Statue of Liberty

Atop her pedestal, Lady Liberty gazes out towards the horizon, symbolizing hope, freedom, and a chance at a new beginning. In 1886, the Statue of Liberty opened on Liberty Island. The French gift known as Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was designed by Fredric Bartholdi. Take a trip by ferry to Liberty Island to see the amazing view of the area and to visit the interior of the pedestal. If you feel up to climbing nearly 22 floors, buy a ticket to travel up 162 steps on a spiral staircase to visit the crown atop Lady Liberty’s head.

In the late 1800s the people of France paid $250,000 to create the Statue of Liberty for the United States as a way to commemorate the alliance between both countries during the American Revolution. Thanks to newspaper tycoon Joseph Pulitzer, funds for the pedestal were raised by the American people. Upon seeing Pulitzer’s plea in the newspaper New York World, citizens sent in their donations, most of which were $1 or less.  Donors were thanked by having their names printed in New York World.  The statue has come to symbolize freedom and hope to immigrants, tourists, and the American people.

Catch a ferry from Battery Park in Manhattan. It will take you to Liberty Island where you can learn about the statue’s history in the pedestal’s museum collection which also includes artifacts from the indigenous people who knew the island long ago.  For $3 you can climb the 162 steps to the top of Liberty’s crown where you will get a magnificent view of Brooklyn.  The spiral staircase and crown observatory are confined quarters, but it allows you to see the framework inside the statue.  This internal support was designed by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel.  Ranger-guided tours and a historical exhibition provide a look at the Statue of Liberty over the ages.

Ferries are operated by Statue Cruises; no private vessels are allowed near Liberty Island. Tickets cost $18 for adults, $9 for children 4-12, and $14 for seniors.  These prices include access to the pedestal.  Before returning to Battery Park, ferries make a stop at Ellis Island, another attraction you must see!  Ferries usually pick up visitors headed to Liberty Island from 8:30 or 9:30 in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon.  At peak times, there can be a wait time of 90 minutes for a ferry.  If you plan to visit Ellis Island, board your ferry by 1:00 so you have enough time to see the attractions at both places.  People boarding a ferry at 3:30 will only be allowed to go to one of the islands.  The final pick-up time for Liberty Island is 5:00.  Check the website www.nps.gov/stl./ for more information about the ferry schedule, as weather can affect times.