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Aim, Focus, Shoot - The HyPyC blog
Visiting the Statue of Liberty

Tour of Liberty Island, the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

During my 5 day stop in New York I took a tour of Liberty & Ellis Islands to see the iconic Statue of Liberty - I'm not sure how anyone feels about Lady Liberty but I love her and seeing this statue (that I have seen countless times in films) in person was amazing! We booked the tickets through Statue cruises and opted for the combo of both Liberty Island and Staten Island. If your not a fan of monuments then I wouldn't bother visiting Liberty Island, however if like me you love iconic buildings then seeing this American treasure up close is a must.

Approaching Liberty Island, we can see the torch clearly Close-up of the face of the Statue of Liberty Just look how happy I am!!!

Getting there

The ticket stands and entrance to the Ferry station are both in Battery Park which is right on the southern tip of Manhattan island. The closest subway stations are South Ferry and Whitehall Terminal - both are close to each other and 5-10 minutes walk to Battery Park. Battery Park is lovely to walk through with plenty of trees, some fountains and also a war monument. The actual ticket stands are inside Castle Clinton which is the old circular battery that originates from the 1800's and was once the first immigration station in America.

Towering skyscrapers dominate the skyline next to Battery Park Close-up of the book Lady Liberty is holding

Once you have bought a ticket from the stands there will undoubtedly be a queue - This is such a popular tourist attraction there really isn't a good time to go so just grin and bear it! I remember the queue quite vividly as there was a homeless man playing the American national anthem on a flute - I hate seeing homeless people, no one in the world should live like that, and this guy played the flute beautifully - the world can be a shit place at times. Finally you will get on the boat and enjoy a beautiful ride to Liberty Island - It was great seeing the Iconic skyline fade away and the Statue of Liberty loom ever nearer.

Map showing the location of Battery Park

Liberty Island

To be frank, there isn't a great deal to do at Liberty Island except admire the statue – Luckily for me this was all I wanted to do anyway so I loved it! There is a restaurant, gift shop and information centre which are fairly standard and you can also go inside the statue and up to the head – Unfortunately for me the Statue interior was under repairs so the inside was closed and I can't comment on what it was like.

Waiting to board the Liberty Island Ferry

The statue is fabulous and looks simply beautiful up close, the detail of the face, torch, book and clothing are all spectacular for such a large monument; while the turquoise hue makes it stand out against the New York sky. I love the history behind the statue, the iconography that the various pieces of the statue represent, and imagining the joy and jubilation immigrants must have felt when seeing this marvel for the first time. Liberty Island also offers great views of Manhattan Island and I got some great photos of the iconic skyline and also Ellis island.

The Manhattan Skyline with the stars and stripes blowing in the gentle wind Lady Liberty Taking in the Manhattan skyline Liberty Island as seen from Ellis Island

I can appreciate that the Statue of Liberty may not be everyone's cup of tea, but for me it was a must see sight in New York and I am so glad that I did - To me the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge are what I picture when thinking of New York, so to see all three was a dream come true.

Ellis Island

After I had had my fill of Liberty Island (And a tasty hot-dog from one of the stalls), I got on the ship that takes people from Liberty Island to Ellis Island (there is a separate queue for this, or you can go straight back to Battery Park). Ellis Island was the gateway for immigrants wanting passage to the United States - People came in by the boat load and had to undergo a variety of tests to asses their physical and mental condition before being allowed entry to the states.

What used to be the Immigration station is now the Ellis Island Museum - the building itself in an impressive structure, built in a Beaux Art style. The museum has a wide range of exhibits about such subjects as immigration, Ellis Island and the American people (One thing I did find was that it glossed over certain aspects of American history such as their dealings with the native Indians); I enjoyed it and found the museum to be a worthwhile visit. When we had taken in enough info, we caught the ferry back to Battery Park. All in all a brilliant experience and a definite must for anyone visiting New York!

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