Rising against the Lower Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty is one of New York City’s most recognizable landmarks, and no visit to the Big Apple is complete without paying your respects.
Lady Liberty stands at 151 feet featuring symbolic elements such as the book she carries featuring the date of the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776), the seven points of her crown symbolizing the seven seas, the seven continents, and the rays of the sun. This gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. Each year approximately 4.4 million people visit her making it one of the most famous tourist attractions in the United States.
Whether you’re looking for a day trip out to Ellis Island and Liberty State Park for the full Statue of Liberty experience or just hoping to spy Lady Liberty and Liberty Island alongside fabulous views of the New York Harbor and the New York City skyline, here are nine great spots to catch the best views of the Statue of Liberty, by land or by sea.
1. Head up to One World Observatory
If you really want to be above it all and take in unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty (and plenty of other popular tourist attractions), you’d do well to head to One World Trade Center, the city’s tallest building.
From a staggering 1,776 feet above the ground, the skyscraper’s One World Observatory has stunning views of Lady Liberty and the Hudson River, not to mention great views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Financial District, and the Empire State Building, to name just a few iconic Big Apple landmarks.
The best time to visit the observatory for the most spectacular perspective of the Statue of Liberty is at sunset for out-of-this-world panoramic views.
2. Head down to The Battery
For an unforgettable view of the statue and Ellis Island, head to The Battery (formerly known as Battery Park). Located on the southern tip of Lower Manhattan, it’s a great vantage point for taking in fabulous views of the New York Harbor, Governor’s Island, Brooklyn, the New Jersey Shore, and the Verrazano Bridge.
Not only are the views first-rate but they are free as well.
3. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
Another (completely free!) way to see the iconic statue is to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Strolling across the bridge is an experience in itself, especially if you go early in the morning for sunrise or just around the time the sun sets. But it’s also a pretty amazing way to see Lady Liberty and Liberty State Park, as well as beautiful Brooklyn Heights.
From the Brooklyn Bridge, one gets an incredible 360-degree view of New York City, and looking south over the water, you can see the Statue of Liberty in the distance.
4. Take a Staten Island Ferry ride
To get a great view of the Statue of Liberty up close and with little fuss, hop on the Staten Island ferry.
The free trip connecting Staten Island’s St. George terminal and Manhattan’s Whitehall takes approximately half an hour, giving you just enough time to snap some excellent shots of the Statue of Liberty from the water.
An added bonus? Manhattan’s Staten Island ferry terminal is within walking distance to Castle Clinton, the departure point and ticket office for Statue City Cruises—just in case the ride makes you crave a close-up view of the statue, too.
5. Picnic at Louis Valentino Jr. Pier and Park
Located on the waterfront in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood is Louis Valentino Jr. Pier and Park. This lovely park is the perfect spot for a picnic with unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty, plus Staten Island, New York Harbor, and Governor’s Island.
Take in a rare face-to-face view from Park-and-Pier in Red Hook with the closest front-facing view of the Statue of Liberty’s towering countenance from anywhere on land in New York.
6. Visit the Museum of Jewish Heritage
Overlooking the Hudson River, a touch off the beaten path, the Museum of Jewish Heritage is a fantastic spot to see the statue while learning about the history of Jewish-American culture and identity.
7. Spend the day at Governors Island
This island situated in New York Bay offers spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty, but it’s a fabulous spot to see while visiting NYC for other reasons, too.
Governors Island boasts historic architecture, contemporary art exhibitions, and opportunities to engage in a wide range of sporting activities, making it an excellent (and quick!) getaway from the big city.
Pack a picnic, hop on the cheap ferry over, and climb up one of the island’s hilltops for a fabulous lunch with tremendous views of Lady Liberty and the New York City Skyline. While there, why not check out some of the cultural and sports offerings to boot?
8. Spend time exploring Green-Wood Cemetery
If you want to avoid the crowds vying for Statue of Liberty photo ops, head to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. Here you’ll have unobstructed views of Lady Liberty, and the chance to explore one of New York’s most interesting historical areas.
A cemetery tour takes you to the resting places of such luminaries as classical composer Leonard Bernstein and Samuel F. B. Morse, the inventor of the Morse Code, among others.
9. Take a seat (or a stroll) on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade
Perched above the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and facing out onto the New York Harbor, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade is a lovely way to get top-notch (if long-distance) views of Lady Liberty, not to mention excellent views of the Manhattan Skyline and Brooklyn Bridge Park.
This walk in the Promenade creates that perfect, “New York City moment,” where you can see these all at once before the path leads to the waterfront. The view at night is spectacular, and the best part is the price-free!
There’s plenty to see and do around the promenade too—Brooklyn Heights boasts an array of dining options and some of the best examples of brownstone architecture in the borough.
Original post date: December 16, 2022