The American Dream: Freedom and Immigration at The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island | Headout
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The American Dream: Freedom and Immigration at The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island


Stretching back to the Dutch colonial settlement in the early seventeenth century, Ellis Island became a place known for both heartache and joy, processing over 12 million immigrants to the United States from 1892 to 1954, with Liberty Island standing as a beacon of hope for many of these immigrants. On this Statue of Liberty Tour visiting Ellis Island and Battery Park in the company of an art historian or preservationist, we’ll visit both islands to understand how the American ideal of freedom has changed over the years, and how immigration and cultural exchange have profoundly impacted the entire country.

Visits Ellis Island and Battery Park
Examines the history of immigration in America
Statue of Liberty tour led by a historian

Statue of Liberty Tour
Beginning in Battery Park, we’ll visit Castle Clinton, the first immigration processing station, in use from 1855 to 1890. Initially built to protect New York during the War of 1812, the fort was never actually used for this purpose, was re-named Castle Garden, and was subsequently converted turned into a theater.

The Statue of Liberty
Jump on the ferry and make our next stop at Liberty Island, home to the Statue of Liberty. Liberty Island, however, has a longer history, from its stint as a smallpox quarantine station, to the years when it was known as “Love Island”, to the construction of Fort Wood, the star shaped structure that still stands today. We’ll then move on to the statue herself: designed by Frenchman Gustave Eiffel and gifted to the US in 1886, the neoclassical statue has long been an icon of American freedom and liberty, standing guard at the entry to New York Harbor.

Onto Ellis Island
Board the ferry and ride to Ellis Island. Situated just behind Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island represented a gateway to America and a promise of a better life for many immigrants. With the Manhattan skyline in the background, learn the long history of the island, named after colonial merchant Samuel Ellis and acquired by the state of New York in 1785.

Know Before You Go

Tour Timings:

The tour starts at 10:00 AM every day of the week

Tour Duration

Your tour duration is approximately 5 hours.


Your ticket is valid only for the date and time of your scheduled

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h2>Moderate Cancellation Policy

You may cancel up to 48 hours in advance for a full refund.

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Additional Information

The Statue of Liberty does not allow selfie sticks, large bags, large bottles of water, tripods, and other large objects.

There is an airport-style security screening involving metal detectors, long lines and occasional questioning as a part of access to the Statue of Liberty. Clients with mobility issues may be eligible for an expedited security process.

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