One of America’s most iconic structures, the Gateway Arch is the focal point of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial – a tribute to Thomas Jefferson’s vision with the Louisiana Purchase.
Opened on October 28, 1965, the Arch is fundamental to any visit to St. Louis and integral in understanding the history of the United States.
From the observation area on top, visitors see all of St. Louis, into Busch Stadium and Illinois, and the magnificent power of the muddy brown waters of the Mississippi River.
Below the Arch is the Museum of Westward Expansion that explores the Native American culture of this region, the Lewis & Clark Expedition that changed it all, and St. Louis’ role in the westward expansion of the United States.
The whole area is 91 acres and includes the Old Courthouse and the Old Cathedral, although the Cathedral is not under Park Service management.
If you want to take a tram ride, particularly in the summer at the height of tourist season, better plan on buying your tickets on-line several days in advance.
The Arch is located downtown – that big shiny thing in the sky. You can’t miss it.