A visit to Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty

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The Statue of Liberty is one of the most iconic symbols of the United States of America. It is known around the world. When people visit New York City, they usually have a visit to the Statue of Liberty on their list.

However, visiting the Statue of Liberty is not as easy as some people may think. There are many tours that will advertise the Statue of Liberty but they will simply sail around the statue and those people never get a chance to actually visit the island.

The other factor is that it does take some time to explore both Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Unlike Times Square, The Empire State Building, And Central Park, you can't just do a quick visit and continue on your tour. You have to devote some time to getting to the island and exploring the areas.

However, if you have the time to go to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island it can be an amazingly rewarding and educational experience. It is rather easy to get to the Statue of Liberty and if you have plenty of time to plan, you can actually go all the way up to the crown. Just be aware, that even though you can buy tickets on the day of your trip, it is always best to buy your tickets before you go.

Purchasing your Ticket

You can only get to the Statue of Liberty on a Ferry (unless you have great connections). There are many cruises that you can take to enjoy the waters around the Statue of Liberty. They are all very enjoyable, especially at night. However, if you want to visit the Statue of Liberty, you have to take Statue Cruises. Through Statue Cruises you will have 2 main choices, you can either take the ferry on the New Jersey Side at Liberty State Park, or on the New York City side at Battery Park.

The New York City side will be much busier than the New Jersey side. However, they will both provide you with a very similar experience. You should select the departure point closest to where you are staying. Keep in mind that it is not as easy to get to the New Jersey Side without a car. You can always use Uber and Lyft to get to the NJ side.

The prices currently start at $18.50. You can also upgrade your ticket to go to the pedestal. However, those tickets are limited and you should buy them in advance. If you want to go to the crown, you should book your tickets as far in advance as possible. There might be up to a 6 month wait for these tickets!

Once you purchase your tickets you will be able to take a Ferry to Ellis Island and Liberty Island. You can devote as much time to each island as you wish, but keep in mind the time for your last ferry ride, and keep in mind that it may be packed if you wait until the end of the day to leave. We suggest that you start the tour in the morning so that you are not rushing to see everything.

You can buy your ticket as part of a tour package. There are a few options, but just make sure that you pick one that specifically has the Statue Cruise on it. Once again, there are many different companies that will just tour around the statue but do not let you actually visit the islands. We recommend CityPASS, and the NY Sightseeing Pass.

Visiting Ellis Island

Your ticket will include both The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. While many people skip Ellis Island, we highly recommend that you experience all the history of this beautiful location. This is where all the history actually happened. You can even research your own family history here. Even if you devote only one hour to this stop. You may find yourself so enthralled by your experience that you may decide to stay a little longer. If you are coming from the New Jersey Side this is the first stop of your Ferry Ride so its a natural first stop. However, many of the people that visit from the New York side will skip Ellis Island since they feel like they have already visited the statue. Don't be fooled, Ellis Island is an amazing destination in itself. Well worth the visit!

Read about our visit to Liberty State Park

The Statue Of Liberty

Once you are at the Statue, make sure to explore the entire island. First visit the Statue of Liberty Museum. There is so much to see at this interactive museum. You can see how the statue was built and take pictures with various parts of the statue. This was definitely a fun experience to enjoy. Also, its a great place to escape the scorching heat or freezing temperatures that you may be experiencing during your trip.

There are some great picture spots all over the place on Liberty Island. You can frequently see people laying on the floor looking the perfect shot. However, we highly recommend that you purchase tickets to visit the pedestal. Not only will this allow you to see a second museum, but you can also go all the way up to the top of the pedestal. There is an elevator, but we took the stairs to avoid the line. We climbed, and we climbed, and we climbed. I feel like we are still climbing. It hurts just thinking about it. However, it was well worth it.

The top of the pedestal is crowded and tight. You will have to take turns with other tourists to get the best shots. Its not a comfortable experience at all. However, take the stairs down even if you took the elevator up! Here you will find access to some of the lower levels of the statue where you will have much more space to take some glorious shots of yourself with the statue. Also, most people just ride the elevator down, missing this great opportunity. This leaves more space for you to freely take your pictures. However, keep in mind that this is all outside, and the weather can greatly alter your plans.