Lady Liberty, The New Colossus, & Visitor MUST KNOW TIPS
Posted on May 27, 2016
The Staute of Liberty, New York
Tip 1. Viewing Lady Liberty
You can take the Staten Island Ferry for free and see her from a close distance. Most tourist know this tip – but the advanced hack is when you get on the ship, do not go up the first stair case, instead, go to the furthest set of stairs, go up and bee-line for the Starboard (right) side of the ship and you will have front row seats to view her. Now, don’t be a jerk – there’s no need to elbow your way to the upper deck, but with some stealth and politeness, you will get a great spot and beautiful photos. If you miss your chance to get on that side of the ship – don’t worry – you get a second chance on the return. You must disembark the ferry on the Staten Island side, and either queue up for the round trip, or spend some time on Staten Island.
Getting back on board, again, be cool, but go for the further staircase and you should be able to get up to the deck before most everyone else. One way travel takes about 25 minutes, but add in time for waiting and getting to/from the terminal. You can find out more information on the New York DOT or the Staten Island Ferry site.
Tip 2. Now the free ferry is cool, but the view from her crown is cooler!
While a free ferry ride is cool, seeing her point of view of Manhattan is cooler! The only way you can visit the observation deck in her crown, is to make an online reservation. Don’t be that sad guy pleading with the staff on Liberty Island. You will not be allowed to climb inside the statue to the observation deck inside her crown without a reservation and our girl is popular so you must book this tour in advance online -in peak season, making a reservation as far out as six weeks is advised – with the only ferry company that provides the transport to Liberty and Ellis Island. This is not a PepePopo affiliate promotion – it really is the only way the National Park Service handles all tours.
Heed this warning – if you are claustrophobic, you have to climb roughly 350 steps in a spiral staircase no wider than the average man’s shoulders. It’s a snug, twisted fit and her face is surprisingly small too! So if this makes you sweat just to read about, see tip 3!
Tip 3. The crown sounds amazing but close quarters makes me throw up in my mouth.
If the thought of climbing 350+ stairs and standing in small space with strangers freaks you out, then opt for her Pedestal. You can technically purchase pedestal tickets in person day of, but don’t chance it. Make the online reservation, again with Statue Cruises.
Tip 4. You’ll have to make time for Liberty and Ellis Island
The Statue cruise tickets include Liberty island and Ellis Island. This is a full day of touring, so plan accordingly as you have to catch a ferry between Ellis and Liberty and then back to Battery Park in Manhattan.
Tip 5. If she doesn’t stir your heart, you’re dead inside.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”… is the famous quote from “The New Colossus”, written by American Poet, Emma Lazarus in 1883. The poem was engraved on a bronze plaque placed at the base of the Statue in 1903.¹ Read it here now, then go read it again in person at her feet and be humbled by what Lady Liberty has witnessed, endured and celebrated.
The New Colossus
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
Glows 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!”
Fortunately, you can also see The Statue of Liberty from most anywhere along Manhattan’s southern tip shoreline and from Brooklyn. She seems to appear when you least expect to see her and it’s a little burst of love in your heart when you spy her off in the distance, arm raised, shining her light and standing tall in spirit.