Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
While planning a family weekend in New York City this summer I realized we’ve never been to one of its top tourist destinations — Statue of Liberty. In my opinion, it’s the kind of place you won’t visit twice, so it was worth doing it right. Tickets to the statue with access to the crown are usually booked well in advance, so the earliest date I could snatch was in November. We were a little worried about the weather so late in the year, but got lucky and enjoyed a beautiful day.
As I got to know only later kids learn about Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in 3rd grade, so the timing was good — my daughter read books about them during summer and was really excited to visit before they got to them in school.
We woke up at 6am on Sunday and drove to Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ. Ferries also depart from The Battery Park in Manhattan, but this location was much closer and easier to drive to. New York looks really nice from there:
First we took a ferry to the Liberty Island:
After going through security we got inside the statue and went to the museum to learn about the history and construction of the place. Then it was time to climb a steep spiral stairs to the crown. I expected to get an amazing view from the top, but it's not that different from the pedestal or the island itself. Seeing the statue from the inside and learning about engineering and construction was way more fun and felt very special:
After taking a walk around the Liberty Island and stopping for coffee, we got back on a ferry to the Ellis Island. Most of it is closed for public, but immigration museum was pretty interesting:
I enjoyed finding all the traces and stories of Russian and Ukrainian immigration over the years:
We looked for our family name and those of our relatives on The American Immigrant Wall of Honor, but didn't find any. (Not that we expected to, as the first generation of immigrants.)
That was it for the day. We got back to the Liberty State Park right before sunset and enjoyed a beautiful light on our way back: