St. Louis Gateway Arch

This is the perfect time to visit, or “re-visit” the St. Louis Gateway Arch. The iconic St. Louis landmark was selected the “Best St. Louis Attraction,” winner, in our monthly Deca “Best of St. Louis” contest.

The 91-acre Gateway National Park, which borders the Mississippi River and downtown St. Louis, recently underwent a $380 million dollar improvement project.

Photo by Dave Herholz

While the iconic landmark was not altered in any way, the grounds surrounding the Arch we expanded and improved. The park re-opened to visitors over the July 4th holiday weekend.

Improvements to the park include a new entrance to the Arch, a museum expansion and landscape upgrades, including new walking and biking paths, lined with about 2,400 new trees.

Also part of the renovation is a new greenway land bridge. The structure connects the Gateway Arch site to the Old Courthouse, another St. Louis landmark. This allows tourists to move about between the two locations without having to cross multiple lanes of traffic.

Museum Upgrades

Known as the “Gateway to the West,” the museum tells the story of Westward Expansion by marking the “jumping off point” for many settlers. New exhibits include an actual replica of a French colonial house, a dugout canoe, a stagecoach, numerous interactive exhibits and much more.

Designed in the 1940s and completed in 1965, many St. Louisans remember the construction of this globally-recognized monument. Standing 630 feet, the stainless steel-clad monument weighs 17,246 tons. The Arch was designed with St. Louis weather in mind. In a 150-mph wind, it can sway up to 18 inches.

Going Up?

It’s that sway that keeps some visitors from making their way to the observation deck. However, if you are brave enough, visitors can visit the top of the arch via a tram. The view from the observation deck on a clear day is spectacular. Tickets are required and advanced ticket purchases are recommended.

The Gateway Arch is open everyday except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Hours vary by season. Park grounds are open year-round.