We knew we couldn't visit New York City without visiting the Statue of Liberty. So on Day 6 we hopped the subway again to get downtown. A ticket for the ferry is $12.00 and there are only a certain number of monument passes (which are free) available each day. You can still visit Liberty Island without a monument pass. We had no problem getting monument passes, but the site does say and I have had a friend whose daughter lives in NYC say that it is best to go early during the busier times of year in order to get a monument pass.
You have to go through airport type security before getting on the ferry to go to Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty. If you have a monument pass you are allowed to enter the museum and pedestal observation levels only. You have to go through another security screening before entering the monument. I have to say it's even tighter than airport security. We didn't have to take our sneakers off, but those that had boots did. And the screening portal (for lack of a technical term) seemed much more high-tech than those at airports.
They no longer allow anyone to go up into the statue's crown and torch. I don't know if this started after the attacks of 9/11, but the park service ranger in the monument said that when it was built it wasn't made for such large crowds and did not meet safety guidelines and fire codes. Looking up into I'd have to completely agree. Not to mention the climb you'd have to make to get up there. To get to the pedestal's observation level there is an elevator available, but we took the stairs. All 354 of those stairs. Talk about a workout.
Oh and did you know that the Statue of Liberty is made of copper? How did I not ever realize this fact. It was a cloudy day, but the cold was bearable. Now, brace yourself for the photo overload.
This is looking up into the stairs going up to the crown.
Ellis Island from the Ferry. We didn't visit it although if I ever go again I think I'd like to.