One of New York City’s top attractions and a world-famous monument to American ideals, the Statue of Liberty is on many travelers’ must-do lists. However, because of strict security and the large crowds of tourists eager to catch the boat out to Liberty Island in New York Harbor, getting to the statue requires some degree of planning and patience. The following are three tips for a fun and easy trip to visit Lady Liberty in her natural habitat.
Book in Advance
If you want to ascend to the crown of Lady Liberty at any time of year or go inside the monument located in the statue’s pedestal during busy months, you’ll need to book your admission tickets in advance. The best time to book is the same time you start searching for New York hotels, i.e. as soon as you know your dates of travel (click here for more to get you started).
There’s only one company authorized to ferry people to and from the Statue of Liberty: Statue Cruises. Though the island and the statue are maintained by the U.S. National Park Service, you can’t book your tickets through the service’s website. Instead, you should call Statue Cruises at 1-877-LADYTIX or use their online booking system. If you book early enough, you should be able to select either crown tickets, monument/pedestal tickets or regular tickets as well as choose the time you’d like to depart at.
Once you get to New York City, you’ll want to double-check the route from your hotel to the Statue of Liberty ferry departure points and make plans to arrive at the pier early. If you’ve chosen to have your tickets mailed to you or have prin-outs of electronic tickets, you can go directly to the line at the ferry departure point. If you need to visit the will-call booth, you’ll have to find the ticket office and line up to get your tickets. Should you take the that departs from Battery Park in Manhattan, you’ll go inside the round Fort Clinton building to get your tickets. From the New Jersey side, you’ll go to the booth at Liberty State Park.
Both the New Jersey and Manhattan jumping-off points to the island can be crowded, and if you aren’t familiar with New York’s public transit system, it may take you a while to get to the piers. Therefore, give yourself plenty of time so you don’t have to rush, only to stand right at the back of a long line of people.
Don’t Bring a Backpack
Like at most other important national monuments in the United States today, you’ll have to go through a security check to get on the ferry. This security check is similar to one at an airport, so prepare to put your coats and personal belongings through an X-ray machine. If you have tickets to go inside the statue, either up to the crown or downstairs at the monument and pedestal, you’ll go through another security check once on the island. The safety regulations for entering the statue are quite strict, and to get through security quickly, take note of the requirements before you leave your hotel that morning. That way, you know you won’t be carrying contraband. You will not be allowed to bring a backpack, messenger bag or other bulky item into the statue or monument. If you have a large camera, you’ll have to take it out of the bag and carry it only with a strap. There are a few lockers available in the gift shop at the statue’s base, but it may save you time to just leave large bags in your hotel room until after you’ve seen the statue.
Additionally, you may not bring liquids or food into the monument. For an updated list of what can and can’t be brought in, check the National Park Service’s security page.
About the Author: Louise Vinciguerra is a fantastic joke teller, has a million and one hobbies, and enjoys matching her fonts with her moods.