Last updated: 08:00 PM ET, Fri July 31 2015

5 Cool US Elevators Worth the Trip Up

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | July 31, 2015

5 Cool US Elevators Worth the Trip Up

Photos courtesy of wikimedia commons

Normally elevators are simply vehicles of function, getting us from one place to another; normally taking us to a place of relaxation or work. Although music, advertisements and more recently video and artwork have been inserted into their systems, there are a few places that really stand out as a little bit different from the rest.  Here are five elevators that are so much fun and so interesting they're worth a trip to go see.

The Gateway Arch – St. Louis, Missouri

Opened to the public in 1967, The Gateway Arch has been welcoming people to the west for almost 50 years. One of the best parts of the visiting experience for guests is the journey up 630 feet to the top in one of two cylindrical trams. Each tram pod holds five people, the trip takes all of four minutes and although there is no real view out the tiny window that each pod has, they are so futuristic looking and the view from the top is so good you won’t even care. Entry is time scheduled so you really don’t have to worry about a long wait — just have your tickets early.

The Luxor – Las Vegas, Nevada

No one thinks about how to get to the top of the pyramid shaped building on the Las Vegas strip until they get inside and realize that it’s hollow. That is when you realize that as you go up to your room, you are actually taking a ride in an inclinator as opposed to an elevator. 

The 39 degree incline takes you up the inside of the resort to your desired floor. It is difficult to tell which way you are moving because of the incline, and there are only mirrors in the elevators so there is no view. Each floor is open to the center so that once you are away from the inclinators you can gaze down upon the entire resort.

One World Trade Center – New York City, New York

When they built the One World Trade Center, they equipped it with the fastest elevator in the world. The 42-second ride to the top has a video display that gives you a time lapse of the building of the New York skyline from when it was originally settled all the way to modern day. As you rise, you see the city rise above you. The original World Trade Center makes its ghostly appearance and disappearance as well during the ride. 

Legoland Hotel – Carlsbad, California

The Legoland hotel at the Legoland California Resort is only three stories tall.  But as is the case with EVERYTHING in the hotel, they make the ride as much fun as possible.  The elevator has a disco theme, including music and light show.

The Standard High Line – New York City, New York

The Standard is anything but standard, serving as an exhibitionist’s dream destination in the meat-packing district. The rooms are glass with glass-walled baths and for the folks who wish a little more privacy, there are curtains to be drawn. But the ride to your room is an experience all in itself.  On your way up, you experience a video art installation entitled, “Civilization,” by Marco Brambilla.  It is a video voyage from hell to heaven as you ascend and is comprised of over 400 video clips. This gives a whole new meaning to “going on a trip.”

Where is your favorite elevator ride?  Have you ever had to spend more time in an elevator than you wanted to?  Let me know in the comments below.

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