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What to Do When the Statue of Liberty is Sold Out


Hi, I'm Jessica!

Jessica Colley Clarke is a freelance writer and curious traveler based in New York City. Her stories have appeared in AFAR magazine, BBC Travel, The Daily Beast, and the New York Times, among other publications.

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Hi, I'm Jessica!

Jessica Colley Clarke is a freelance writer and curious traveler based in New York City. Her stories have appeared in AFAR magazine, BBC Travel, The Daily Beast, and the New York Times, among other publications.

see more

A visit to the Statue of Liberty is a popular New York experience, and that often leads to limited availability on admission. If you find yourself in lower Manhattan but are unable to snag tickets, don’t fret: here are ways to catch a glimpse of Lady Liberty in the Battery (aka Battery Park) and beyond.

Take the Staten Island Ferry (for free)

Best for: Keeping plans flexible

You don’t need a MetroCard (or even pay a fare) to ride the Staten Island Ferry. This free boat ride is a 25-minute trip from the tip of Manhattan to the borough of Staten Island. During the five-mile journey, stand on the deck facing west for the best views of Lady Liberty and Ellis Island. Once the boat arrives in Staten Island, all passengers must disembark, but you can turn right around for the return trip that includes stellar views of Manhattan skyscrapers and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Ride the SeaGlass Carousel

Best for: Entertaining the kids

Families looking for a quick dose of entertainment may want to check out the SeaGlass Carousel in the Battery. Hop in one of the 30 shimmering fish for a three-and-a-half-minute spin designed to feel like you are actually under the sea. The unique aquatic theme reflects local history: the first New York Aquarium was located in this area from 1896 to 1941. The indoor carousel is open daily and children under 42 inches tall must ride on an adult’s lap (only one child per adult lap is permitted).

Grab a Bite at Pier A Harbor House

Best for: Dining without reservations

Located at the edge of the Battery, Pier A Harbor House is one of Manhattan’s best places to shoot oysters and take in the Statue of Liberty views. Tables are not in short supply here, unlike other nearby restaurants with limited space, meaning there’s usually space to kick back and admire the views. Go indoors, bar, or al fresco: Outdoor tables are especially coveted in warmer months, with a breeze coming off the Hudson River.

Explore the Battery’s history

Best for: Learning about the park’s monuments

Castle Clinton today may be known for its Statue of Liberty ticket booths, but it served a larger purpose back in 1812 as a fort to prevent British invasion. Ranger-led guided tours are offered on a daily basis. Complete a historic tour of Battery Park with a visit to the East Coast Memorial for fallen WWII servicemen, and the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Beyond the border of the park, check out the Charging Bull Statue (1989), visit the Museum of Jewish Heritage, or wander through the Skyscraper Museum.

Watch the Sunset from a Rooftop Bar

Best for: Elevating your Lady Liberty views

Some of the best views of lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty can be found from rooftops. Visit the seasonal Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar on the 16th floor of the Conrad New York for prosecco, popsicles, and cocktails. Plan your visit for sunset to see Lady Liberty radiate against the skyline. In that moment, you realize not having a ticket to see her up close and personal isn’t so bad after all.

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