"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." This quote is most recognizable from The Statue of Liberty. She is a statue that stands tall and strong, welcoming immigrants from across the sea. Can you imagine being aboard an old, haggard ship for weeks at a time? The crashing waves causing nausea and discomfort until you finally spot something in the distance. There is beautiful statue of a woman holding a torch out to the lost. You have finally made it to your new home, America.

The Statue of Liberty – A symbol of freedom

The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France and arrived in 350 separate pieces. It took 4 months to construct her but when she was completely together, she was an amazing sight. Comprised of copper, she stands 305 feet tall, from the bottom of the pedestal to the top of the torch.

Touring this spectacular creation is something everyone should at least consider once in his or her lifetime. The statue is located in New York Bay, which is located off the coast of New York, USA. A tiny island of 12 acres, called Liberty Island, is where the Statue of Liberty stands.

Being an iconic landmark of the country, thousands of visitors per day make their way across the bay to behold her majesty. I also took this trek and I will never forget it. Seeing this American symbol of freedom, in person, is an inspiring experience. I do suggest planning in advance for your trip, to avoid lines and crowds as best as possible.

In order to get to Liberty Island, one must purchase a ferry ticket. At a cost of less than $20 US, a boat ride to Liberty Island and Ellis Island are included. You can decide on the departure site of Battery Park in New York or Liberty State Park in New Jersey. Ferries run from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm daily.

The ferry ride over to the island was the optimum part of the trip for me. Across the bay, the statue doesn’t seem very big but as you sail across the water her size really comes in perspective. I could just imagine what it must have felt like for immigrants all those years ago to see Lady Liberty welcoming them to America. It was an unforgettable feeling.

The first stop off the ferry is Liberty Island. Guests disembark and make their way around the island to view the copper giant. When I visited in 2012, the inside of the statue was off limits to the public because of restoration work. Someday, I hope to revisit the Statue of Liberty and take a tour of her crown. I envision that to be a wondrous sight!

Park Ranger guided tours are available, for free, on the island. Guides take small groups around the statue, describing how it was made, the names of constructors, statue symbols and the restoration project. It is said to be quite informative and worthwhile. Self-guided audio tours are also available if you prefer to walk around without the guide.

Next, the ferry cruises across to Ellis Island. This is the nations premier federal immigration station. More than 12 million immigrants were processed here when they entered the country. Now, this centre is a museum that exhibits timelines, family histories, population data and photos from the past. On average, guests spend 3 hours here with so many different exhibits to see.

All together, the two islands and ferry ride to and fro; the day tour takes about 5.5 hours. Concessions are available for purchase but it can be fairly pricey when numerous people are eating. A fun idea would be to pack a picnic lunch. Ellis Island has a large field of soft grass, great for taking a rest under the sunny blue sky.

The Statue of Liberty is dear to many people’s hearts. America is known as the land of the free and this divine masterpiece does a wonderful job representing that freedom. Through sun, wind, rain and snow, she is a continuous sight on the horizon.

Have you been to see Lady Liberty? What do you think of her?

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New York City Tours, Sightseeing and Things to do

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