Looking for the best way to see the Statue of Liberty in NYC?
Here we provide you with alternative ways to see the most iconic building in New York!
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The Best Way To See Statue of Liberty NYC
After getting engaged in Central Park, we headed over to see the Statue of Liberty.
The glorious Statue of Liberty was a gift of friendship from France. It is a symbol of freedom and democracy.
Initially, we were unsure what was the best way to see it and after doing some research, we found the best way to see the iconic Statue of Liberty in NYC.
So you are free to decide for yourself what is the best way to see it, we will outline all of your options to see Lady Liberty below:
1. Take a Cruise to see the Statue of Liberty
If you want to take a simple and easy way to access the Statue of Liberty, the best way to do so is via Statue Cruises.
You can book tickets easily online using their website.
There are two choices to depart for the ferry: Liberty State Park in New Jersey and from Battery Park in New York.
If you wish to depart from Liberty State Park in New Jersey, there is lots of parking. You can access the Liberty State Park from the New Jersey Turnpike and Interstate 78.
This is the best option if you are traveling by car. We did a fabulous road trip from New York if you are traveling by car you might like to check it out.
If you wish to depart from Battery Park in New York, you will need to access Battery Park by public transportation. Subway is the easiest way to travel around New York.
It costs $18.50 per adult to get the Statue Cruise to the Statue of Liberty.
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Is the Liberty Island Ferry Worth it?
When you can can get great views of the SoL on the Staton Island ferry for free (see below), is it worth paying $18.50 for the ferry to Liberty Island?
In addition to getting an up-close-and-personal view, there’s a few other reasons to pay up for the cruise:-
- Learn all about the history of the Statue of Liberty at the brand new Statue of Liberty Museum opened in May 2019. Exhibits include a gallery where you can get an understanding of the designer’s studio as they undertook one of the most stunning architectural feats in history.
- Views from the Roof Deck: atop the new Museum is a new roof deck where you can enjoy sweeping views of the statue and New York harbor.
- Visit Ellis Island: one of the most historic places on the Hudson River – millions of migrants passed through the island during the 60 years it operated as an immigration center between 1892 and 1954. A stop here is included in your ferry fare.
If you can fit the ferry into your itinerary, it is a lovely way to spend an afternoon in NYC.
A word of caution: tickets are known to sell out in advance. Don’t rely on booking on the day – book in advance here.
If you do intend to purchase tickets on the day; the office located in Castle Clinton in Battery Park is the only place where you can buy authorised tickets.
2. DIY for FREE as we did – Staten Island Ferry
If you don’t want to get off the boat and walk around the Statue of Liberty and just want a nice view of it, the Staten Island Ferry is completely FREE! Yippee!
We brought some beers with us on the ferry and celebrated our engagement. You can also buy beers, snacks and a variety of other items on the ferry at their snack bar.
The best time to take the Staten Island Ferry is sunset as watching the sun set over Lady Liberty is absolutely magical.
The subway drops you directly to the Staten Island Ferry.
Even if you wish to go with option 1 and take a cruise across, we would highly recommend doing the Staten Island Ferry on a second day as it provides amazing views of New York.
For the best photography, if you’re departing from Manhattan White Hall Terminal stand on the right side of the boat.
If you’re coming from St George Terminal in Manhattan, stand on the left hand side of the ferry.
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3. Go for a harbour cruise
There are several other cruise options if you are happy to just sail by.
These are paid cruise companies however, the prices can be relatively inexpensive, as little as $17 which can be worthwhile in peak hour in New York.
Many New York workers use the Staten Island Ferry for their daily transport (it’s free afterall) so if you want to avoid all the New York city workers you may wish to take a tourist cruise boat.
Here are some of the best options for a tourist cruise boat:
- The Circle Line Express Cruise to the Statue of Liberty
- Statue of Liberty Bateaux Lunch Cruise
- Day Sail to Statue of Liberty on Adirondack
4. See the statue of Liberty by a helicopter
If money is no object, a fabulous way to see the statue of liberty is by helicopter. Seeing New York and the statue of Liberty from the sky certainly is a one in a lifetime opportunity.
This would be a fabulous proposal opportunity in New York.
When we looked into the pricing of seeing the statue of liberty by a helicopter we were a little surprised that it was nowhere near as expensive as we would have imagined.
If you would like to see the Statue of Liberty by Helicopter here is a great VIP service.
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5. See the Statue of Liberty from the ground
It is also possible to see the Statue of Liberty from the ground. There are some great vantage points in New York City which are ideal for viewing the Statue of Liberty without a boat or helicopter.
Here is the best way to see the Statue of Liberty from the ground:
Battery City Park
Battery City Park where you would normally catch the ferry to access the Statue of Liberty provides an awesome and totally free view of the Statue.
Even if you don’t feel like paying for the ferry to access the Statue or spending time on the Staten Island Ferry, you can enjoy a nice view of the statue right from the Battery City Park.
If you rather spend your money on food than a ferry, there are some great restaurants at Battery City Park with a view of the Statue of Liberty in the background including Gigino and Pier A Harbor House.
Stay at the Ritz Carlton, Battery Park
If you are looking for a special, romantic treat, we would highly recommend staying at the Ritz Carlton in Battery Park.
The rooms are absolutely divine, as you would expect from a Ritz Carlton but also the rooms have amazing views of the Statue of Liberty!
Museum of Jewish Heritage
Also located near Battery Park, the Museum of Jewish Heritage has fabulous views of the Statue of Liberty.
The museum is very interesting in its own right. There is an exhibit at the musuem called the ‘Voices of Liberty’ which is very moving as Holocaust survivors detail why they wanted New York to be their home.
View of the Statue of Liberty from the One World Observatory
Being the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere it comes with no surprise that the views of the statue of liberty from the One World Observatory are pretty amazing.
It only takes 60 seconds to reach the top, which is quite something to do in New York in its own right!
It costs $32 for adults to visit the One World Observatory which includes a free view of the statue of liberty.
The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the best and most iconic things to do in New York and it just so happens to be also one of the best places you can see the Statue of Liberty as well as Lower Manhattan.
Red Hook, Brooklyn
Speaking of Brooklyn, another place to gain a fabulous view of the Statue of Liberty is at Red Hook on the waterfront in Brooklyn.
If you love all things free, you will be happy to know that you can gain a awesome view of the statue from the Fairway supermarket’s parking lot, on Ferris Street between Coffey and Van Dyke and from the Louis Valentino Jr. Pier.
Liberty State Park, New Jersey
If you’re visiting NYC on a budget, staying in New Jersey is a great idea.
Most of NYC’s finest attractions are still within easy reach by public transport, but you’ll save a bunch on expensive city hotels.
As mentioned above, you can visit the Statue of Liberty from New Jersey with ferries departing from Liberty State Park.
However, even if you don’t plan to visit Lady Liberty or Ellis Island, you should still visit Liberty State Park because it has one of the best views of the Statue of Liberty from New Jersey.
In fact, unless you’re catching the ferry to Ellis Island, Liberty State Park is basically the closest you point on land to see the SOL.
The park is the perfect vantage points for anyone who gets sea sick!
Why we love it: from Liberty Park you can capture the Lady Liberty with Brooklyn in the background.
Black Tom Island & Flag Plaza
When we say Liberty State Park is basically the closest bit of land to Liberty Island, that’s because the closest vantage point is from Black Tom Island.
Horrible History note: Black Tom Island is the site of one of the largest war-time explosions you’ve probably never heard about.
During World War I, the island was used as a shipping depot. On July 30, 1916, pencil bombs hidden by German saboteurs ignited 2,000,000 tonnes of explosives which was ready to be sent to British and French troops in Europe.
The explosion was so great, it registered 5.5 on the Richter scale and shattered windows in Times Square.
We’ll leave it to you to read more about Black Tom Island and Flag Plaza here.
Why we love it: from Liberty Park you can capture the Lady Liberty with the stunning NYC skyline as her backdrop.
Summary: Best Way To See Statue of Liberty
We maintain that the best way to see the Statue of Liberty is by the free public Staten Island Ferry.
The views are amazing and we did not have a particularly strong interest in stepping foot on the actual island.
This however may not in fact prove the best way to access Lady Liberty if you want to explore the Statue itself, if you want to avoid peak hour workers in New York or if you want to visit the Statue of Liberty in style by a helicopter to the island!
Alternatively, you may want to see the Statue of Liberty by land which is entirely acceptable too!
Seeing the beautiful icon of New York is actually best seen by multiple methods on multiple days.
Let us know which way you chose to visit this iconic New York landmark in the comments below!
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