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After living so close to NYC in the late 70’s and visiting over the years, I had never visited the Statue of Liberty or been to Ellis Island. Don’t know of any of my ancestors who traveled through Ellis Island but we did find John’s great-grandfather on a 1906 registry. I stood in the registry room reading some of the accounts from immigrants and tried to imagine their anxiety, anxiousness and most of all relief to be off the boat after what would have been a long, arduous journey across the seas. If you want to check your family members who may have come through Ellis Island, click here.

The Statue, a gift from the French, was completed in 1876 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of our Independence. The pedestal was erected with monies raised from US citizens.  What surprised me most about the statue is it’s so thin ~ only the width of about 2 pennies.

Despite the fact I thought I might get frostbite while waiting in line for the ferry (30 minutes in sub-zero temps), it was well worth the pain and shivers. We picked up our tickets at the suggested 30 minutes prior to the launch which was a good thing because we were in the front of a VERY long line and were able to get a seat on the boat. They fill the boat to capacity.

If you’re planning a visit to the Statue of Liberty, here are the details:

  • Book early ~ we booked our tickets for the tour of Liberty Island, Ellis Island and the Crown two months prior to our trip and there was only one time still available for visiting the Crown on Sunday ~ 9am. So much for sleeping in.  You won’t be able to buy tickets for the Crown once you’re on Liberty Island.
  • The boat departed from Battery Park and, since we were staying in Brooklyn, we took the R Train to Whitehall Station.
  • There are 354 very narrow steps up the spiral staircase to the Crown. You’ll be required to store your backpacks or large purses in a locker ~ it’s definitely necessary as it’s a tight fit. The crown itself is a small area with only 5-6 people allowed to squeeze in at a time.
  • Our cost for the tour (including the crown) was $108  for 4 people and can be booked through Statue Circle Line.

View of Statue and Liberty Tower
Manhattan Skyline, Statue of Liberty and Freedom Tower

View of city from the Crown Statue of Liberty
View from the Statue of Liberty Crown

NYC Statue of Liberty hand
Statue of Liberty Hand

NYC sign at the statue of liberty
Corner Stone at the Statue of Liberty

NYC cast of the Statue of Liberty toes
Cast of Statue of Liberty Foot

NYC Spiral staircase inside the statue of liberty
Spiral Staircase up to the Crown

Original Torch replaced in 1986
Original Torch taken down in 1986

Ellis Island
Ellis Island

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It’s been six years since our last visit to NYC so we took the 3.5 hour train from DC for a quick visit. The reason for making our journey was to celebrate Logan’s birthday and to show our Bangladeshi exchange student the city. We tried to cram as much as we could into our short 48 hour visit. Despite the cold freezing temperatures, we spent a lot of time outdoors enjoying Time Square, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, etc.

NYC Blog View of City
View from the ferry boat ~ looking back to Manhattan

NYC Blog View from the crown of Statue
View from the Crown of the Statue of Liberty

NYC Blog Times square
Times Square

NYC Blog Times Square at Night
Times Square at Dusk

NYC Blog Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty

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