Catch the ferry from New York or New Jersey and take in the rich history of America's largest and most active immigration station. Over 12 million immigrants were legally and medically inspected at Read more...
Catch the ferry from New York or New Jersey and take in the rich history of America's largest and most active immigration station. Over 12 million immigrants were legally and medically inspected at Ellis Island from 1892 to 1954. You can explore the records to see if any of your ancestors were among them.
There's so much to do, see and feel at this beautifully restored historical landmark. Start with the award-winning 30-minute documentary: "Island of Hope, Island of Tears." The film chronicles the immigrants' stories as they journeyed across the ocean to reach the doors of Ellis Island.
Head to the museum, where you'll find three floors of exhibits. There's a mind-blowing collection of over 1 million archival records and about 390,000 individual artifacts. You'll see a touching display of personal items families brought with them as they sought the promise of America.
Park Rangers are on hand to offer various walking tours through the historic walls. If you'd rather explore solo, pick up a floor plan at the Information Desk in the first-floor Baggage Room. The self-guided audio tour is fascinating and will lead you through the museum as well. If you're visiting with kids, there's a family friendly audio tour designed for ages 6-10.
Your ticket also gives you access to the grounds of Liberty Island (but you need a reservation to get to the statue's pedestal and crown). If you plan to hit both islands, take an early morning ferry. Considering that over 40 percent of America's population can trace their ancestry through Ellis Island, this is bound to be a moving and memorable experience.
Explore camping on public campgrounds along the way or on private land through Hipcamp for a more curated experience.