• Gateway Arch & the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial - St Louis, Missouri

      Gateway Arch
      Photo by iStockPhoto.com/ (c)Jeremy Edwards
      This beautiful steel structure, which is located only a few miles from where Lewis and Clark embarked on their epic journey, is part of the Jefferson Western Expansion Memorial. Standing near the intersection of two major freeways and with a height, as well as a base width, of 630 feet, it's the tallest monument in the nation, and its unique design is a marvel of modern engineering. What many people may not realize is that there's more to The Arch than the arch. This offbeat steel structure, which is located only a few miles from where Lewis and Clark embarked on their epic journey, is part of the Jefferson Western Expansion Memorial. Beneath the arch and below ground level, where the visitors center is located, you can view films and exhibits about the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the role of this city and President Jefferson in the westward expansion of the United States. The highlight of your trip, of course, is a ride to the top of the arch in basket-like mechanical trams that move you in a sort of zigzag pattern to the very top, where you have a splendid view of the entire city of St. Louis on one side and on the other side the Illinois suburbs, as well as of course the mighty Mississippi with its riverboats and barges. You also get an aerial view of the classic architecture of the Old Courthouse, which is part of the same national park, and is available for free tours. This is the courthouse where Dred Scott first sued for his freedom, leading to the landmark (and much reviled) Supreme Court ruling.

      If you go:
      There is no longer free parking close to this attraction. Nearest lot is on the riverbank, which is steep and rough with cobblestones. The ride up in the arch is not suitable for anyone with acute claustrophobia. The attraction is open daily year-round except for major holidays. The best time to avoid crowds is before 10 in the morning or in late afternoon/ early evening.

      Links:




      200 Washington Avenue
      St Louis, Missouri 63102-2552 USA

      Mailing address:
      Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
      11 North 4th Street
      St. Louis, Missouri 63102 USA

      Phone Numbers:

      Visitor Information
      +1 (314) 655-1700

      Purchase Tickets
      +1 (877) 982-1410

      Missouri Relay TDY
      +1 (800) 735-2966

      Comments 1 Comment
      1. Mark Sedenquist's Avatar
        Mark Sedenquist -
        The film they show in the visitors center is fantastic, don't miss it. Mark

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