by nycgo.com staff [Updated 05/05/2015]
Statue of Liberty. Photo: Julienne Schaer
- top attractions/
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
The Statue of Liberty is New York City's most recognizable landmark, a gleaming beacon for generations of immigrants seeking a better life in America. To visit the monument, buy tickets online in advance of your trip at statuecruises.com. (Though you can see Lady Liberty from land, the short ferry ride to Liberty Island will bring you up close and personal.)
The nearby Ellis Island Immigration Museum provides a fascinating view of a historic crossroads. At this site, visitors can explore the building that served as the first port of entry in the United States for approximately 12 million immigrants, as well as search ship manifests for passenger names in the American Family Immigration History Center. The Peopling of America Center further illustrates the story of American immigration, focusing on the earliest arrivals to New York (including Native Americans, as well as victims of the slave trade) up to 1892, when the Ellis Island processing station opened, and from 1954 onward, after the facility closed.