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  • Writer's pictureEsther Mehesz

Exploring the Gateway Arch in St. Louis: Unveiling My Odd Obsession with Arches

Updated: Jan 28

Views from the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis
Views from the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis

What's next after Chicago that's around the "4-hour drive" radius? Look no further than St. Louis, where you can marvel at the iconic Gateway Arch! I have always had a strange fascination with arches, perhaps stemming from my art thesis work in college where I created an arch made of 1600 pieces of porcelain pieces that perfectly matched my height. So, you can imagine my excitement as we approached St. Louis and caught a glimpse of the arch from the highway.

Connecticut College art major porcelain arch sculpture design
College art thesis piece and the arch obsession

The St. Louis Arch is truly one-of-a-kind. Positioned in a park with nothing else around it, it stands as a testament to beautiful architectural design. You can best believe that I didn't miss the opportunity to go to the top of the arch, and let me tell you, it was worth it! The cabins that take you up to the top might feel a bit outdated, but the ride is quick, and the view from the summit is breathtaking. From up there, you can enjoy a bird's eye view of the entire city, capturing its essence in a single glance.

The St. Louis Arch in Missouri
An arch in a park or a park and its arch

I shared that when in Chicago (or anytime you're near water), I always recommend experiencing the city from its various bodies of water. Similarly, when visiting St. Louis (or really anywhere you are in the world), seek out the highest point for a panoramic view. The arch serves as the perfect vantage point, allowing you to take in the cityscape in all its glory. And if you time it right, you might even witness a sunset from above, as I did during my visit. The perfect end to a long day on the road!

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis from the base
The Gateway Arch

Although St. Louis was not a place we stayed and explored in depth, it was the perfect distance stop on the road trip, and what better than seeing an iconic architectural design to explore too? It's a must-see on any road trip itinerary. Its simplicity and elegance are even more captivating in person. Whether you have a fascination with arches like me or simply appreciate beautiful landmarks, the arch will leave you in awe.

As for hotels for the night, it was another quick booking within the Hilton Honors app. The Hampton Inn St. Louis/Westport, served its purpose as a place to rest and get some movement in the next morning before being back on the road, but not necessarily a stay that I would recommend. We all run into a place from time to time that's not up to standards but it served its purpose, it was less than 12 hours, and honestly, after a long day just putting your body into a horizontal position is all that matters (and being able to get into a hot shower).

Off I go as tomorrow's drive is NOT necessarily the "4-hour drive" radius but more like 5 and tomorrow has some wet weather and a longer (but fun) tour lined up for the early afternoon.

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