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The best Statue of Liberty tours

Sure, you can see Lady Liberty just fine from Manhattan, but you’ll get unparalleled access on Statue of Liberty tours

Annalise Mantz
Written by
Annalise Mantz
Camila Karalyte

Get up close and personal to Lady Liberty herself on one of these Statue of Liberty tours. Both an iconic New York attraction and one of the best views in NYC, going to the Statue of Liberty is a must for any first-time visitor. It's the epitome of New York. 

Whether you want to go all the way up to the crown or you’re fine to just admire the majestic statue from a boat tour in NYC (maybe you're afraid of heights?), you’ll certainly get that perfect photo opportunity for the 'gram. And since many of these tours also include access to Ellis Island, you can easily make a day of it. Here's our pick of the best Statue of Liberty tours. See you there. 

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Statue of Liberty tours

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ticket
Photograph: Oscity

1. Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ticket

Most sightseers will choose this combination tour of both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Line up at Battery Park to board one of the boats: They run from 9am to 3:30pm, but it’s best to opt for one of the earlier departures to avoid a line. Once you arrive at Lady Liberty, you’ll receive an audio headset that you can use as a self-guided tour. Then, climb back on the ferry to head to Ellis Island, where you can explore the Immigration Museum.

60-Minute Lady Liberty Boat Cruise
Photograph: Jena Cumbo

2. 60-Minute Lady Liberty Boat Cruise

If you only really care about capturing an Instagram-worthy photo of Lady Liberty, you might want to forget visiting Liberty Island altogether and instead book a boat cruise that takes you within 100 feet of the statue. You’ll also take in stunning views of Ellis Island, One World Trade Center and the Brooklyn Bridge during the hourlong ride.

Small-Group Early-Access Statue of Liberty Tour
Photograph: Courtesy Viator

3. Small-Group Early-Access Statue of Liberty Tour

If you’d like more in-depth information about the most famous woman in NYC, opt for a guided tour. This tour begins with a walk through Battery Park, where you'll visit the American Merchant Mariners' Memorial and the underrated Castle Clinton National Monument. Next, you’ll board the ferry to go visit Lady Liberty herself—you’ll even climb up to the pedestal. The day ends with a guided tour of Ellis Island, where your guide will provide insight into the immigration process that goes way beyond the museum exhibits.

Private Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour
Photograph: Shutterstock

4. Private Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour

Don’t want to share your guide with an entire tour group? Reserve a private tour to guarantee priority boarding on the ferry, hear interesting tidbits about Battery Park and both islands, visit the Statue of Liberty pedestal and check out the museum at Ellis Island.

Twisted Statue Tour: Under the Skirt of Lady Liberty
Photograph: Courtesy Viator

5. Twisted Statue Tour: Under the Skirt of Lady Liberty

Though the Statue of Liberty is almost universally heralded as a beacon of hope, she does have a dark side. This tongue-in-cheek tour explore the less auspicious parts of her history, from the accidental death of hundreds of birds to the huge tax burden of her construction. Needless to say, this isn’t the politically correct story you’ll find in history books.

Crown Reserve Ticket
Photograph: National Park Service

6. Crown Reserve Ticket

To see New York City through Lady Liberty’s eyes, you better reserve your Crown Reserve tickets early. And we mean early: These tickets sell out so quickly, you often have to book them three to four months in advance. It’s worth it for the opportunity to climb 377 steps up to the very top of the statue, though. After you snap the obligatory photos, make time to talk to one of the Statue of Liberty experts on hand—they know some incredible facts about her history and construction.

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