We arrived in St. Louis today. We passed through Chattanooga and Nashville. We had to stop at the Pickers store. But, it wasn’t open.

The Arch was our first major stop. We have seen much of the country East of the Mississippi river, and want to get out west as quickly as possible. But, having never been to the Arch, we had to stop and see it.

We didn’t do much research and really didn’t know what the Arch was all about so we came with no expectations. One of the first problems that arose was parking. We knew this would be an issues because we were pulling a camper. After a little last minute research we discovered there is no parking lot for the Arch, so we had to find a parking lot to accommodate our car and camper in a city that has a lot of one way streets. We found that the parking lots and garages were going to cost us about $10 for the day, which was very reasonable. Once we got there, we got lucky, though, and parked on the street; the only two on-street spots available in a row and since it was Sunday it was free.

The Arch comes with a great American History story of the expansion westward. It was built to symbolize the settlement out west, a kind of gateway to the a new adventure for American Pioneers. The Arch is 630 feet high and is the tallest monument in the United States. It frames the old capital building beautifully if you are standing directly in front of it. You can see it from miles away as it towers over all of the buildings in downtown St. Louis.

The complex was recently renovated and opened a week or so before we arrived. I don’t know what it was like before, but now there is a great museum with interactive displays and engaging activities to help you understand what it was like during the Western Expansion. The complex, movie theater and launch for the ride to the top is all under ground. Between the museum, ride, theater, gift shop and café, one could spend the better part of a day learning and experiencing an important time in American History.