NEW YORK — The Statue of Liberty is scheduled to reopen to visitors on July Fourth for the first time since Superstorm Sandy. But for those who just want a photo op with the statue, there are many other vantage points, from Red Hook, Brooklyn, and Governors Island, to a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. The Staten Island ferry takes you right past the statue for free, while those on bigger budgets can reserve a room with a view at the luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel.
Here are 10 ways to get a great look at the Statue of Liberty, starting with the cruises that resume service to Liberty Island on July Fourth.
STATUE CRUISES TO LIBERTY ISLAND
Statue Cruises — http://www.statuecruises.com — is the sole operator for boats that take visitors to Liberty Island, where the Statue of Liberty is located. Boats are scheduled to resume departing from the Battery in Lower Manhattan on July 4, when Liberty Island reopens to the public for the first time since Superstorm Sandy last October. The statue itself was not damaged by the storm, but landing docks and infrastructure, including electrical, phone and sewage systems, required months of repair work by the National Park Service, which operates the statue.
Ellis Island was also damaged by the storm and no reopening date has been set, so cruises to the Statue of Liberty will not be stopping there yet as they did in the past, NPS spokesman John Warren said. But Warren added that the park service is "hopeful" that boats to Liberty Island will soon resume departures from Liberty State Park in New Jersey.
You can buy Statue Cruises tickets in person at the Battery, but the cruises do sell out, so advance online purchase is strongly recommended. There are three types of tickets: Access to the statue's crown, $20 ($17 for seniors, $12 for ages 4-12); or access to the pedestal of the monument or the grounds of Liberty Island, $17 ($14 for seniors, $9 ages 4-12).
Visit http://www.nps.gov/stli/planyourvisit/statue2012reopening.htm for more information.
STATEN ISLAND FERRY
Take the subway to Bowling Green or South Ferry and hop on a Staten Island ferry for a free ride across New York Harbor. The boats run 24 hours a day. There's always a crowd of tourists on deck taking photos as the boat passes the Statue of Liberty.
Many vessels offer sightseeing cruises of New York Harbor and Manhattan that sail right past the Statue of Liberty. They include the Circle Line, Manhattan by Sail's schooners, Hornblower Cruises, Spirit Cruises, New York Water Taxi and Bateaux New York. Some offer live music or fancy lunch or dinner cruises that can top $100.
BATTERY AND LOWER MANHATTAN
To see the Statue of Liberty without getting on a boat, just head to the southern tip of Lower Manhattan, an area known as the Battery (subway to South Ferry or Bowling Green).
While you're there, consider exploring other parts of Lower Manhattan, which includes the financial district and the 9/11 Memorial. NYC & Company, the city's official tourism agency, offers a guide at http://www.nycgo.com/lower-manhattan .
A walk across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the classic New York experiences. In addition to giving you a close look at the bridge's Gothic arches and delicate filigree of cables, it offers a magical view of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. To get the full impact of the skyscraper canyon coming into view, take the subway to the Brooklyn side (A or C to High Street) and walk back across the bridge.
Governors Island, a former Coast Guard facility now used for public recreation, offers inviting lawns, old forts, concerts, art exhibits and food vendors, along with great views of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Get there by ferry, weekends through Sept. 29 from Manhattan or Brooklyn, then walk or bike around the island, http://www.govisland.com/html/visit/directions.shtml .