This post continues our time in St. Louis.
Read Day 1 here – Read Day 3 here & Day 4 here
On our second day, we had pre purchased tickets to visit the Arch. The ticket price was $14 pp.
You will definitely want to purchase your tickets in advance as they sell out quickly.
Purchase your tickets here
We purchased tickets for the 11 am entrance time.
Make sure you arrive early so you can enjoy the huge museum. You will walk through the museum once you enter through the ticket area. It’s very nicely done so I highly recommend you spend 1-2 hours checking it out.
There’s also a couple of restaurants inside the building as well.
Click here for all the information you will need to plan your trip to the Arch
We started our morning with breakfast at the hotel…which wasn’t good at all. I don’t like eating those free continental breakfasts but sometimes it’s the only option we have when we are in a hurry.
After breakfast, we headed to the Arch which was approx. 20 mins from our hotel.
A shot of the Gateway Arch from the car..
The Gateway Arch is a National Park and is approx. 91 acres. It became a National Park in 2018.
We parked near the Laclede’s Landing Neighborhood which was about a 10 min walk to the Arch.
Laclede’s Landing is the oldest district and only riverfront dining destination attached to the Gateway Arch grounds.
Click here or here for more parking options
The walk to the Arch was a on a paved sidewalk with information plaques along the way.
As you can imagine, I took a bazillion pictures!
We loved the park & I highly recommend you visit if you are ever in the area!
We thought we would enter the Arch from the base of the Arch but you don’t…you have to walk to the National Park Entrance building and enter there so keep that in mind.
Entering the Gateway National Park building…
Pics inside the building..
Walking to where you will enter the tram car that takes you to the top of the Arch
You will watch a short film about the construction of the Arch before going to the top.
You are then assigned a boarding pass for your tram car…you then wait at that assigned number to enter your tram car that looks more like a pod.
Entering the tram car
Each car only holds 5 people but due to Covid protocols, they let each group ride by themselves.
I was so glad because it would have been super cramped with that many people!
At the top, there were small observation windows on all sides so you had a 360 view of the city.
We captured a cool shadow of the Arch while at the top!
A shot of us at the top – The Arch is 630 ft tall.
Shots from the observation windows
You get to spend approx. 10 mins at the top…there’s not much room so they have to keep people moving..160 people can be at the top at the same time but no one would want to be up there with that many people!
Getting back on the tram car to head back down
This pic shows just how little room there is on the tram
You exit through a gift shop…of course, we ended up buying something!
We then spent some time walking around the museum
Shots of the museum
A shot of my hubby standing in front of one of the tram cars
We then exited the building and walked around the park.
More pics of the arch
A shot of the old Courthouse – it was closed for renovations when we were there. It will be closed until 2023.
Don’t miss visiting the Basilica of St Louis right beside the Arch.
The Old Cathedral is one of the most historic buildings in St. Louis with roots dating back to 1764. The present building is the fourth church to be erected on the site. Construction began in 1831 and the church was dedicated in 1834.
Shots of the inside of the church
After spending a few minutes inside the church, we headed back outside to take more pictures of the Arch.
The base of the Arch is 630 ft wide…it’s as wide as it is tall! There are 1076 steps to the top!
The Arch is located near the Mississippi River…you can take river boat cruises here or catch a horse carriage ride.
After spending approx. 2.5 hours at the park, we headed to lunch.
My hubby, the burger connoisseur, had found a burger place called Stacked. It was approx 20 mins from the Arch.
They had several different types of burgers on the menu but also offered a build your own burger option…so, we both built our own.
I ordered the grass fed patty with cheese, guacamole and bacon with sweet potato fries and my hubby ordered the chuck patty with cheese, beer mustard and bacon with fries.
To me, it was only average and the cost was very high…$36 for 2 burgers, fries and one soda…and that was without the tip!
After lunch, we headed to the famous Ted Drewes frozen custard for dessert!
Ted Drewes has been selling frozen custard for over 80 years and Christmas trees for over 50 yrs.
Ted Sr. opened his first frozen custard store in Florida in 1929. In 1930, he opened another store in St. Louis and the South Grand store in 1931. In 1941, the family opened a second South Side stand which is the current Chippewa location on historic Route 66. By 1958, the two South Side stands were all that remained.
They have so many choices, it was hard to make a decision on what to order!
They have malts, shakes, cones, sundaes, floats, ice cream sodas and something they call concrete….which is a serving of frozen custard so thick that it is customarily presented to the customer upside down.
This place was so crowded! They have like 12 windows that you can order from…there is no inside seating.
I ordered the Turtle which was vanilla custard with hot fudge, caramel and pecans.
I don’t remember what my hubby ordered but, as you can see, he really enjoyed it!
This place is located on the old Route 66..
I had researched some of the old sights that were still located on Route 66 so, we decided to try and find some of them.
Click here for some of the Route 66 sights in MO and here and here for the ones in St Louis
The first one we spotted was the Donuts Drive In
Its neon sign is amazing and they are supposed to be the best donuts on Route 66. They are still using some of the original family recipes from the early 1950s in their chocolate Long John and cinnamon rolls.
Next was the “Seat Covers” neon sign…
Next was an old Phillips 66 gas station now operating as an auto repair shop but kept the original gull wing canopy.
After driving around for a while, we decided to stop off at the Laumeier Sculpture Park.
The park is free and open from 8 am to 30 mins past sunset….
Thank goodness it was free because it wasn’t anything I would have wanted to pay for.
Founded in 1976, Laumeier is one of the first and largest dedicated sculpture parks in the country. Laumeier presents more than 70 works of large-scale outdoor sculpture in a 105-acre park.
A map of the park
Some of the sculptures in the park
After spending about 30 mins here, we headed to drive some of the historic neighborhoods in St. Louis.
Some of the houses in the Lafayette Square neighborhood.
Lafayette Square started as a French controlled village in 1764.
After driving around for a while admiring the old homes, we decided to stop at the Lafayette Park and stretch our legs.
Lafayette Park was set aside from the St. Louis Common in 1836 and dedicated in 1851 as one of the first public parks, and by far the largest of its era, in the City of St. Louis, Missouri. It is considered by many historians to be the oldest urban park west of the Mississippi.
At 30 acres Lafayette Park is one of the larger parks in the city even though it is still dwarfed by Forest Park which is about 46 times larger.
The Park House, built in 1867 for use as a police station, now serves as an office for the Lafayette Square Restoration Committee.
The Rockery, built in 1866 is one of two iron bridges that remain as one was lost in the tornado of 1896.
The lake in the park
Statues of Thomas Hart Benton, the other George Washington.
After leaving the park, we headed to an area called the Hill…
The area was founded in the 1830s by an Italian community mostly from Sicily and Lombardy. The Hill is still known today for its Italian roots and home to many amazing Italian restaurants.
We had planned on eating at one of the Italian restaurants but sadly, it was closed.
A picture of the area
After leaving here, we headed back to the hotel and called it a night!
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Day 3!