Ellis Island National Monument
Ellis Island was the gateway through which more than 12 million immigrants passed between 1892 and 1954 in their search for freedom of speech and religion, and for economic opportunity in the United States. These steerage and third class steamship passengers who entered the United States through the port of New York were legally and medically inspected at Ellis Island. The Main Building on Ellis Island is now a museum dedicated to the history of immigration and the important role this island claimed during the mass migration of humanity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Ellis Island is Federal property within the shared territorial jurisdiction of the States of New York and New Jersey.
Millions of American citizens can now trace at least one ancestor through Ellis Island.Today, the areas to the left of the ferry slip are not open to the public, since the buildings and the grounds have not been restored.
The three floors of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum were designed to be self-guiding. The Ellis Island brochure guides visitors through the museum exhibits at their own pace. Allow several hours to explore the museum. You can watch the movie "Island of Hope, Island of Tears" and listen to immigrants talk about their experiences at Ellis Island. Ask about free movie tickets at the Information Desk in the Baggage Room.
National Park Service rangers lead a free walking tour through Ellis Island's historic halls. Walk in the footsteps of millions of immigrants as you learn about their journey to a new life in America.
Audio Tours are also available. These tours take visitors through the Ellis Island Immigration Museum exhibit galleries. Children's audio tours are specially designed for ages 6-10 with animal character narrators.
Free tours of the restored Ferry Building tell the story of the United States Public Health Service, its employees and immigrants treated for a variety of illnesses. Visitors must sign up for the tour in advance. For additional information, call Save Ellis Island, the National Park Service partner entrusted for the rehabilitation and reuse of the unrestored hospitals at (973) 347-8400 ext 17.
Temperature at Ellis Island and in New York Harbor can vary greatly from 0 degrees in Winter to over 100 degrees with high humidity in Summer.
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Foundation Inc. has been an instrumental partner in the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Since 2001, the Foundation has administered the American Family Immigration History Center™ at Ellis Island, making it possible to research manifest records for the Port of New York, through Ellis Island, from 1892-1924.(212) 561-4588
The Evelyn Hill company operates Ellis Island Café and the Ellis Island Gift Shop & Museum Store. The cafe provides a varied menu of high quality food, with an emphasis on organic ingredients and many heart-healthy options. The gift shop, located across from the cafe, features gift items and souvenirs inspired by various cultures represented at Ellis Island.(212) 344-0996
Ellis Island is located in New York Harbor and is accessible only by ferry. Ferries leave from Battery Park in lower Manhattan in New York City and from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ.
Battery Park, NY by car: Take the East Side Drive (FDR Drive) south to Battery Park and State Street or the West Side Highway/West Street/Route 9A south to Battery Place. Designated parking is not available. Privately operated parking lots are located along West Street and South Street (beneath the FDR Drive) and can be expensive. Because parking is limited, it is best to arrive early or, better yet, to take public transportation.
Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ by car: Take the New Jersey Turnpike Extension to Exit 14B. Follow the signs to Liberty State Park/Ferry to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. There is ample parking available in Liberty State Park for a fee.
The New York City metropolitan area is served by three major airports: Newark-Liberty International, LaGuardia, and JFK International.
Ellis Island is accessible only by Statue Cruises ferry boat. Private, and other commercial, vessels are not allowed to dock at either Ellis Island or Liberty Island. The Statue Cruises ferry that leaves from Liberty State Park in New Jersey stops at Ellis Island first, then continues on to Liberty Island before returning to New Jersey. The Statue Cruises ferry out of Battery Park in lower Manhattan stops at Liberty Island first. From there, the boat stops at Ellis Island, then returns to New York City.
For tickets and schedules, call 1-877-LADY-TIX or visit statuecruises.com.
Ferry Service from New York: Purchase round-trip ferry tickets at Castle Clinton National Monument in Battery Park in lower Manhattan. Ferries from New York operate on a loop, stopping first at Liberty Island and then at Ellis Island before returning to Battery Park.
- Battery Park by subway: Take the 1 or R train to the Whitehall Street / South Ferry station or the 4 or 5 train to the Bowling Green station. Call the NYC Transit Authority for information at 718-330-1234.
- Battery Park by bus: Take the M15 (East Side) marked "South Ferry" or the M6 (West Side) from 57th Street.
Ferry Service from New Jersey: Purchase round-trip ferry tickets at the Central Railroad Terminal Building and Museum at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ . Ferries from Liberty State Park operate on a loop, stopping first at Ellis Island and then at Liberty Island before returning to Liberty State Park.
- Liberty State Park by Light Rail: The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail train provides service through the Jersey City, NJ area and has a station at Liberty State Park about 1 mile from the ferry location. There is NO taxi service between the Light Rail station and the ferry. For more information on schedules, fares, service etc. call: 1-800 772-2222 (TTY) 1-800 772-2287.
- Newark Penn Station: Take the PATH subway to Exchange Place in Jersey City. Then take the Light Rail to the Liberty State Park station, approximately 1 mile from the ferry. There is NO taxi service between the Light Rail station and the ferry.
- Hoboken Train / PATH subway / Bus station: Take the Light Rail to the Liberty State Park station, approximately 1 mile from the ferry. There is NO taxi service between the Light Rail station and the ferry
- Journal Square, Jersey City: Take the PATH subway to Exchange Place in Jersey City. Then take the Light Rail to the Liberty State Park station, approximately 1 mile from the ferry. There is NO taxi service between the Light Rail station and the ferry.