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Seeing the Statue of Liberty at Sunset (Best Spots for Views)

Seeing the Statue of Liberty at Sunset (Best Spots for Views)

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most iconic attractions to take in during a visit to New York City. You can opt for a boat tour from the water, visit the statue itself, see it during a helicopter ride, or just take in the view from the mainland.

While there are plenty of ways to go about it, there is no better time for a visit than to see the Statue of Liberty at sunset. Having the last moments of light set in the city with the sky changing colors around the statue is a perfect way to end a day.

This guide will go into detail on the various ways to see the Statue of Liberty at sunset so you can best decide how to enjoy the experience on your trip to New York City.

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1) Ways to See the Statue of Liberty at Sunset

As mentioned there are several different ways to see the Statue of Liberty at sunset. Below is a list of those options to give you an idea of what type of experience works best for you. If you happen to be in the city for several days, then maybe you can get a couple of these into your itinerary:

Sunset Cruise

One of the more popular options out there is to join a Statue of Liberty sunset cruise that will make its way through the Hudson and/or East River visiting the Statue of Liberty along the way. For this option though, you will not visit the island itself. You simply will view it from a far.

Visiting the Statue

You can also opt to visit the Statue of Liberty island itself (as well as nearby Ellis Island). Unfortunately, you cannot stay on the island for sunset. The last boats usually depart just before sunset meaning if you take the last boat from Liberty Island, you will be able to view sunset on the ride back.

Helicopter Ride

A more unique way to go about a Statue of Liberty sunset experience is to take a helicopter ride over the city. There are sunset specific rides that make sure the timing is just right to view the city and the Statue of Liberty from above as the sun sets.

Statue of Liberty Sunset Viewpoints

If you would rather stay on dry ground, then there are several places to choose from, where you can view the Statue of Liberty. These include Manhattan, Brooklyn and Jersey City. I will dive into these exact locations further into this guide.

Helpful Notes

the sun always sets in the vicinity of the Statue of Liberty so you should always get that colorful golden hour around the area no matter how/where you choose to enjoy sunset (on a clearer day at least).

There is also a chance to see the sun set directly behind the Statue of Liberty. This will all depend on time of year, location and weather. At the end of this guide you should find a more in-depth overview of when/where the sun sets directly behind the statue.

Check out some other viewpoints around the area in the guide to the top views in New York City.

Battery Park Lady Liberty

2) Sunset Boat Cruise Tour

A sunset cruise to the Statue of Liberty is a great way to see the statue from up close and get quite a fun experience out of it.

These cruises don’t just circle Liberty Island. They usually make their way all along the Hudson and East Rivers as you get some beautiful views all around.

You will get to take in views of the Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey skylines, and also can make your way to historical sites such as the Brooklyn Bridge. This will all depend on the type of cruise you choose as there are different options out there.

Another thing to consider is whether or not you want to make it a dinner & drinks cruise or simply a quick ride around the waters. There are really plenty of choices here and there should definitely be something out there for you.

Below are some of the top options to choose from depending on what type of experience you are looking for:

Insider Tip: don’t want to spend the money on an official boat tour? You can take the Staten Island Ferry from Battery Park to the Staten Island for free! If you time it right you should be able to get on a nice ride towards Staten Island as the sun sets. You will then just take the next ferry right back afterwards.

3) Visiting the Statue of Liberty

Another option here is to actually visit the Statue of Liberty. As mentioned though, you unfortunately cannot be on the island itself for sunset. The last boats leave the island just before sunset.

This means you should be able to enjoy sunset from the boat and then from the waterfront area around Battery Park.

When going about tickets for this boat ride, there is only one official ticket provider. Don’t get caught up in all the other options you may be offered either online or onsite. All of these providers are simply going to mark up tickets you could have purchased for yourself.

Statue City Cruises is the official boat provider between Manhattan, Liberty Island, Ellis Island and Jersey City. Head to their website for schedules and ticket purchasing options. You can also purchase regular tickets here ahead of time.

Visit the Statue of Liberty as part of a longer 4 days in NYC itinerary that takes you throughout the city.

4) Helicopter Tour

The most unique of options out there has to be the helicopter tour from above. There are helicopter companies that also offer doors off (and doors on) flights around NYC.

They also offer special flights for an additional cost that will have you experiencing a beautiful sunset over the city.

You not only will get to visit the Statue of Liberty but also places like Central Park, Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, downtown Manhattan and plenty more!

Helicopter Statue of Liberty

5) Mainland Viewing Locations

Lastly, you can opt for a Statue of Liberty sunset from the mainland of NYC.

While all of the above options will cost some money, this one has no costs whatsoever – just you and the sunset.

If you are interested in seeing the sun setting directly behind the Statue of Liberty, then I will refer you to the next section of this guide.

However, you can still enjoy a Statue of Liberty sunset from any location you choose – the sun just may be off to the side instead of directly behind and you should still get some nice colors around the statue itself.  

Below are my favorite spots in NYC to take in a Statue of Liberty sunset:

Battery Park

At the very southern tip of Manhattan you will find an area called The Battery or Battery Park. It is just below the Financial District and the World Trade Center area.

The park wraps around the tip of the island with a nice riverside pathway that you are able to follow all the way around. Here is also where the boats leave for Liberty Island if you decide to head there yourself.

All along this pathway though you will get great views of the Statue of Liberty out in the distance with New Jersey, Staten Island, and Ellis Island all in view.

Statue of Liberty Sun Torch
Sun Behind the Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty Colors

Brooklyn Bridge Park

All along the Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights neighborhoods you will find one long park along the waterfront. Here you will find smaller parks, piers, and walkways that hug the East River.

Brooklyn Bridge Park is full of great views of downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. For the best views of the statue itself head towards Pier 1, 2 or 3 where you should get some nice angles of lady liberty.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Statue of Liberty Sunset
Statue of Liberty Sunset Brooklyn Bridge Park

Manhattan Bridge & Brooklyn Bridge

One of my favorite activities to take part of is to walk the bridges of Manhattan. Two of my favorites are the Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge.

As you are walking across the pedestrian pathways on the bridges you will get views of the Statue of Liberty way out in the distance. Not to mention the rest of the Manhattan skyline from afar.

While a bit further away, it still offers some of the best views you can ask for. Check out some of these pictures I took from the Manhattan Bridge through the Brooklyn Bridge and onto the statue.

Statue of Liberty Brooklyn Bridge
Manhattan Bridge View of Statue of Liberty

Governors Island

Another great place to see sunset is from Governors Island, a small piece of land between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

There are ferries that leave nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park and Battery Park that can take you the quick ride right to the island.

From the southern tip and western side of Governors Island, you should get great views of the Statue of Liberty out in the water.

Governors Island Statue of Liberty View

Liberty State Park

Lastly, you can also enjoy sunset from Liberty State Park in Jersey City. While this location is the closest you can get to the Statue of Liberty from the mainland, the sun will be setting behind you from here.

The experience is sure to be just as good and beautiful but you won’t be able to see the sunset itself. What you will see are views of all of Manhattan, Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and several bridges.

Learn More: Check out the other top NYC sunset spots during your time in the city

Liberty State Park View
Statue of Liberty from Liberty State Park

6) Does the Sun Set Behind the Statue of Liberty?

The short answer is yes, the sun does set behind the Statue of Liberty but as you may know, the sun does not set in the same exact location year-round. Due to this, there is not just one spot to see the sun set behind the Statue of Liberty.

The good thing however, is that you can always find a location where you will get the angle of the sun setting directly behind the statue.

If you are looking to get the perfect shot of the sun setting directly behind or next to the Statue of Liberty, below would be the best locations to make your way to depending on month.

Note that I am using the 15th of the month for my data points as exact locations change by day.

  • January: Battery Park
  • February: Brooklyn Bridge Park (Pier 1/2) / Manhattan Bridge / Brooklyn Bridge
  • March: Governors Island (near the Collective)
  • April: Governors Island (near the southern end)
  • May: Red Hook (near Louis Valentino, Jr. Park)
  • June: Red Hook (near Louis Valentino, Jr. Park)
  • July: Red Hook (near Louis Valentino, Jr. Park)
  • August: Governors Island (near the southern end)
  • September: Governors Island (near the Collective)
  • October: Governors Island (northern end); Brooklyn Bridge Park (southern end)
  • November: Brooklyn Bridge Park (Pier 1/2) / Manhattan Bridge / Brooklyn Bridge
  • December: Battery Park

I have to admit It can be quite difficult to get the EXACT location of the sun setting behind the statue. I would advise on using a site like Suncalc, where you can see the sunset location by day.

Once you arrive near the viewpoint area, you may need to move around a little bit to get your angles right.

It is also important to note that you can still enjoy a sunset of the Statue of Liberty regardless of where the sun is setting. If you don’t care to see the sun setting directly behind the statue itself, you can head to any of those locations at any time of year. The sun just would be setting off to the side in some cases.

Be sure to check out some of the other best photo spots in NYC during a visit to the city.

Sunset Behind Statue of Liberty

7) Sunset Pictures

Below are some of my favorite shots of the Statue of Liberty at sunset.

If you have any questions about the locations and timing of these shots (or any pictures in this guide) just let me know in the comments below.

Seeing the Statue of Liberty in the evening is part of some of the best things to do in NYC at night.

Statue of Liberty Sunset Brooklyn Bridge
Statue of Liberty Sunset at Battery Park
Manhattan Sunset East River
Battery Park Sunset
Golden Hour NYC

8) Where to Stay in NYC

There are so many different neighborhoods to choose from when visiting NYC. Below are some of my top choices for a few of my recommended locations in the city:

Looking for the top hotels & neighborhoods in NYC? Check out some helpful accommodation resources when it comes to picking the best spot for you!

Neighborhood Overview: Best Places to Stay in NYC
Best Skyline Views: NYC Hotels with a View
Times Square: Top Times Square Hotels with a View
Theater District: Hotels in Broadway Theater District
Central Park: Best Hotels with Central Park Views
Tribeca: Best Tribeca Hotels
SoHo: Where to Stay in SoHo
Greenwich Village
: Top Greenwich Village Hotels
Brooklyn Bridge: Hotels with Brooklyn Bridge Views
Best Panoramas: Hotels in NYC with Floor to Ceiling Windows

Moxy Hotel NYC

That about wraps up a guide to enjoying a Statue of Liberty sunset experience. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to add them in below.

Also, don’t forget to check out the other New York itineraries and guides up on the site. Have fun out there and safe travels!

Statue of Liberty Sunset

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Tuesday 15th of February 2022

There is a lot of great info here. But also a significant typo. The only way to get to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island is by STATUE CITY CRUISES, not State Cruises (recent name change from Statue Cruises, still NOT State Cruises [left out the 'u' in Statue]).


Wednesday 16th of February 2022

Hi Gordon - thanks for the info here! I just made the change to reflect the new name.