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

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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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Simply Fluid. Stingrays, Sunset and Cocktails.

Stingrays skim the shore just before sunset on Fort Myers Beach.
Their graceful, undulating moves are nearly hypnotic–especially after a few cocktails. Seen best when the tide is going out, they follow the shoreline in search of tasty bivalves buried in the sand. Coquinas and clams, anyone? Life in Florida is amazing!