After Central Park, the High Line has become the most visited park by tourists and New Yorkers to escape from the concrete and enjoy a green area and the best views of the city. It is located on an old railroad line abandoned until a few years ago and leads to Hudson Yards, the trendy neighborhood of Manhattan.
Its peculiar design mixes art and nature, and at the same time you walk a very cool route that goes through Chelsea and reaches the Meatpacking District from Hudson Yards (or the other way around). Afraid of getting lost? Book a guided tour of the High Line, Chelsea and Meatpacking. This is the High Line route I recommend:
1. Start with the first leg: Hudson Yards
I suggest you start your visit at 34th Street in Hudson Yards. Before entering the High Line park, take advantage of the fact that you are in the hippest emerging neighborhood of Manhattan, full of stores, luxury skyscrapers and trendy restaurants. The entrance to the High Line from this area is via a ramp, which is an advantage for people in wheelchairs or pushing a stroller.
See the skyscrapers at Hudson Yards
Located on what was once a dreary train depot next to the Hudson River, today a modern residential and entertainment neighborhood known as Hudson Yards is being built, the trendiest of Midtown in the Big Apple.
An area with a lot of potential that already has some newly opened tourist attractions such as the observatory The Edge, The Vessel, the Little Spain food market or the cultural center The Shed. It is really worth dropping by this neighborhood because you are going to have a great time. Check out my guide to Hudson Yards for the must-sees, and book your guided tour.
2. Continue to The Spur
During this part of the tour you will walk among skyscrapers and design buildings. The contrast between the different shapes, decorative elements and the height of the buildings is very striking, although to be honest, being in New York, you will always feel like an ant among these huge constructions. The ones located at the 28th Street entrance are amazing, so don't forget to take some pictures of them.
There are also some very nice sculptures at this height like the Love & Love and at certain points the vegetation grows so lush that invades the road and for a moment it seems as if you were in the middle of a forest. However, the car sirens in the background remind you that you are still inside the High Line park in New York.
3. Take a break to enjoy some street art
In addition to the art you'll see along the High Line Park, if you pause your tour to exit at the 23rd Street entrance, you can take a stroll around the area to view some of the graffiti of Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra.
- Mount Rushmore, on the facade of the Empire Diner, as a tribute to artists such as Andy Warhol, Frida Hahlo, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
- Tolerance, which pays tribute to Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Gandhi.
- We love NY², featuring Einstein as the protagonist who expresses his love squared for New York.
Take the opportunity to take pictures
With some great souvenir photos, return to the High Line park to continue the route. Do not put your camera away because a little further on 21 Street, on the left there is a very peculiar sculpture under whose arch you can take some more pictures.
4. Cross Chelsea
We've reached the last stretch! At the height of 10th Avenue is the High Line Observation Deck, a grandstand where you can rest a while and watch the views before entering a small area where they sell souvenirs of High Line Park and food (ice cream, empanadas, German currywurst, etc.) in small stands.
The sights of Chelsea Market
In this third section of High Line Park, I advise you to make another stop on the way because at the level of 10th Avenue and 15th Street you can see a kind of bridge that connects two buildings in Chelsea that currently correspond to Chelsea Market.
This is one of the most famous gastronomic markets in New York that used to be the Nabisco cookie factory, the one that invented Oreo cookies! In fact, if you notice, the walls of the market are full of references to them. If you decide to buy something to snack in this area, you will see that there are some tables where you can eat quietly. Anyway, later I will tell you where to eat near the High Line.
5. Relax on the last stretch, the quietest one
Then if you continue walking a little further along the High Line park you can enjoy one of my favorite spaces: the wooden deck chairs. Here you can not only relax lying in the sun or in the shade of a tree, but also take your shoes off and cool your feet in the water that springs from the tracks, which comes in handy during the summer. It's like a little oasis in the middle of the High Line!
The good thing about this area of High Line Park, already in the south of the tour, is that it is not as crowded as in previous sections and there is plenty of shade, which is especially appreciated on hot days. Next on the route, straight ahead, is The Standard hotel whose rooftop bar has great views of the city.
On the left is the Gansevoort Street entrance, which means that the walk through High Line Park is over. But not the fun! If you like modern art I advise you to go downstairs and then go to the Whitney Museum, which specializes in 20th century American art.
6. Breathe culture in the Meatpacking District
The Meatpacking District is a small area of Greenwich Village well known for its bars, hotels, art studios and sophisticated boutiques. Its industrial-looking buildings and cobblestone streets still remind us of that working-class past it had in the early twentieth century, when this place was the largest butcher shop in New York (hence this neighborhood gets its name) and if you look you can see a great contrast with the avant-garde skyscrapers of Hudson Yards.
In the 80s it went through a difficult period when the neighborhood fell into marginality but there is no trace of that time and today it is a very popular place with glamorous airs that breathes an alternative culture.
Climbing to the rooftop of The Standard hotel is an alternative to other viewpoints in New York. There is no entrance fee but I recommend buying something at the bar if you want to see the skyline there.
7. Eat like a king on the High Line
From a gastronomic point of view, few cities in the world can boast such a varied gastronomic offer as New York. The advantage of working up an appetite during your visit to High Line Park is that nearby you can choose from several delicious places to grab a bite to eat that will leave you with a great taste in your mouth.
I recommend you visit the Chelsea Market, where you can try delicious dishes such as sushi, tacos, noodles, pasta or seafood (the specialty of the market) in their fast food stalls. In addition, it also has sections dedicated to wine, coffee or sweets, so if you have a foodie friend, you can be sure that he or she will be delighted if you bring back some tasty souvenirs from New York.
Old Homestead Steakhouse
Next to the Chelsea Market is Old Homestead Steakhouse, the temple of beef lovers and an icon of the Meatpacking District since it has been open since 1868. Although its menu also includes fish, the most popular dish and the reason why it is so famous are its steaks. The portions are of great quality, delicious and quite generous, which is reflected in the price, by the way. However, I assure you that you will walk out the door satisfied and with a smile from ear to ear.
Little Spain Market
In Hudson Yards you can't miss the Little Spain Market, a gastronomic space dedicated to the flavors of traditional Spanish cuisine by chef José Andrés and brothers Ferrán and Albert Adriá. Here you can unleash your gluttony and order tapas, sandwiches, cocas, cheeses, Spanish wines, churros and much more - the best of Spanish cuisine outside of Spain!
The Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards
Drop into this trendy mall for a bite to eat and a little shopping. There are plenty of restaurants to get your fix, such as Shake Shack's famous hot dogs and burgers, Kawi' s clams with hot sauce, or **Peach Mart'**s breaded pork katsu sandwiches. Yummy!
8. Tour it any time of year, any time of day
Since the High Line Park is open year-round, any time is a good time to come and take a pleasant walk in the open air in this area of New York. However, being a park it is true that the scenery changes with each season.
When, in my opinion, High Park's vegetation looks most beautiful is during New York's spring and summer. The trees look lusher and the sun shines through their leaves creating a beautiful play of light along the path. In addition, the path is filled with colorful plants and flowers. In general, this is the best time to visit the best parks in New York.
During the fall and winter, the days are shorter and the temperatures are cooler. The vegetation is sparser and the landscape changes completely although the snow gives it a special charm. In addition, there are always new art exhibits to see which is also an incentive to visit the High Line park in the colder months of the year.
And the best time of day?
My recommendation is to set aside some time first thing in the morning to walk around High Line Park at your leisure, as the track is narrow and it is a very popular site that tends to get crowded easily (especially in the evenings and on weekends) in some sections you may feel like you are dodging people rather than strolling.
However, another option is to visit High Line Park in the late afternoon when it starts to get dark. The track is illuminated from bottom to top and you can appreciate the contrast between it and the surrounding buildings. Something very interesting to take into account especially if you are a photography enthusiast.
9. Consult its calendar of events and visit it with children
In addition to enjoying nature, outdoor art and a nice walk, High Line Park also organizes astronomy events, pilates or free guided tours given by volunteers. You can see the calendar of activities and all the park's news on the official High Line website.
Is it worth going with children?
Of course it is! They will love to have some time to play and there are special events for the little ones at the High Line.
10. Organize your visit: practical information
- Start: 34th St (subway: 34th St - Hudson Yards)
- End: Gansevoort St (subway: 14th St - 8th Ave)
- Hours: Monday through Friday from 7AM to 7PM. Weekends from 10AM to 6PM.
- Price: Free
Where is High Line Park?
High Line Park is located between Gansevoort Street and 34th Street. Its two-and-a-half kilometer straight line route starts (or ends depending on which direction you take) to the north near Hudson Yards. It then runs through Chelsea and finally ends in the south in the Meatpacking District next to the Whitney Museum.
The great thing about the High Line park is that along its route there are intermediate accesses to get out to explore or re-engage with the walk via elevators and stairs so you can get to know the area at your own pace making as many stops as you like.
Access to the High Line
- Gansevoort St (elevator, public restrooms and stairs)
- 14th St (elevator and stairs)
- 16th St (elevator, public restrooms and stairs)
- 20th St (stairs)
- 23rd St (elevator and stairs)
- 26th St (stairs)
- 28th St (stairs)
- 30th St (elevator and stairs)
- 34th St (stairs)
How long does it take to complete the tour?
It takes about an hour to complete the High Line Park tour, although it will take a little longer if you stop to take pictures, enjoy the views, have a snack or rest on one of the benches or loungers.
But how was High Line Park born?
The history of High Line Park dates back to the 1930s, when the West Side of the city used to run freight trains that supplied New York with meat. Some time later, when the highway began to be used to transport goods, the tracks fell into disuse and weeds began to sprout on them, giving them a neglected appearance.
In the 1990s, there were plans to dismantle the railroad tracks to make room for new construction, but a keen Chelsea neighborhood association called Friends of the High Line saved them from being dismantled in order to preserve this piece of Big Apple history.
It was finally decided to restore the tracks and transform them into an elevated urban garden, the first section of which opened in 2009. In 2011 and 2014 the second and third respectively opened and The Spur, the latest addition, came in June 2019.