I’ve been to New York many times in the past 26 years and yet, until this past July I had never taken the time to visit the Statue of Liberty. I guess it was just something I always thought I’d do “next time”. Recently when thinking about places to take the boys within the United States Lady Liberty came to mind. She is after all one of America’s most well known symbols! Our trip to New York to celebrate my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary seemed like the perfect opportunity because as it turned out only one of us had ever been to Liberty Island before!
While I am glad to say I finally “saw” the Statue of Liberty, I think once was enough for this group. Neither of my boys loved the experience and Elliot gave it a 2 out of 10. There just wasn’t enough to hold his interest. My first impression upon seeing her up close was that she seemed smaller than I thought she would be. I guess all those movie shots of people seeing her from the deck of the boat as they sailed toward the American Dream made her seem larger to me. Not that she isn’t pretty darn large at 305 feet and 1 inch! Anyway…
Here’s the scoop on our visit!
Do keep in mind that Crown and Pedestal tickets sell out many months in advance, so go online and purchase them as soon as you decide you’re going. We purchased our tickets in early May for an early July visit and the Crown tickets were already sold out through the end of July. However, we were able to get Pedestal access which as it turned out was perfect for our group due to various ages and physical restrictions.
A few things to consider if you are able to get tickets to visit the Crown.
- The age and physical ability of the members in your group.
- Elevator service ends at the Pedestal and you’ll have to walk the rest of the way.
- It is 377 steps from the main lobby to the top of the Crown, or 22 flights of stairs.
- Anyone visiting the crown must be able to walk up at least 162 steps on a confined spiral staircase.
- The only restrooms are located in the main lobby!
Tickets include round a round trip ferry ride to Liberty Island and Ellis Island as well. You can catch the ferry from two places Battery Park, at the southernmost tip of Manhattan, and Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. Private vessels may not dock at either Ellis or Liberty Islands.
We caught the ferry at the Battery Park location. It’s an easy walk from the subway station. I was a little surprised at how much the ferry rocked back and forth and found that I was most comfortable on the top level with no roof overhead. It was in the direct sunlight, but I needed the open air and the plus side was of course the spectacular views!
Before getting on the boat you will pass through a number of security check points, almost like going through airport security. You’ll also do this before you enter the Pedestal. There are guided tours available but an audio tour is Included with your ticket. We’ve taken many audio tours and didn’t feel like this one was very user friendly.
I thought maybe we would visit the museum on our way back down, but by that time everyone was hungry so we decided to get lunch instead. We took a few more photos of Lady Liberty and then decided it was time to go as the line for the return ferry can be up to an hour long. Some of our group went on to visit Ellis Island and the Immigration Museum, but my boys were done so we skipped that.
A few days later we had an opportunity to see Lady Liberty again while out boating with some friends! I loved seeing her this way… in fact, it seemed much more impressive to me than the more formal route we took earlier in the week.