One of the world's most recognizable monuments, long seen as a symbol of American and global democracy, the Statue of Liberty National Monument is a historical and cultural icon. It comprises of Liberty Island and Ellis Island, most famous for the statue of Liberty, a gift from France to the United States in 1886 which has symbolized peace and democracy in the country for over a century.
Located in New York, The Statue of Liberty, formally known as 'Liberty Enlightening the World', standing at 305 feet, receives thousands of visitors from all over the world annually. An elevator within the statue carries visitors up to the observation deck, which can also be accessed by stairs, and another staircase leads up to an observation platform in the statue's crown.
The island can only be accessed by ferries from Liberty State Park in New Jersey and Battery Park in Lower Manhattan. The island was designed with distinct circulation patterns that highlight historically significant views. Another noticeable landscape feature is the expansive lawn in front of the Statue and the distinct grove of London planes dedicated in memory of the events of September 11th.
The statue was dedicated by President Grover Cleveland on October 28, 1886. There are numerous activities for visitors of the island of all ages. Kids can take part in the island's Junior Ranger Program. The Liberty Island Museum is also one of America's most famous museums and the historical and modern day significance of this monument makes it a must visit for your next trip to New York.
The Statue of Liberty is located in the Upper New York Bay. Access is easy and free, although visitors must pay for the compulsory ferry ride to the island. Remember that these are passenger ferries, and don't take vehicles. Tickets can be obtained through Statue Cruises, the official ferry service provider. Ferries take you to both Liberty Island and Ellis Island. One ticket provides access to both of these islands.
Visitors hoping to ride to the top of the statue must obtain a special ticket. Once you get to the island, movement is easy as the tour takes you around the monument with ease. Be aware that some areas of the monument, such as the crown, are not accessible for people with disabilities.
Calling RV camping in New York City hard to find would be a massive understatement. But bucolic Delaware Township, New Jersey, is home to a campground that is relatively close to the statue. The campground is very neat and serene, offering water and electricity hookups but no toilet. Campfires are allowed with water pumps, picnic tables, and WiFi also available at the ground.
A park directly behind this campground has basketball, tennis and volleyball courts as well as restroom facilities. Reservations for this ground can be made as far as 12 months out.
The statue's stone pedestal was designed by Richard Morris Hunt, an architect who aimed to complement the Statue of Liberty and add to its beauty. The structure was funded by the American people, and is about half the height of the entire monument, giving visitors scenic views of New York City, its harbor and surroundings. Tickets to the pedestal include access to the Liberty Island Museum. Access to the pedestal is limited, s you should book your tickets in advance.
The JRP is a family-friendly on-site program that gives kids aged 8-12 (adults can participate too) the opportunity to learn about Ellis Island and the nation's heritage by becoming a Junior Ranger! The activity book will guide you through the historic Ellis Island Immigration Station and the significance of the island - you can learn what it was like to be an immigrant, and why it's important to protect and preserve the National Park Program. The entire program lasts for about an hour.
The Torch Exhibit helps visitors learn about the history and significance of the famous torch held by Lady Liberty and why it was added to the statue. The exhibit features a collection of a few diagrams, animated depictions, renderings and photographs of the torch over the course of the monument's history. The exhibit is located on the second floor of the statue.
The Statue's crown offers impressive views of the staggering cityscape of New York. It also allows you to get a closer look at the internal structure of the Statue, designed by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel of the famed tower in Paris. Visiting the crown is a very popular activity with visitors, so you should book tickets well in advance.
Before visiting, you should also be aware that a narrow spiral staircase of over 150 steps must be climbed to reach the crown, so if you have mobility issues, a visit may not be possible.
Park officials provide several guided tours throughout the day. The tours usually start at the flagpole and last for about 35 minutes. Tours are free and provide a general history of the island and of the statue, including Liberty Island history, symbolism of the Statue of Liberty, why and how the Statue was made, the 1980s restoration project, and important figures in the statue's construction.
The opening of the Statue of Liberty museum took place on May 16th, 2019. The museum has three separate floors of exhibits documenting the experience of immigrants at Ellis Island, along with a broader history of immigration to the United States.
The first floor provides an overview of immigration to America from the first European settlers up until 1890. You'll also find the museum's cafe, gift shop, and bookstore on this level.
The second floor holds the Registry Room (Great Hall), and also tells a more detailed story of the country's peak immigration years from 1880 until 1924.
The third floor contains the Bob Hope Memorial Library and reveals more about the history of the Statue's restoration.