I finally went through my footage of our trip to the Gateway Arch from Thanksgiving and I put together some highlights in this video.
It was a somewhat rainy day, but we still had some amazing views of downtown St. Louis from the top. This is the first time I have been up in the Arch at night and it did not disappoint.
We pre-purchased our tickets online. When we arrived, we went through the security checkpoint pretty quickly. So then we had time to tour the museum. Since the Gateway Arch is a memorial for St. Louis’ role as the “Gateway to the West”, a lot of the museum is about the westward expansion. There are some really nice dioramas of the Mississippi riverfront as it appeared in the past. There are also a lot of displays about the people who were heading west from St. Louis to start new lives on the frontier and the types of things they took with them. There is also a significant section dedicated to Native Americans and how the drive west impacted them and how they were forced to migrate to reservations.
When it was time to board, we waiting in line for our boarding passes. Since there are six in the family and only five seats per tram, we had to split up. The Husband and I went in one tram (which we shared with a very nice young couple), and the boys went in another. While waiting to proceed to the tram loading area, there was a movie to watch with lots of cultural references from 1965, the year the Gateway Arch was built. At the tram loading area, there were more video presentations about the building of the arch which we watched while we waited for the trams to arrive.
Once the trams came and the people who had ridden them down stepped out, we were able to board. The trams are very small and not for the claustrophobic. You can see this in the video. My favorite part of the tram ride is seeing what is inside the legs of the arch. There are stairs and workbenches and all sorts of mechanical stuff. It is really fascinating to me.
Once at the top, we waited our turn for an open window. First we were able to view out of the east side, seeing the Mississippi River and Illinois. Then we viewed the west side and saw downtown St. Louis. The view was spectacular! The video doesn’t really do it justice, but you will get the idea.
When we were ready to leave, we asked for boarding passes for the trip down. We didn’t have to wait long for a tram and took the ride back down, which is slightly faster because of gravity. 🙂
We toured some parts of the museum we didn’t have time to see before our tram ride. Then we left and went back out into the rain. It was a very fun family adventure.