One of the world’s most famous landmarks, the Statue of Liberty, is set to open her doors to the public again in October, following a $27-million renovation over the past year.
Public access to observation levels at the statue’s pedestal and her crown is set to resume on October 28, which also marks the 126th birthday of Lady Liberty. The latest renovations include a new passenger elevator, stairs, and wheelchair lift, which will, for the first time, allow visitors in wheelchairs to visit the top of the pedestal to see the interior of the statue.
Guests who don’t mind breaking a sweat can try to snag one of the 240 coveted reservations allowed every year to climb the 350 steps to the crown, where spectacular views of New York Harbor spread out.
The statue, which was a gift of friendship from France to the United States and dedicated on October 28, 1886, has undergone several openings and closings since September 11, 2001, when the federal government shut her doors for three years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Start planning early. Several ticket options are available through the park's ferry concessioner, Statue Cruises, which also offers a stop at neighboring Ellis Island. One ferry departs at Battery Park in lower Manhattan, which can get quite crowded, and another departs from Liberty State Park in New Jersey.
Plan for a mid-week visit in the off-season. Not surprisingly, crowds reach peak levels on the weekends, as well as during the summer and holiday seasons when New York City swells with visitors. Pick a weekday visit to avoid some of the hordes.
Pack appropriately. Temperatures on the harbor can get quite chilly, even in the summer, so make sure to pack at least a light jacket in warm weather and a heavier one (plus a hat) during fall and winter. However, keep all other belongings to a minimum, as security is quite tight (especially at the Statue of Liberty National Monument). Don’t be the person in line that everybody is rolling their eyes at because you packed the kitchen sink in your backpack.