The Ultimate Guide To Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty, a US National Monument symbolizing liberty and freedom!
Statue of Liberty, a statue of a Roman Goddess, wearing a crown, holding a torch above her head, and a broken shackle on her feet, was a gift to the US from France!
The monumental Statue of Liberty, located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, is an iconic landmark of the US! The imposing copper sculpture, measuring approximately 305 feet tall with the pedestal, was sculpted by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi in Paris and then disassembled and shipped to the US in 350 pieces. Once arrived in the US, the Statue of Liberty was reassembled and officially unveiled on 28th October 1886.
Statue of Liberty, officially the “Liberty Enlightening the World,” is also sometimes referred to as Lady Liberty, is a sculpture of Roman Goddess Libertas, with a torch in her right hand, a tabula ansata on her left hand that has “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” inscribed on it, which is the date when the US Declaration of Independence was signed in Roman numerals. The crown on her head with seven spikes represents seven continents and oceans in the world. The statue also has a broken chain on her feet which signifies the abolition of slavery.
Accessible only via a ferry to Liberty Island, the Statue of Liberty features a museum, a couple of observation decks, and audio tours!
While several cruises and boat tours offer great distant views of the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Island and the observation decks are only accessible by the official ferry services operated by Statue Cruises. Once on the island, there’re several ways to explore the Statue of Liberty National Monument, including self-guided and self-paced tours, audio tours, access to the statue’s pedestal, and a strenuous climb to the crown of the Statue of Liberty.
Here is my ultimate guide to Statue of Liberty, featuring essential trip-planning information, things to do at the Statue of Liberty, nearby attractions, and recommendations on hotels and restaurants near the Statue of Liberty!
Planning Your Trip To Statue of Liberty
Making your ferry and tour reservations in advance, directly flying into New York City, and staying in Downtown Manhattan is the best way to explore the Statue of Liberty!
Best Time To Visit Statue of Liberty: Summer and early winter are the busiest seasons at Statue of Liberty and in New York City in general. The Statue of Liberty National Monument is open year-round except Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, summer and early winter are also the time when you’re most likely to stand in long queues to get through the security check to board the ferry to Liberty Island. If you don’t mind slightly cooler weather, visiting in spring and fall is a great option to beat the crowd at the Statue of Liberty. Late winter, January through March, is harsh with regular snowfalls and is not the best time for outdoor activities in New York City.
Time Required At Statue of Liberty: While a couple of hours are sufficient to see the National Monument from outside and explore the museum, you would need more time if you’re planning to visit the observation deck located on the pedestal or the crown of Lady Liberty. Accessing the observation deck at the pedestal will take an additional 1 – 2 hours, and climbing to the crown will take another 2 – 3 hours.
Getting To Statue of Liberty: The best way to get to the Statue of Liberty National Monument is by flying into one of New York’s three airports, located close to New York City, and then taking the Statue Cruises to get to the Liberty Island. Alternatively, you could also take a train or a bus to New York City.
- Flight: New York City is served by three major airports, located pretty close to the city – (1) LaGuardia Airport (LGA), New York City, New York, about 12 miles from New York City, (2) Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Newark, New Jersey, approximately 14 miles from the city, and (3) John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York City, New York, around 25 miles from the city.
- Train: The Moynihan Train Hall Amtrak station in downtown New York connects several cities and states to New York City and is the closest Amtrak station right in the heart of downtown Manhattan.
- Bus: Greyhound offers bus services to New York City, with the closest Greyhound bus stop located on 8th Avenue, New York City.
Transportation To Statue of Liberty: The access to the Statue of Liberty National Monument on Liberty Island is only via the Statue Cruises, an authorized concessioner of the National Park System. The one-way ferry ride to Liberty Island takes about 15 – 20 minutes and can be boarded from Battery Park in New York City or Liberty State Park in New Jersey. I recommend reaching an hour before your scheduled ferry departure time as everyone needs to undergo an elaborate security screening before boarding the ferry.
Tickets For Statue of Liberty: If you’re planning to see the monument from outside and visit the museum, you just need to purchase the round trip ferry tickets. However, if you plan on touring the inside of the monument, including the pedestal observation deck or the monument’s crown, you would need to purchase additional tickets. These tickets are limited and always in demand, and so you must reserve these tickets well in advance. All ferry and tour tickets to the Statue of Liberty can be purchased online on the Statue Cruises website.
Lodging Near Statue of Liberty: Most people visit the Statue of Liberty along with other attractions in New York City. When sightseeing in New York City, I highly recommend staying close to Downtown New York / Manhattan, which is bustling with hotels ranging from luxury boutique hotels to bread and breakfasts! Here’re my top picks of hotels in New York City with easy access to the Statue of Liberty
Dining Options At Statue of Liberty: The dining option at Statue of Liberty National Monument is limited to its only restaurant, Statue of Liberty Crown Cafe, that serves casual American fare. However, you will find a ton of restaurants in the city of New York, ranging from fine dining to casual dining, but you must try a few popular New York City dishes, including New York-style Pizza, pastrami sandwiches, and New York-style cheesecake when visiting the town.
Things To Do At Statue of Liberty
If you’re pressed for time, you could take a boat ride and visit the monument from outside, but if you’ve time, you could tour the monument from inside, climb to the pedestal, go up to the crown, and visit Ellis Island!
You can customize your trip to the Statue of Liberty based on the time you have. If you’re short of time working with a tight schedule, you could simply see the monument from a sightseeing boat tour. But if you’re not rushed and have a day to spend at the Statue of Liberty National Monument, there’re several fascinating ways to explore the National Monument.
Sightseeing Boat Tours: If seeing the Statue of Liberty up close is not a must for you, a great way to see the monument is onboard a ferry or boat tour that doesn’t stop at Liberty Island but still offers excellent views of Lady Libert. Several companies offer harbor tours in New York City, but here are my top picks for ferry rides and harbor tours of Statue of Liberty – (1) Staten Island Ferry, a passenger ferry operated by the New York City Department of Transportation, connecting Manhattan and Staten Island offers excellent views of Statue of Liberty. (2) Circle Line Harbor Cruise, a narrated harbor cruise highlighting several landmarks of the city, including the Statue of Liberty.
Things To Do At Statue Of Liberty / Liberty Island: If you’re visiting Liberty Island, which I highly recommend doing, you would need to use the Statue Cruises from Battery Park in New York City or Liberty State Park in New Jersey to reach the island. Once at the island, you could tour the island and marvel at the monumental statue, and visit the museum at your own pace. The National Park Services also offers an audio tour and a couple of ways to access the interior of the Statue of Liberty.
- Statue of Liberty Audio Tour: The self-guided audio tours at the Statue of Liberty is an excellent way to learn about the history and making of the statue. The audio tour headsets can be collected from the audio tour pickup point after arriving at the island. The audio tours last about an hour and can be used while touring the grounds and the museum.
- Pedestal Access: The Pedestal of the Statue of Liberty is actually a building that houses a museum, a lobby, and an observation deck on the 10th-floor. The top of the pedestal offers panoramic views of New York’s harbor and interior views of the colossal copper statue. The top of the pedestal can be accessed via climb 215 steps or an elevator.
- Crown Access: You can go all the way up to the Crown of the Statue of Liberty, which is the topmost observation deck offering spectacular views of New York’s harbor and skyline. However, there are no elevators beyond the statue’s pedestal, and you have to climb 162 steps from the pedestal to the crown observation deck.
Ellis Island: When visiting the Statue of Liberty using the Statue Cruises, you also have access to the nearby Ellis Island. Ellis Island, a historical site, was the entry point of several million immigrants to the US. This is where thorough examinations and all legal formalities were performed before letting the immigrants into the US. Now Ellis Island features the National Museum of Immigration with several exhibits related to the immigration process of the past and a section elaborating the current immigration system.
Other New York Attractions & Related Posts
I hope you enjoyed reading the post, The Ultimate Guide To Statue of Liberty, and I hope this will help you plan your trip to Statue of Liberty. You can find other New York attractions in my New York Travel Guide.
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