St. Louis’ most famous landmark, the Gateway Arch, represents the city’s historic role as the major gateway to the west for pioneers and explorers during the country’s Westward Expansion. Architect Eero Saarinen designed the 630-foot-tall stainless-steel arch, which opened in 1967 and remains the tallest man-made monument in the United States. A 4-minute tram ride to the observation deck in the arch’s apex offers views of downtown St. Louis to the west (and the decidedly less attractive blight of East St. Louis, Ill.). You can purchase your tram ticket online beforehand; plan to arrive 30 minutes before your ticketed time to pass through the mandatory security screening. The arch’s base houses the free (and worthwhile) Museum of Westward Expansion as well as two movies: a rotating IMAX show and the impressive Monument to the Dream documentary about the arch’s construction. National Park Service rangers offer educational (and entertaining) lectures in the museum, as well as bike tours of the memorial’s 91-acre grounds along the Mississippi River. Be sure to check out the city's history, as well as one of the top things to do in St. Louis. The museum is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Entry: tram ride $10 adults (16 and up); $5 (3-15).
- Open Hours: Summer - Monday to Sunday from 08:00 AM to 10:00 PM, Winter - Monday to Sunday from 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Attractions & Landmarks