The Statue of Liberty is one of New York City’s most cherished treasures and one of its biggest attractions. It was designed by French artist Frederic Bartholdi and was dedicated on October 28, 1886, as a gift from the people of France to the United States. It was declared a National Monument in 1924.
The Statue of Liberty is located on Liberty Island in the Upper New York Bay not far from Ellis Island which welcomed countless immigrants to the United States. The statue itself is of a female in a robe holding a torch and a tablet with the Declaration of Independence written on it. The Statue of Liberty is seen as a symbol of freedom and liberty in the United States and incarnates Liberta, the goddess of freedom from Ancient Rome.
The Statue of Liberty is one of the most visited attractions in New York City and a must-see once in a lifetime. Visitors can access Liberty Island through a ferry service. You will need to get tickets for the ferry ride using Statue Cruises either online or from the ticket office. Departures are from Battery Park in New York City and Liberty State Park in New Jersey daily from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, and return trips go until 6:05 pm daily. Note that there are long lines to board the ferry because of rigorous security checks, and the only way to get priority access and hasten boarding time is to purchase online tickets.
Access to Liberty Island is free but visitors will have to pay for the ferry ride. Ticket prices are $13 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, and $5 for children 4 to 12 years of age. Children under 4 do not need a ticket. You can also pay $7 more if you want to get the audio tour as well, which is very informative and provides a lot of information on the history of the statue and Liberty Island. There are also special audio tours available for children ages 6 to 10. While on the ferry ride to Liberty Island, be sure to enjoy the breathtaking view and snap a lot of pictures.
Visitors may also want to go up to the Statue of Liberty’s crown. Since September 11, only a limited number of visitors are allowed to go up because of safety and emergency evacuation concerns, but this is due to change when another stairwell is finished construction. Currently, only groups of ten can go up at a time, and only three groups an hour. Tickets to the crown can only be purchased online and need to be reserved a few months, and up to a year in advance.
While on Liberty Island, you can go to the museum which holds many interesting items, including Lady Liberty’s original torch. If you get hungry on your ferry trip or Liberty Island, there are many concession stands, but they tend to be expensive. You can pack your snacks just don’t take a cooler with you since it probably won’t make it past security checkpoints. You can also get some great Statue of Liberty souvenirs from the gift shops inside the ferry and on the grounds of Liberty Island.