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Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island – The Gateway To New York City

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island – The Gateway To New York City

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Statue of Liberty New York City

Statue of Liberty, New York

If you are coming to New York City and if there is only one thing you can see, what would it be? For most people, the answer would be the Statue of Liberty (followed by Empire State Building, I guess).

What many people don’t know is that on your visit to the Statue of Liberty, you can also visit Ellis Island that houses the Ellis Island Immigration Museum that has a very special significance in American history.

(Image by wwarby)

Here are the details about both Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

 

Statue of Liberty Features

The Statue of Liberty is a copper statue of Libertas (Roman goddess of freedom) located on the Liberty Island in the New York Harbor. The goddess holds a torch in her right hand, and a tabula ansata (tablet evoking the law) in her left hand. The tablet has July 4, 1776 (date of the American declaration of Independence) inscribed on it.

The Statue of Liberty has been designed by Frederic Bartholdi, and is a gift from the people of France to the United States. It was constructed in France, was shipped to USA in crates, and was assembled on the pedestal on Liberty Island.

The height of the statue itself is 151 feet (46 meters). It increases to 305 feet (93 meters) including the concrete platform on which it stands.

 

Things to do while there

You can of course see the Statue of Liberty from any corner of the Liberty Island, and take beautiful photos from all angles. Audio tours are also available to explore the island with confidence.

You can also visit the pedestal which houses the Liberty museum. You need a Monument Pedestal Access pass for this. Please note that only a limited number of visitors are allowed to visit the platform, so you have to be there early! A convenient alternative is to book in advance.

It is also possible to enter the actual statue and climb up to the crown. You need a Crown Access pass for this, reservation for which is done months in advance.

The statue is scheduled to close for about one year for scheduled maintenance beginning on October 29, 2011. Liberty Island and the pedestal will remain open during this time.

 

Ellis Island New York City

Ellis Island, New York

Ellis Island

This island houses the Ellis Island Immigration Museum which is one of USA’s most popular historic sites.It is located in the Main Building of the former immigration station complex and showcasesthe experiences of more than 12 million immigrants who entered America through the Ellis Island.

(Image by wwarby)

A 45-minute audio tour is also available which helps you relive the immigrant experience – you would explore the museum as if you had just arrived on the island as an immigrant! A special children’s tour is also available.

The museum contains contains various artifacts, photographs, prints, videos, interactive displays, oral histories and temporary exhibits.

 

American Family Immigration History Center

Ellis Island also has the American Family Immigration History Center, which is a family research facility that provides you with advanced computers, printed materials, and professional assistance for investigating immigration history, family documentation, and genealogical exploration. You can access the passenger records of the ships that brought more than 22 million immigrants, crewmembers, and other passengers at the Port of New York and Ellis Island between 1892 and 1924.

If you want to search for someone’s record, please gather as much information as you can about him / her like the first and last names, approximate year of arrival, ethnicity (which may include race, nationality, and religion), approximate age on arrival, name of the ship used to travel, the port from which he / she traveled, etc.

 

Visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

 

Entrance Fees

Both Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are run by the National Park Service (NPS), and there is no entry fee for them. There is however a nominal $3.00 fee per person for the Crown Access pass of the statue.

However, you do have to pay for the ferries (please see below).

 

Transportation

The only way to visit Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is by ferries. A single ticket entitles you to a ferry ride to both Liberty Island and Ellis Island.

Following is the cost of the ferry:

  • Children below 4: Free
  • Children ages 4-12 years: $5.00
  • Adults (ages 13+): $13.00
  • Seniors (62+): $10.00

 

Convenient and time saving options to see Statue of Liberty

 

Statue of Liberty Cruises

If you go by the regular ferries to Liberty Island, you have to allot at last half a day for the Statue of Liberty tour. Depending on the season, you might have to earmark a full day. This is especially true now because of all the security checks done for the ferry and at the monument.

What if you don’t have that much time but still want to see the Statue of Liberty? A very convenient option is a cruise of the New York Harbor that takes you really close to the Statue of Liberty!

 

A Statue of Liberty cruise would be appropriate for you if:

  • You don’t have too much time at your disposal
  • You want to avoid the inconvenience of security checks
  • You want to avoid the crowds and see the statue in comfort
  • You want to take excellent pictures
  • You are interested only in the Statue of Liberty (and not Ellis Island)

 

Helicopter tours of Manhattan and Statue of Liberty

Helicopter tours or chopper tours provide excellent aerial views of the Statue of Liberty and many other New York landmarks like the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Brooklyn Bridge, etc. And of course, these tours are the fastest!

 

Other attractions near the Statue of Liberty

Following are the nearby attractions and touristy places – you can combine a visit to the Statue of Liberty with a visit to any of these.

  • Wall street
  • Trinity church
  • South street seaport
  • Brooklyn bridge
  • New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
  • World Trade Center (WTC) memorial
  • Battery Park
  • The Charging Bull
  • National Museum of the American Indian
  • Governors Island
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