Enjoying New York City on a Budget
Enjoying the Statue of Liberty
Alternatives to crowded and uncomfortable tours
Everyone wants to see the Statue of Liberty and they should.
"Lady Liberty," perhaps more than any other icon, symbolizes all that is good about the United States. Since its final assembly in 1886, the Statue of Liberty has uplifted those who see it.
The regular Statue of Liberty tour
Forgive us then for suggesting that you avoid the regular Statue of Liberty tour—that you avoid the boats that take you to the island where the statue is located.
This tour is hot; it is overcrowded; it is unfulfilling in nearly every way.
Instead, enjoy this inspiring monument to freedom from afar, as explained below.
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Not designed for crowds
Engineered by Gustave Eiffel (yes, the same one) and given to the United States by France, the Statue of Liberty was sculpted by the brilliant Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi.
Both gentlemen, however, failed to realize the size of the crowds that would want to visit their masterpiece.
Every aspect of the visit is an ordeal. You wait for the boat to the island. You wait—sometimes hours—to climb the narrow, steep, and somewhat dangerous stairs.
You have no time, on the other hand, to savour the view, as the crowds push from behind.
Hot and miserable
And, it is hot. Hot in the queues. Hot on the stairs. (There is no room to instal air conditioning without severely altering the appearance of the statue.) Hot, hot, hot. So hot that the National Park Service rangers must prohibit people from climbing to the top on some summer days.
Even when the heat is not excessive, thousands of people must be turned away most days, as there is just not enough room to host all who want to visit.
Has Dr. Voyageur discouraged you? Sorry.
The best way to visit the Status of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty was designed to be seen from New York Harbour.
That's the way you should view it.
Take any harbour cruise, as outlined on the last page. Take a ferry to Staten Island. Or, take an NY Waterway cruise to Sandy Hook on a warm summer weekend.
All these give you great views of the statue—as it was meant to be seen.
Go on to learn about Manhattan neighbourhoods.
Go to other pages in this section:
New York City orientation: starting on the water and introduction
New York City orientation: Manhattan neighbourhoods
New York City orientation: understanding Manhattan's street system
New York City orientation: using New York City transportation
New York City day trips
New York City walks
Zagat NYC restaurant guide