Statue of Liberty

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No symbol is more emblematic of American freedom and possibility than the Statue of Liberty. Sitting in New York Harbor and welcoming the “huddled masses” for over a century, Lady Liberty draws annual crowd of visitors that numbers in the millions. No matter the season, tours of the Statue and Ellis Island are among the most popular destinations for visitors to the City. No New York vacation is really complete without it.

History

The Statue of Liberty or, in French, La Liberté éclairant le monde, is a neoclassical statue designed by Frenchman Frédéric Bartholdi. A gift from the people of France to the United States, the statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886 and has stood an impressive 151 feet tall in New York Harbor ever since. The Statue stands as an emblem of both freedom and friendship. Everyone from school children to wealthy donors to the province governments of France contributed to the funds which helped build the Statue. She is meant to depict the Roman goddess of freedom, Libertas and since her dedication the Statue of Liberty has come to stand as an emblem of this country and freedom for those around the world.

For anyone alive today, the image of the Statue of Liberty seems both synonymous with the United States and an obvious, beautiful representation of the principles of it as an immigrant nation. However, in the early years, the gift of the Statue was far more complicated that meets the eye. Though the people of France were responsible for its construction, the U.S. needed to find a spot to place it and fund the construction of its pedestal. The years following the American Civil War were hard financially on the still bleeding Republic, which led to a great deal of outcry against the “gift” that required so much work. A few prominent Americans, including future president Teddy Roosevelt, rallied around the Statue, however, and a spot in Upper New York Bay called Bedloe’s Island was chosen and renamed Liberty Island.

Today, the Statue of Liberty, along with Ellis Island, is designated a National Monument protected by the United States’ Park Services. Entrance to the Statue itself remains free of charge, however the ferries to the island do require a fee; private boats are not allowed to dock at Liberty Island.

Main Attraction

Going to visit the Statue requires a few important preplanning steps. Since Lady Liberty is one of the most sought-after destinations for New York tourists, prearranging ferry service at least two weeks in advance, especially in high-tourist season, is a must. There are ferries that leave from both New York’s Liberty State Park and Jersey City. These ferry trips usually include a stop at Ellis Island as well, which allows for an additional tourist opportunity, but also requires a longer period of time in order to see everything. Really, going to the Statue and Ellis Island is a full day event.

Once visitors arrive at Liberty Island, they will need to obtain a free ticket from their ferry in order to enter the statue’s base, where the museum is located, and pedestal. These tickets are limited to 3,000 per day, which means those on the earlier ferries have the best shot at getting in. Those interested in climbing the stairs to the top of the statue in order to visit the crown must preplan even more. Each day only 240 people are allowed access to the crown. They are sent up in groups of ten, three times per hour. The waiting list for visiting the crown has been known to be as long as one year.

In addition, since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, security at New York’s landmarks have been exponentially increased. This means that those boarding the ferry to the Statue and Ellis Island will be subject to security screenings equal to those required at airports. Furthermore, those climbing up to the Statue’s peak will only be allowed to carry along medications and cameras.

Why It’s a Must-See

Seeing the Statue of Liberty up close and personally is one of those moments in life that you will always remember. This Lady, which symbolizes so much about America and freedom, has an incredible power to awe and inspire.

Especially daring and well-prepared visitors should also really take the time and effort to ascend the steps to the lady’s crown. There, the views of New York Harbor and the surrounding areas will remind viewers of the utter beauty of this famous city and the stories of those friends near and far who helped to build it.

Where to Buy It

There are a number of ways you can enjoy admission to this attraction.

Save up to 20% online at Smart Destinations. If you add more than one attraction to the cart, you will get an automatic savings of up to 20%. It’s called Make Your Own Pass.

Pay Full Price and purchase a ticket from Statue of Liberty either online or in person.

Purchase a Tourist pass. Statue of Liberty is available on the The New York PassNew York City Explorer Pass and New York CityPass