Travel & Places

Visiting the Statue of Liberty

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5 ways to make your trip easier and more enjoyable

The one attraction no one should miss while visiting New York City is the Statue of Liberty. The iconic statue has represented the ideals of this country for over a hundred years and, although getting to the statue is easy, it deserves some planning to avoid delays and problems.

Visiting the Statue of Liberty

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You will have to undergo two security screenings on your visit. The first one is boarding the ferry to go to the island while a second one is done for anyone who has pedestal or crown tour tickets. Prohibited items are different for the two security screenings.

1. Get ready for a boat ride

Since the statue rests on Liberty Island, a boat trip is necessary. Statue cruises is the only ferry authorized to visit the island so you will have to purchase tickets and conform to their schedule. Prices and schedules vary with the seasons and can make planning difficult. There are several tour companies in New York that offer Statue of Liberty trips that include the ferry costs in their fees.

2. Decide which tour of the Statue of Liberty you want

Though the ferry ride to the island is very regimented, once you arrive you have several choices on what you see. The National Park Service offers a tour and everything on that tour is open to the public. You can also purchase tickets to get access to the pedestal or even the crown of the statue. The crown tour is expensive and are usually booked months in advance. It will also require greater physical effort due to the stairways you will have to climb. The view, however, is very much worth it.

3. Tour companies are your friend

If you know when you will be in New York and which tour of the Statue of Liberty you want to take, use a company such as Go New York Tours to book your tour months in advance. In addition to the Liberty Island tours, they offer packages that make it easier to get around the city and see many more of the sites, especially in Manhattan.

Visiting the Statue of Liberty

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4. Go early

Beating the crowds to Liberty Island can mean the difference between having the time to enjoy the tours and being rushed through your visit with hundreds of other tourists. Once on the island, visitors are not required to leave until they are finished or the park closes. Getting there early – or on an off day – allows you time and space to see what you want to see.

5. Know your party’s limitations

Visiting the Statue of Liberty requires a lot of walking and a lot of climbing, especially if you are taking the pedestal and/or crown tours. Make sure you bring plenty of water and snacks, ensure that children and seniors can make the climb and don’t overexert yourself. Seeing the Statue of Liberty from the air is a wonderful experience, unless it is from an emergency helicopter taking you to the hospital. Be careful and safe.

Although the Statue of Liberty is a wonderful park and an iconic part of American history, it is not the only tourist site you will see. After leaving Liberty Island, the ferry stops at Ellis Island and you can tour the grounds and the Immigration Museum.

Manhattan, and the Greater New York area, also have hundreds of tourist attractions to satisfy the most jaded palates. No matter what you are interested in, New York has a site that can fill your needs. Planning, however, remains the most important aspect of your visit.

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