Who can leave New York without visiting Lady Liberty?
Donated by the people of France to America in 1886, the 100 meter high statue of Lady Liberty designed by Gustav Eiffel has been the symbol of New York (and the States in general) for over a century. It was also the first image of America seen by generations of immigrants who arrived through New York harbor. The monument sits on a national park island in the harbor, and can be accessed by boats departing from Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan. To reach the base of the pedestal, you need to climb up 168 steps (the elevator is no longer available), and to get to the crown, another heart-pounding 354 steps, a feat that should only be attempted by the limber. At the mouth of Hudson River and accessed by the same boat as the statue is Ellis Island, where more than 12 million immigrants were processed as they sought new lives in America. It is estimated that 40 per cent of modern Americans can trace their line back to an ancestor who passed through Ellis Island. Since 1990, the center has also had a somber and moving museum dedicated to the immigrant experience here.