A Few Minutes to An Hour?
Visit the Registry Room on the second floor. Also known as the "Great Hall", this is the heart of Ellis Island. Millions of immigrants were "processed" through this room from 1900 through the early 1920s.
At the west end of the Registry Room, walk down the Stairs of Separation. Read the brass plaque that explains why the stairs are separated and notice the wear on the original steps. At the bottom of the Stairs of Separation, turn left to return to the Baggage Room and the museum exit.
If you have a bit more time, visit "Through America's Gate" before walking down the Stairs of Separation. This exhibit chronicles the immigrant's experience, step by step, at Ellis Island. The exhibit begins in the southwest corner of the Registry Room.
Other activities include:
Park Ranger tour (free, 30 minutes)
Audio Tour (free, minimum 45 minutes)
"Island of Hope, Island of Tears" documentary (free, 35-minute program)