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Top 5 Tips for Visiting Ellis Island


Make the most of your trip to Ellis Island.
Hi, I'm Madigan!

Madigan Talmage-Bowers is a writer based in Denver, Colorado. She has also lived in Italy, San Francisco, and New York City, where she studied media theory at the New School. She loves introducing her kids to ancient history, local art, hiking trails, and new foods on adventures around the globe.

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Hi, I'm Madigan!

Madigan Talmage-Bowers is a writer based in Denver, Colorado. She has also lived in Italy, San Francisco, and New York City, where she studied media theory at the New School. She loves introducing her kids to ancient history, local art, hiking trails, and new foods on adventures around the globe.

see more

1. Give yourself plenty of time

You’ll likely need at least half a day to visit Ellis Island, including the ferry trip and time to explore the museum. If you can, visit on a weekday morning to avoid the worst crowds.

2. Book ahead

You can also shave some time off your visit by purchasing ferry tickets online. Keep in mind that all visitors must pass through security lines to board the ferry, so arrive at the terminal a bit before your scheduled departure time.

3. Join a tour

Free ranger-led tours walk visitors through the history of Ellis Island and trace the stories of people who passed through here during the center’s peak period from 1892 to 1924. Junior Ranger tours help keep kids engaged with a booklet of activities to complete in order to earn their own “badge.”

4. Go behind the scenes

Special “hard hat tours” give access to parts of Ellis Island normally closed to the public, including the laundry building, hospital, and kitchen. Reservations and an additional fee are required.

5. Include Lady Liberty

Ferry tickets to Ellis Island also include a stop at Liberty Island, home to the Statue of Liberty. Make a full day of it and visit both sites for the price of one (access to the inside of the statue requires an additional ticket).

Ways to Experience Ellis Island

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