No trip to the United States of America is complete without visiting the Statue of Liberty in New York. Located on a 12 acre island, the Statue of Liberty is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy and was presented as a gift of friendship from the French to the Americans to mark the same. It was dedicated on October 28, 1886 and was designated as the National Monument in 1924. The glorious statue was restored on July 4, 1986, for her centennial. She is an ageless symbol of American freedom and been a silent witness to the Golden Age of American immigration, thereby welcoming myriads of passengers into America.
Directions for Visiting the Statue of Liberty NYC
The must visit National landmark: Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island and Ellis Island Immigration Museum on Ellis Island are located slightly over one mile from Lower Manhattan in Lower New York Harbor. Since private vessels are not permitted to dock at Liberty and Ellis Islands, the only way to get to Liberty Island is by using the Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Ferry system. These ferries are operated by Statue cruises from New York and New Jersey, wherein one round trip ferry ticket comprises visits to both islands.
The ferry service from New York will comprise purchase of round-trip ferry tickets at Castle Clinton National Monument (Lower Manhattan). These ferries first stop at Liberty island and then at Ellis island before heading back to Battery Park in New York. Ferry service from New Jersey involves purchase of round trip ferry tickets from Central Railroad Terminal Building and Museum in Liberty State Park in Jersey City. These stop first at Ellis island and then at Liberty island before heading back to Liberty State Park, New Jersey.
Operating Hours and Seasons
Liberty and Ellis Islands are open 364 days a year, except December 25th. The operating hours are adjusted according to seasons and holiday periods, so the timings will vary accordingly. The average park hours are between 8:30 am - 6:15 am. The summer season commences from the last week of May and lasts till the first week of September. The months between June to September are the ones experiencing highest visitation. Those who choose to arrive on the final ferry departure from the mainland are required to choose one island to visit due to time restraints. So it's better to choose an earlier slot. Why miss an island! Security clearance (something like airport security screening!) and ferry transportation times are factors that need to be kept into consideration while planning the trip.
Ticket Reservation System at the Statue of Liberty
The ticket rates will vary according to age categories. Ages 4-12, 13+ and seniors 62 and over have different rates. One can reserve tickets to the pedestal, museum, crown and Liberty Island from Statue Cruises, depending on one's individual interests and convenience. Entering the pedestal and museum will require monument tickets. These monument tickets are required to enter any level in the monument. However, additional fee is required to access the crown, for which reservation is the only way to obtain access. There is no entrance fee to visit the Liberty and Ellis islands and irrespective of the ticket option type, visitors are allowed to visit the Liberty Island grounds and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
Some Useful Tips
Visiting the statue of liberty with kids will encompass planning ahead as a key element in making the most of the visit. You don't want your kids disappointed due to lack of planning. If you're taking kids along, you should not miss the Junior Ranger Program held to provide children information about the world's most famous symbols of freedom. You can pick up booklets obtained at the Liberty Island Information Center. These booklets have lots of fun activities, which teach children about the National Park Service and why it is crucial to protect this National Monument. This program is recommended for children between ages 7 and 12.
Whether you're visiting the Statue of Liberty for an hour or an entire day, a trip to this glorious National Monument will be an enjoyable and memorable experience. Visiting this distinctive landmark of America will enable one to comprehend the determination, hope and spirit of those who built this great nation. Enjoy your trip!