Statue of Liberty National Monument
New York's most recognizable landmark was sculpted by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi for the French government, which presented it to the United States on July 4, 1886, to commemorate the French/American alliance during the Revolutionary War. Since then, the 152-foot-tall copper statue on Liberty Island has served as America's welcome to, in Emma Lazarus's words, the "huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Most people visit in conjunction with a trip to Ellis Island, the major immigration processing station between 1892 and 1954. Indeed, Statue Cruises ferries stop at both national monuments, allowing you to hop off and back on before returning to the starting dock. Although cruises depart from Liberty State Park in New Jersey, most folks board at Castle Clinton National Monument, itself worthy of exploration, in Manhattan’s Battery Park.
The 45-minute ranger-led talks/tours, included in the cost of a basic ferry ticket, cover the statue’s construction, symbolism, and restoration, as well as the history of Liberty Island. Free, self-guided audio tours are also available. Exhibits at the museum inside the pedestal, which also has an elevator up to an observation deck, lend still more insight. To access the museum, you must purchase (best to do so in advance) either a Pedestal or Crown ferry ticket. The latter allows access to the very top of the statue---via a spiral staircase with 154 steps---and some fantastic harbor views.
- New York, New York 10004
- 40.70267100, -74.01427800
- Daily 8:30 or 9--4:30 or 6:15, depending on season; last ferry departs mainland at 3:30 or 5 and Liberty Island at 5 or 6:45.
- Visit Website
- (212) 363-3200