Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Visiting The Gateway Arch

I had been wanting to visit the top of the Gateway Arch for quite some time now. Aside from visiting the St. Louis City Museum, it was the first thing I wanted to do when we got into town. I booked a hotel practically right across the street from the Gateway Arch and, over the past few days, had wandered over there to see how long the lines were to get in. The line just to get through the security check was always long. At 9:00am this morning, however, the line was incredibly short, so Kiddo and I got in. Once you get through the security checkpoint, then you can get in line to purchase your tickets. People often recommend purchasing your Gateway Arch tickets in advance online, but this may do you more harm than good if the line for the security checkpoint is incredibly long and you don't arrive in time to account for it.

After breezing through security and after a short line at the ticket counter, we had to wait an hour for our assigned time. That's not so bad. I had heard tales of people who have had to wait up to 4 hours. We visited the Museum of Westward Expansion adjacent to the ticketing area while we waited for our lift time. The museum is well put together with some very informative exhibits featuring Disney-like animatronics. Once we were done with that, we considered getting something to snack on and soon noticed that the only food and drink source was a small pool of vending machines. That struck me as odd. You'd think that they'd have put a restaurant in there somewhere. How about a McDonald's? The marketing practically writes itself.

Actually getting to the top is a little rough. You get assigned to a specific lift, generally with a few other people (about 5 to a lift). The lifts are cramped and the seats are small, so if you're polite, you'll want to make sure you've worn some deodorant. The lift takes just a few minutes to get to the top where you're greeted with a cramped observation deck that features small windows. Even though you can stay up there as long as you like, once you've spent about 10 minutes up in the Gateway Arch, you're pretty much done so you can get in line to catch a lift back down.

All things considered, I'm glad we went. It had been on my bucket list for quite some time and I was happy to check it off. Kiddo had a great time too.

It Sort-Of Looks Like The Starfleet Emblem

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