Last semester I was allotted a dorm room on the tenth floor. What was so amazing about this room? Well I and my roomie were the lucky ones to get the room with the ultimate view, the ultimate view of the Statue of Liberty!! If you are wondering then yes I was lucky enough to visit the beautiful and one of the major tourist destinations in US. Well staying in New York and not visiting the Statue of liberty is surely a crime! So when I was finally settled with my semester and had everything in control (by that I mean the dorm, fees, books, classes, schedule) I finally made plans with my roomie to go visit the Liberty Lady.
Location: The Statue of Liberty stands tall on Liberty Island within the State of New York.
Best time to visit: Any pleasant day as long as it’s not raining or snowing. Spring, summer and autumn are my order of preference.
Getting there: If you are planning to visit from New York then you will have to go Battery Park in lower Manhattan and if you are planning to visit from New Jersey then you will have to go to Liberty State Park. Once you reach the park ferries take you to the destination since it is the only way to get there. The Statue is not accessible by road. Ofcourse it is not! It’s an island…What was I thinking???!!
Since me and my roomie went from New York we went to Battery Park first. Once in the park, you need to go to the Castle Clinton National Monument from where you get to buy your ferry tickets.
Battery Park in itself is a pretty huge park and very beautiful. It is where the ferries come and carry the tourists to the Liberty Island. Our tickets were for 12:30pm and we arrived at 11:00am (we are overly punctual. wink.). I suggest you reach an hour or two before your ticket timing to board the ferry. Once you are there you can always kill time by checking out the stalls. Shop, eat and if possible get pictures clicked with the impersonator. There is a small shop inside the ferry too but it’s better to eat a bit before you travel.
Once it is your time to board the ferry you are made to stand in a queue. Now here is where it can take sometime since everyone has to go through a screening process and that is why getting tickets online is a better idea since reserved queues are smaller and the screening process is a bit quick. The screening process is similar like the one we have in the airport so be ready to take out off your jackets, belts or any metal belongings.
On the ferry: Once you board the ferry the best place to go get seated is on the top. It’s however first cum first serve but still you never know you might get lucky. Most people prefer standing. The duration to reach the Liberty Island is around 15-20mins. So that’s the time when you can get a whole lot of pictures. Of the bridge, the New York Skyline and the Statue of course!
Tip: Keep your camera handy so that you can take pictures of the Statue as this is the only time when the ferry takes a total 360 turn around the Statue and you can capture as many snapshots as you want from any angle.
On the Island: Ferries run every 30mins hence set your watch accordingly so that you roam around the Island and return to the place where ferry dropped you. Now here is the tricky part. Apparently the tickets have been divided into four types and depending on which ticket you carry you are allowed to walk on the island. There maybe areas where your entry might be restricted if not mentioned on your tickets.
Gift Shop: Quite strange I had thought they’d be many shops but to my surprise I only saw one gift shop, big but one. Here you can buy your Statue of Liberty souvenirs for your family, friends or just yourself.
Museum: If you happen to have the Reserve with Crown Ticket(the highest priced ticket)you have an access to the museum.
Getting back: Once the ferry picks you up from the place where it dropped you it will first take you to the Ellis Island where you can visit the Immigration Museum. If you are interested in anything related to historical immigration to America, then this is the place for you. You may or may not choose to de -board the ferry at Ellis Island and continue back to Battery Park in New York.
A few pointers you may want to know:
- If you are coming from New York it’s best to take the subway since it’s economical and fast.
- It is always better to book your tickets online at http://www.statuecruises.com as you end waiting in the line otherwise.
- It is always better to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. The island area can be a tad bit windy so you might want to dress accordingly.
- Battery Park in itself has a lot to offer, like the memorials. Some include the New York Korean War Veterans Memorial, East Coast Memorial and Coast Guard Memorial. So stick around for a while and explore.
- Take it from me the impersonator wouldn’t tell you this before posing with you for photos but it costs $5 so don’t think it’s free.
- The stalls at the Battery Park entry are the best place to buy I ♥ NY t-shirts and hoodies available in many different sizes and colors. So make sure you grab one of those.
- Charge your camera battery in advance so that you can click as many pictures as you want.
- Last but not the least…enjoy enjoy and enjoy!
That was my experience with Lady with the Torch. Have you been to any such monument or maybe any wonder of the world?? Let me know if you’ve had any such experience would love to hear something.