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Statue of Liberty National Monument Guide — Ellis Island, Tours, and More

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Amar Hussain
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Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

814 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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The Statue of Liberty is one of America’s most renowned national monuments. It is a fascinating place to visit as it offers an opportunity to learn about the history of America and how people from all over the world came to settle here.

The statue is not simply a beautiful monument; it represents freedom, democracy, and the opportunities that America provides. Every year, over 3 million visitors visit the monument, tour Liberty Island, and visit the inside of the statue itself.

How To Get to the Statue of Liberty National Monument

Where Is the Statue of Liberty National Monument?

Liberty Island
Image Credit: The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation

The Statue of Liberty National Monument is situated on Liberty Island. Visitors can only access Liberty Island and Ellis Island by ferry from Battery Park and Liberty State Park. Statue City Cruises is the only authorized vendor for ferry services. Although the park is situated within the waters of New Jersey, it is officially considered part of New York state territory.

Statue of Liberty National Monument Opening Hours and Seasons

This national monument is open year-round, including weekends and holidays, except on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The monument is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the operational days, giving you plenty of time to explore the park and enjoy its natural beauty. 

Nearest Airports to the Statue of Liberty National Monument

There are several airport options available for visitors flying to this national monument. Each of the options has something unique to offer. Take a look at the 2 most commonly used airports for those flying to this American landmark.

LaGuardia Airport (LGA)

LaGuardia Airport is situated in Queens, New York. It is approximately a 38-minute drive from Battery Park and less than an hour from Liberty State Park. It offers numerous daily flights to various cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Hartford, Houston, Minneapolis, and Washington, D.C. Many renowned airlines operate from this airport, such as AeroMexico, Delta, JetBlue, and WestJet.

Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

Newark Liberty International Airport is situated in Newark, New Jersey. It is around 11 miles from Liberty State Park and 15 miles from Battery Park. This airport provides several flights daily to many major cities, including Chicago, Denver, Houston, Montréal, Seattle, and Toronto. This airport is served by dozens of airlines, including American, British Airways, Delta, JetBlue, and United.

Bottom Line:

After arriving at either airport, you can choose from several transportation options to get to the park, such as taxis, ride-shares, or rental cars. Learn more in our transit guides from LGA to Manhattan and EWR to Manhattan.

Driving to the Statue of Liberty National Monument

You have 2 options for your arrival: Battery Park or Liberty State Park.

For Battery Park, you can take the East Side Drive, also known as FDR Drive, heading south to Battery Park and State Street. Alternatively, you can take the West Side Highway/West Street/Route 9A heading south to reach Battery Park.

For those who prefer to arrive at Liberty State Park, take the New Jersey Turnpike to exit 14B and follow the signs directing you to the park.

Taking the Subway to the Statue of Liberty National Monument

Utilizing the subway is an excellent way to make use of public transportation while visiting the Statue of Liberty. To arrive near Battery Park, take the 4 or 5 train to Bowling Green, the R train to Whitehall Street, or the 1 train to South Ferry. To arrive at Liberty State Park, take the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail from Hoboken (PATH Train or NJ TRANSIT) or Exchange Place (PATH Train). From these parks, visitors can take the ferry to the monument.

Taking the Bus to the Statue of Liberty National Monument

No bus service will take you directly to this national monument. However, you can take the M5M15, or M20 bus to South Ferry, and then follow the signs to the ferry.

Getting Around the Statue of Liberty National Monument

Visitors must take a concessionaire boat that departs from Battery Park or Liberty State Park to visit Liberty Island. These boats offer a comfortable and enjoyable ride to the island, allowing visitors to take in the breathtaking views of the New York City skyline from the water. 

Upon arriving at the island, visitors can explore the iconic Statue of Liberty and its surroundings. However, the only mode of transportation within the park is on foot. Fortunately, the island is relatively small, and walking around the park is easy and enjoyable. 

What To See and Do at the Statue of Liberty National Monument

Many people believe that the only attraction at this park is the statue, but there are numerous other fascinating activities to discover. With guided tours and museums, the Statue of Liberty offers many things to explore and enjoy.

Ellis Island Museum of Immigration

Ellis Island Registry Room
Image Credit: Bernd Dittrich via Unsplash

The Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration is a historic site that tells the story of the American people. The museum is situated in the restored main building of the former immigration complex. It showcases the history of American immigration through photographs, heirlooms, and searchable historic records. The museum spans 3 floors, with incredible exhibits showcasing the immigrant experience at Ellis Island and in the U.S.

On the first floor, you’ll find the Baggage Room, the Journeys exhibits, a gift shop, an information desk, a theater, a bookstore, and a cafe. Moving to the second floor, you’ll come across the Registry Room, or Great Hall, where new arrivals were inspected. The area has been restored to its original state, and visitors can view photos in the gorgeous room.

The museum’s third floor is where you’ll find the dormitory rooms. These have been restored to their 1908 appearance and show the crowded conditions where new immigrants stayed upon their arrival in the U.S. This floor also has many exhibits, including the Ellis Island Chronicles, which feature the island’s history and have spectacular scaled models for viewing.

Outside the building, you’ll find the Wall of Honor, which features thousands of names of immigrants. Visiting this museum is a great way to learn about how America became the melting pot it is today and honor the immigrant process.

Guided Tours

Visitors to this national monument can join guided tours led by park rangers. These tours last 35 minutes and cover various aspects related to the Statue of Liberty.

During the tour, visitors can learn about the history of Liberty Island, the important figures who contributed to the statue’s construction, the symbolism behind the statue, and the 1980s Restoration Project. These tours are an excellent opportunity for anyone who wants to delve deeper into the fascinating history of one of America’s most iconic landmarks.

Self-Guided Audio Tours

If you plan to visit the Statue of Liberty and cannot participate in a ranger-led guided tour, the park also offers a self-guided audio tour. This audio tour is a great way to explore the grounds of Liberty Island and learn about the history and significance of the Statue of Liberty at your own pace.

The audio tour provides a detailed description of the different areas of the park, including the Statue of Liberty, the pedestal, and the museum. It is available in multiple languages, making it convenient for visitors from around the world.

Bottom Line:

With the self-guided audio tour, you can enjoy the beauty and history of the Statue of Liberty at your own pace and convenience.

The Statue of Liberty Museum

The Statue of Liberty Museum
Image Credit: The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation

The Statue of Liberty Museum showcases the remarkable story of how 2 nations overcame numerous challenges to create a symbol of freedom. This museum offers a captivating multimedia experience through its immersive theater, which lasts 10 minutes.

This experience tells the story of the Statue of Liberty and the values it represents. The story of the statue’s origins is highlighted, and a virtual fly-through inside the statue is presented to visitors. The museum also has an engagement gallery where visitors can learn more about the sculptor who designed the statue, an inspiration gallery for reflection, and a roof deck to enjoy the spectacular views of the statue and the New York Harbor.

Visitor Center

The visitor center is conveniently situated near the ferry dock on Liberty Island. This facility is staffed with friendly volunteers and experienced rangers who are always available to assist visitors with any questions regarding the national monument.

Whether you need directions, want to learn more about the site’s history, or simply need some tips on making the most of your visit, the staff at the visitor center are always ready to help.

Visit the Crown

When visiting the Statue of Liberty, one of the most popular activities is to visit the crown. From the crown, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the New York City skyline, the harbor, and the surrounding areas. It’s important to keep in mind that only a limited number of crown tickets are available each day. Since this is such a sought-after activity, reserving tickets to the crown before visiting is recommended.

Once you have your tickets, you must climb 162 stairs to get to the top of the statue. It’s important to note that no elevator service is available to the crown. This means that climbing to the top can be physically demanding, especially for those not used to climbing stairs. The climb is definitely worth it for the incredible views you’ll experience once you reach the top.

Visit the Pedestal

Visit the Pedestal
Image Credit: NPS

The pedestal is a remarkable structure you should explore during your visit to Liberty Island. It towers over the island at a height of 215 feet, equivalent to a 10-story building. To access the pedestal, you must go behind the Statue of Liberty, where you will find the entrance.

Once inside, you will be fascinated by the exhibits and artifacts that showcase the statue’s history. You will learn about the fascinating story of how the statue was built, its symbolism and significance, and the people involved in its creation. You will also see various objects related to the statue, such as the original torch and the tablet that bears the date of American independence.

One of the highlights of the pedestal is the observation deck, which offers breathtaking views of the New York Harbor. You can see the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the surrounding waters from here. It’s a perfect spot to take memorable photos and soak in the city’s beauty.

Bottom Line:

Overall, visiting the pedestal is a must-do activity during your trip to Liberty Island. It’s an experience that you will cherish for a long time.

What To See and Do Near the Statue of Liberty National Monument

You’ll find a range of state parks, national monuments, and historical sites nearby. It’s highly recommended that you take some time to explore these nearby attractions.

Federal Hall National Memorial

Located in Lower Manhattan, the Federal Hall National Memorial is a historic site that served as the U.S.’s first capitol building. It is just over half a mile from the iconic Statue of Liberty National Monument. A visit to both landmarks provides a unique opportunity to explore the rich history and culture of the U.S.

Liberty State Park

Located 0.2 miles from the iconic Statue of Liberty, Liberty State Park is a serene oasis offering breathtaking views of Lady Liberty. The park not only provides visitors with stunning panoramic views of the statue but also offers numerous opportunities to explore the area’s rich cultural and natural history. 

As you explore the park, you will encounter several memorials and statues commemorating significant events in American history. These include the Empty Sky Memorial, which honors the victims of the September 11th attacks, and the Liberation Monument, which celebrates the end of World War II.

Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or just looking for a peaceful place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, Liberty State Park is the perfect destination.

Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park

Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
Image Credit: NPS

Nestled in the heart of Paterson, New Jersey, lies the breathtaking Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. A mere 40-minute drive from the Statue of Liberty, this park is renowned for its towering waterfalls, with one in particular standing out as the second-largest waterfall in the nation located east of the mighty Mississippi River.

This magnificent waterfall’s sheer size and power are a sight to behold, and visitors can bask in the beauty of its cascading waters while enjoying the lush greenery of the park’s surroundings.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the beauty and wonder of the Garden State.

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site

The serene and historic Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site lies just 4 miles away from the iconic Statue of Liberty. This park, steeped in rich cultural history, is the childhood home of Theodore Roosevelt, the first U.S. president born in New York City.

With its stunning architecture and well-preserved artifacts, visiting this national treasure is an absolute must for history buffs and tourists alike.

Thomas Edison National Historical Park

Thomas Edison National Historical Park is a fascinating place for anyone interested in history, science, and innovation. The park is located in West Orange, New Jersey, less than 20 miles from the iconic Statue of Liberty in New York City.

Tourists can learn about Edison’s life and work through informative exhibits, guided tours, and interactive displays. They can see the tools and equipment that Edison used to create some of his most famous inventions, such as the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the electric light bulb.

In addition to the laboratory and home, the park also features a museum, a visitor center, and a gift shop. The museum showcases Edison’s most significant inventions, while the visitor center provides information about the park and its history.

Bottom Line:

Thomas Edison National Historical Park is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in science, history, and innovation.

Best Times To Visit the Statue of Liberty National Monument

Visiting the Statue of Liberty is always a fantastic experience. However, certain times are better than others, particularly if you have a particular experience in mind.

Best Time To Visit the Statue of Liberty National Monument To Avoid the Crowds

Exploring the monument without crowds is an excellent way to appreciate the beauty and wonder of the Statue of Liberty. Planning your trip from December to February is recommended to avoid the crowds during your visit. This is considered the low season when fewer tourists visit the monument.

Cheapest Time To Visit the Statue of Liberty National Monument

To visit the Statue of Liberty without spending too much money, it’s important to know that some times of the year are cheaper than others. While entrance to the park is always free, you can save hundreds of dollars on travel expenses by planning your trip for mid- to late September. During this time, flight and accommodation rates are typically at their lowest.

Annual Events in the Statue of Liberty National Monument

While no annual events occur on the island, visitors can still make the most of their visit by joining the daily ranger-led guided tours. These programs provide a unique opportunity to learn about the rich history of the island and New York Harbor and are a great way to explore the area in a safe and informative manner.

Statue of Liberty National Monument
Image Credit: Pierre Blaché via Unsplash

Where To Eat at the Statue of Liberty National Monument

While visiting this national monument, if hunger strikes, you won’t have to leave the park as there are 2 dining options with excellent quick bite options.

Crown Cafe

The Crown Cafe is situated on Liberty Island. This eatery has an espresso bar and provides a range of snacks such as fruit, chips, and ice cream. If you’re looking for a complete meal, you’re in luck. Several quick meal options are available at this cafe, including sandwiches and wraps, soups, salads, burgers, fries, and hot dogs.

Ellis Cafe

Ellis Cafe is located on Ellis Island and offers a range of snacks and cold beverages. The café also has an espresso bar serving various Starbucks coffee creations. Additionally, complete meals are available here, including paninis, wraps, and salads. 

Statue of Liberty National Monument Facts

1. A New National Monument

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, and designated as a national monument in 1924.

2. A Gift from France

The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France, commemorating the alliance between France and the U.S. during the American Revolution.

3. Dual Purpose

The statue served as a lighthouse from 1886 to 1906, but the light was not strong enough to guide ships after sunset, so it was eventually decommissioned.

4. What’s in a Name?

Liberty Enlightening the World is the official name of the statue. She is also known as Lady Liberty. 

5. Symbolism Abounds

The Statue of Liberty has several symbolic features. Her torch stands for liberty. The tablet she holds displays July 4, 1776, in Roman numerals, which is America’s Independence Day. Her crown features 7 spikes, representing the 7 continents and oceans and emphasizing her welcome, inclusiveness, and freedom message.

Final Thoughts

The Statue of Liberty National Monument is a renowned American icon that embodies the values of freedom, democracy, and opportunity. A visit here can be a transformative experience for those who wish to delve deeper into its rich history and cultural significance. Book your trip to this national monument today and uncover the fascinating story behind this American symbol.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to visit Statue of Liberty National Monument?

To enter the park, visitors must pay a ferry fee. Adult tickets cost $24.50, children ages 4 to 12 pay $12, and seniors 62+ are $18. Separate (but similar) fees apply to enter the pedestal and crown.

Is there security screen at Statue of Liberty National Monument?

Similar to airport security measures, the security screening is conducted before boarding the ferry.

Are there places to eat within the boundaries of Statue of Liberty National Monument?

Dining options are available on both Liberty Island and Ellis Island. These restaurants serve sandwiches, salads, snacks, and burgers.

How long does the ferry ride to Statue of Liberty National Monument take?

The ferry ride to the statue from Battery Park or Liberty State Park takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

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About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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