You may recall that the Statue of Liberty — or as it is formally known, The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World — was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States. Dedicated on October 28, 1886, it was eventually designated as a national monument in 1924.
If you’ve been waiting for the right chance to visit the Statue of Liberty National Monument, that time has come.
National parks are historically busiest in the summer, so now, more than ever, it’s important to do as much planning as possible before your trip. To help with that planning, the National Park Service (NPS) recently released its top ten tips for visiting the Statue of Liberty.
“Are you planning a trip to the Statue of Liberty National Monument this summer?” the NPS asks. If so, “check out these top ranger tips for a fun, safe, and unforgettable trip!”
Here’s what’s unique about the tips: They are written by the park rangers who work at the Statue of Liberty. Read on to learn how the rangers themselves would plan a trip to see the Statue of Liberty.
1. Buy Tickets In Advance
Don’t waste your time standing in line to buy tickets. Instead, get your tickets in advance from Statue City Cruises, rangers suggest. All of the details are found here.
Pro Tip: Statue City Cruises is the only authorized provider of tickets and tours of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island. Avoid street vendors because they do not sell legitimate tickets.
2. Check The Website
On the day of your trip, rangers recommend checking the park’s website for conditions and any last-minute park alerts. That website is found here.
3. Download The NPS App
Rangers also recommend downloading the NPS App. The free app, available for iOS and Android devices, provides interactive maps, tours of park places, and on-the-ground accessibility information about more than 400 national parks to make your trip planning easier.
4. Wear Comfortable Shoes
Rangers explain that if you are visiting the Statue of Liberty, you must be prepared to be on your feet for long periods of time. What’s more, they encourage visitors to wear durable, close-toed footwear.
Importantly, if you or someone in your party has mobility concerns, be sure to check out the park’s physical mobility page to see park maps and learn about distances and accessibility. It is found here.
Pro Tip: The park’s information center has three wheelchairs that may be borrowed for free on a first come/first served basis.
5. Pack Light
There aren’t many places to store personal belongings at the park. Rangers suggest packing lightly so you don’t carry unneeded items around the island.
6. The Earlier The Better
All national parks get more crowded as the day progresses. That includes the Statue of Liberty. If possible, plan your visit for early morning because the crowds will be smaller and wait times will be shorter.
7. Dress For Success
Rangers stress the importance of checking and rechecking the weather before your trip. That way you can be prepared for the weather and remain comfortable.
8. Pick A Meeting Spot
Cell Phone service can be spotty at the park, so don’t rely on phones to contact other members of your party. Instead, rangers suggest picking a designated meeting spot so your group can easily reunite at that spot in case you get separated.
9. Don’t Miss The Boat!
Liberty Island and Ellis Island may be different islands, but they are part of the same park. You’ll travel to the islands on a ferry. Since you’ll go through airport-style security before boarding the ferry, rangers suggest arriving 15 to 20 minutes before its departure time.
Pro Tip: Make sure you don’t arrive at the ferry with prohibited items. You can find a list of those items here.
10. Make Family Connections
Liberty Island and Ellis Island are both part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. If you plan to also visit Ellis Island, be sure to check the American Family Immigration History Center’s website in advance to check hours of operation and discover tips about searching immigrant records here.
You can learn more about the Statue of Liberty, as well as how you can use EarthCam cameras to see Lady Liberty and also see the New York Harbor from Lady Liberty’s Torch, in my article here. There’s even an EarthCam webcam that provides a live, streaming view of the Statue of Liberty from Brooklyn.While you’re planning a trip to see the statue, be sure to check out all of our New York City coverage as well.