My first stop in Saint Louis was the headquarters of the world's largest brewing company, Anheuser-Busch. It's 5 o' clock somewhere, right? The complimentary factory tour took us through the historic Budweiser Clydesdale Stable (the horses were right on cue standing right in front of the mural of Clydesdales on the truck in the background, lol), Beechwood Lager Cellars, and Bevo Packaging Facility. The Brew House was closed for the day due to regular maintenance. Did I mention the Budweiser takes you to the hospitality room for free beer and pretzels at the end of the tour? And they don't skimp. I was expecting sample cups. No, no, no. They give you a full glass, and provide seconds, and probably thirds if you wanted. I opted for Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale (brewed with golden delicious pumpkins and select seasonal spices, including nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and clove). The taste of pumpkin, if any, was very subtle. I chased it with a glass of Bud Light Lime (the splash of lime makes all the difference). It smelled and tasted just like Fruit Loops, which was perfect considering it was 11 in the morning!
Afterward, I went to the Saint Louis Gateway Arch, where for $10 (only $7 with my America The Beautiful National Park Annual Pass) I was able to hop into a space-like, 5-person tram pod that takes you up to a little observation room at the top. At 630 feet, The Arch is the tallest national monument in the United States, trumping even the Washington Monument in DC by 75 feet! The span of the Arch legs at ground level is 630 feet, the same as its height. One a clear day, the thirty-two windows in the viewing station allow visibility of up to 30 miles, providing stunning views across the Mississippi River, southern Illinois, and Saint Louis County. Great photo opportunities! The entrance to each leg of the Arch contains a different informational exhibit. The north leg display includes photographs and information about the construction of the Arch. The south leg display shows life along the St. Louis riverfront in the 1800s.