I recently went to New York city and there’s nothing better than visiting it during summer! The weather was perfect in August and everyday was a beautiful day out. Of course, our vacation won’t be complete without visiting the statue of Liberty. Our first attempt was on a Saturday morning and I have to say that it was the worst time to visit! We had to come back the next day because the line to purchase the ticket takes about 1 hour and to get into the boat is additional 2 hours (due to heavy crowd and airport style screening to get into the boat) and in addition to that, if you purchased a tour inside the statue of Liberty, there will be another airport style screening (yes, again!) which takes about an hour or more! I mean, it’s a whole day affair and the hours apparently don’t include the tour to Ellis island. I’m sorry but that (wasted time) doesn’t sound like my idea of vacation.
So what we did since we already set foot in Battery park and spent almost $20 for a taxi ride from our hotel in upper Manhattan was to purchase the earliest ticket available for our next day visit (Sunday).
If I were to do it again, this is what I would do:
1. Plan a whole day affair in visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis island.
2. Purchase your tickets online. If you’d like to get into the “Crown observation deck” book at least one month in advance. It was sold out when we got there and when I asked the cashier about it, she said that the crown tour is so popular you have to purchase it one month advance.
There were only two windows opened for purchasing the tickets, one dedicated to “prepaid” customers and another one to everybody else. There were only less than 10 people in the “prepaid” window. These are the people who purchased the tickets in advance while there was a “snake” shape line on the other one.
3. Bring items at a minimum due to airport-style screening hassle before getting into the boat and inside the statue of Liberty. Belts, shoes, accessories, etc. need to be removed.
4. If you are visiting with children, strollers are OK in the boat and in the statue of Liberty island but you cannot bring it inside the statue. Lockers are provided outside the museum due to limited space. Expect the possibility of taking the stairs with children or carrying your baby. Elevators are provided but not accessible in every floor.
5. Remember to bring water bottles and camera with you although refreshments are available for purchase at the island and in the boat.
Alternatively (and much cheaper in case you’ve decided to skip visiting the inside of the statue but looking for an “express” solution to get a glimpse of her), try the water taxi that leaves every 20 minutes in Brooklyn park (located in Two Old Fulton Road, by the edge of the bridge in Brooklyn) for a similar experience. There was almost no line and only a handful of crowd. The water taxi in Brooklyn will take you almost to every part of NYC and Brooklyn and will even stop in front of the statue of Liberty for lots of photo opportunities. The only thing that you would missed is getting off the island and of course visiting the museum but on the other hand, the water taxi offers a lot more than just simply going to the statue of Liberty. Here’s the website of the water taxi we took http://www.nywatertaxi.com/hop/ to learn more.
If you were to ask me, I would try both (visiting the statue of Liberty and trying the water taxi because they offer two different things except for the Statue of Liberty tour).
I hope that my five tips before visiting the statue of liberty will help you save time and money on your next trip because personally, how I wish I knew about these things before!