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A visit to the St. Louis Gateway Arch: One of the greatest U.S. monuments

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Located only 5 hours from Memphis, is a metropolitan destination you can drive to, and return the same day, but that is not recommended. There is just too much to see and do in the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area. You could not cover it all in a week. Heck, this writer lived there for seven years and didn't see it all.

When you arrive in St. Louis, one of your first stops will probably be the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. If you haven't heard of it, you would recognize its most frequently used names, St. Louis Arch, or the St. Louis Gateway Arch. This stainless steel arch, that rises 630 feet, and overlooks St. Louis, Missouri on the west side of the Mississippi River, and St. Louis, Illinois on the east side of the river, is more than just a beautiful piece of architecture. It commemorates Thomas Jefferson's westward expansion of the United States of America.

Finished in 1965, this structure gives tourists a chance to ride elevator cubicles, located inside the legs of the arch, to the top, where they can view the panoramic metro areas below. By the way, the arch sways in the wind, and it is very noticeable in moderate winds, but it was built to do this for safety reasons.

Don't think that once you have reached the top of the arch and returned, that your tour is over. It has in reality, only begun. Below the arch is the the Museum of Westward Expansion. It is as large as a football field, and contains a vast collection of exhibits, which include a map and overview of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, with many artifacts, mounted animal specimens, and an authentic American Indian tipi.

You must go visit to really appreciate the memorial, but since you can't leave immediately, you can watch the video, located at the top of this page. We will visit other destinations in the St. Louis area in future editions of the Memphis Travel Examiner, so if you don't already subscribe to this free publication, click on the subscribe link on this page and receive an email each time a new article is published by Gerry Glenn Jones.



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