The Statue of LibertyTours & Activities
Hands-down the most famous statue in the world, Lady Liberty doesn't need an introduction (though she's got some surprises up her flowing sleeve: did you know, for example, that this quintessential American monument was actually made in Paris, and by the designer of the Eiffel Tower, no less?) The 46m (151ft) high copper figure of the Roman goddess Libertas, crowned and holding aloft a gold-plated torch, has dominated New York harbour – and the hearts of Americans – since she was first unveiled in 1886. For generations of immigrants, arriving in New York by boat, the Statue of Liberty was their first glimpse of America: a glorious first friend, her face turned in welcome towards incoming ships. Nowadays more than four million visitors a year take the ferry out to Liberty Island to climb the 354 stairs to the statue's crown, or just stand beneath her sandaled feet, stepping out of their cast-off chains.
Cruise round New York Harbour on the Staten Island Ferry to get the classic boat's eye view of the Statue of Liberty, or hop aboard the ferry in Battery Park for a trip to Liberty Island itself, where you can get to know the most famous lady in the USA face-to-face (or face-to-pedestal, more accurately). Take a guided tour of the grounds to learn more about the monument’s history, or explore inside the pedestal, where there's an observation deck and a museum with exhibits including the statue’s original torch, replaced in 1986. If you book far enough in advance, you might even snag one of the much-coveted Crown Tickets, which allow you to climb all the way up to the statue's diadem. And while tours of the statue run only in the daytime, don't forget to look towards Lady Liberty at night when you're back on shore: she's at her loveliest after dark, floodlit and with her golden torch gleaming like a beacon across the Manhattan sky.