The Statue of Liberty

Attractions , Monuments and memorials Liberty Island
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The Statue of Liberty
Photograph: Jena Cumbo

Perhaps the most iconic and beloved symbols of the American dream, the Statue of Liberty has stood proud with her torch in New York’s Harbor since 1886. Given to the United States as a gift from France, the 305ft. tall Mother of Exiles welcomed over 10 million immigrants who sailed past Liberty Island for Ellis Island during the turn of the 20th century. Book a trip on the ferry ($18, senior $14, children 4-12, $9) for an upclose look at the construction of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s artistic achievement and to read the bronze plaque inscribed with Emma Lazarus’s famous poem “A New Colossus,” which includes the famous line “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breath free.” Reserve well in advance–three weeks or more–to see New York’s skyline from Lady Liberty’s perspective with access to the statue’s crown (an extra $3 each), and go earlier in the day if you want to also take the ferry to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. There you’ll walk through the storied halls where over 40% of all Americans can trace an ancestor’s entrance to this country. Visitors older than 13 years should sign-up for the historic site’s new Hard Hat Tour, where you’ll see the 750-bed hospital–the former largest public health facility in the USA–that contained infectious and contagious immigrants, and you’ll feel like you’re a part of the history.

Venue name: The Statue of Liberty
Contact:
Address: Liberty Island
New York
10004
Opening hours: Ferry runs daily 8:30am–4:15pm
Price: Ferry tickets $18, seniors $14, children 4-12 $9, children under 4 free. Purchase tickets by phone at 877-LADY-TIX or online at statuecruises.com. Crown access additional $3
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Adam V
tastemaker

Iconic of the nation's history, the statue of liberty represents a lot of things (good and bad) to the democratic process, and helps connect us to our place in time. A lot of what it represents to me is intertwined with Ellis Island and the immigrant story, as the first sight of liberty in a new world. While there are many other narratives as well, climbing the statue, meant a lot to me - though it's true that due to constant maintenance there are a lot of caveats as to where you can go, and what you can see (there are much better views elsewhere) - I found it integral to the NYC experience. As another sidebar, there is never a good time, it is always packed, and it is always packed with tourists. Be forewarned.

Stephen L

Liberty Enlightening the World (to give the monument it's full and proper name) is a must-see New York landmark that has been the symbol of America to the rest of world since 1886. The story behind the statue's conception, manufacture in Paris, delivery from France, and construction on the former Bedloe's Island is an amazing tale of Frederic Bartholdi's unshakeable vision and determination, assisted by the not-inconsiderable efforts of a couple of guys named Eiffel and Pulitzer. When I was a kid I climbed the spiral staircase up to the crown, still the only way to get to the top. Sailing out of New York Harbor on a cruise ship, I've witnessed a detectable list to starboard when we pass "Lady Liberty," as everyone on deck rushes to the rails to get a picture. Liberty Trivia: there's a miniature copy of the statue on a Paris bridge, and on top of the former Liberty Warehouse on W. 64, east of B'way.

GC
moderator

I came to visit the Statue of Liberty back in 2008 when visitors still weren’t allowed to go up to the top (because of 9/11). I was with my dad and brother, and we mostly visited because we felt like we should. Interestingly, the trip out to the statue and Ellis Island got my dad talking about his experience immigrating to the US which made me appreciate this attraction so much more. It’s not just a tourist trap, it’s a symbol that means a lot to people that restarted their lives in America.