St. Louis and Arch Warning!

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St. Louis and Arch Warning!

Postby JudyJB » Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:09 pm

It seemed like an easy thing, since I was driving through St. Louis and doing the Great River Road to Louisiana to just stop by the Arch. NOT!!! I had a nightmare of a day today.

First, I decided to stay at Edmund Babler State Park, which is about 45 miles west of downtown St. Louis, for a few days to get caught up on work and be fairly close to the Arch to make a day trip there. I considered renting a car, but ended up driving, based on the advice of someone at the park service in the Arch that I could park in a lot at Poplar and First Street near the Arch.

However, the area around the Arch is under construction, and I found that neither of those two streets actually exists anymore!! Both have been torn up by construction as the grounds of the Arch is being enlarged, which has not only removed all the onsite parking, but those two streets. They have built a tunnel for the train tracks that you used to have to cross to get to the river, which is good, but it took a lot of additional land to do that. Also, while the museum has been enlarged and the Arch is open, you can only approach the Arch from the southeast side. The only parking that is available for cars is in the downtown area, which means a very long walk around the construction. Also, you have to buy tickets in the Courthouse downtown or online. I bought them online and so only needed to bring the confirmation number to the Arch. I strongly recommend you buy tickets online or you will have an extra several block walk!!

There are almost NO signs in downtown telling you which streets go through to the Arch. And actually, even if they someday will go through, almost none do right now and this will be true for a whole TWO YEARS!!!

To make things worse, there was a football game in the stadium just a couple of blocks away, resulting in even more streets than usual being closed by police!! I literally drove around for an hour trying to figure out how to get to the arch. MY GPS KEPT TAKING ME TO CLOSED OR NONEXISTANT STREETS!! And then I had to turn the beast around with all the crowds heading to the game. I almost gave up. I ended up parking on a horrible angle on the levee. I will post photos in a minute. And when I tried to leave, I started to back up and turn around but my wheels started slipping to the point I was afraid I would end up in the river. So I backed up 1,000 feet and through the pay booth to get out!

So, if you want to visit the Arch, here are my suggestions for at least the next two years:

1) Buy tickets online and bring your confirmation code. Pick up tickets inside Arch.
2) There is a Casino directly across the river called River Queen which has a campground and a huge parking lot. You can stay or park there and take the metro from the parking lot, across the Mississippi directly to the Arch.http://www.casinoqueen.com/rv-park.aspx
3) The other option is to park a few miles from downtown at the site of the old World's Fair and take the metro from there. There is a historical museum and zoo in that area which is called Forest Park. I did not park there, but I was told by residents that they have big lots and a couple of metro stations.

Note: I DID turn off my refrigerator while parked. It was a cold day anyway. And no, my camera is not tilted!

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Re: St. Louis and Arch Warning!

Postby gingerK » Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:39 am

Aw, Judy I'm sorry it was such a mess! I should have mentioned it probably wouldn't be a good idea to take your MH downtown as I remember a lot of narrow, twisty turny streets that I even had trouble with in just my pick up. But did you enjoy the arch at least?
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Re: St. Louis and Arch Warning!

Postby MelissaD » Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:25 am

Thanks looks familiar :lol: Use to be a floating McDonalds along that stretch of the river.
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Re: St. Louis and Arch Warning!

Postby JudyJB » Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:22 am

Yes, I should have left it at the zoo or the Casino had I known about it, but the roads weren't really my problem. If I had known how to get around and not had to rely on my GPS, it would not have been so bad. ANd yes, I did enjoy the Arch. Wish the museum had been open. I had been there 45 years ago when it first opened so this was the second time I rode to the top.
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Re: St. Louis and Arch Warning!

Postby Queen » Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:29 am

Did you go up in the Arch? I did it as a teenager but no way I could do it now, somewhere along the way I got uncomfortable in closed spaces, that would freak me out considerably.
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Re: St. Louis and Arch Warning!

Postby Rufflesgurl » Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:40 am

Yikes Judy! Was everything OK with your RV by the time you got back to it? Hope you enjoyed the arch.

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Re: St. Louis and Arch Warning!

Postby Acadianmom » Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:14 pm

That looks like a boat ramp instead of a parking lot. I am getting to the point that I hate having to find parking in downtown areas and my motorhome is just a little bigger than a van. No way could I go to the top of the Arch. I think the last tall building I was at was the Reunion Tower in Dallas. I had to stand with my back against the wall.

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Re: St. Louis and Arch Warning!

Postby MandysMom » Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:37 pm

Driving by from across the river in 08 and taking a photo was enough for me. No way were we going any closer with a 40 ft bus nor did I feel need to rent a car and fight traffic. So glad you are ok Judy.
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Re: St. Louis and Arch Warning!

Postby monik7 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:54 pm

As a flight attendant, I saw the Arch many times on approach to the airport and even from higher up on flights just passing over. That's enough for me considering your experience.
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Re: St. Louis and Arch Warning!

Postby gingerK » Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:13 pm

Oh ladies! The view from the Arch is spectacular, even if the ride up and down are not to my liking. I don't like small spaces either and the elevator made appallingly scary noises and jerks but it was definitely worth it. And I'm afraid of heights!
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Re: St. Louis and Arch Warning!

Postby Bethers » Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:46 pm

gingerK wrote:Oh ladies! The view from the Arch is spectacular, even if the ride up and down are not to my liking. I don't like small spaces either and the elevator made appallingly scary noises and jerks but it was definitely worth it. And I'm afraid of heights!

I agree and it's on my list for a repeat next time I'm in the area. Just, I'm glad you enjoyed the Arch, and thanks for the heads up on parking, but I remember parking being a pita there in a car many years ago.
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