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Ellis Island, New York City

New York City, New York, United States, North America: a museum, Ellis Island was the first stop in America for roughly 12 million immigrants
New York Harbor
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 363 3200's insider take:

Roughly 12 million immigrants passed through this island as they entered America from the late 1800s through the mid-1950s, sometimes at the rate of thousands a day. Their reception was not always welcoming, and their stories of hope and struggle are re-created today in the restored hall and museum. Walking through the Baggage Room and up to the Registry Room, visitors experience the path just as the immigrants did, tracing their fates through photographs, artifacts, and oral histories. Outside, the American Immigrant Wall of Honor is a testament to about 600,000 of those new Americans. Anyone who wants to research his or her ancestors can start a search at the American Family Immigration History Center, or on the island's website. This is history in a very palatable medium—trust us, you'll like it. To get there, board the Circle Line-Statue of Liberty ferry from Battery Park (at the southern tip of Manhattan). Tickets can be purchased at Statue Cruises. It's recommended that you arrive at the ferry two hours before your tour time, as boarding is on a first-come, first-serve basis—there are airport-style security measures—and the lines can get very long, especially during the summer.

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