Gateway Arch by Karen Bollinger in St. Louis, Missouri

The Gateway Arch is the front door to St. Louis. It’s the place we take our family, friends and visitors when they come to town. Most people think of the Arch as a “bucket list”, ride-to-the-top attraction. But I assure you, the Arch offers a serenity and sense of inclusion that begins with the spectacular grounds and ends with an understanding of, and connection to, American history.

Many people rush through town to take the tram ride up. Without a doubt, the view is awesome and you can really see 30 miles in every direction.

I’ve been to the Arch many times. As a child I would look for my house, my grandma’s house and the Cardinal stadium on the tram ride up. As an adult, I learn a new lesson with each visit. I enjoy the Old Courthouse on the West side of the Arch. The rotunda there is a spectacular visual and acoustical experience. Exhibits show the story of St. Louis. Turns out that it’s here where Virginia Minor sued for her right to vote, and Harriett and Dred Scott sued for their freedom – pivotal events that led to the start of the Civil War.

One of my favorite pieces of art hangs in the Old Courthouse. It’s a picture of hundreds of riverboats that once lined the riverfront where the Arch stands. Today, at the base of the Gateway Arch grand staircase, two quaint riverboats remain: the Becky Thatcher and the Tom Sawyer. I recommend taking the one-hour sightseeing cruise. I hope you enjoy the Arch like I do and get to experience my favorite St. Louis “wow” feature.

Name:Karen Bollinger

Marketing director.


Uncovering the hidden treasures in my backyard.

Tell us about St. Louis:

Living and working near the Gateway Arch, I feel a sense of connection as great as the Arch structure itself.

A perfect day?

Walking through the Arch grounds to the Mississippi riverfront to eat lunch on the Becky Thatcher Riverboat while I listen the river flow and gaze at the majestic shape of the Gateway Arch.

What is the best thing about St. Louis?

It’s a few blocks from the home of the St. Louis Cardinals. It’s the birthplace of Budweiser. It offers views of historical and modern architecture. And of course the lore of the Mississippi River.

What is the worst?

Unpredictable weather.

What would be surprising about St. Louis to an outsider?

We toast our ravioli and one of our favorite desserts is gooey butter cake.

Who are three of your favorite artists?

Eero Saarinen (Architect), Mark TwainKen Burns


Name:Karen Bollinger

City:St. Louis

Favorite place to eat:

Cunnetto’s on the Hill.

Favorite place to drink:

Arch View Cafe, St. Louis Riverfront.

Favorite shop:

The Levee Mercantile underneath the Gateway Arch.

Local Tip:

The Downtown trolley is a great way to make your way around the core of the city.

Must Do:

Visit the Arch, try toasted ravioli, take a riverboat ride.