Native American, explorer, and pioneer history - plus the history of rebels. See how they made the westward expansion of America possible. It runs through 201 years of history in six exhibit areas (all themed). It covers topics like Manifest Destiny and others. Manifest Destiny was the 1800s belief that the United States was destined by God to expand and spread democracy and capitalism across the North American continent.

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The museum celebrates America's pioneering spirit of the age and it emphasizes St. Louis's role in that expansion as a gateway to the west.

  • History Covered: From 1764 to 1965

Old Courthouse

While not part of the arch, it is a prime example of mid-19th century federal architecture. It was built in 1839. As of the time of writing the Old Courthouse is temporarily unavailable.

Costs And Combo Options

  • See Everything Combo: Includes Tram Ride, Documentary, One-Hour St. Louis Riverfront Cruise; Adults From $35.00, Children From $20.00
  • Tram & Cruise Combo: Includes Tram Ride, One-Hour St. Louis Riverfront Cruise: Adult From $31.00, Child From $17.00
  • Tram & Movie Combo: Includes Tram Ride, Documentary; Adult From $16.00, Child From $11.00
  • Tram Ride: Adults From $12.00, Children From $8.00
  • Documentary Movie: Adults From $7.00, Child From $3.00
  • St. Louis Riverfront Cruise: Adults From $21.00, Child From $11.00

For more information including tour times, pricing, and up-to-date Covid-19 restrictions, see the Gateway Arch website.

This is a very important time in American history. One of the best places to learn about this period of American history is here in St. Louis.

Next: The Lost City Of Cahokia: 10 Theories About What Took Place There