• GOVERNORS ISLAND: Governors Island, a former Coast Guard facility now used for public recreation, offers inviting lawns, old forts, concerts, art exhibits and food vendors, along with great views of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Get there by ferry, weekends through Sept. 29 from Manhattan or Brooklyn, then walk or bike around the island. Information: www.govisland.com/html/visit/directions.shtml.
• RED HOOK, BROOKLYN: One of the best views of the Statue of Liberty is from Red Hook, an up-and-coming waterfront neighborhood in Brooklyn. A cruise terminal where the Queen Mary 2 homeports is located in one corner of the neighborhood, and lots of popular eateries like the Fort Defiance Bar and Red Hook Lobster Pound line the main street, Van Brunt.
Oddly enough, one of the best spots for viewing the Statue of Liberty is from the parking lot of the local Fairway supermarket, 480-500 Van Brunt, as well as from Fairway’s rear patio, which sells ready-to-eat fare. Another great vantage point is from Red Hook’s Louis Valentino Jr. Pier and Park, on Ferris Street between Coffey and Van Dyke, one of the few places where you can get a rare head-on view of the statue, instead of from the side.
A free ferry runs weekends this summer to Red Hook from Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan (www.nywatertaxi.com/tours/redhook). Red Hook is also fun to explore by bike, and it’s one of those rare neighborhoods where you can often find street parking.
• MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE — A LIVING MEMORIAL TO THE HOLOCAUST: The museum, at 36 Battery Place, has tall picture windows that look directly out onto the Statue of Liberty. While you look, you can listen to the museum’s Voices of Liberty sound installation, in which Holocaust survivors, refugees and others discuss why they chose to make the U.S. their home. Information: www.mjhnyc.org.
• RITZ-CARLTON NEW YORK, BATTERY PARK: The majority of guest rooms at Ritz-Carlton’s Battery Park hotel offer views of the Statue of Liberty, and they even come equipped with telescopes for an up-close look. For July Fourth weekend, prices for a room with a king or two double beds start at $420, going up to $7,500 for a 2,100-square-foot suite; www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/NewYorkBatteryPark/Default.htm.
• LIBERTY STATE PARK, NEW JERSEY: This waterfront park on the New Jersey side of the harbor offers the closest view you can get of the statue from land. There are three ways to get there: Drive; take the PATH train from Manhattan, followed by a light rail and a half-mile walk into the park; or take a ferry from the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan (www.libertylandingferry.com). While you’re there, check out the Liberty Science Center, a great museum for kids (www.lsc.org).