ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- The Gateway Arch is more than 50-years-old. However, just about everything around it is new.

As we enter the summer season, it's worth a visit to the renovated Archgrounds that make St. Louis proud.

At 630 feet, The Arch is the tallest man-made monument in the United States and it proudly stands as the symbol of st. Louis.

Carl Schumacher has been a Gateway Arch park ranger for 27 years. He said the Arch is a staple for sightseers visiting St. Louis.

"People hear St. Louis, they think of the Arch,” Schumacher said. “That is one of the first things they want to do."

With the new renovations, Schumacher said the Arch is a different experience for anyone who has visited before.

"Every day is different, every time I work at the park talk to someone different," Schumacher said. “ I love it, it has more of a park feel versus how it was in the past.”

Erin Janello visited the Archgrounds from Southern Illinois. She liked how visitors can now safely walk from the Old Courthouse down to the Arch’s new entrance, as well as the park’s additional 90 acres of park and five miles of trails.

"They're beautiful, very well maintained,” Janello said. “It’s a beautiful day, we just came from the snow, so it's beautiful."

Kathy Wooten of Atlanta, Georgia, made it a point to stop at the park on her way home from South Dakota.

"Anyone passing through town should take time to stop, visit, especially if have kids," Wooten said.

Which is exactly what what Tulsa, Oklahoma native Erick Bell did with his four daughters, Lily, Mary, Zelly and London, while driving to Pennsylvania.

They can learn all that history in the Arch's new museum which is free and easy to navigate.

"Everything underground, museum, movie, restaurant, lobby, everything is disabled access."

If you're planning a visit, Schumacher says to take advantage of the extended summer hours of 8 am to 10 pm.

"You could ride to the top of the Arch 45 minutes to an hour, and then you have the new museum, give that at least an hour or two," Schumacher said.

The best times to come are first thing in the morning or late evening, after 7 p.m., Schumacher said. And make sure to pack a lunch or dinner.

"There's a natural amphitheatre there, place come in have a seat benches under tree in shade enjoy a picnic lunch on the Archgrounds,” Shumacher said.

If you're interested in watching a documentary on the Arch or taking a tram ride to the top, Schumacher said it's best to buy your tickets online ahead of time.

Gummada Chowdery, visiting the Arch from India, said it’s fun to go up to the top of the Arch where you can see all of St. Louis.

“You can't beat the view from up here, as you can see 30 miles each direction on a clear day,” Chowdery said.

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All Rights Reserved

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