Patricia Miller/Patricia Miller
Patricia Miller/Patricia Miller
AAA Editor Notes
Ellis Island is in New York Harbor north of the Statue of Liberty. Ellis Island is accessible only by ferry service from The Battery in Lower Manhattan and from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J.; take the subway to the South Ferry stop to reach the ferry departure point. This was the nation's main point of entry for millions of immigrants 1892-1954. The National Museum of Immigration has some 30 galleries and exhibits chronicling the history of immigration into the United States.

Highlights include the baggage, registry and hearing rooms; the American Family Immigration History Center, a computerized genealogy center with the names of immigrants processed during the peak years, 1820-1957; and The American Immigrant Wall of Honor, containing the names of more than 750,000 individuals.

The Peopling of America Center features exhibits dedicated to those who arrived before the immigration station opened in 1892, including early Native Americans, slaves, colonists and Europeans. “The Journey: New Eras of Immigration” exhibit focuses on the period after Ellis Island closed as a processing center. It presents interactive displays examining modern-day issues, highlighting the Immigration Act of 1965 and other legislation.

Ranger-led and audio tours are available. The 28-minute film “Island of Hope, Island of Tears” tells the story of immigrants traveling via steerage to the United States.

A round-trip ferry ticket includes stops at both Liberty and Ellis islands.

Guided tours are available. Food is available. Time: Allow 3 hours minimum.

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