Day Trips: The Statue of Liberty
For the most part New York City is fairly easy to get to from just about anywhere in Connecticut. Living along the shoreline Amtrak and Metro North provide service into Grand Central Station. From there you can hop on the subway to many different parts of the city. For our trip this past weekend we decided to take Metro North from the brand new West Haven station.
After the 2 hour ride into Grand Central we headed to the subway to take the #5 train to the Bowling Green Station at Battery Park. Our next stop was inside Castle Clinton to pick up our will call tickets for the Statue Cruise. From trains to boats, we were off to see the Statue of Liberty National Monument.
We opted for the 10AM boat in hopes that it wouldn’t be too crowded yet. There was a large crowd but it hadn’t gotten to the overwhelming stage that we would see later in the day. The boat ride over was great with perfect weather. The views toward Liberty and Ellis Islands were excellent along with looking back toward lower Manhattan.
Once on Liberty Island we picked up the device for the audio tour and headed into the masses that were at the front of Lady Liberty. Along the way we listened to some of the facts and stories that the audio tour had to offer. We also took a whole lot of pictures.
After spending some time in the front with the masses we decided to head into the museum and up the pedestal. While it would have been great to have a ticket up to the crown, those need to be reserved 3 months in advance at this point.
The museum offered full size replicas of Lady Liberty’s face and part of her foot. There were also pictures and models showing the stages of development and building. On a hot summer day this was nice to get out of the sun and have thinner crowds. At this point we also stopped using the audio tour devices and just read the displays.
Next we hit the stairs to head up the pedestal. This is the highest our ticket would allow us to go. The top of the pedestal is somewhat narrow so it can feel very crowded. The view was spectacular, with perfect blue skies, looking toward New Jersey, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.
Feeling a bit squished and not having the best view of Lady Liberty herself we headed down to the lower levels of the pedestal. This is when we really saw the benefit of getting the tickets with the museum and pedestal access. There were a lot less people out on the lower levels of the pedestal. We could take pictures without having to worry about people walking in front of us or getting annoyed that we stopped.
I now was on a mission to get my National Park Passport book stamped showing that I had been here. There is a little National Park store along with a cafeteria. Once my passport was stamped we decided to just get our lunch here and find a shady spot to relax. There is another building that has bathrooms and a retail shop. This shop had people packed in like sardines. We skipped this and made our way to the line to get back on the boat.
As expected we did have to wait a little while in line but it wasn’t that bad. In all we ended up on staying on Liberty Island for 3 hours. If we didn’t have other plans for later in the afternoon I’m sure we would have lingered longer enjoying the beautiful day.