I’ve been in a bit of a travel dry-spell, so I’ve been spending my weekends exploring my own backyard. Living in the New York area gives me plenty of opportunities to check out cool spots and locales. Check out my other backyard tourism extravaganzas to Chelsea Market and Mets’ Citi Field.
Recently, I went to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex. I hadn’t heard about it before, so was delighted to find out that there was an aircraft carrier museum sitting literally in my own backyard. The Intrepid Museum is located on Pier 86, right across the river from Hoboken.
Explore the USS Intrepid
The Intrepid Museum was exciting, because you were able to explore and learn about the aircraft carrier by actually getting down into it and seeing the living and eating conditions for the people who used to be stationed there.
More Than an Aircraft Carrier
While the Intrepid Museum is physically an aircraft carrier, it’s more than just an aircraft carrier. Yes, you’re able to explore the hull of the ship and see the living and sleeping quarters of those who spent time on the Intrepid, but you’re also able to see some pretty cool air and spacecraft throughout the ship. On the Hangar deck, there were a ton of different helicopters and small planes to look at and learn about.
The Enterprise also lives at the Intrepid Museum, but it is not yet available for viewing post-Sandy.
If you’re going to the Intrepid Museum with children, you will definitely need to check out the Exploreum. The Exploreum is an interactive section of the museum that allows you to get up close and personal with different air, space and sea-related things. For example, you can sit in a helicopter or you can see what it’s like to be in a space capsule. I didn’t explore this area in too much depth, but judging by the joyful looks on the children’s face, it’s an area not to miss if you’re there with kids.
Getting to the Intrepid Museum
When I was looking up the Intrepid Museum and trying to plan my trip, I had a very hard time finding one of the most obvious things: the address. I eventually found out that the Intrepid Museum is located at Pier 86 in the Hudson River. If you’re looking for cross streets, that means that it’s on 12th & 46th.
Public Transport Options
NYC Metro Subway: Take the A, C, E, N, R, S, 1, 2, 3, 7 to 42nd St and walk until you get to the Intrepid.
NYC Metro Bus: You can take a cross-town bus West to get to the Intrepid. Take the M34 (34th Sts), M42 (42nd St) or M-50 (49th St) to 12th Ave and Hudson River. You’re then able to take a short walk to Pier 86.
NY Waterway: You can take a ferry from Hoboken (14th St) or Weekhawken across the Hudson River to 12th and 39th.
Water Taxi: You can take the water taxi from Brooklyn (Fulton Ferry/Dumbo) or 2 downtown locations (Battery Park or South Street Seaport) to Pier 84, which is right next door (or pier) to the Intrepid Museum.
I give my experience at the Intrepid Museum 3 out of 5 stars. I had a lot of fun at the Intrepid Museum, but I feel like it’s one of those museums that going once is sufficient. I liked it and had a good time, but I’m likely not going to go again unless there is some new attraction or other reason to go. About a week after I went, my sister went to a food truck festival on the Intrepid. Well, that’s definitely a circumstance where I would go again. You know how much I love food!
Tickets costs range a bit, depending on your age and how or where you buy them. A standard adult ticket costs $24 if you purchase at the museum, while a children’s ticket are $19 (ages 7 – 17) or $12 (ages 3 – 6). Children under 3 years old enter for free and there are discounts available for seniors and students.
While the tickets by themselves aren’t too bad, one must keep in mind that there are add-on options at the Intrepid Museum. If you want to explore the Enterprise space shuttle or the British Airways Concorde, that is going to cost you extra.
When all was said and done, we spent about 4 hours at the Intrepid Museum. On average, I think you can see everything (and more!) than you want in 3 – 5 hours. If you’re with kids, you might not be there that long or if you’re a meticulous museum-goer who must read every sign and placard, you might find yourself there a bit longer. I also didn’t see the Enterprise or the Concorde, so factor in more time (and money) if you want to see and explore those areas of the museum.
- Aircraft enthusiasts
- History buffs
Not Good for…
- People who don’t like steep stairs (stairs were kind of steep in the aircraft itself)
- People who aren’t able to stand for long periods of time (there was a lot of standing and not a lot of benches or seating options)