What 680+ Hours in ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ Looks Like: A 5-Star Island Tour

I have long accomplished all there is to accomplish in Animal Crossing: New Horizons in terms of unlocking all the features (terraforming, most particularly), upgrading my house, and getting K.K. Slider to perform on my island. All the days I’ve spent toiling away on my Nintendo Switch catching bugs and fish, collecting fossils, selling turnips, and cataloging furniture are now, thankfully, a distant dream.

These past months, I’ve busied myself with possibly the only thing there is left to do in the game: designing my island. And redesigning, and redesigning, and redesigning… 

My friends can attest to this: my island is never the same way every time they visit, which is often spaced out by months. I blame it on the numerous 5-star island tours my siblings, whom I share my island with, and I watch on YouTube every day, as well as the amazing custom designs we find on Instagram.

And if you’re here to hopefully find inspiration for your own island too, then allow me to introduce to you my Animal Crossing: New Horizons home!

Mulholland: A 5-Star Island Tour

I named my island Mulholland after a minor character from the Netflix animated series Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts. 

Upon entering through the Dodo Airport, you’ll be greeted by the many hybrid flowers I’ve painstakingly bred all planted around pathways and in color-coded flowerbeds. The Able Sisters Clothing Shop and Nook’s Cranny Store flank both sides of the Resident Services building.

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Then, there is our rock garden where we also display our most expensive possessions: the royal crown, king tut mask, and golden roses. For those who don’t know, it requires a lot of time and effort to get the six island rocks all together in one spot so this remains to be the most fulfilling area I ever got to work on. My sibling managed to make it look super cool by turning it into a graveyard too!

Next to the rock garden is our small playground because, hey, what’s a village without one?

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Pictured below is out outdoor gym which I’m sure my two jock villagers, Graham and Snake, enjoy very much.

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Pictured above, meanwhile, is my secret outdoor bathroom. Don’t ask. I just think it’s funny.

We also have a tiny dog park next to more flower beds and a memorial area surrounded by different colored roses.

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The Dining Area

I couldn’t have an island without a coffee shop! From the stairs beside Able Sisters, you’ll reach a quaint outdoor café and a dim sum restaurant where you can indulge in sweet treats and delicious meals to your heart’s content.

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The Museum

The island’s museum sits on top of the highest cliff surrounded by landmarks and dinosaur fossils.

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Pictured above is just a simple sitting area by the sea, inspired by the many Korean dramas and Japanese anime I’ve watched. You can sit there and pretend you’re waiting for your loved one to come back home and meet you at this picturesque spot.

Villager Houses

When it came to my villagers’ houses, I wanted to place them all together in one area at the far back of the island. Unlike most island tours I’ve seen on YouTube where they really decked out the outside of their villager’s home to match their aesthetic, I kept my neighborhood rather simple, separated by small fences and flower beds. I just liked having them all located in one spot on the map and near one another so that it’s easy for me to check who is or isn’t at home.

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The Diving and Fishing Port

What do you do with big rock platforms all over the island? Turn them into spaces to display all your cool diving, surfing, and fishing gear! Check out our rainbow-colored pier too!

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Of course, we had to have an area dedicated to my favorite television show, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We got these custom designs online and transformed an area of the map into a pizza parlor. It’s located next to a sort-of outdoor zen and tea area decorated with bamboo partitions.

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The Mermaid Beach

Okay, the mermaid-themed items were just too cute and pretty to not display on my island, so we dedicated a part of the beach to be decorated with the iridescent furniture.

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The Secret Beach

For those who haven’t played or are new to playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, there’s a part in all the island maps called the “secret beach” where Redd, a sly fox, will sometimes park his sketchy boat for you to purchase either real or fake paintings and sculptures that you can keep or donate to the museum. Thanks to a summer update, we got to collect a lot of pirate-themed furniture—perfect for this location!

We also decorated the cliff overlooking this secret beach as a sort-of painting spot to channel our inner Bob Ross.

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The Orchard

Here is what might be my favorite part of the island: our orchard, farm, and greenhouse! If you’re coming from the beach on the right side, you’ll be able to stroll through the different kinds of fruit trees we’ve planted right up to the open-air greenhouse.

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Right next to it is a “farm”—enclosed in quotation marks because Animal Crossing: New Horizons has yet to introduce a farming feature, so we just faked it with potted plants, beach balls that look like watermelons, and tree saplings.

There’s a small bug farm there too and a beautiful model of a Queen Alexandria’s Birdwing that we commissioned from Flick, one of the game’s special visitors and a bug enthusiast. I had to mention this because it’s just so pretty!

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And then we have the campsite, which we designed to look like it’s located in the outdoors (for obvious reasons).

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Our Houses

And then we have my and my sibling’s houses! Since I love Japan, my house is decorated with all things that remind me of it. It’s also surrounded by bamboo trees instead of cedar or pine to really give off the feeling of living inside Kyoto’s Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. I think my home takes up the biggest land area on the island, with tons of sitting areas, cozy spots, and spaces to just relish being surrounded by peace, quiet, and nature.

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Meanwhile, my sibling transformed his home to look like a pirate ship.

“My area is in the near middle of the island. It’s like an island within the island, and you can only enter it through a small skip-stone entrance by the bamboo forest mountain. It’s a pirate ship, because I just think Gullivarrr and his pirate stuff are neat,” he says.

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Sakura Garden and Celestial Cliffs

Finally, we have what I call my “secret relaxation area” where I could sit by the beach in private and admire the view. This was one of the first areas I worked on when I started designing and terraforming my island, so I had put most of my cherry blossom season and Japanese-themed items there.

Right next to it is the island’s celestial cliffs, which is just where we display our space-themed DIY items. Visitors can get the best view of it at the campsite!

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(ALSO READ: WATCH: This brilliant Noli me Tangere spin-off film was all made in Animal Crossing)

What do your islands look like? Share screenshots in the comments below!

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