Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island, New York City
There are plenty of "for pay" opportunities to visit the Statue of Liberty. And if walking up to and into Lady Liberty is your bag, this tip will do you little good.
But, if you'd just like to enjoy a good look at the symbol of our country, I have a free and unhurried opportunity. THE ultimate photo-op, IMHO. Get on the Staten Island Ferry, at the "South Terminal" on Manhattan Island, and just ride across. The cost of the ferry ride? FREE. NOTHING. NADA. It's a gentle crossing of some 20 minutes, and you'll have a long opportunity to gaze at and photograph the Statue of Liberty from several angles.
Fondest memory: A sense of awe and pride as we gently steamed past the Statue of Liberty on our way to and from Staten Island. It's another one of those "ooh and ahhh" sights in the Big Apple.
Favorite thing: If you have the change, than try to see the Statue of Liberty during the sunset. You can make beautiful pictures. We've visit Ellis Island and the statue of Liberty. I did like it, not the waiting line to go with the boat, but if you past that, then it only gut’s better. Fantastic view over the skyline. You must to this!
Ellis Island is a symbol of America's immigrant heritage. More than 70% of immigrants landed in New York, the country's largest port. First and second class passengers were processed on board ship, but third or steerage class were ferried to Ellis Island when they underwent medical and legal examinations in the Main Building. The museum contains three floors of self guided exhibits and audio/visual displays detailing the history of immigration processing station between 1892 and 1954. You can tour the Great Hall where immigrant legal and medical inspections took place. Be sure to view the artifacts on display: baggage, immigrant clothing and costumes, passports, steamer and railroad tickets, ship passenger manifests, etc. Generally, you should allow 3 hours to tour the museum.
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are located in the New York Harbor
How to Get Here:
To visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum, you must take the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Ferry from either Battery Park in lower Manhattan or Liberty State Park in New Jersey (New Jersey Turnpike Exit 14B)
By Subway: N/R train to Whitehall Station or 4/5 train to Bowling Green Station. Walk through Battery Park to Castle Clinton, where you purchase boat tickets.
By Bus: M1 (West Side Service)
By Bus: M6 & M15 (East Side Service)
Hours of Operation:
Every day of the year except December 25 from 9:30am until 5:00pm (with extended hours in the summer).
Round Trip ferry tickets cost $10.00 for adults, $4.00 for children age 4-12 years old, and $8.00 for senior citizens age 62 and over. There is no admission fee for Liberty and Ellis Island.
Located in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty was a gift of international friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is one of the most universal symbols of political freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886 and was designated a National Monument on October 15, 1924. The Statue was extensively restored in time for her spectacular centennial on July 4, 1986.
For "open hours" and "how to get there" see the Ellis Island tip.
The Monument access pass alows the tourist to climb thru the basement of the statue up to the Observatory deck. And the tickets are Free. They can be purchased along with the ferry tickets from either the NJ Ferry counter in the the Liberty State Park or the Battery Park Ferry station in NY.
But these number of pass per day is very limited. So the changes of getting them are very low :(
Book them online atleast a Week before the Trip at http://statuereservations.com/
Here u can chose the date and time u want to be there.
Ensure that u select the Tickets for "Monument Access". The ferry trip is free if u buy the Monument access pass online
Looking at this picture taken back in 1997--taken from the Statue of Liberty's pedastal, wearing my John Lennon shirt and standing proudly in front of the World Trade Towers--I still get shivers.
It's hard to separate the images.... when you say or hear New York City, or New York harbor, you think of Lady Liberty. For well over 100 years, this copper-clad grand lady has welcomed the world to the United States. Originally a gift from the French on the occasion of our country's 100th birthday (it actually was delivered on our 110th birthday, but they didn't have FedEx back then :)
Visiting Lady Liberty (and nearby Ellis Island) is on most tourists' "to-do" lists, and it's funny but... we'd been to NYC numerous times over the last few years, and had not yet made the pilgrammage. We'd looked at her from the Staten Island Ferry, but on our 2010 spring trip, we decided to visit the monument itself.
Going to Liberty Island (and Ellis Island) themselves isn't really difficult or expensive. You can buy your tix online at http://www.statuecruises.com/, or you can buy them onsite at either Battery Park in lower Manhattan or Liberty State Park in New Jersey. You'll have three choices on tickets... you can buy a reserved ticket with access to the crown (but be warned, you will need to buy these well in advance), a reserved ticket with access to the pedestal and museum, or a reserved ticket that only gets you onto the grounds. The crown access tix are $15 each for adults, and the other tickets are $12 each, whether or not you do the museum/pedestal. It's more a matter of controlling numbers of tourists and access for security, that's why you have to have specific tix to get on into the pedestal and museum. Same day ticket purchases are likely to be limited to "just" the grounds at Liberty Island and Ellis Island. There are also audio tours available, for an additional $8. We didn't do the audio tour - not our thing. When I visit something as breathtaking as the Statue of Liberty, I want to be with my own thoughts, not a recorded tour package.
Like I say, you need to buy crown access tix WELL in advance - we bought ours months ahead of time, and certain dates and times were already selling out. Access to the crown is strictly limited, and they only let 10 people up and down at a time. Also, if you buy CROWN access tix, you have to pick them up at the will call window (either Battery Park, NY or Liberty Park, NJ). You will have to present ID and the tix are non-transferable. You can't pick up your ticket and then make a scalping by reselling it, or at least you can't do it "morally". The buyer couldn't use the ticket, it will have your NAME printed right on it.
You ride to Liberty Island by ferry, and you can then move on to Ellis Island by ferry. You can depart or return to EITHER Battery Park, NY or Liberty Park, NJ. But, once you disembark at either place, your trip is over. Don't leave NY and then go to NJ, thinking you can still get back on and ride back to NY. It doesn't work that way, and you'll end up paying a steep cab fare to get back on the other side of the harbor.
CLOSING OUT, let me list here the simple words inscribed upon this symbol of American freedom and opportunity, words upon which literally millions of immigrants have built their lives and dreams over the years:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
Fondest memory: My daughter has balance issues, and she was kind of nervous about this climb to Liberty's crown. She had said over and over that she might choose NOT to make the climb come "climb day". But by golly, she did just fine. I have written a photo travelogue about our visit to the Statue of Liberty crown on my NYC page, please do check it out. There is a photo of my daughter's unmitigated joy upon reaching the crown.
Speaking OF the climb, it's 354 steps/22 stories. The stairs are narrow, steep and spiralling. AND, there are no elevators and there is no air conditioning. If you climb on a hot day, you will be inside a large, unventilated and un-air-conditioned copper pot, so to speak.
If you do buy a crown ticket and the climb proves too daunting, you'll not lose a lot of money. The difference between crown access and non-crown access tix is only $3 each. Your only loss will be the opportunity, and dealing with what I'm sure would be disappointment.
Ellis Island is the working "nuts and bolts" to the dream stated by the nearby Statue of Liberty. This was the entry point for millions of immigrants who moved to America in the late 19th and early 20th century timeframe. Wars, political unrest, famines, plagues - there were so many reasons that these new Americans chose to uproot their lives and cross the ocean. America's strength has been and does remain the contribution of so many people who, during their lives, chose to become proud Americans. That's what America was always meant to be - a place that you could work and achieve a better life. And it was thus for so many people(s) coming to our shore, and a great majority of them came in through Ellis Island. Millions of today's Americans can trace their ancestors and ancestry through the doors of Ellis Island.
The Ellis Island immigration facility was opened on New Year's Day, 1892. It finally closed in 1954, and was somewhat abandoned for a while. Later in the mid-1970s, there was a public groundswell of support to restore this important piece of American immigration history, and millions of public dollars were donated. Finally in September of 1990, the center was reopened as a national park service site and now hosts thousands of visitors every single day of the year.
As for visiting Ellis Island, it's generally done in combination with a visit to the Statue of Liberty. There are ferries that leave from both Battery Park, NY or Liberty Park, NJ for the purpose. You'll visit the statue, and will also use the ferry to move over to Ellis Island. Please read my Statue of Liberty General tip for more information on reserving your tickets.
For online info about Ellis Island, check out the National Park service site, http://www.nps.gov/elis/index.htm.
For information and to purchase Statue of Liberty + Ellis Island tickets, go to http://www.statuecruises.com/
Fondest memory: On Ellis Island, I enjoyed the museum. I knew what the island facility was all about, but I guess I'd not really realized how many people actually found their way through its doors. I especially liked that "American flag" item they'd put together in the museum. From certain angles and a distance, you'd see mostly flag. But as you walked closely, you could see individual black and white photos of Americans within the "fabric" of the flag. It's hard to describe, but it made an excellent point about America being strong as one people.
To see two different views of this "flag", so you can see the effect, check out two photos below.
And please do check out my separate photo travelogue for Ellis Island, on my NYC page.
Favorite thing: When in New York City, especially for your first time, it's an excellent and entertaining history lesson, to head out to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. But the Statue of Liberty itself is still closed to the general public these days. You can roam around the island there if you like, but really, without being able to go inside the statue, you can save oodles of time and still get close enough for some good photo ops, if you stay on the boat during its 10minute stop enroute to Ellis Island.
To me, this picture just about sums up New York and all it stands for--freedom and strength in the face of adversity. Even though our two beautiful towers are now missing from the skyline, Lady Liberty stands guard, defying anyone who would try to destroy the American spirit.
This picture was taken from the Statue of Liberty ferry, on the way back to Battery Park (where the boats launch) after our first visit to Staten Island.
Favorite thing: Between 1886 and 1895, over 2 million immigrants were welcomed to New York by the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of new life with new liberty. She was a gift to us from the French in 1886 in recognition of our 100th birthday. Lady Liberty was designed by Gustave Eiffel, of Eiffel Tower fame. If you're up to it, you can climb the 167 stairs to the top of her pedestal, or if you don't mind close quarters ride the elevator. For the brave and strong, there are 12 more stories to climb up through her crown where the view is fantastic.
Next to the flag, it's America's most famous symbol for freedom - an icon for the immigrant.
If you want to climb the 354 steps inside the Statue be early as there are sometimes incredible qeues.
We take the ferry from Battery Park and take your ticket from the Clinton Castle.
The statue is much more impressive when you are standing at its feet, and you get a great view of the Manhattan skyline from the island.
As we did not have many time we did not get to the top.
Favorite thing: As you may have surmised from the photos, my favorite stop was the Statue of Liberty. You've seen her a million times on tv but nothing prepares you for the real thing. She has a 'vibe' or something that you don't get from the pictures. When you read the 'New Colossus' it really brings it home too. I would completely recommend that everyone see the Lady. If you go off-season it will help with the crowds too. We were there at the end of January and the beginning of February. The weather was fine if you dressed properly. I dressed too warm and ended up having to buy clothes so I wouldn't melt.
Visit the city and meet the wonderful people. I went many years ago and NYC did not have the greatest reputation for friendly people..........BUT MANY YEARS AGO...in my experience....THE PEOPLE were great!
Update: This was my old posting from and I recently went to NYC June 1, 2003.
Fondest memory: When I went there, the Statue of Liberty was getting a face lift, so we could not go.
Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty, the most enduring symbol of New York City - and indeed, the USA - can trace its unlikely origins to a pair of Parisian Republicans. In 1865, political activist Edouard René Lefebvre de Laboulaye and sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi went to a dinner party and came away with the notion of building a monument honoring the American conception of political freedom, which they would then donate to the Land of Opportunity. Twenty-one years later, on 28 October 1886, the 151ft (45m) Liberty Enlightening the World, modeled on the Colossus of Rhodes, was finally unveiled in New York Harbor before President Grover Cleveland and a harbor full of tooting ships. It's a 354-step climb to the statue's crown, the equivalent of climbing a 22-story building, and if you want to tackle it, start early to avoid the crowds - it's hard to contemplate the American dream with your nose to the tail of the person in front.
Fondest memory: my first big travel to a big city, for being the first time New York is too much!!!(GOOD)