USS Intrepid

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One of the most unique museum experiences offered in New York and around the world, the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in military history. Located at Pier 86 on 46th Street on the West Side of Manhattan, the Intrepid boasts some of the most awesome examples of military and space craft available for public display as well as a rich history as an important cultural and historical institution for New York and the United States as a whole. With the three-prong mission of honoring the nation’s heroes, educating the public, and inspiring youth, a visit to the Intrepid will not disappoint.


The Intrepid museum is based on the former USS Intrepid (CV-11) an aircraft carrier commissioned for service in 1943. It served in both World War II as well as Vietnam before being permanently decommissioned in March of 1974. It was then docked at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and set for scrap. However, a campaign led by prominent New Yorkers Zachary Fisher and Michael Stern instead diverted the ship to Pier 86 as a museum ship. Four years later, in 1986, Intrepid was named a National Historic Landmark.

Since its relocation to New York Harbor, Intrepid has served many purposes in addition to its role as a military and space museum. Most notably, it is the center of activity for New York’s Fleet Week which takes place every year at the end of May. During the days and weeks following the September 11th Attacks, Intrepid was used as a base of operations for the FBI. It has also enjoyed cameo appearances in the Will Smith film I Am Legend and National Treasure.

Throughout the years, the Intrepid Museum has added many additional elements for visitors to enjoy which include other military craft such as the USS Growler (a submarine), a Lockheed A-12 supersonic reconnaissance plane, and a Concorde SST supersonic aircraft. Most recently, the Intrepid Museum also become the permanent home of the space shuttle Enterprise.

Main Attraction

Visitors to the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum have a lot to choose from in terms of attractions and amazing military exhibits beginning with the USS Intrepid itself. Known as one of the most successful ships in the history of the U.S. military, the Intrepid includes four viewing decks, the Flight Deck, the Galley Deck, the Hangar Deck, and the Third Deck. Each level includes unique items including almost two dozen aircraft on the Flight deck as well as the Combat Information Center, located on the Galley Deck, as well as a peek into the mechanics and humanity that made Intrepid so successful on the Hangar Deck.

There are several other main attractions included in the Intrepid Museum. One of the most famous is the XD Theater which offers a 4D viewing experience and the G-Force Encounter which allows visitors to experience the thrust of a supersonic jet plane.

There are other craft to view as well which include the USS Growler submarine, docked right next to theIntrepid at Pier 86, a guided tour of the world’s fastest commercial jet, the Concorde, and (starting in July 2012) the space shuttle Enterprise.

Most exhibits are included in museum admission and both active duty and retired military personnel are always admitted free of charge. However, the addition of the space shuttle pavilion in the Summer of 2012 means that visitors interested in viewing and touring Enterprise will pay a bit more.

Why It’s a Must-See

For anyone who loves military and space history, the chance to view real-life military craft in such an up close and personal way should not be passed up. In addition, the people who run the Intrepid Museum are dedicated to the three core principles of honor, education, and inspiration, which inhabit everything that they do. Therefore, free guided tours are offered with admission, though only on a first come, first served basis. There are also audio tours available in seven different languages as well as those geared at children and the hearing impaired. Museum personnel suggest that you dedicate at least 2-3 hours to your visit in order to get the full experience.

Where to Buy It

There are a number of ways you can enjoy admission to this attraction.

Save up to 20% online at Smart Destinations. If you add more than one attraction to the cart, you will get an automatic savings of up to 20%. It’s called Make Your Own Pass.

Pay Full Price and purchase a ticket from USS Intrepid either online or in person.

Purchase a Tourist pass. USS Intrepid is available on the The New York Pass and New York City Explorer Pass