There is a lot to do in New York and even though I got through a lot in 5 days, there is still a lot that I didn't see or do. So my big tip would be to plan as much as possible, some attractions are open late into the evening like the Empire State Building. You can easily do 2 or 3 things in the day and then something in the evening in order to get more done.
I'd also highly suggest getting an attraction pass, it will save so loads of money and time because the attractions usually have a separate and shorter queue for people with passes so that you get in quicker.
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, we got there at about 10 am so there wasn't a huge queue to get in. There are lots of different exhibits to look around like the Growler submarine. Before you get to go on the Growler, you first go through the little museum where you learn all about the submarine and the men that worked on it. They were sometimes in the submarine in the sea for 100 days!
The Concorde plane is a short walk from the Growler, you can go inside it but you have to pay extra for it when you first go in.
On the top deck of the Intrepid is a great selection of planes and helicopters. There was a F-16A Fighting Falcon, Lockheed A-12, Grumman F-14D Super Tomcat, Grumman A-GE Intruder, a Blue Angel, Grumman F11F Tiger, McDonnell F3H-2N Demon and so many more, all very impressive.
My favourite part was seeing the Enterprise Space Shuttle exhibit which was seriously super cool. It's strange but I thought it would be bigger haha. Did you know that the cast of Star Trek : Next Generation were at the unveiling of the shuttle, obviously because of the name, but how cool is that!
On the actual tour of the Intrepid, you can go around the control room, sit in some of the chairs, take awesome pictures and then work your way down and round to the hangar which is huge!! Loved everything here, the Intrepid cake, the simulations, the lego Intrepid, everything. There was a big section that had the simulators in it and you can sit in models of planes, a ship bridge, submarine bunks and helicopters.
I went into the 4D Experience : Stories of Intrepid where you have a big 3D screen and have to sit on a chair and get to feel a tiny bit of what some of the pilots felt flying planes. It was really fun.
I very big must in my eyes is Central Park, it's a lot bigger than I expected so if you want to see it all, I'd say a good 6 or 7 hours. I was there for 3 hours and didn't see as much as I wanted to.
We managed to find Belvedere Castle in Central Park, it is a very small castle but still a castle all the same and looks brilliant with a lovely view over the Great Lawn.
We somehow went past Strawberry Fields twice before finally finding it. It is a big mosaek and a little plague which are in a quiet zone so that people can go there just to relax, chill out and pay their respects.
The American Natural History Museum was the best part of my trip by far, I WAS IN HEAVEN!!! I love museums and this place is just so amazing. The exhibits that they have and what you can see are just out of this world. I think that to see absolutely everything, you need at least 2 days because it is so huge.
The animal exhibits are amazing, looking at them, you would think that at any moment they would move. The different cultural exhibits were so detailed and beautiful. I honestly felt like I learnt so much during my stay there.
My favourite bit of all was the big blue whale, I was just so shocked at it's size and the details that I sat looking at it for about 10 minutes.
The National Geographic Ocean Odyssey Encounter is amazing, the only way I can describe it properly is if you went scuba diving but stayed dry. They have huge screens everywhere, interactive screens and floors, a 3D experience being a sardine, you get in the middle of a giant squid fight, listen to the sounds from the bottom of the ocean and so much more. I loved every second and so will you if you love the ocean.
The Empire State Building is great fun, I went there in the evening and the view of New York at night is breathtaking. I like the fact that you go through a museum on the way telling you all about how it was built, it's story and films that it has appeared in before coming to your first proper view of New York from up high. You are inside at this point but you get a brilliant view through the windows and then you get to go in the lift to go a few floors up to to the observation floor. This is where you get to actually go outside to see the view.
I you need a rest from all the walking around, try a day on an open top bus. I can't believe all the places I got to see, Flatiron Building, Wall Street and the bull, 9/11 memorial, the One World Observatory, we went through Soho, Battery Park, the pier where the Titanic was meant to dock, Central Park and through Harlem so I saw the Dakota Building, American Natural History Museum, Cathedral of St John the Divine, Apollo Theatre, the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and got off at Central Park Zoo. and loads more, it was amazing to see it all from the top desk of the bus.
Battery Park was a great stop for a look around and loved how peaceful it felt. I went into Castle Clinton for a look around but didn't take me long as it is a very small fort where people buy their tickets to get the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. I sat down on one of the benches near the water and watched the ferries coming in and going out, so peaceful.
Had to do Trump Tower haha. I only went in for a little walk around and then sat in the Trump Bar for a little while chilling out. I tried to go up to the rooftop garden but it was closed but there are a few shops to walk around as well as being able to get something to eat and drink.
Hard Rock Cafe on Time Square was brilliant. I love Hard Rock Cafes, they are always so fun, with a great atmosphere, lots of fantastic memorabilia to check out, brilliant food and awesome cocktails.
Time Square in general is amazing but unless you go first thing in the morning, it is going to be really crowded. There is a little platform that you can go up to take better pictures.
If you are a fan of the Ghostbusters films, then you have to go and check out the Ghostbusters Fire Station, I am a huge fan of the film and just had to make sure that I took my picture outside. Although it obviously doesn't look exactly like it does in the films as it is an active fire station now but they had 2 painted on the floor at the front of the building that were of the Ghostbusters ghost. They have also named their wifi "ghostbusters Station", haha I loved that so much.
The Vessal, which is a piece of art that you can actually walk up, opened in March 2019. I got the lift up to the top and then basically held on for dear life to the rail looking around at the awesome views without looking down before getting back into the lift and finding a bench to sit on at the bottom. You can walk up the thousands of steps to get to the top if you want to. It's free to go up but you need to book online.
The One World Observatory was quite an experience. When you have your tickets, you go through security and then you walk through and exhibit about the building and about 9/11. Then you go into a lift that takes you to the 102nd floor in 47 seconds! The walls and the ceiling are screens so that show you how New York has changed over the years.
We got a little presentation on loads of screens and then they lifted up to reveal the view and OMG, it was amazing! I couldn't believe how far I could see. You can walk all the way around the floor and see the view from everywhere. There is a restaurant and a shop as well but they are a bit expensive.
The 9/11 memorials and the museum were quite emotional. I walked around both the memorials reading the names and I went round and loved seeing the white roses and flags that people had stuck in the names. Just goes to show that their loved ones still travel there to remember them.
We went into the museum and I seriously didn't realise how much it was going to affect me. I was walking round and I was just completely overwhelmed, especially by the exhibit showing the pictures of everyone who had died. I sat in the middle room watching pictures and snippets about them and I will admit that I sat and had a cry.
I stayed at The Wellington Hotel which is a few blocks from Time Square in one direction and 2 streets away from Central Park. Beautiful big rooms that are cleaned daily, big comfy beds, the staff are all wonderful and helpful. I'd so stay there again as it was just perfect.