7 Surprising Truths About Going to the Top of the Statue of Liberty
On my first trip to New York City, I was very excited to see some important monuments. Naturally, I was pumped to check out the Statue of Liberty — it's an important piece of America's history, after all. My boyfriend and I bought tickets to go to the crown of Lady Liberty, but it wasn't quite what I expected . . .
Overall I am very glad I made it to the top, but the experience getting there was pretty surprising. Keep reading to see what it's really like to go on the tour.
The security checkpoint is extremely thorough.
Once we arrived in Battery Park where the ferry to the Statue of Liberty boards, we had to go through a very intense airport-style security checkpoint before boarding the ferry. Naturally, this is a totally understandable procedure for the safety of visitors and the well-being of the statue itself.
After everyone in our time slot had been checked, the 15-minute ferry ride took us right up to Liberty Island. You can purchase a ticket that will take you to Ellis Island too if you'd like to see another piece of America's past.
You have to leave all personal items behind.
Upon arriving at Liberty Island, if you want to climb up to the crown, you have to leave all of your personal items behind in lockers located outside of the statue. The only items permitted are cameras and phones. After stowing away your items, you go through one more security checkpoint. This one is just as rigorous as the first.
Before exploring the Statue of Liberty herself, you get to see her original torch.
When you enter the Pedestal lobby, you can view the original torch that Lady Liberty held. It was removed in 1984 and replaced with the current torch.
It takes 377 steps to get to the crown — and it's a little scary.
If you don't like heights, this tour is not for you. From the feet of Lady Liberty to her crown, it takes 377 steps to reach the top. But these aren't just any steps — the steep spiral staircase you climb is narrow. It's not much wider than the average person, and the head clearance is six feet tall.
The photo above shows what the staircase looks like from the base of the pedestal. You can't even see all the way to the top! This is only a small portion of the staircase.
There are no elevators.
Once you start climbing, there's really no turning around. If you get scared, there are a few rangers on call to help you back down. The photo above shows what it looks like when you look halfway up the staircase. I did not get a chance to photograph the view of the ground because I was afraid I would drop my phone! You can see directly down to the pedestal floor as you make your way up.
Despite the great heights you must scale, to see the inside structure of the statue is pretty incredible. You get to see an inverted view of Lady Liberty's face as you climb back down. It's fascinating to look at.
The view from the crown is beautiful.
Once you reach the crown, you climb to a tiny flat space where you can look out the windows in the statue's crown. The windows are small but still big enough to snap some awesome photos. We went on a rainy day, so some raindrops got in the way of our pictures.
As you're leaving the crown to make your way back down, a ranger will let you feel the "skin of Lady Liberty." There's a ridge that accurately provides an example of how thick the statue is. It turns out that the entire copper structure is only as thick as two pennies put together.
It's totally worth a visit.
Yes, the staircase is a little scary and there's a long process to even get to Lady Liberty herself, but it's all worth it. Don't you want to say you climbed to the statue's crown and enjoyed the NYC skyline? It's an interesting experience everyone should have.