After four days in Philadelphia, we left very early in the morning and headed to New York City for the last leg of our vacation. We had planned to visit the Statue of of Liberty and Ellis Island as our first order of business.
Driving around New Jersey is horrendous. Alright, I admit I am a small city boy. The drivers in around this area is so aggressive, if you ask me. Rather than driving around looking for a nice place to eat, we decided to just drop by the nearest fast food joint for our breakfast.
Coffee was so essential these days to our daily diet. I can’t seem to think of any day when we did not have a cup of coffee in the morning. BK’s coffee was quite OK.
I got a BK sandwich.
Suanne got a BK croissant.
t Suanne and I had to live up to being food bloggers but we unashamedly admit that we love the BK breakfast.
We also love the price … less than $10 bucks … and no need to leave tips too. Anyway, this is not the point of this post. This is our trip to Ellis Island.
One thing about visiting Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. This is a really popular tourist attraction. If this is not the #1 tourist attraction in the whole of the United States, this one is certainly on the top three. One major tip … you should never ever just decide then and there to visit this place. We booked our cruise to these islands three weeks on the web before the trip … and even then the choice times were solidly booked.
You can visit both Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty either from New York City or from New Jersey. Since we drove from Philadelphia, we took the cruise from New Jersey’s Liberty State Park. Between NYC’s Battery Park and NJ’s Liberty State Park, going from NJ is certainly less crowded.
The departure point is from an old disused train terminal.
The ferries runs every 30 minutes starting from 8:30AM in the morning to about 5’ish everyday. When you book your cruise, you select the times you wanted. I think they do not strictly enforce the time but just used that as a means to manage the crowd.
Although we read that we need to allocate 5 hours for the entire trip, we thought it was too long and that we could easily cover this in lesser time. We were wrong! If you really want to cover everything, you really need AT LEAST 5 hours.
Ellis Island is located just across the harbour from Manhattan.
At the turn of the 20th century, before the days of flight, immigrants to the US entered the country primarily through New York. It is in the Ellis Island that immigrants were processed before they were let into the new country.
Today, Ellis Island is no longer an immigration processing station.
Over 60 years, all immigrants went through this hall. I can’t recall exactly the numbers now but today about 20%-25% of all Americans is related to someone who had passed through this hall.
We caught a free movie which is an excellent way to learn more about Ellis Island.
There are exhibits all throughout the main building. Like most museums, they also had audio guides that help led us through each exhibits.
In all, we took about 3 hours to visit this place because there were so much to see and learn here.