Use of public transportation (subway, ferry). Walking up to 8 miles throughout the day.
In the Tick Tock Diner.
We’ll walk from the hotel with our Group Leader and ride the subway to the ferry that will take us on to Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty. You will be able to explore Liberty and Ellis Islands at your own pace during this self-directed field trip. The National Park Service recently opened a fantastic new museum on Liberty Island. There is also a family-friendly audio guide included with each ferry ticket that can be picked up at the Acoustiguide booth on Liberty Island or perhaps choose to take a Ranger-led exploration. Another short ferry ride goes from Liberty Island to Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty was an amazing gift to the people of America from the people of France — our oldest ally — celebrating freedom and democracy. We’ve seen this national monument in countless movies and TV shows and may even take it for granted, but on the Fourth of July 1884, it was the biggest event in the country. Years later, these words of poet Emma Lazarus were added: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
At the Statue of Liberty cafeteria on Liberty Island.
At your own pace, it’s on to Ellis Island. From 1892 when the immigration station opened until it closed in 1954, more than 12 million people coming to America passed through Ellis Island. This was their “golden door” to new lives. Today, the descendants of these immigrants make up almost half of all Americans. The Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration tells the story of where people came from and what their experience was like. We all came from somewhere. This is a chance to learn more about your own family heritage at the genealogy center (small additional fee.) We’ll regroup on the front steps of The Ellis Island Museum to take the ferry back to Manhattan as a group. Arriving back on Manhattan Island, we’ll explore the oldest inhabited area of the city and learn about some of New York’s ties to the American Revolution. Then, we’ll follow in the footsteps of immigrants, many of whom went first from Ellis Island to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, at one time the most densely populated neighborhood on earth. The Lower East Side is today home to New York’s Chinatown and Little Italy.
At a restaurant in Little Italy.
Before we return to the hotel, we’ll have some time for independent exploration in this iconic neighborhood. When people came from other countries, they brought their language, customs, and favorite foods. How about some authentic Italian gelato?