We were doing a dolphin trip at 10 and i had wanted to go up in the monument too so we walked quickly up the hill to the monument entrance. We had already parked of course done by the marina and i think it was $3 per hour but i did note that the monument parking was $10 for the day so probably a better deal and i think it gave you money off admission too.
anyway, we weren't sure how long the climb would take so we talked to the very helpful staff at the front desk and decided to make a go of it. The admission price was good all day so he told us we could come back after the dolphin trip. We made the climb in about 10 minutes or so--it was definitely a work out! Lots of stairs and ramps--there are stones from many different cities who contributed during the construction and that was interesting to see. I am not claustrophobic but I think if you were, then this might get to you. Once up at the top, it was beautiful with great views in all directions. It was a clear day and very lovely to get the perspective from the top. They have pretty much "caged" it in--so you are looking through fencing, but it is possible to get pictures. We spent 5-10 minutes up there and we were the only people we saw the whole time! Unfortunately, we never made it back for the museum but wish we had...it looked to be very well done
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