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Welcoming millions of visitors each year, the Statue of Liberty National Monument is comprised of both Liberty Island and Ellis Island. The monument most notably features the iconic copper sculpture, the Statue of Liberty.
Both Ellis Island and Liberty Island are found in the Upper New York Bay, near the mouth of the Hudson River.
The park is easily accessible via third party ferry service Statue Cruises, departing from both Battery Park in Manhattan and Liberty State Park in Jersey City.
Generally, the first ferry departs at 8:30 a.m. and the final ferry departs from Liberty Island at 6:45 p.m. Each ferry ticket provides access to both islands. Access to different sections of the park requires additional fees separate from the initial ferry fee.
The islands are open for visitation every day of the year except Christmas Day. Many of the park’s top attractions are found on Liberty Island, including the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Island Museum, and the Information Center.
Dedicated and gifted to the U.S. in 1886, the Statue of Liberty has since become one of the most iconic landmarks worldwide. As such, the Statue of Liberty National Monument sees millions of visitors each year, traveling from far and wide for an up-close glimpse of the towering sculpture.
There is much more to discover at the monument, though. You’ll want to begin your visit to the monument by first stopping at the Visitor Center on Liberty Island. Here, knowledgeable park rangers provide further backstory on how this dazzling monument came to be, its many renovations, and its significance to the millions of immigrants who’ve passed by over the years.
After you’ve become familiarized with the monument, make your way to the Pedestal. Built to complement the statue, the Pedestal is nearly half the height of the actual statue, offering unbeatable views of the surrounding scenery – including New York Harbor, the towering skyscrapers of Manhattan and Jersey City, and Ellis Island.
Continue your monumental ascension to the Statue of Liberty’s Crown. Approximately 22 stories off the ground, the Crown features 24 windows, looking out onto New York Harbor and beyond.
After you’ve explored the pedestal and seen the statue’s intriguing innards, be sure and visit the Liberty Island Museum. The museum offers insight into the life of Edouard de Labouaye, creator of the colossal sculpture, documenting the trials and tribulations of his iconic masterpiece.
Too, the surrounding Liberty Island grounds are a must-see exhibit themselves. The well-maintained grounds are home to the Liberty Island Sculpture Garden, the Flagpole Plaza, and the Statue of Liberty Museum Store. Take a ranger guided or audio tour of the grounds so you don’t miss a thing.
Hop back on the Statue Cruises ferry – next stop, Ellis Island. From 1892 to 1954, over 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island before reaching American shorelines. Discover their stories by visiting the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and Ellis Island Hospital Morgue.
Be sure and view the free orientation film, Island of Hope, Island of Tears, take a ranger-guided our, and search the American Family Immigration History Center to see if any of your family members passed through the island’s halls.