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Your One-Stop Guide For: The Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri

For Christmas 2019, Shelbie and I packed up and headed out west on a wild, wild adventure. We prepared a bunch for this 10-day trip and honestly couldn’t have prepared for some of the things that happened. Yes, it really was that wild.

~Get it? Because he's a cowboy in the...w i l d~


Anyways, before we saddle up & get into this post, let me introduce the people behind the trip!

Hi there!! For anyone who is new to my blog, let me introduce the whole crew here. I’m Carson Presley, and I write the content behind Girls & Dogs, Oh My. I’m graduating college this May (err--sort-of, just not traditionally because of the Coronavirus).

The luckiest person in the world, I have two adorable Labradoodles! Scout, who is two-years-old, and Ryder, who is 8-months-old. My better half, Spencer, is the most amazing dog mom who helps me keep a handle on our two wild fur babies.


Together, we love traveling. We love packing up our Jeep and exploring new places. We’re also (until recently) first-time dog owners. In other words, we’re young and make a lot of mistakes--which is where the inspiration for this blog came from!

I want to be able to share all of our journeys and dog mom lessons with you all--especially our mistakes--so that you all can have the best possible experiences.

Every Monday I post new content with our latest adventure, traveling advice, and dog mom tips and tricks. Sometimes I post more than just Mondays, so make sure to look out for the bonus content ;)

My feed is always live on Pinterest, so feel free to follow along there and never miss another Monday with Carson again!

Now that you've met all of us, let's get into it!


There are 11 parts of this series and this is the first! Below is the outline of our trip, in sequential order. Each location will have its own post, so make sure to subscribe and get all of the adventures delivered right to your inbox!


  1. St. Louis, Missouri

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When I was a kid, my parents took us to travel as much as they could. One of the places I remember visiting was the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. I don’t remember a lot of it, but I do remember walking around outside and playing underneath the massive Arch.



This National Park isn’t like others--there isn’t any hiking and it isn’t an escape through nature. It’s plopped on the outskirts of the city.


In 1935, the National Park Service named this park as the "Jefferson National Expansion Memorial" in order to recognize Thomas Jefferson and his "vision of a transcontinental United States" (NPS).


Bet you didn't know that, huh? The Arch was actually designed in order to be almost poetic and representative of the American Dream and the ability to pursue greater opportunities.


Another interesting aspect of this National Park is that it is adjacent to the Old Courthouse, which is shown below.


What's so cool about that? The Old Courthouse is full of history! It was the site of many civil rights cases, one of them being the Dred Scott decision.


If you want more history on the Gateway Arch, there's a ton available. You can also visit the National Park (which we would recommend!)


Now let's get wild!


We left early in the morning on our first day of Christmas break and hopped on the highway. At this time, we didn’t have Ryder, so it was just the 3 of us...and the open road (too cliche??)


The drive from our home to the Arch was supposed to be around 8 hours, abiding the speed limits (which, of course, we did). Murphy’s Law just had to come around and urge someone to drive their car off of a bridge into a lake.


I’m not joking.


So we sat in traffic for 3 hours. Yes, stand-still, not moving a single inch traffic...for 3 hours.


Nothing will ever test your relationship more than sitting in standstill traffic for three hours when you have a reservation to make!

We were thankfully able to call the customer service desk and have our reservation rescheduled so that we could drop Scout off at the AirBnB and get out to the Arch that night.


There was some construction in the area, so we drove over the same bridge a good couple times before we finally found a parking lot that was semi-close!


The pathway to the Arch parallels the Mississippi River, making the walk absolutely beautiful.


If you’ve never been to the Arch, here’s a quick little snippet which, again, does it no justice.


It’s unbelievably massive and the actual process and ingenuity behind the design are fascinating to learn about (which you do during the tour!)


With our tour time getting bumped back due to traffic, we ended up at the top of the Arch around sunset. I highly, highly recommend scheduling your tour around sunset if you can! Here are some of the photos we took:



We had originally planned to stop by a taco place called Mission Taco Joint. It was suggested by locals online but it was closed by the time we were done with our tour, so we stopped at a random burger joint… so we thought.


It was advertised as a specialty burger joint but was actually a restaurant in a hotel that’s more-or-less like an overpriced Applebees. It wasn’t bad, but we try to eat something original from wherever we are so I personally wouldn’t recommend it simply for that reason.


The taco place we originally planned on eating at was located in Delmar Loop, which is a little plaza strip with a handful of restaurants and shops! We were super excited to go explore that area, but we decided not to.


Being that it was already dark and we weren’t familiar with the area, we thought it would be best not to go walking all over the place and (probably) getting lost.


We chowed down and headed back to our Airbnb for the night. It had been a long day and all three of us were exhausted. Plus, we had an incredibly early, freezing morning ahead of us………..



But that will be covered in Part 2! Subscribe, follow me on all of the social media, shoot me a message with any content you want me to cover, or leave your guess where part 2 will take place!


See you next week!


xoxo, carson

About Carson Presley

I'm a dog mom of two and travel enthusiast! I graduated from college this year and am running this blog part-time while I start my new career.

Read More or shoot me an email!

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