USA series: Aircraft Carrier Intrepid and Metro Bus Tour of downtown Manhattan

Planes on deck of the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid

Planes on deck of the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid

Today is a Monday and the Labor Day long weekend in New York but there is no rest for the wicked as Alex and I have more exploring to do of this wonderful city.

Today we are heading to Pier 84 to take a look at the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid.  Later we are going on an Metro Bus Tour which is an open top bus tour of downtown Manhattan.

12:00pm
To get to the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid from the Upper West Side we need take the line 1 subway downtown to West 42nd Street and 7th Avenue. The Intrepid is moored permanently at Pier 84 on the Hudson River which is a 4 block walk west from our subway stop.

Our ticket for the Intrepid is USD$24 (each).  Also located at the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid, but not included in the base entry price, is the Space Shuttle Pavilion, and British Airways Concorde.

Aircraft Carrier Intrepid according to Intrepid Museum:

“The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is dedicated to the exhibition and interpretation of history, science, and service as related to its home aboard the aircraft carrier Intrepid, a National Historic Landmark. As you explore the Museum you will be able to examine original artifacts, view historic video footage, and explore interactive exhibits.

 

Launched in 1943, the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid fought in World War II, surviving five kamikaze attacks and one torpedo strike. The ship later served in the Cold War and Vietnam.

 

Intrepid also served as a NASA recovery vessel in the 1960s. Intrepid was decommissioned in 1974. Today, Intrepid is berthed on the Hudson River as the centerpiece of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.”

 

Before we look at the Aircraft Carrier Intreped, we start with a viewing inside the Submarine USS Growler which sits just to the side of the entrance pavilion and across the pier from the Intrepid.  Access to this is included in your base entry ticket.

Upper level of USS Growler interior

Upper level of USS Growler interior

Radio Room old school

Radio Room old school

After exiting the Submarine USS Growler we move on to the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid.

Aircraft Carrier Intrepid

Aircraft Carrier Intrepid

Plane inside the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid

Plane inside the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid

Over the next couple of hours we wander its interior and top deck.

Captain's Bridge

Captain’s Bridge

View of Manhattan from the Captain's Bridge

View of Manhattan from the Captain’s Bridge

The top deck has a range of different planes on display.

Big ships, big planes and a big city

Big ships, big planes and a big city

These are real boys’ toys.

The entry fee is probably a bit high for what it is, maybe unfairly said from a girl’s perspective?

With the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid “done” and needing to move on, we continue on to Pier 83 which is where our open top bus awaits.

5:00pm
Alex loves bus tours (she says sarcastically).

Our Metro Bus Tour bus awaits

Our Metro Bus Tour bus awaits

Our 5:00pm bus will takes us on a 1.5 hour tour of downtown Manhattan and should take us past many of the New York attractions we have visited over the last week by train and foot.

Being a bus tour (not a hop-on-hop-off) we will be effectively limousined around… ok so its from the top if a bus but for USD$10 it beats walking for a change.

I hope it doesn’t rain.. Alex will be very unhappy with me if I try and make him wear a rain poncho. Today is only the second time so far on our trip that it has rained and it is still warm and a bit muggy so fingers crossed.

Metro Bus Tour according to Metro Sightseeing:

“From the experts behind the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, our one and a half hour Metro Sightseeing bus tour will give you an all-access pass to the sights you want to see. Sit back and relax on our climate controlled double-decker buses. Get lost in the culture of New York with our expert, licensed, live tour guides. It’s the world’s most famous city; tour it with a name you trust.”

We are greeted warmly, although rather generically as we approach the bus steps.

Welcome No. 3” the guy says to Alex, indicating Alex as the 3rd person to board the bus.

No. 4” he says to me as he smiles my way.

We make our way to the upper deck (which is open to the elements) and where No. 1 and No. 2 (ie the first two people to board the bus) have already found seats.

Already I know No. 3 (Alex) is looking forward to the end of the bus tour… and the guy hasn’t even started the engine yet!

I think No. 3 is wishing he was passenger No. 56…. and that there was no more room on the bus. Sorry Alex, not likely.

Where’s your sense of adventure Alex?

Our guide, let’s call him “Wayne”, is very knowledgeable and personable and points out all the interesting and cool stuff along the route.  Wayne’s other job is to also remind us of any low hanging branches and traffic lights.

Our guide needs to look out for traffic lights

Our guide needs to look out for traffic lights

Are we in the right lane?

Note to self… remember to duck when Wayne yells out “branches!”.

View from the bus

View from the bus

A bus tour is a great alternative way to see downtown Manhattan, while allowing you to get your bearings and save your feet.

Flatiron building detail

Flatiron building detail

Flatiron building

Buildings everywhere

Buildings everywhere

I also think it a real bargain at USD$10.00 (each).

Along the way we also saw many places we had already seen…

1 World Trade Centre

1 World Trade Centre

We also pass many places we hadn’t yet seen like Greenwich Village and which looked really cool to visit.  No. 3 (Alex) just grins at me when I inform him Greenwich Village is to be added to our already long “to-do list”.

7:30pm
We finish our day with dinner at TGI Friday in Times Square. This eatery is chosen by Alex who obviously isn’t afraid to eat yet another hamburger.  Dinner cost USD$55 (total).

9:30pm
In what seems a bit like a progressive (ie moving) dinner, we relocate to French Roast on the Upper West Side for coffee and tiramasu.  Coffee and tiramasu for two is USD$18.

Tomorrow is early start as Alex and I will be walking across the Brooklyn Bridge before getting the train to Coney Island.

I am especially looking forward to walking the Brooklyn Bridge, not sure that Alex is as thrilled about it as me.

I also discovered over dinner that Alex has never heard of Coney Island so I am beginning to think it should be an interesting day for Alex?[showmyads]

For previous USA series post see New York City – Circle Line Harbor Lights Cruise.
For next USA series post stay tuned…