Lighthouse Board And War Department
When the torch was illuminated on the evening of the statue’s dedication, it produced only a faint gleam, barely visible from Manhattan. The World characterized it as “more like a glowworm than a beacon.” Bartholdi suggested gilding the statue to increase its ability to reflect light, but this proved too expensive. The United States Lighthouse Board took over the Statue of Liberty in 1887 and pledged to install equipment to enhance the torch’s effect in spite of its efforts, the statue remained virtually invisible at night. When Bartholdi returned to the United States in 1893, he made additional suggestions, all of which proved ineffective. He did successfully lobby for improved lighting within the statue, allowing visitors to better appreciate Eiffel’s design. In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt, once a member of the New York committee, ordered the statue’s transfer to the War Department, as it had proved useless as a lighthouse. A unit of the Army Signal Corps was stationed on Bedloe’s Island until 1923, after which military police remained there while the island was under military jurisdiction.
Oral histories of immigrants record their feelings of exhilaration on first viewing the Statue of Liberty. One immigrant who arrived from Greece recalled:
How To Get To Battery Park
In order to get to the Statue of Liberty viewpoint area, you first need to get to Battery Park itself. Battery Park, also known as just The Battery, is located all the way on the southern tip of Manhattan. The great thing about the Battery Park area is that nearly all subway lines stop in or near Battery Park.
Here are some of the closest subway station stops to Battery Park, but you can certainly find ones just a bit further way as well.
South Ferry Station: 1 Train
Bowling Green Station: 4 & 5 Train
Rector Street Station: N, R & W Train
Broad Street Station: J Train
Wall Street Station: 2 & 3 Train
Taking the subway is usually the quickest and cheapest option depending on where you are coming from. A single ride ticket costs $2.75. If you dont opt for the subway, your next best bets would be taxi, Uber, walk, or Citi Bike.
Free Or Not Seeing The Statue Of Liberty Is Truly Priceless
Theres clearly quite a few options for those of you wishing to see Lady Liberty and save some money on your next visit to the Big Apple. Now you can have some extra cash to spend on those Broadway tickets.
If you have extra time as well, check out these other free Statue of Liberty replicas!
How To Buy Tickets For Statue Of Liberty And Ellis Island Ferry
You have three options for buying ferry tickets to visit the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island National Immigration Museum:
- Buy tickets in person on the day inside Castle Clinton at a small ticket kiosk in the center of the old fort.
- Pre order tickets online on the official Statue Cruises website.
- Statue of Liberty ferry is included with NY CityPASS , which we highly recommend if you plan to visit many of New Yorks top attractions like this one.
- Read our in depth user guide to the New York CityPASS to see how much you can save on the best NYC attractions.
Once you have tickets or CityPASS in hand: Enter the canvas tents behind Castle Clinton where someone will scan your ticket to allow access to security checks.
Public Transit To Statue Of Liberty In Manhattan
Wondering how to get to Statue of Liberty in Manhattan, United States? Moovit helps you find the best way to get to Statue of Liberty with step-by-step directions from the nearest public transit station.
Moovit provides free maps and live directions to help you navigate through your city. View schedules, routes, timetables, and find out how long does it take to get to Statue of Liberty in real time.
Looking for the nearest stop or station to Statue of Liberty? Check out this list of stops closest to your destination: Liberty Island.
You can get to Statue of Liberty by Ferry, Subway or Bus. These are the lines and routes that have stops nearby -Ferry: STATUE CRUISES FERRY
Want to see if theres another route that gets you there at an earlier time? Moovit helps you find alternative routes or times. Get directions from and directions to Statue of Liberty easily from the Moovit App or Website.
We make riding to Statue of Liberty easy, which is why over 930 million users, including users in Manhattan, trust Moovit as the best app for public transit. You dont need to download an individual bus app or train app, Moovit is your all-in-one transit app that helps you find the best bus time or train time available.
For information on prices of Ferry, Subway and Bus, costs and ride fares to Statue of Liberty, please check the Moovit app.
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Valentino Jr Park Red Hook Brooklyn
Grab a picnic basket, the kids and head to Valentino Jr Park right at the South Western tip of Brooklyn.
How to get there: Take the subway to the 4AV stop on the F or G train and transfer to the B61 bus. Its then just a short 5 minute walk through this industrial area to this vary quaint park. There are plenty of trees for shade and lots of lush green grass. Though there isnt a playground, there is lots of space to run and a pier that Mr 4.5 enjoyed walking up and down. At the end of this pier is where youll get your best vantage point for the Statue. That is where I took this picture of me holding the Statue of Liberty in my hand. Neighborhood kids throw off their clothes and go for a swim, not really my cup of tea so close to the city, but if your keen the option is there. My little guy went wading in by the rocks to cool off. You also get a nice view of the One World Trade Center.
Take A Sightseeing Cruise
There are numerous sightseeing cruises you can take in NYC, including those that offer very good, if not excellent, views of the Statue of Liberty.
For example, Circle Lines Liberty Cruise takes you past the Statue of Liberty, as well as Ellis Island, and the World Trade Center.
In addition to the up-close views, the cruise features entertaining commentary about these sights.
Learn about other cruises that feature the Statue of Liberty on their route by reading our post on NYC boat tours.
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The Brooklyn Bridge And The High Line
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is a must do when you visit the city. This architectural landmark is the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon. No matter which side you walk from, youll be able to see the Statue of Liberty out in New York harbor for about 70% of the walk.
The High Line is one of the citys newer attractions, but certainly one of the most popular. It stretches three miles from 34th Street Hudson Yards, all the way down to Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District. If you go on at the 14th street entrance, youll find a lovely corner with shady trees and benches. Looking south from that corner you can see the statue very faintly out in the distance.
- Both the Brooklyn Bridge and the High Line are fun places to explore on their own.
- The view from both is extremely faint as youre looking out at the statue from quite a distance.
Walking The Brooklyn Bridge
I did this walk from the Brooklyn side, but you can just as easily do it from the Manhattan side. You get a good look at DUMBO, the Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Manhattan Bridge, the Chrysler Building and of course the Statue of Liberty and so much more. Their are some areas of congestion where the great photo ops are and a bit of hustling and bustling as the pedestrian walkway is fairly narrow considering it is divided up in 2 one side for walkers, the other side for cyclists Its great to be so high atop the city and it is nice and cool up there. My 4 year old did the walk effortlessly, just take your time and enjoy the views, so anyone can do it. There are plenty of parks on both sides and much more choice of vendor food on the Manhattan side once you get off.
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Statue Of Liberty Ferry Tickets
While this guide will dive a bit more into the Statue of Liberty viewpoint from Battery Park, I did just want to touch on the aspect of actually visiting the Statue of Liberty by ferry.
You may see various websites, third party sellers, and street vendors trying to sell you tickets to visit the Statue of Liberty.
It is important to note that there is only one official ferry operator that goes to the Statue of Liberty called Statue City Cruises. All other sellers of tickets essentially just buy these tickets and put a mark up on them.
So, to avoid any confusion or higher costs, simply head to the Statue City Cruises website, where you can purchase your tickets for the ferry ride and visit to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island. If you do not reserve ahead of time, there is also the official Statue City Cruises ticket booth located directly next to the ferry terminal in Battery Park.
A ticket includes 1) Round Trip Ferry Service, 2) Ellis Island Immigration Museum 3) Statue of Liberty Museum & Grounds 4) Audio Tour.
For an additional cost you can also purchase a ticket that goes up to the Statue of Liberty pedestal or to the pedestal & crown.
Look For It On The Skyline From The Hills At Governor’s Island
In the past, you could only enjoy views of the Statue of Liberty from the overlooks of Governor’s Island between the months of May and October, but as of 2021, this island located in New York Bay is open year-round.
Now any time of the year is a good time to board one of the ferries that depart from Manhattan or Brooklyn to Governor’s Island and enjoy the scenery that surrounds it.
It is a fantastic place to see “Lady Liberty” up close and the Manhattan skyline but also to disconnect a little from the hustle and bustle of travel and outdoor activities such as walking, biking, lying in the sun in the hammocks of Hammocks Grove or kayaking for free at Pier 101 with The Downtown Boathouse.
- Address: New York Harbor
- Directions: The ferry departs daily from the Battery Maritime Building, located at 10 South Street in Lower Manhattan.
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The First Time I Visited New York City Back In 2011 I Saw The Statue Of Liberty From The Staten Island Ferry
Even though I didnt get up close to Lady Liberty, it was great to sail past this NYC icon and snap a few photos along the way.
I didnt consider actually visiting Liberty Island until many years later. After living in NYC for over a year, my parents came to visit and they asked if Id be interested in joining them on a trip out to the statue.
To be honest, I was a little skeptical about how good the experience would be as I generally try to avoid large crowds of tourists. Still, we lined up one morning to collect our tickets, go through the security check, and board the boat.
It took seemingly forever to get through the boarding process, but as we departed Manhattan and approached Liberty Island, we were treated to some awesome views of the statue.
We disembarked and spent the next 1-2 hours exploring the island, including walking up the pedestal and climbing all the way up to the crown. I was pleasantly surprised that it didnt feel crowded there at all. Our time on the island was lovely and it made up for the unpleasant experience of getting there.
There are a handful of options for seeing the Statue of Liberty while youre in New York City. If youre wondering how you should go about visiting this iconic attraction, heres how to see the Statue of Liberty from Manhattan!
Security At The Statue Of Liberty Ferry
Going through security to board the ferry is similar to going on a plane. Open bottles of water are not allowed. We had to drink our water before going through security. Either, keep your bottle sealed until after you go through security or bring a reusable bottle that has no liquid in it and fill it up afterward. If you are unsure about what to bring leave it in the hotel room. If it is confiscated at security, you will not get it back!
- No large bags are allowed on the ferry.
- No sharp objects are allowed through security.
- No drones are allowed on the ferry.
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Splash Out On A Helicopter Tour
I havent tried this option, but Ive seen some photos on Instagram of people who have done it, and it looks totally amazing! A helicopter tour includes a flyover of the Statue of Liberty, so if you have the moolah to splash out on this experience, its probably worth the cost. Check out this guide by New York Weekend Breaks for more New York City helicopter tours.
Tips For Visiting The Statue Of Liberty And Ellis Island
A person cannot go to New York without seeing the Statue of Liberty. But with limited time, how do you decide when to go, how much to see and what options are available? We have visited Lady Liberty three times on our visits to New York. These tips for visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are our first-hand accounts of what to expect.
Let our experiences be your guide andhelp you plan your New York City Vacation.
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Announcement And Early Work
By 1875, France was enjoying improved political stability and a recovering postwar economy. Growing interest in the upcoming Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia led Laboulaye to decide it was time to seek public support. In September 1875, he announced the project and the formation of the Franco-American Union as its fundraising arm. With the announcement, the statue was given a name, Liberty Enlightening the World. The French would finance the statue Americans would be expected to pay for the pedestal. The announcement provoked a generally favorable reaction in France, though many Frenchmen resented the United States for not coming to their aid during the war with Prussia.French monarchists opposed the statue, if for no other reason than it was proposed by the liberal Laboulaye, who had recently been elected a senator for life. Laboulaye arranged events designed to appeal to the rich and powerful, including a special performance at the Paris Opera on April 25, 1876, that featured a new cantata by composer Charles Gounod. The piece was titled La Liberté éclairant le monde, the French version of the statue’s announced name.
Arrive Early To Buy Or Pick Up Your Tickets Or Check In With Your Tour Company
Always, always, always budget ample time to travel in NYC, wherever and whenever youre leaving. Manhattan traffic is notoriously unpredictable, especially around bridges and tunnels if youre staying outside the island. Subway service can also be inconsistent on weekends and during rush hour.
Additionally, there are typically long lines to board the ferry at Castle Clinton that sometimes wrap around Battery Park as early as 7:45 a.m. So to reduce stress and skip the hassle, plan some extra time for your travel. Trust me on this one.
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Take A Cruise To See The Statue Of Liberty
If you want to take a simple and easy way to access the Statue of Liberty, the best way to do so is via Statue Cruises.
You can book tickets easily online using their website.
There are two choices to depart for the ferry: Liberty State Park in New Jersey and from Battery Park in New York.
If you wish to depart from Liberty State Park in New Jersey, there is lots of parking. You can access the Liberty State Park from the New Jersey Turnpike and Interstate 78.
This is the best option if you are traveling by car. We did a fabulous road trip from New York if you are traveling by car you might like to check it out.
If you wish to depart from Battery Park in New York, you will need to access Battery Park by public transportation. Subway is the easiest way to travel around New York.
It costs $18.50 per adult to get the Statue Cruise to the Statue of Liberty.
Seeing the Statue of Liberty by boat is always a good idea
Is the Liberty Island Ferry Worth it?
When you can can get great views of the SoL on the Staton Island ferry for free , is it worth paying $18.50 for the ferry to Liberty Island?
In addition to getting an up-close-and-personal view, theres a few other reasons to pay up for the cruise:-
If you can fit the ferry into your itinerary, it is a lovely way to spend an afternoon in NYC.