- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
See the Statue of Liberty
Experiencing a Piece of History
When Ellis Island was still functioning and many immigrants entered the country via long sea voyages from other continents, the Statue of Liberty was the first “sight” of America. At that time, the country was undergoing tremendous changes. In a now post-civil war America, the meaning of “freedom” was truly starting to take on new meaning and, for those entering the country looking to attain that freedom and new opportunities for themselves, Lady Liberty symbolized the possibilities of a new life. A guided or audio tour around Liberty Island gives insight into the period in history in which the statue was dedicated and became an iconic symbol to the “free world.”
Views of New Jersey & New York
Perhaps a little overlooked because the Statue literally towers over everything around it, there are actually quite some fantastic views to be had of NJ and NY from the Statue and Liberty Island. Of course, these views are much better when higher up within the base and statue itself, but just wandering around the island affords nice views of the city, bridges, and water.
The Ferry Ride
To get to the Statue, a ferry ride is first required. The ferry can be caught from Liberty Park on the New Jersey side, or from Battery Park on the New York side. Although it’s a rather quick ride, the ferry ride offers some great views (particularly of NYC!) and it’s always nice to feel the breeze off the water! (Bundle up in the winter, though!)
It is Simply Iconic
The fact that the Statue is so iconic truly speaks for itself as a worthwhile reason for visiting. There’s something fascinating about seeing Lady Liberty up close and in person (all those movies and pictures never do it justice!).
The People Watching
Even if you may not really be into visiting a giant hunk of copper in the form of a woman, you may at least enjoy the people watching. With visitors from all over the world, there are numerous languages to hear, awkward situations to watch unfold, and hilarious selfie stick photo sessions to admire. And yes, you will see at least ten different people trying to “hold” the statue in a picture.
Ellis Island is Next Door
This ties back in to number one a bit, but the fact that Ellis Island is right next door, accessible by the same ferry, and free to enter is a huge plus. There is a lot to explore on Ellis Island and lots to learn about the history of immigration not only to NYC, but throughout the United States from centuries ago to today.
It is Easy To Get To & Cheap
If you’ve ever been to New York City, you may have quickly realized that things aren’t entirely too cheap. Just a visit to the observation deck of the Empire State Building will set you back about $25. With that in mind, a trip to the Statue of Liberty is pretty inexpensive! It costs only $18 (at time of publication) to take the ferry and walk around the base of the Statue and also visit Ellis Island (it costs a little more to actually go into the statue, and going up into the crown requires a reservation sometimes months in advance). And since the ferries come from both NY and NJ, it’s easy to get to, as well. Definitely a worthwhile experience!