Gateway Arch in St. Louis - sunset or morning

May 3rd, 2005, 08:33 PM
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Gateway Arch in St. Louis - sunset or morning

Will be arriving in the late afternoon/early evening & overnighting in St. Louis area in June. We will definitely tour the Gateway Arch. Would you recommend a Sat. evening tour or a Sun. morning tour with a 10 & 11 yr old?
mom2boys is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 05:52 AM
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I'm not sure what their hours are but I think I would go for Sunday morning. Less crowded.
cd is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 06:57 AM
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I would also suggest you book your tickets online, before your arrival. Security is tight, and the lines can be long, particularly for a weekend. If you purchase your tickets ahead of time, then you will know what is available, too.
beentheretwice is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 09:49 AM
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Humm. Since the settlers came from the east and went west via St. Louis I would go in the morning since the sun goes east to west. Yes that sounds wierd but I earned it.
jorr is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 02:55 PM
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I'd go on Sunday morning. The museum underneath is very is worth some time. There is also a movie on the building of the arch.
buttercup is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 03:58 PM
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No one mentioned something. It is hot as hades inside that thing. For that alone I would go in the morning.

I enjoyed the view and the "tilt" (you'll see what I mean after you take it) but we were TOTALLY surprised at the lack of air and size/space logistics. My 6'5" son felt challenged and a bit claustrophobic before he got out and he has never been of that ilk.

The earlier the better, especially if it is hot out and the temperature didn't dip far during the night before. It retains temperature.

The kids will love it. Have them listen to the "links" sliding in/over on the way up.
JJ5 is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 07:31 PM
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I vote for Sunday morning. GO EARLY. I kid you not. We were there on a Saturday afternoon in August and roasted in a long line to even get in the building. We had to leave because it was that bad. Not good for kids to stand around in at all. Some were sweating buckets.

I have to confess, I was disappointed by my trip up in the Arch. I think I had built it up in my mind too much. We had to wait almost two hours (you get a designated time to load up) to get into a little tiny cube that takes you up. I felt bad for the tall, hefty guy that was crammed in with us. Then when we finally arrived, the area up there was not big at all. On one side, we had a view of the Capitol building and on the other, a view of the river and a casino parking lot.

That said, the kids will probably enjoy the experience a lot. They'll enjoy the "tilt" someone mentioned and seeing everything down below.

I really enjoyed the grounds that the Arch is on and the museum/films they have inside. It is definitely worth going to see and experience. You'll be glad you went...EARLY!
atlswan is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 10:18 PM
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JJ5, you are right about that claustrophobic thing. Its like going through an underground curved tunnel.
jorr is offline  
May 5th, 2005, 05:48 AM
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The Arch is one of those things we locals never went up in unless we had out of town visitors. But I've been up a few times and the point about the temperatures is a good one. Morning would be better in that case.

But honestly, the ride up takes longer than the time you're likely to spend up there. There's nothing at the top except a long arched floor hallway with windows on either side. So, essentially, you're there for the view, as long as you're willing to look.

And for that reason, I would suggest sunset. The sunset is looking out over the city of St. Louis. While no Manhattan or Golden Gate, it is a far cry better than the sunrise side, over the casinos and East St. Louis's rather infamous views.

I guess for me it would come down to that point. It might also be that I am not a morning person!

Clifton is offline  
May 5th, 2005, 07:03 AM
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It was about 4 or 4:30 pm on a June afternoon when we went. The line was not that long, and we didn't mind as the museum etc. was interesting.

But if you do not like higher temperatures you will not stay long "up" in the viewing area. It was like a sauna. This was nowhere near sunset. I asked a docent /guide on the way down if it was always that hot. He said that it retains heat and it rises during the daytime hours regardless of the possible circulation/air cond. He said it does not drop in temps until mid-night. I actually wondered about winter, but didn't think to ask until after I left.

Just so you know. I would do it again but only in cooler weather and in the morning. But the kids will love it. We did end up staying up there quite a while messing around with the "tilt". But being in 90 degree areas made us "wet" and eager to get out once we were on the way down.
JJ5 is offline  
May 5th, 2005, 09:28 AM
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That thing scared the bejezus out of me. While I know it is well maintained and a United States Nation Park, it was like a cross between being in the drum of a clothes dryer and a ferris wheel.

Got to the top, ran across, ran back, got the hell off that arch.

Did I mention I'm afraid of heights
May 5th, 2005, 10:07 AM
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I'm from St. Louis and never gave it any thought cause I'd been up so many times, but when my husband and son went up last year they could not believe the small window size!
sfamylou is offline  
May 5th, 2005, 11:00 AM
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I live in St. Louis but I haven't been up in the arch in a long time, so I can't really give you advice on that other than the lines can and do get long so Sunday morning may be better. Last time I went up was in November some time ago, and we went up in the evening and saw all the Christmas lights. Magical!

I wanted to add that in addition to the museum, the movie is also great and worthwhile. I would try to do it before you go up, as it will give you a new appreciation for the arch and how it was built. You can find information for the movie and the showing times in the museum area under the arch.

Have fun!
tcreath is offline  
May 16th, 2005, 03:19 PM
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Thanks for all of the replies. I think we will shoot for Sunday morning. That way we will all be rested.
GoTravel, I am glad you found comfort in the fact that the Arch is maintianed by the National Park Serivce - a division of the US government which awards contracts to the low bidder! LOL - I used to work for the Federal gov't so I can joke about it.
mom2boys is offline  
May 16th, 2005, 03:50 PM
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If you happen to have a national park pass, you get a nice discount on the ride up the arch and the IMAX movie as well. By the way, the security line is OUTSIDE the arch, so another vote for early Sunday. Go to the farthest arch leg from the parking garage...the line is almost always shorter on that side since most people stop at the first leg. Have a nice time. They have a wonderful book selection in the gift shop. Be sure to cross the street and see the Old Courthouse as well.
PatN is offline  
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