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Seven Wonders of the World without the Wait

by Isabel Sterne and Dana Fraser

Statue of Liberty, New York City, New York

Crowd source: New York's Lady Liberty started welcoming new arrivals from all over the world in 1886. And she's still welcoming people. Tons of them. These days, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free (5 million souls annually) include fidgety school groups, nerve-strained parents, and foreign package tourists—all jostling for photo ops. Lines to climb the stairs inside are virtually unavoidable, and you must purchase a ticket in advance.

The shortcut: Travel expert and longtime New Yorker Justin Ocean suggests skipping Liberty Island altogether and hopping aboard the free Staten Island Ferry or a private harbor cruise. The views from the water surpass those from the island (who wants a picture up Lady Liberty's nostril?), and you can channel the experience of immigrants who once sailed by on their way to neighboring Ellis Island. And with the interior of the statue closing at the end of October 2011 for a year of renovations, there's less of a reason to disembark than ever. Those opting for the Staten Island Ferry should sail in the late morning or early afternoon to avoid the rush-hour commuter crowds. If you opt for the Circle Line, try to go on a weekday. Manhattan by Sail runs limited night tours in the summertime on classic clipper ships, providing an up-close-and-personal look at Lady Liberty's silhouette at sunset.

Circle Line
Tel: 212-563-3200
From $27

Manhattan by Sail
Tel: 212 619 0907
From $45

Staten Island Ferry
Tel: 718-330-1234
Free

Next: Embrace the dark side of the Parthenon >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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