On my trip to New York City last year, I took a day trip away from the bustling city to visit Liberty Island to see the iconic Statue of Liberty.
The day we visited Liberty Island was a bit of a struggle for me because my knee was really sore (it does this sometimes – usually at the times I really need it to function normally!) and I was hobbling slightly, but I definitely wasn’t missing out on seeing such an iconic monument.
We bought our tickets in advance to avoid queueing on the day – I really recommend you do the same if you’re planning a trip as it makes things so much easier. Still, you have to go through airport style security before getting on the boat and the queues can get quite long so make sure you leave plenty of time!
Make sure to get a seat on the right hand side of the boat (if you’re going from New York City) and have your camera ready – the boat takes you round the front of the island so you get a great view of Lady Liberty from the water.
Once you disembark you walk up towards the pedestal (what Lady Liberty stands on and the way to the stairs that go up to her crown). Here you show your ticket, stow any bags in lockers and make a start on the stairs to the top.
There are two gift shops and a museum on the island as well as a restaurant so if some of your party are headed up to the crown and you have some time to kill, these are great. This is what we ended up doing as my knee wouldn’t have got me up the 354 stairs to the crown. We had a wander around the exhibits and stared in awe at the amount of merchandise you can buy!
I found the museum really interesting, especially the exhibit of the original Borghum torch which is situated in the entrance, along with replicas of Liberty’s face and feet. Did you know she wears a size 879 shoe?!
Those in our party who climbed up to the top of the crown said it was a great experience so I do wish I’d been able to do it. They said it was really interesting seeing her face from the inside. Maybe I’ll make it to the top next time!
You can walk around the statue on top of the pedestal and on a clear day you get great views of New York City. We went on a rather grey day, but you could still see the skyline and bridge.
On the way back to the NYC port, we stopped off at Ellis Island where you can visit the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. This island was the gateway for over 12 million immigrants for over 60 years and the museum has been in operation since 1990. The museum itself is huge and houses several exhibits, including the immigration hall and original records logs.
Tips and tricks
- There are four different ticket types starting from $25.50 (about £18), all details are outlined here.
- Construction of a new museum on Liberty island started in 2016 and is due to open in 2019. It will be able to accommodate all of the island’s visitors and will house the original torch as well as exhibits on the statue’s construction, history and meaning.
- Want to know some cool facts about the Statue of Liberty? The Telegraph put together a great list of 50 fascinating things you (probably) didn’t know about her!
- The torch has been closed to the public since 1916, but you can see live views from the torch on EarthCam.