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Statue of Liberty (New York, USA)
Member Name: vickitoria10
Statue of Liberty (New York, USA)
Advantages: A lovely island!
Disadvantages: Security (although perfectly understandable)
We booked to go to the Statue of Liberty first thing on a Sunday morning
and took the subway from Times Square to South Ferry. We walked out of South Ferry and round Battery Park to the waters edge to catch our first real glimpse of Lady Liberty! Wow! Now you know you're in New York! Suchan iconic statue.
We prebooked tickets online on the statue cruises website so avoided the queue for buying tickets and were able to go into the reserve tickets queue rather than the general queue. Our tickets cost us $20 - $12 standard fare and $8 for the audio tour. There was no extra charge for booking online and you print your tickets out yourself.
We definitely saved some time here, our ticket was time at 9am, we
joined the queue about 8.45am and it was already getting quite long - if
you don't pre-book definitely go for the first ferry! We made our way
through security (airport style) and got a good seat on the boat,
although then soon realised we didn't want to sit as we wouldn't be able
to see and instead went and stood up next to the railings on the boat.
The first boat departed at 9.30am and we were on our way, even at this
time the boat was full. It was a beautifully sunny and clear day, but
going across the water in March there was a very cold wind!
In about 10mins we arrived at Liberty Island, having sailed round the
front of the Statue herself, it was a beautiful sight. We got off the
boat and headed straight for the shop - we had prebooked an audio tour
so we went to collect our headsets. We also prebooked Monument access - Crown access was sold out when we booked. Monument access meant that we could go to the Pedestal level of the statue and also visit the museum. It didn't cost any more for monument access you just had to pre-book it as I don't think many if any are available on the day.
We started the audio tour and listened to the introduction, and some of
the history relating to the statue. We then made our way to the statue
for our museum and pedestal visit - if you are on the first ferry go
here first, we saw big lines later on in the morning as more and more
boats arrived, we were able to look round at our own pace without it
To gain access to the statue you have to go through another security
checkpoint, you also can't take any food or drink with you and they
don't like you taking your bags either. There are some lockers that are
fingerprint activated (quite cool!) and these were $1 I think, we just
put everything in there and kept the camera and camcorder with us. Next
for the security screening, you have the usual airport style checks but
you have to take off shoes, belts and watches, you then stand in a body
scanner type thing and get puffs of air blown at you! (Probably not a
good idea to wear a floaty skirt!) I presume this checks whether you are
hiding anything! Now you can make your way into the museum and statue.
The first thing you will come across is the original torch from the
statue, it makes you appreciate the size of the statue! We used the
audio tour to guide ourselves round the museum, there is a lot of
information and if you didn't have the audio tour there was plenty of
stuff to read. My husband does not have a very good attention span and
got quite bored of the audio tour, whereas I thought it was really
informative and interesting! He took to listening to the children's
audio tour and seemed quite happy with that! The museum takes you all
the way from the original idea of the statue and guides your through the
history of the statue and the structure inside it, I found this all
We then made our way up the stairs to the top of the pedestal level (the
lifts have been suspended indefinitely - there are about 200 steps). We
walked all the way round the pedestal at this level and you get some
fantastic views of Manhattan island. We took loads of pics and even
asked what we thought was a security guard to take our pic - you never
get couple pics when there's just the 2 of you on hol! I then realised
he wasn't a security guard! He had SWAT written on his back and a huge
gun! Oops! He said he shouldn't really but seen as no-one was about he
would! Phew! It was quite breezy up here and we got some fab views, I'm not sure how worthwhile it would have been going to the crown, other than to say you'd been in the crown. We then made our way down and spent some time wandering round the base before going down to the grass where there was starting to get quite a lot of people about.
We retrieved our bags from the locker and made our way back out and to
the front of the statue, again using our audio guides. There was a
professional photographer taking photos so we took advantage of this and did actually buy 2 ($20 for 2, one of us and the statue, one of us and the skyline). These will be a nice memento!
We bought a foam crown from the shop and spent a bit of time taking
silly photos and posing as the statue of liberty! It had to be done! We
also bought a few other little things from the shop, a magnet, pen and
some sweets! They weren't too overpriced seen as you were at one of the most if not the most iconic thing in America!
It was now about 12noon, we had left the hotel just after 7.30am and
were starting to get hungry! We decided to have a look at the menu in
the restaurant as it was a nice day and there were quite some seats
outside. We got 2 burgers and fries and a bottle of coke for about $20.
We thought this was quite good value for money considering we were
eating it in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty! Once we had finished
our lunch we made our way back to the boat to head to Ellis Island
(separate review to follow!).
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Liberty Island and I would definitely
recommend pre-booking the monument pass, the museum is really
interesting and a good way to spend some time. Without the monument
access there isn't really anything to do other than walk round the
island! I know you can see the statue for free from the Staten island
ferry but for a first trip to New York it was good to actually be on
Liberty Island and inside the statue, also I think it was excellent
value for money.
Definitly worth the trip! Just get there early and even better pre-book!
Summary: An excellent trip!
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