Ellis Island and Tenement Tour

Old Dec 10th, 2008, 04:16 PM
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Ellis Island and Tenement Tour

Can anyone advise the easiest and most efficient way of doing Ellis Island and the Tenement Tour. Either one first? Transportation to/between/from (coming from Midtown East)? Is there any tour that does both? This is on Sun or Mon in Dec...either day better?
Perhaps this has been addressed before..sorry if I missed it.
Thanks for the helpful hints!
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Old Dec 10th, 2008, 04:28 PM
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The Tenement Museum tours are short - about an hour, and it's a good idea to buy tickets in advance (they do often sell out). Ellis Island on the other hand is a trek (worthwhile for sure, but a trek). You should plan at least half a day for Ellis Island. Buy your tickets in advance. Make your way down to the ferry terminal (someone else will have to give you subway directions). Stand in a looooong security line. Take the ferry to Ellis Island. Spend as long as you like on the island, then get back in line for the return ferry.

In any case, a tour would be a total waste -- it's not like they can pick you up in a bus and take you to Ellis Island LOL!

And do take the subway -- it's so much faster to get downtown by subway than by any surface transportation.
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Old Dec 10th, 2008, 07:18 PM
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We did this a couple of weeks ago (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) and I wrote about it in a trip report.

Buy tickets for both ahead of time. The line for the FlexPass tickets is VERY long. We waited only 25 minutes in the ticket line - even though the estimate on the website was 1.5 hours.

We took a cab down to Battery Park. We had tickets for the noon ferry. Eat before you head down there - it was hard to find something to eat in the area on a weekend.

We left Ellis Island about 3 to head back. We took a cab back. I like seeing NYC and my friend who never had been got to get a glimpse of things that she had heard about but never seen before. Our tickets for one of the tenement tours was 4:45. We were there over an hour early so we hung out in the gift shop and watched two of the movies. After the two we took a cab to the Village for dinner.

Subway is doable for all of the above, but again we enjoyed seeing where we were rather traveling underground.
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Old Dec 10th, 2008, 07:35 PM
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Clarification - got on the ferry from Ellis around 3pm. Got back to Battery Park about 3:30. Caught a taxi to the tenement museum.
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Old Dec 10th, 2008, 07:37 PM
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I suggested the subway because we once took a taxi from midtown to Battery Park and it took almost at least an hour due to traffic.
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Old Dec 10th, 2008, 07:44 PM
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We had no traffic on that Saturday. We picked up the taxi in the middle of Times Square (literally). He headed over to West St and we enjoyed the views of the waterfront, the Intrepid, and the construction at the WTC site. This was about 10:30 on a Saturday.
Headed up to the Tenement museum there was moderate traffic but my friend got to pass Wall Street, get a glimpse of the ships at South Street Seaport, the Brooklyn Bridge and the store and street signs as we went through Chinatown. Not the same as actually getting out and SEEING all of those, but better than no glimpse at all.

The OP asked if one day would be better so I'd say Sunday if traffic is a concern.
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