Gateway Arch National Park

This unmistakeable icon of St. Louis was redesignated from a national memorial to a national park in 2018 and now contains 91-acres along the Mississippi River.

Originally built to commemorate the westward expansion of early Americans, it’s no coincidence that it’s located at the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Although its name infers it is the “Gateway to the West”, this National Park is also a gateway to downtown St. Louis, connecting the park, Mississippi River, and urban city center with 5 miles of trails.

The Old Court House found on its grounds was home to the Dred Scott slavery case, making Gateway Arch National Park a national attraction for America’s civil rights legacy as well.

You might be wondering, “Why is Gateway Arch a National Park”? Although it’s definitely worthy of your bucket list, we agree that it seems more like a monument and less like a National Park which is why it’s ranked last on our list of best National Parks. But it’s still worth visiting!