Greetings, fellow adventurers! Our grandsons from the Chicago area were with us this last weekend. One of the things they wanted to do was go to the Arch in St. Louis. This last Monday we embarked on an iconic journey to one of America’s most recognizable landmarks—the magnificent St. Louis Arch! Get ready to soar to new heights and discover the secrets of this architectural marvel!

If you’re wondering where to find the scoop on this awe-inspiring destination, look no further than the brilliant folks at, who clued us in on this monumental experience!

Are we on time?

One of the challenges of being new to the area is sorting out the time it takes to get from one point to another. We originally had thought we would take the Metro train from Scott Air Force Base, but it was taking longer to get to the station than we expected. So we made an executive decision and decided to drive and park at the park.

We had ordered our ticket to enter the Arch facility online. We had the 1:50 pm time slot. What we didn’t know was how flexible the park would be about being late. As we crossed the Mississippi and approached the park, it was clear parking would be a bit of a challenge. Karen and the boys jumped out of the car. It was 1:50 pm, would we be able to get in?

I drove off to find parking and hope I could catch up with Karen and the boys in time to get to the top of the arch. Luckily I found a parking garage two blocks away. Got the car parked and headed to the Arch. Karen and I were at the Arch years ago with our friends from Blue Grass. The entrance was at either of the legs of the Arch.

Our tickets were for the north entrance. I was focused on getting there as quickly as I could. About halfway from the park entrance to the north entrance of the Arch was a message painted on the walkway “Arch entrance” and an arrow pointing in the opposite direction I was headed. Strange, but the entrance was just in front of me so I kept going.

Entrance this way

Got to the north entrance and the sign said exit only. Okay, the south entrance must be the entrance. So off I go, cutting across the grass. Why should I take the walkway back to the front of the park and back to the south entrance? I got to the south entrance and the sign said exit only. Where in Sam Hill is the entrance?

Now the Arch entrance message painted on the walkway started to make sense. When we were here last they were working on construction below the Arch and out toward the front of the park. They had moved the entrance to the front of the park. I left the south leg and headed, in the same direction as the message, to the front of the park. They were waiting for me.

It turns out the time of entrance wasn’t that important. I’m guessing it was just a way to spread people out. Turns out the construction was building an undercover museum about the Arch and the history around St. Louis.

One thing that did irk me was the level of security to get into the underground area. It was pretty much like going through security at an airport. Everything out of your pockets, take off your belt, go through the metal detector, and of course with my replacement joints I had to be wanded. Okay, you want to keep people safe, but this seemed a little over the top. Now it’s time for the Arch.

The Arch

Now, imagine standing at the feet of this 630-foot beauty, feeling the thrill of anticipation as you ascend to the sky in a sleek tram. It should be noted that the tram is small. The entrance door to the tram car is four feet high and maybe 30 inches wide. It can fit five people, but it would be a tight fit. As you rise, you’ll get to see the inside of the Arch. The car door has two small windows.

Once you reach the top, prepare to be mesmerized by the sweeping views of the Mississippi River and the bustling city below. It’s a sight that will leave you speechless! It is a great view from the top. The windows are small. The nice thing is the windows let you see straight out to the east and west. Also, you can look down to see the ground directly below.

You might wonder, “What’s the big deal about an arch?” Let me tell you, my friends, this isn’t just any arch—it’s an architectural marvel, a symbol of American spirit and ingenuity. It’s a testament to human ambition and perseverance, reaching for the sky like an elegant silver ribbon. It took about three years to complete from start to finish.

And guess what? The St. Louis Arch is more than just a sight to behold; it’s a gateway to history and culture. The museum does bring out much more of the history of the St. Louis area. It’s early history and how it became the jumping-off point for the exploration of the America West during the early 1800s. Discover the stories of those who dared to dream and build this awe-inspiring monument in the Gateway to the West.

Gateway to the West

So, if you’re ready for an adventure of a lifetime, follow us on this unforgettable escapade to the St. Louis Arch! Get your cameras ready for epic selfies, and your hearts ready to be filled with wonder and awe.  Let’s make memories that’ll last a lifetime at the one and only Gateway Arch!

We hope you are enjoying these articles and are willing to continue to follow along as we move through the process of selling our house, buying a new house (to become our home), and the adventures of learning about life in southern Illinois, Bruce & Karen.

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We’re Bruce and Karen Carlson. We recently moved to the Metro East area of Illinois. This area is east of St. Louis from the Mississippi River north to Alton, east to Carlyle, back south to Waterloo and the Mississippi River, finally north to Columbia. The center is Fairview Heights, Swansea, Belleville, Shiloh, and O'Fallon. Not to be forgotten is Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Edwardsville. It’s a whole new world out there. Our goal with this website is to share our exploration of the Metro East area. As we find businesses and services we use in our daily lives, we’ll share how these businesses and services have helped make our lives better and easier to live.

We’re calling our move to the Metro East area retirement, but we’re not quite sure what that means. By sharing our story with you, we hope you too will gain a better sense of what the Metro East area has to offer and how their businesses and services can improve your lives and build a better community.