Sunday, July 1, 2012

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island


View Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island - July 2012 in a larger map


What
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Liberty Island, formally called Bedloe's Island
  • Ellis Island (Immigration Center that was active from 1892 to 1954)
  • View of Governor’s Island
  • View of New York and New Jersey downtown from the Liberty and Ellis islands
  • View of Liberty State Park
  • Battery Park

More Info
  • Ticket price is $17/adult
  • No food and water allowed
  • There is security scan before boarding the boat
  • 10 min boat ride to Liberty Island
  • Cafe, Gift shop, Water fountains and Restrooms in Liberty and Ellis Islands

I am so glad we made advance online reservations to the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Ferry because we saw long lines at the ticket counter and we could have easily wasted away an hour in the 95 F weather (no fun!).

There are two lines, one for people who get the tickets at the Battery Park and other for people who have already made reservations online, the line for the latter is usually short. Before boarding, one needs to go through an airport like security check but much quicker. We then hopped on to the Ferry and went to the top most deck. It usually gets crowded around with people taking pictures of themselves against the Manhattan downtown or State of Liberty backdrop. Do not feel shy to ask someone to take a picture of you, people are usually friendly and do return the favor if need be.

Statue of Liberty

After we reached the Liberty Island, we picked up our audio tour headsets and explored the island. The history of the Liberty statue was interesting; France presented the statue to the US to commemorate their long alliance. During late 1800s and early 1900s, when millions of Europeans migrated to the US, the majestic statue emanating from a distance was the sign that they were nearing the land of freedom. The statue actually faces France and not New York.
Statue of Gustave Eiffel

The Liberty Island also offers amazing views of the New York harbor and hosts statues of the brains behind this glorious statue.

There is only one café (Crown Café) in the island and one has to survive the insanely long lines to buy the food. As anticipated, the food was pricey, options are limited and the taste was horrendous. 

Ellis Island

We spent over 3 hours in the island and took the next ferry to Ellis Island. During peak hours, almost all the ferries return to New York via Ellis Island. There are ferries that go to New Jersey as well. We hopped off on the Ellis Island, popularly known as the Island of Tears or Island of Hope by the immigrants who landed in the US back then. The audio tour took us past into the past and helped us understand everything that the 12 million immigrants went through before they stepped in the US soil; everything from the stringent immigration processes, creepy examination rooms to the treatment that the “third-class” passengers underwent.

A huge hall inside Ellis Island where all the immigrants waited until their names were called

After spending over 3 hours in the Ellis Island, we hopped on the Ferry back to the New York City after a long and exhausting day.

Tips
  • Make advance online reservations at http://www.statueoflibertytickets.com/tickets/ and bring your print outs
  • Definitely take the audio tour that is included along with the regular ticket price; it is highly informative
  • Take the ferry first to the Liberty Island and then to the Ellis Island
  • Similar souvenirs are available for a much cheaper price elsewhere; you do not necessarily have to buy them at the gift shop.

More Pictures

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Useful Resources

Nearby Locations

4 comments:

  1. good job documenting! I liked the "don't be shy.." tip. BTW, I'm around NY the last couple weeks. Are you still here?

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  2. Ha ha haaa, thanks! Hey, I was actually in NYC during the July 4th weekend, now back to CA.

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  3. oh, missed you! I'll use your write up to plan my Stat of Lib trip.
    Not sure if I shared my blog with you, here you go - fotocentric.wordpress.com

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  4. Hey, that's awesome. I remember that last year we were talking about starting our own blogs! I'll add your blog to my list of blogrolls.

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