Ah! The Liberty Island, probably one of those things (if not the only) that one must really do (no matter what it takes) when in New York. A visit to New York is not complete without seeing this iconic landmark. If you don’t have a photo with the lady Liberty up close and personal on your Facebook or Instagram then your visit to New York did not happen. You can stop pretending now.
We planned to visit the Liberty Island on our 2nd day in New York, I said “planned” because it didn’t push thru. I can’t believe that I, a grown woman and not to mention a travel agent, took the wrong ferry to go to the Liberty Island. Yep! You read it right, I took the wrong ferry. There’s no need to point fingers and laugh.
So anyway, by the time we arrived back in Manhattan it was already too late to take the ferry back to Liberty Island so we bought tickets for the next day. We bought our tickets at Castle Clinton National Monument at Battery Park, the same area where the Statue Cruises depart. You may also book your tickets in advance online. The price of the ticket is USD18 per person which includes a pedestal access and an audio guide in Liberty Island and an access as well to Ellis Island.
We arrived the next day in Battery Park just in time to catch the 12nn departure which we were booked in. The security procedure in the ferry terminal is like an airport process so you have to give yourself an ample time if you are to pick up your etickets from the Castle Clinton National Monument. It was a hot and humid day, we had to stand under the heat of the sun for quite some time while waiting for the ferry. I had an instant tan that day. 🙂 The ferry ride itself took about 15 minutes from Battery Park to Liberty Island, there was nothing special about the ride except for the Manhattan skyline view which we already saw the previous day when we took the wrong ferry. Lol.
Now I am not going to write about the history of the Liberty statue nor the island itself, that’s what their website is for. I will have to say though that when I saw the Liberty statue up close, it gave me goose bumps. The statue is the first thing the immigrants will see from their ships who are entering the US thru New York and I can’t help but imagine how it must have felt like for them. The statue itself became a symbol of hope, opportunity and a refuge for the poor and persecuted of Europe at the time and with that history and symbolism, this is truly one of the landmarks that you’ve got to see when in New York.
Since our tickets gave us access to the pedestal of the statue, we took the challenge of climbing its 215 steps. Being the very unfit people that we are (the husband and I), we were panting and catching our breathe as we reached the pedestal. The view from up there didn’t help as it took my (already gone) breathe away!
You also have to choice of going all the way to the crown of the Lady Liberty but for that to happen, you need to book your tickets months in advance. Not that I have any plans of doing so since the pedestal itself already triggered my slight fear of heights. So we just explored the Liberty grounds further and took many more pictures.
I would say give at least a half day for yourself to explore the island including the ferry transfers. It is worth it. 🙂