Covering approximately 15 acres in the New York Harbor, Liberty Island is home to the famous Statue of Liberty. Presented as a gift from France in the 1880s, this colossal monument has dominated the skyline of New York City ever since. Liberty Island also has extensive trails that overlook multiple NYC boroughs and various cities in New Jersey. Click to book your Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Guided tour.
Features and Highlights
After landing at the main dock of Liberty Island, visitors follow trails that lead to the Flagpole Plaza, which proudly displays the stars and stripes of the United States of America. Before rushing to explore the Statue of Liberty, it’s a great idea to walk the scenic grounds of the island. In fact, the entire island’s perimeter includes waterfront promenades that offer panoramic views of New York City and New Jersey.
The September 11th Memorial Grove is strategically situated at a point that overlooks the former site of the Twin Towers, which have been replaced by the iconic World Trade Center. The southeastern tip of the island overlooks Governor’s Island and Brooklyn. From the western and northern shores of Liberty Island, you can glance at Ellis Island and Jersey City.
The entrance to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty has a separate facility that’s used for security screenings. After patiently going through the security check, you can get a closer look at the base of the iconic monument.
A visit to the crown of the Statue of Liberty is without a doubt the most exciting experience on the island. However, you’ll need to climb 146 stairs on a double spiral structure that has a head clearance of about 6 feet. People who are prone to vertigo, acrophobia, respiratory issues, and other major health concerns are advised to climb the stairs with extreme caution. The crown at the Statue of Liberty has limited space, so guests are urged to patiently take turns in enjoying the views through the small windows and other openings.
Tips and Hints
Liberty Island is staffed by knowledgeable and friendly park rangers of the National Park Service. They offer guided walking tours that usually last more than 30 minutes. All guests are strongly encouraged to check out the Information Center which has maps, brochures, and other helpful resources for exploring the island. Security is a high priority, so visitors will likely need to rent a locker to store personal items that are prohibited from the Statue of Liberty.
Visits to the pedestal and crown are available only by reservation, so it’s highly recommended that tickets be purchased well in advance during peak seasons. This famous island and its facilities are subject to closure on short notice due to severe weather. Serving premium-quality food, the Crown Cafe is the only dining option at Liberty Island. You can also stock up on cool souvenirs at the Gift Shop and Museum Store near the cafe.
Location, Directions and Transportation
Liberty Island is situated in the middle of the busy New York Harbor. This famous island is approximately one mile away from the southern tip of Lower Manhattan. You can only get to the island by taking a licensed ferry from various points in New York City or New Jersey. A ticket booth is open at the Castle Clinton National Monument in Manhattan’s The Battery.
Ferry service is also available at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. Ellis Island is usually an intermediate point for tours that include visits to Liberty Island. You can buy a discounted package that includes stops at both of these historic attractions in the New York Harbor. All ferries stop at a designated dock on the southern shore of Liberty Island.