1. Allow Plenty of Time for Your VisitIf you want to visit both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, allow 5-6 hours for your visit. For the Statue of Liberty alone, it will take about 2-3 hours if you attend a tour. Arrive at the ferry 2 hours prior to your tour to ensure timely arrival.
2. Arrive Early to Avoid LinesLines for the ferry to Liberty Island are longest on weekends in the summer, but even during the week, the wait can be over an hour to get on the ferry. Plan to visit the Statue of Liberty during the week if possible and catch the first ferry of the day to avoid unnecessary waiting.
3. Pack a PicnicThere is plenty of space for enjoying a picnic lunch on Liberty Island. You can avoid the lines at the concession stand (as well as the overpriced, fairly mediocre food) by bringing along a picnic lunch of snacks from one of New York City's great gourmet grocery stores.
4. There Are Stairs to ClimbFerries and Liberty Island are fully accessible, but accessing the monument requires walking up 26 steps.
5. Prepare for the SunSunblock and water are a good idea if the weather looks warm and bright.
6. Know Where to GoFull-service bathrooms are available on Liberty Island.
7. Free Tours with No Reservations RequiredFree ranger-led tours are available on Liberty Island, leaving from the base of the Statue.
8. See the Statue of Liberty's Original TorchMonument Passes offer visitors access to the Statue of Liberty museum and a chance to see the Statue's original torch. Tickets for these tours are limited and popular, so reserve in advance online or by calling 877-LADY-TIX.
9. Store Your Things in a LockerIf you're going inside of the Statue of Liberty, only small purses and camera bags are allowed (and will be inspected). There are lockers for rent ($1 for 2 hours) in the Liberty Island gift shop.
10. Junior Ranger Programs Keep Kids Interested
For children 7-12 there is a Junior Ranger Program available. Pick up a free booklet on Liberty Island (or see it online, PDF required).