Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

The travel posts shall continue since summertime inspires road trips. And after Preservation in Pink issues are complete, I tend to step away from it for a bit, giving everyone time to read the latest issue. However, traveling is always fun to think about and plan.

Keeping with summer fun and road trips, here are pictures from the St. Louis Gateway Arch, or more appropriately, the National Park’s “Jefferson National Expansion Memorial” in St. Louis, Missouri. Back to summer 2006, when my mom, Sarah, and I visited South Dakota, we also traveled through Missouri. Having been to St. Louis earlier in the summer with Vinny and Elyse (who hails from near St. Louis) I knew that the St. Louis could not be missed. Unfortunately, the first time the tickets to the top were sold out and I had not been in the arch. We knew to get there early to buy tickets because taking the ride to the top of the arch is definitely worth the $10, particularly because you are not on a stringent time limit once you reach the top.

Elyse (no-so-secretly an unofficial spokeswoman for St. Louis tourism) can most certainly give you the details of St. Louis far better than I can, so maybe she’ll do that. In the meantime, here is a photograph from the ground.

Gateway Arch from the ground

The Gateway Arch sits next to the Mississippi River, which divides Illinois and Missouri at this point. A parade of steps brings you down to the river from the gleaming arch. It is an amazing architectural feat to visit. The Museum of Westward Expansion is underground, underneath the arch and free (for those on a budget.) It is also worth your time, as you can see beautiful murals of American western landscape, learn about Lewis & Clark, pioneers, and buffalo, among other subjects. A section of the museum is devoted to Eero Saarinen, the designer of the arch and you can attempt to construct a mini arch from the pieces Saarinen used (on a smaller scale of course.)

Of course, there is a museum gift shop and National Park gift shops are always fun, educational, and your purchases support the parks! A “general store” sells pretzels and good coffee, among other “olde-fashioned” treats.

The tram ride to the top feels somewhat space-age as five people squeeze into little cars and ride up through the arch. The ride takes about four minutes and passengers can see the interior of the arch. Read more here,, from the National Park Service.

Once you’re at the top, you feel like you’re in an airplane. The view is amazing. Here is just one image from the top.

Gateway Arch from the top

If you have the chance to visit St. Louis, definitely go (and ask Elyse for St. Louis suggestions, including the Cardinals.)