Monday, April 12, 2021 / Ellis Island, United States

Explore Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty with Me

A couple of weeks ago, I visited the spot where my ancestors on my dad’s side made their first stop in America.

I visited Ellis Island with my mom when I was in elementary school and thought it was fascinating! I remember it so distinctly. When Alex’s family was in town from Chicago, I decided to play tourist with them, and take them to one of the best spots to visit in New York as a tourist.

So many families traveled through Ellis Island. Ask your parents and grandparents! 12 relatives of mine (just from my dad’s grandfather’s side) traveled through Ellis Island. Their first stop was New York and most of them didn’t look back. So, I guess I’m a tried-and-true New Yorker.

You can see the names of all the people that traveled through Ellis Island on these giant walls looking towards the Manhattan skyline. I am such a history nerd, so this was such a cool trip!

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are national parks. The ticket for the ferry ride from Battery Park and both islands (Statute of Liberty and Ellis Island are each on their own islands) are all in one ticket.

We got on the ferry at Battery Park, sat on the top deck and took in the views of the city. The first ferry stop was the Statute of Liberty. We walked around the base of the Statute and saw how beautiful Lady Liberty is up, close and in-person. I don’t think she is open for touring, due to Covid right now, and normally you need special tickets to tour.

We got back on the ferry and rode to the second stop- Ellis Island. 
Ellis Island is the spot where immigrants would come do paperwork and health tests before coming into New York City.

The building is a museum with artifacts from immigrants, history of immigration, medical examination rooms and bunks for immigrants and their families to stay if they had to quarantine due to illness. Most immigrants only stayed a couple of hours on Ellis Island before being given approval to enter New York.

Ellis Island is such an amazing part of history. I would definitely recommend visiting if you are a tourist in New York or if you’re a native New Yorker. It’s a bucket list place to visit.


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