At 630 feet, the Gateway Arch is the tallest man-made national monument in the U.S. The tram ride through the arch to the top takes approximately 4 minutes. Thankfully, during the journey up there is a narration playing that explains the history of the arch, which is a welcome distraction from the fact that you are crammed in a small box that snugly fits four seated adults moving slowly through the gently swaying arch (the arch can sway a maximum of 9 inches to either side, although the average sway on any given day is about a 1/2 inch). Once you reach the top, your tram will open up into the Observatory, which, as you can imagine from looking at the arch, is a narrow, windowed hallway looking over the city. If you can handle the height and claustrophobic tram to the top, the unparalleled views of the city will be a fitting reward for your the effort.
Built in 1953 by Juan Delgadillo using mostly scrap lumber from the nearby railroad yards, the Snow Cap Drive-In is one of Route 66’s most colorful roadside attractions. The eatery is covered, inside and out, with decorations, kitsch and mementos left behind by travelers from around the world. A closer look around the property will reveal everything from antique gas pumps and toilets painted and set up outside as chairs to tin can robots and vintage automobiles.
Everyone is familiar with the iconic highway marker for Route 66 and anyone taking the drive down the Mother Road will see it again and again as a road sign, painted marker on the highway, billboard, in the windows of businesses and on almost every souvenir you come across. Although this marker may be the most recognizable sign, touring Route 66 will reveal a wealth of vintage, unique and truly bizarre signs. Ranging from retro neon advertisements to quirky, hand-scrawled signs oddly placed along the roadside, these unexpected sights will be just as memorable as the most well-known roadside attractions.