Statue of Liberty Crown Access Tour Review

The journey up inside the crown of the Statue of Liberty is a must do New York activity for locals and tourists alike. This was a hugely popular activity pre 9/11 but after that tragic day, access had been denied until late 2009. Due to the security considerations and the limited space inside the statue, tickets are strictly limited to just 200 a day. As the tickets are only $15, which includes the fairy to Liberty Island that you would have to pay anyway, they sell out months in advance, so be aware and purchase early.Even with pre-purchased tickets, it is still highly advisable to arrive at Battery Park and line up to catch the ferry to Liberty Island early, as the crowds become enormous very quickly. We were blessed with sensational sunny August day, without a cloud in the sky. We caught the subway, which even at 8am was packed, down to near Battery and quickly found where we needed to pick up our tickets, passed through airport style security and were soon on our way to Liberty Island.Although our scheduled time for our tour was 11am and we got on the ferry around 8:45, by the time we signed in for the tour, stowed our bags in lockers that recorded your fingerprints instead of giving you a key to open them later which is a great idea, cleared another layer of airport style security as you are not allowed to take anything up with you except a camera and then got inside the pedestal it was already 10am. They gave us a revised time of 10.45 to do the tour which gave us plenty of time to wonder through the Statue of Liberty museum and have a rest before the climb ahead of us.There is definitely no lifts or escalators here, if you want to get to the top you have to use your own feet to get up the 354 steps. The bottom 2/3 is pretty easy, it's wide and goes up like a normal staircase. The last 1/3 is a killer. It's very, very narrow, spirals tightly, and even though I'm fairly short at 5″9 I had to duck the whole last 1/3 otherwise I would have hit my head on very hard steel with every step. My wife powered up the steps, it helps being short, to the point where she ran into the back of the group in front of us who left 15 mins prior. I wasn't too far behind and we arrived at the platform in the crown at least 5 minutes before the family of British tourists who were sharing our tour.Being in the crown is an awesome experience, looking out over New York from inside such an iconic place. Looking straight down you could see the detail that had gone into the book that she carries and to your right, her arm holding the torch.

After about 15 mins and heaps of photos we commenced our decent, which was even harder for me as going down the steep tight third, I had to lean far forward not to hit my head. Still, the inconvenience of the stair case is worth the view and the sense of occasion of being inside somewhere truly special. In quick time we were at the viewing area at the top of the pedestal which I believe has the best viewing area of NY. After another million photos we descended back to the island itself where we walked around the base of the statue taking even more pictures.We had a quick look through the gift shop and then on the ferry back to Manhattan.We arrived back at 12:30, very pleased with our time. We wanted to have a walk around Battery where as we started wandering around, we saw a great line. Curious we headed over to realize it was the line for the ferry that we had caught earlier, the one that we all but walked onto. We followed this line around, and around, and around, and around as it looped it's way through the park. Eventually we finally reached the end and without any exaggeration at all, it was at least half a mile long! Wow. So here is a handy tip to anyone coming to New York, get there early! That being said, it was a wonderful experience and if you are physically capable, you should do the crown tour. It has been the highlight of our trip so far and we were buzzing for hours afterwards. The statue itself is amazing, the level of detail and it's beauty is even greater in person then on tv or photos.

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