The Statue of Liberty National Monument in New York harbor is probably the most iconic representation of American ideals. For many it was the first site new immigrants saw as they made there way to their new lives in the United States. Dedicated in 1886 and named a national monument in 1924 it a must visit for anyone going to NYC.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
In this era of demonizing other cultures and religions that we live in today it is important to remember the credo that made the country what it is today, inclusion and diversity.
To get to the statue you must grab a ferry run by Statue Cruises either at Liberty State Park in New Jersey or Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan in New York City. My suggestion is to go to the Jersey side of the river both for ease of access and good shoreline views of the statue. A quick ferry ride can get you to Manhattan for additional sightseeing without the hassle of city traffic.
Be sure to make a stop at Ellis Island when you book your transport it adds valued context to the statue experience.
When you arrive at Liberty Island there will be restrooms and snack bars available at the point of debarkation and the statue is a short walk to the right. You will need to make reservations for the pedestal and crown if you want to go up into the statue. There is heavy security and you will have to check any backpack or other bag into the provided lockers. After waiting in line a certain amount of people will be allowed to enter and there are staircases and a small elevator available. The elevator is small and crowded and unless you have a disability I suggest you take the stairs. I am not in great shape but I had little difficulty. The balcony on the pedestal is jam packed with people and the view of the skyline is no better than from ground level. If you want to have an “I did that” experience by all means go up.
A must see for any tourist to New York.