GETTING THERE: Ferries to Ellis Island National Monument operate from Liberty State Park near Jersey City (Exit 14B from the New Jersey Turnpike) and from Battery Park in Manhattan. They run seven days a week, from approximately 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The round-trip fare, which includes admission to Ellis Island and a stop at the Statue of Liberty, is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $4 for children (4 and under are free). For ferry schedule and information, 212-269-5755, Ellis Island is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Leave time for ferry transportation and security screening in your schedule.

STAYING THERE: In Jersey City, the Hyatt Regency (201-469-1234), which opened last summer, and the Doubletree Club Suites Jersey City (201-499-2400) are minutes away from Liberty State Park and have rooms facing New York City and the Statue of Liberty. The Pillars of Plainfield in Plainfield, N.J., is a B&B about 30 minutes away, featuring a home-cooked breakfast, sherry and snacks at night and Mac, the cairn terrier (think Toto).

EATING THERE: There is a food court within the Ellis Island museum, or you can picnic in warmer weather. On the mainland, Hoboken's Washington Street has a small-city feel but a large variety of ethnic restaurants. Try the hole-in-the-wall La Isla (104 Washington St.) for grilled sweet plantains, yuca frita and other Cuban specialties.

INFO: Ellis Island National Monument, 212-363-3200,