Go straight to the top–Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO. 50 Places to take your kids before they grow up

I wanted my boys to see this spectacular stainless steel monument before the no-fun police deem the trip to the top unsafe. (Yes, you go through a metal detector before entering the visitor’s center.)

Book the day before if you can, then ride the 5-person capsule to the top. Claustrophobic? Slightly. At the summit, you’ll feel every bit of 630 feet high peering out the tiny windows.

Pros: Bragging rights. Only takes 60 minutes if you book the day before.
Cons: Sadly uninformative. Watch the PBS documentary before you go. They charge $7 for the educational movie. Minimal exhibits. Free museum below the arch is the worst I’ve ever seen. No same-day booking for tours to the top.

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