Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





Travel Tip - New York City - Statue of Liberty

Posted 11 March, 2008 at 1:19am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Travel)

Here's a tip - if you're going to New York City and want to visit the Statue of Liberty, the lines can be incredibly long. Even in the off season, the line up to get through the first security checkpoint (where you go right after buying your ferry tickets) can stretch almost all the way out of Battery Park and onto West St.

So, here's how to skip that part - go to www.statuecruises.com beforehand (I've done it the day before, but it's a good idea to book a little more in advance than that - at least a couple weeks in advance if you want access to the Monument/Pedestal) and book your tickets online. You can also book the audio tour at the same time. As of the writing of this entry, it costs $12 per person ($18 if you get the audio tour).

To make the purchase, go to the website and click on the "Depart from Battery Park, New York City" link. Select "Reserve Ticket with Monument Pass - New York". (Reserve Tickets without Monument Passes cost the same but there are fewer Monument Pass tickets available, so you should try for that first since it enables you to enter the pedestal at whatever time you choose on your trip to Liberty Island.) Pick the date and time you intend to visit and then choose the type of ticket you want - Adult, Child; With or without an audio tour.

After making the purchase, print out the tickets.

The tickets will say:

Battery Park, New York City
Date - Time
Trip & Tours
Adult Reserve, Monument, Audio
Price, Order ID
Your Name

Go to Battery Park about ten minutes before your check-in time and find where everyone is lining up for the ferry. Look for a shorter or non-existent line (usually with a National Park Service worker stationed there) and show the ranger your ticket. It's sort of like the business class line vs. economy class line at the airport terminal. If you can't find the line, just show your ticket to any of the park employees and they'll direct you. The line should be really, really short or not there at all. This is what the Reserve part of your ticket gives you - skip the first big line - and at no extra cost.

Now, you have to go through the security checkpoint and metal detectors - just like at the airport. Shoes off, belts off, jackets emptied, etc. After that, you're on the ferry and once it's full, off to Liberty Island you go!

When you're on Liberty Island, most people have to go to a special booth to apply for a time slot to visit the Pedestal (they don't allow people to go up the statue herself anymore, but the pedestal has a nice museum covering the construction of the statue and the engineering feat that it is as well as the original torch) where you'll find a great view. In fact, only a very small percentage of people bother to go to the pedestal. Your ticket gets you in without having to sign up for a time slot - just go.

Go to the back of the statue and enter the security tent where you'll remove your shoes, belt, etc. again and walk through an air blower thing as well as a metal detector. They'll hand you a smart card which you'll carry into the next tent where they analyze the card for chemicals (screening you for explosives). Pretty cool. Once you go into the pedestal, you can go through the museum and then climb 192 steps to the top of the pedestal.

When you've had your fill of the pedestal, head back down to the concessionaire and pick up your audio tour (at the main entrance of the main cafeteria on the island). Take a leisurely stroll around the island while listening to interesting facts before boarding the boat to Ellis Island. (For those in a rush: The boat stops for about 15 minutes at Ellis Island, so it is possible to jump off, look around, and jump back on without having to wait 30 to 45 minutes for the next ferry depending on the season.)

1 comment to Travel Tip - New York City - Statue of Liberty

Annie Robles, December 23rd, 2009 at 3:17 pm:

  • It all started with a search for a fudge recipe and guess what?!? I found your website.

    I have to say your pics are phenomenal! I love lots of them; Times Square in New York, snow covered trees in Lake Tahoe; San Francisco, etc. That's not to say the airline chips pic was good (lol).

    Also, Tina's soapmaking category made a soap making fan out of me - can't wait to try it!

    I am loving your website.
    All the best to you both and Merry Christmas!