One of the last things we did in New York — and one of my favorites — was visit the Statue of Liberty. We saved this for the last day of our trip, and it was one of the things we both really wanted to do. It ended up being one of the highlights of the trip!
The night before, we got online and started looking for tickets, but everything said it was sold out. I had not even thought to reserve tickets ahead of time (I highly recommend you do so you can avoid this problem!). The Statue of Liberty is run by the National Park Service (NPS) and the only way to get on Liberty Island or Ellis Island is to buy a ticket from the NPS; no other boats are allowed to dock on either island.
We woke up the next morning and decided to head down to Battery Park (you can also enter from Liberty State Park in New Jersey), and we were planning to hop on the Staten Island Ferry instead. The Staten Island Ferry is free and drives right by Liberty Island so you can get a great view (and great pics) of Lady Liberty from the water. A lot of people do this instead of paying to dock and get out on the islands.
As luck would have it, we saw a line at the ticket booth and walked over, and it turned out that there were still tickets available (just not to go to the pedestal or the crown). We were both so excited because we didn’t think we were going to be able to get tickets, which added to the greatness of this day!
We docked at Liberty Island first, and walked around the island and took lots of pictures. You get great views of Manhattan from Liberty Island, in addition to great views of Lady Liberty. Next time I go, I am going to get crown tickets for sure. I think it would be so cool to see the view from the top!
We both felt that it was extremely important to get the ultimate tourist photo of us wearing foam Statue of Liberty crowns at the Statue of Liberty. We found crowns at the gift shop and wore them with pride for the rest of the day!
After grabbing some lunch, we hopped on the ferry and went to Ellis Island. I loved Ellis Island. The museum was super interesting, and it was really fun to learn about the immigration process. When you go up to the second floor, they have a collection of different artifacts from people who came through Ellis Island. There are displays of clothing from people all over the world, different kinds of money, etc. It was all super interesting.
After looking around the museum for a bit, we decided to catch a movie in one of the theatres. There are a few different films about the history of Ellis Island that you can view at the museum. Just as we had been seated, alarms started going off, telling everyone to evacuate the building. Apparently there was a report of suspicious behavior, so everyone was ushered outside. We never did find out exactly what happened — they let us back into the building about 10 minutes later — but it makes for a very exciting tale!
We spent a good majority of the day between the two islands, more time than I thought we would, and it was a very lovely last day in NYC! If you are debating whether or not you should make the trip out to Liberty and Ellis Islands, I highly recommend it!
Written by Kaycie Jordan.
*All photos in this blog article are taken by and property of Kaycie Jordan.