As an avid traveler and amateur photographer, visiting the Statue of Liberty has been on my bucket list for years. There’s nothing quite like seeing Lady Liberty up close, standing tall and proud in her full copper glory. If you’re planning a trip to New York City, visiting this iconic national monument should be at the top of your list. However, with over 4 million visitors flocking to Liberty Island every year, timing is everything. When are the crowds at their smallest? What’s the best vantage point to capture that perfect shot? Is it better to go at sunrise or sunset? As a frequent visitor, I’ve gathered some tips to help you make the most of your trip to see the Statue of Liberty.
When are the best times to visit the Statue of Liberty?
Visiting the Statue of Liberty is on every New Yorker’s bucket list, including mine! As a local, I’ve had the chance to visit Lady Liberty many times, and I’ve found the best times are typically in the spring and fall when the crowds are smaller and the weather is pleasant.
In the spring, I’d recommend going in April or May. The winter chill has faded, the summer heat hasn’t arrived yet, and the flower blossoms are blooming in Liberty Island’s gardens. The earlier in the day, the better; around 9 a.m. is when the island first opens. You’ll encounter fewer groups and shorter lines for the ferry and crown access.
The fall is also gorgeous, especially October. The autumn foliage provides a vibrant backdrop for photos with Lady Liberty. Again, go early in the day, around 10 am or 11 am. The added bonus is smaller crowds since most schools are back in session.
Weekdays, in general, tend to be less busy than weekends. If your schedule allows, visiting midweek means you can take your time exploring the statue pedestal and crown without feeling rushed by weekend crowds.
The peak summer season from June through August and major holidays like Memorial Day weekend, July 4th, and Labor Day weekend are the busiest times, often with long wait times for ferries and crown access tickets selling out months in advance. I’d suggest avoiding those times if possible for a more enjoyable, leisurely experience.
The Statue of Liberty is open year-round, so whenever you decide to go, just remember: arrive early, pack your patience, and don’t forget your camera to capture memorable moments with Lady Liberty! She’s always ready for her close-up.
What Should You Know Before Visiting the Statue of Liberty?
I’m so excited to visit the Statue of Liberty! She’s an iconic symbol of freedom and opportunity. Before my trip, there were a few things I made sure to keep in mind to make the most of my visit.
Do I need tickets?
Definitely buy tickets in advance on the National Park Service website to skip the ticket booth lines. Tickets often sell out, especially during the busy summer season, so I booked a few weeks ahead of my trip.
What about security?
Be prepared for airport-style security screening when entering the statue. Large bags, food, drinks, and weapons are prohibited. I’m packing light and bringing only essentials—a camera, phone, wallet, and comfortable walking shoes!
How do I get there?
The only way to access Liberty Island where the statue stands is by ferry. Ferries depart from Liberty State Park in New Jersey and the Battery Park area of Manhattan. I opted for Battery Park – it’s just a quick subway ride from my hotel. Round trip fares start around $20 per adult.
What is there to do?
Once on the island, I’ll climb 354 steps to reach Lady Liberty’s crown, which offers stunning views of the New York City skyline. Then it’s down to the top of the pedestal or mid-level pedestal to soak in the history. There are museum exhibits on the immigrant experience and the statue’s history. If the weather is nice, I might just sit and picnic while enjoying the view!
Here are a few insider tips: Go early, especially if visiting the crown, as access is first come, first served. Weekdays tend to be less crowded. Dress in layers; it can be cool and breezy on the ferry and in the statue. And don’t forget to look up at Lady Liberty’s face for a perfect photo opp!
I hope these tips help you plan an amazing visit to see Lady Liberty. She’s truly an American icon, and experiencing her grandeur in person is something I’ll never forget! Let the adventure begin!
Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting the Statue of Liberty
Visiting the Statue of Liberty is on so many bucket lists, and for good reason! As an American icon, Lady Liberty represents freedom and opportunity. When I finally got to see her in person, it was a dream come true. If you’re planning your own pilgrimage to Ellis Island, here are some tips to make the most of your visit.
What’s the best time of year to visit?
I highly recommend going in the spring or fall, from April to May or September to October. The weather is pleasant, the summer crowds have dwindled, and you’ll have a better chance of getting tickets. During the peak summer season, tickets often sell out months in advance! If summer is your only option, go as early in the day as possible.
How long does it take to tour the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island?
You’ll want to allot at least half a day to explore both Liberty and Ellis Islands at a leisurely pace. The ferry ride over takes about 15-20 minutes. The Statue of Liberty National Monument is open every day of the year, except December 25, from 8:30 am until 5:15 pm. The last ferry departs around 5 pm.
Do I need tickets in advance?
Yes, tickets to access the Statue of Liberty National Monument and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum should be purchased in advance through the National Park Service website. A limited number of tickets are available daily and often sell out, especially during the busy summer season. Tickets include access to both the Liberty and Ellis Islands, as well as the ferry ride.
What else do I need to know?
Be prepared for airport-level security screening before boarding the ferry. No large bags, food, drinks, or weapons are allowed. The only amenities on the islands are a few concession stands—eat before you arrive. And don’t forget your camera—you’ll be capturing memories to last a lifetime!
Watch this Youtube video for more information.
The Statue of Liberty is an iconic landmark that should be on everyone’s bucket list. There’s simply nothing like seeing Lady Liberty up close and personal, gazing up at her crown and torch. While any time of year is perfect to visit this New York City landmark, I highly recommend going in the spring or fall, when the weather is pleasant and the crowds are smaller. You’ll have more space to enjoy the grounds, take amazing photos, and really soak in the history. If you only have time for a quick trip, the Statue Cruises ferry ride provides breathtaking views and an efficient experience. However you choose to visit, make sure to smile, take a selfie, and wave at Lady Liberty – she’s the ultimate symbol of freedom, hope and new beginnings! What an inspiration. I can’t wait to go back again!