St Louis, Missouri

This is part one of our one month trip out West. I’ll be slowly adding each stop of out itinerary, and then sharing a master list to make it easier to access the location you are interested in. Stay turned!

St Louis West/ Route 66 KOA

We are KOA reward members, and often stay at KOAs when on the road. When we drive out west we like to plan a stop in the middle to recharge a bit before we continue on our journey. We choose St Louis because we are National Park lovers and Gateway Arch is now a National Park. The St Louis West KOA was located about 25 minutes from downtown. No complaints about the KOA itself, nothing fancy but was adequate for our needs. We all enjoyed the pool since it was hot and humid during our visit. We stayed two nights to get a full day in St Louis.

Coming into St Louis from the East
Our site at St Louis West KOA
St Louis West KOA pool

Gateway Arch National Park

On our full day, we headed to the arch in the morning. We had prebooked our seats to travel to the top, and they were sold out. While we waited for our time we explored the indoor museum. There were 6 different exhibits about the history of American pioneers and westward settlement, as well as the history of the Gateway Arch. You can also visit the museum after your tram tour.

Entrance to the Park
The Girls under the Arch
The park had plenty opportunities for Arch photos
On the other side of the Arch was the Mississippi river
Arch blueprint in the museum
Model of the seats in the arch
Lewis and Clark pathways inside the museum

When it was our time we got in line for the tram. We were assigned a number that corresponded with what tram we were as well as our viewing window at the top. We were given some trivia about the arch and a brief orientation. The cars fit 5 and were much smaller then I expected. The ride to the top was about 3 minutes. There is a small window in the tram but it looks inward to the mechanical pull. Once up top we had an assigned viewing area on each side where we could look out. After about 5-10 minutes, we walked to the other side to begin our tram ride down.

Tram seat
It was tight
Our assigned viewing window, you have to lay your belly on it so see out the small windows
Mississippi river- the geyser goes off once a day and we got to see it!
City side view and Cardinals stadium
What you can see out the small tram window

After our time at the arch, we walked to salt + smoke near the Cardinals stadium. It wasn’t a game day so it wasn’t busy, and the BBQ and sauces were amazing! They had a great draft beer list as well.

Kids menus came on hats
Enjoying the beer

Laumeier Sculpture Park

After lunch we decided to check out Laumeier Sculpture Park. It was a small park but there were great photo opportunities and some of the exhibits were interactive. It was right on our way back to the KOA so it worked out perfectly for us.

The cat was my kids favorite
This had a padded mattress and you could hang out in there
The eyeball was the most fun for pictures

All in all we had a great day, and were all happy to have a break from the long car rides. Afterwards we drove to Kansas for a quick overnight stop followed by Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.

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