I have left it too late to book tickets to go up the crown in the SOL. Is it worth paying the pedestal entry fee or just as good to do the Staten Island Ferry. Thanks for reading.
I've taken the Staten Island ferry with many of my friends and family from out of state and overseas. The Staten Island ferry is free, and you can see the SOL from afar.
1. NPS: https://www.nps.gov/stli/planyourvisit/index.htm
2. Statue Cruises https://www.statuecruises.com/#/
To enjoy the views and to be closer to the SOL without stepping out of the boat, I suggest joining a Circle Line 1-hour day or evening cruise from downtown Pier 16 at South Street Seaport: https://www.circleline42.com/cruises-and-schedules/downtown-statue-of-liberty-express/
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I would definitely do the pedestal visit which is the same price as ground entrance. There is a free audio tour which is interesting. Continue to Ellis Island and enjoy the free audio tour also.
It depends upon how you feel about crowds. It is a very popular destination. If a sight is mobbed I usually walk away because I prefer
To experience sights with more breathing room.
I have never even tried to access the crown. It was closed for many years. But if you get up there, tell us if it was worth it.
To answer your question specifically, yes, it is absolutely worth paying for the Statue Ferry for three good reasons (particularly as it will be in a tourist season lull between Labor Day and Thanksgiving):
1. You can get off the boat and explore Liberty Island, which has its own unique view of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The island is quite roomy, particularly as we are past summer. Lots of photo ops.
2. There is still a fantastic view from the Statue of Liberty pedestal, which alone still requires a lot of steps to walk up. The crown is unique, but the pedestal is still very cool to do, and adds extra steps to the Fitbit.
3. Entry to the national park also grants you access to Ellis Island, which that alone is a must visit to immerse in the late 19th century/early 20th century history of New York.
Pair Ellis Island up with a visit to the Tenement Museum and you will be an "Immigrants of New York" history pro! :)
Note: Most of the people who've visited me in NY and have visited Lady Liberty have taken the better part of the day to explore. My experience has a 10am start usually ends around 3-5 by the time you return to Battery Park.
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We took the ferry to Ellis Island which docks at the SOL and we decided not to get off there based on the huge crowds waiting to get ON. But that was in June. The advantage to the Staten Island ferry (which I have not taken in MANY years) is that I think it is free.