One of the world's most famous statues is an iconic symbol of freedom and hope to the country's immigrants and to visitors from all over the world.
Standing on New York Harbor's Liberty Island, the Statue of Liberty is an iconic fixture of the cityscape, and has served as a symbol of hope and American idealism for generations.
The statue was offered to the country as a gift from the French in 1886, commemorating the American Declaration of Independence. Since then, this 92-metre-tall monument was the first sight many immigrants would have of America after a wearying voyage across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe and beyond, when they came here in their droves in the 19th century.
Today, you can see it from afar as you stand on the shore in Manhattan. Or take a ferry trip across to the island from Battery Park, to see the monument up close as well as to enjoy remarkable views of the city skyline from a unique vantage point.
When you arrive on the island, you can take an hour-long guided tour run by the National Park Service. These tours will give you an insight into the history of the island and the statue. If you want to stroll alone however, self-guided audio tours are also on offer. There is a queue to go up to explore the statue's crown, but it is an experience which is worth the wait. From here, you can look out through 25 glass windows to enjoy a panoramic view of New York.
Just a short ride north of Liberty Island, you can take a trip to visit Ellis Island Immigration Museum. It was here until 1954 where all of the people who sought asylum or came to start a new life in the United States were processed. This intriguing history of immigration is charted at the museum, with its exhibits containing photographs, artefacts and prints as well as videos and interactive displays all within this fascinating and evocative building.
Located in the New York Harbor, between Lower Manhattan and Staten Island, you can reach the Statue of Liberty by taking a ferry across from Battery Park, which in turn can be reached by bus or subway.