The Gateway Arch should definitely be on your itinerary when visiting St. Louis. If you plan to ride the tram to the top of the arch, you'll want to buy tickets ahead of time. I've heard the lines get longer throughout the day, so we bought for tickets for 10:30 am.
Parking - After purchasing your tram tickets, you'll receive an email with a link to pre-pay for parking at the discounted Arch rate. Or you can bring your parking garage ticket with you and have it validated.
Security - Be sure to arrive early to allow time to go through airport style security.
Museum - After going through security, you can visit the museum for free. The museum is very well done and has many hands-on elements for kids.
At the end of the museum are the north and south tram entrances, the gift shop, restrooms and the Arch Cafe. There are monitors letting you know what time you can get in line based on your tram ticket time.
Tram Area - Once you enter the tram area, there are no restrooms available. The actual ride up is 4 minutes (down is 3 minutes), but from the time you enter it will take about 45 minute before you exit because you'll be shuffling along in line waiting for each group to board. They show videos while you wait, which helps keeps kids occupied.
Tram Cars - The tram cars are small, with 4-foot openings and 5 seats in each. My husband is 6'4" and fit just fine. It's such a short ride that the small size didn't really phase us. We used the 5th seat for our backpacks.
|Top of the Arch|
|Tiny windows, but great views!|