Explore two of America’s most iconic symbols of freedom.
Lady Liberty has greeted millions of immigrants and travelers arriving in the U.S. via New York Harbor, many of them headed to points well beyond the city. For immigrants, in particular, the sight of her marked a new beginning in the New World. Once they cleared Ellis Island, that is. Ellis Island was set up to process approximately 5,000 people a day, but at the busiest times, more than 11,000 immigrants moved through, totaling more than 12 million people from 1892 to 1954—an experience thoughtfully detailed in the museum now housed there. Purchase Statue of Liberty tickets in advance at statuecruises.com—tickets aren’t available on Liberty Island. A “Pedestal Ticket” includes admission to the statue’s pedestal, Liberty Island Museum and Fort Wood level. A “Crown Ticket” gains you access to everything, including the full statue and the crown. There’s no elevator access to the crown, so prepare to climb 20 stories of steps.
- Battery Park. Most Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island visitors catch their ferries here. But the park itself has sights worth seeing, including Castle Clinton National Monument—built as a fort in 1808.
- Governors Island. This former military site—closed to the public for 200 years—has become one of New York City’s hottest summertime playgrounds since opening to all in 2014. Take a ferry from the Battery Maritime Building.
- National Museum of the American Indian. This Smithsonian Institution affiliate—housed in the magnificent 1907 Alexander Hamilton Custom House—is dedicated to the art and culture of Native Americans. Programming includes music and dance, craft demonstrations and readings for children.
If You Go
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, daily, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ferries from Battery Park in Manhattan and Liberty Park in New Jersey; statuecruises.com
Recommended time to spend:
At least four hours
Where to stay
Conveniently located five minutes from America’s fifth-busiest airport, Radisson Hotel JFK Airport is an ideal location for travelers to stay during their time in New York. The hotel offers a complimentary 24-hour airport shuttle, on-site restaurant and lounge, sauna, and 24-hour business center.
The Radisson Hotel New Rochelle’s Red Dot Airport Shuttle makes it a convenient location whether you are flying into LaGuardia or JFK airport. The hotel includes luggage storage, free outdoor parking, on-site restaurant, 24-hour fitness center, a business center, and an outdoor pool.
Perfect for your business travels, the Radisson Hotel Piscataway-Somerset is situated just off Piscataway’s Centennial Avenue. The hotel offers a free shuttle service for locations within five miles of the hotel, as well as a wide range of other amenities including a private courtyard and gazebo, a fitness center, and an indoor pool and hot tub.
Radisson Hotel Hauppauge-Long Island’s location near the North Shore of Long Island gives guests both an ideal location for their stay as well as easy access to the Long Island Expressway. The hotel also boasts a free shuttle to any destination within a 10-mile radius, on-site dining, fitness center, indoor pool and hot tub, business center, and free parking.