The 25 Best Things to do Along the High Line
The High Line is one of our absolute favorite parks in New York. For one, it’s unique because it was a former railway and is about 1.45 miles long. It runs from The Meatpacking District all the way to Hudson Yards in Midtown. It’s pretty awesome how the city repurposed this railway. It’s a piece of history, easily accessible since it’s free and definitely worth a visit during any season. More foot traffic will happen in the Spring and Summer.
Along the High Line, there are many important spots, bars, and attractions, not to mention the wonderful views of the Hudson River. You can see New York’s new highest observation deck at Hudson Yards once it’s completed and the Empire State Building. The list below will show you exactly why this park is one of the best things to do in Manhattan.
Our Favorite Things to Do Near the High Line
1. Visit Chelsea Market
It’s a food market with numerous selections of food vendors, a shopping spot and an exhibition space for local artists. Chelsea Market offers a lot and is also one of our favorite New York attractions. And best of all, Chelsea Market is located directly on the High Line and therefore perfectly suited for a short stopover!
2. Marvel at the highest open observation deck and The Vessel in the Hudson Yards
For me, this is one of the absolute highlights in New York. Hudson Yards with The Vessel and the highest open viewing platform “The Edge” is accessible from the High Line. The Vessel is now open to the public and will give you an incredible view of the neighborhood and here is our coverage about Hudson Yards. The new neighborhood is located at the northern end of the High Line Park.
3. Enjoy the sunset on The Frying Pan
The summer sun, the open waters, and ships. It’s a pretty unique combination that’s available in NYC. In addition to Grand Banks and Pilot Brooklyn, you can enjoy drinks and the view of Lady Liberty on The Frying Pan along the High Line. It is open in the summer months and can not be missed.
4. View the different types of installations on the High Line
An integral part of the High Line are the art projects, which are regularly changed. You can look forward to opening exhibits which range from small to huge installations and brick walls with artful graffiti. On the 14th Street passage just after The Standard Hotel, you will find covered local artists and art objects that are protected from rain and snow.
5. Make a detour to The Standard Hotel
The Standard near the High Line was one of the city’s first hipster hotels, where greats like Jay-Z recorded their music videos and brought it onto the stage of the city’s hottest hotels. We ourselves have stayed several times at The Standard Hotel. It has, in our opinion, lost a bit of charm (including its rooftop bar). However, it is still dreamlike. Depending on your mood, you can either drink a Weissbier at The Biergarten, enjoy an oven-baked pizza with a vino on the small terrace, or ice-skate on The Standard Ice Rink in the winter.
6. Drink a cocktail in the Rooftop Bar Gallow Green
There are many cool rooftop bars in New York, and there’s Gallow Green! Located directly on the High Line, you can take the park feeling into the bar: as the name suggests, you are surrounded by greenery. This makes the Rooftopbar Gallow Green a relaxing highlight (with very good cocktails).
7. Eat tapas at Tia Pol
Ok, so Tia Pol isn’t aesthetically pleasing to the eye from the outside, but that doesn’t matter. We became aware of it by chance before our boat tour. We had some time to kill and wanted something small to eat. The spot is known for its sangria mixed in a barrel. The tapas are fancy and amazing. It’s absolutely wonderful!
8. Sunbathe on the Grasslands Grove
The High Line has variously designed sections. Some have a lot of greenery with many trees, some are intentionally kept very original and others focus on understanding and experiencing the history of the elevated railway line as best as possible. The northern section of Hudson Yards is called “Grasslands Grove” and it’s the last one. Here you can see many open tracks with abstract sidewalks, exactly as they used to look like! And if the weather permits you can enjoy the view from here and sunbathe, because there are many benches at the Grasslands Grove!
9. View of the stairs from 10th Ave Square and Overlook
There are many small (and hidden) and larger areas where you can relax a bit from the hustle and bustle of the city (but you’re still technically in the thick of it). One of the most well-known spots is the “10th Ave Squa1re and Overlook”). Built similar to an amphibious theater you sit on wooden surfaces directly above 10th Avenue! The best way is of course with a coffee in hand – which brings us directly to the next item on our list.
10. Drink delicious coffee at La Colombe Coffee Roasters
New York is full of good coffee shops, La Colombe Coffee Roasters and Underline Coffee (20th street, just below the High Line) are definitely among them! In the summer, an iced latte provides a welcome respite. And if you’re looking for a snack, you’re in the right place!
11. Visit one of the wine bars
At Chelsea Market, the second branch of Corkbuzz (the other is at Union Square) is one of our favorite New York wine bars. It is stylish but relaxed and always worth a visit. Very pleasant is the wine bar Le Pif (West 23rd Street). Have a good time with the American wines!
12. Sports at Chelsea Piers & Pier 62
Chelsea Piers is a large sports complex including a driving range (golf) right on the Hudson River. Here, you can either do some sports or, like us, enjoy the sun at Pier 62 on the Hudson River Park. We have seen ice floes drifting on the Hudson River and got sunburned in summer. What is particularly beautiful here is the view of the skyline of Midtown Manhattan and Lower Manhattan. You can see the top of the Empire State Building, the new Hudson Yards, and One World Trade. It’s definitely relaxing and worth it.
13. Start a Boat Tour or Dinner Cruise (Architectural Boat Tour!)
As you know, the boat tours in New York are our absolute favorite. You can appreciate the architecture from the water and can get some pretty unique perspective on the city. Not far from the High Line, is Circle Line which hosts the boat tours. Find out which is your perfect New York Pass here. You can also book the architecture cruise that drops off you off at Chelsea Piers. This is the tour we did in the summer as it leads you past the Statue of Liberty and goes around Manhattan. Our review of this beautiful boat tour can be found here.
14. Off to the Speakeasy Bar Bathtub Gin
Attention – insider tip! The bar “Bathtub Gin” (18th street corner 9th Ave) takes you into the prohibition period of the 20s of New York. Alcohol was not allowed to be produced and sold during this time, so the illegal bars that hid behind normal shops like hairdressers and storefronts shot up. Everything is just right at the Bar Bathtub Gin. The bar is stylish, the atmosphere is relaxed and the drinks are exceptional.
15. Lying in the meadow
Yes, no joke! There is only one place on the High Line where you can really relax on the lawn to watch the bustle and the high line (there is also a huge graffiti on display). Go up to 23rd Street, the spot is called “23rd Street Lawn & Seating Steps”. It is here where we prefer to relax!
16. Shop in the Meatpacking District
New York and shopping are inseparable. From small designer boutiques to big flagship stores, there’s something for everyone. All this is what the Meatpacking District offers in the tightest of spaces. Just drift a bit along the cobblestones and take home a little piece of New York!
17. Enjoy the view from the Whitney Museum
The Whitney Museum of Art is located at the southern end of the High Line in the Meatpacking District and is a magnet for tourists and locals alike. Fans of museums, contemporary art and culture should definitely check out this museum. We’re not big museum-goers, but we were thrilled with the Whitney Museum. Why? The museum has a café and a viewing deck with a grandiose view of the Hudson River and Lower Manhattan with the One World Observatory.
18. Visit an art gallery
Along the High Line are many galleries and art exhibits. David Zwirner Gallery, the Lisson Gallery, Agora Gallery, James Cohan, and the Jack Shainman Gallery are just to name a few. These galleries line up on 10th Avenue between 18th and 29th Streets.
Don’t miss our 6 favorite art galleries in NYC!
19. Walk at Hudson River Park & Pier 64
From Pier 64, which cuts into the Hudson River, you have some of the best views of Manhattan. You can see The Frying Pan, Chelsea Piers and all of the famous skyscrapers New York is famous for. If the weather cooperates, you can lie on the green areas and watch the boats on the Hudson River afterward!
20. Explore Pershing Square Beams with Kids
Especially for kids, this section at the northern end of the High Line in NYC is thrilling. This small area can be climbed on the girders and beams of the High Line! In addition, there are many small exciting details to hide and watch, waiting for the explorers. Pershing Square’s high beams can be found on 30th Street.
21. Don’t Forget About Gansevoort Market
Not far from the High Line and the popular Chelsea Market is the Gansevoort Market. A relatively small, over-the-edge food market that opened its doors two years ago on 14th Street in the Meatpacking District. With around 25 different food vendors, you can sample the culinary diversity of New York and find everything from sushi to pizza and lobster rolls.
22. Have a stylish breakfast in the Empire Diner
The Empire Diner (210 10th Ave) is one of the most popular diners in NYC and also right along the High Line. You can not miss it, because, with its silver and white façade, the Empire Diner immediately stands out. Try either the waffles or the empire omelet with fresh herbs!
23. Ride the Bike on the Hudson River Greenway
Exploring New York by bike sounds pretty dangerous, especially with the “crazy” drivers and traffic. But, it is one of the best ways to get around NYC and it does not have to be dangerous as long as you’re aware.We love to ride a bike in the city! Thanks to the city bike program, Citi Bike, it’s very flexible and cheap. Just make sure you keep an eye on the time.
You can borrow unlimited bicycles at more than 800 stations with the day ticket. You will be charged $4 per 15 minutes after the first initial 30 minutes. Therefore, just have the clock in view, return the bike on time to one of the stations and then just take a new one! What’s brand new is since 2019 the first stations are equipped with eBike!
24. Go to the Pier 51 playground with the kids
We were in New York last year and we noticed a lot of playgrounds for families with kids. A particularly beautiful one is located at Pier 51. It is about two streets south of the Whitney Museum. To find two amazing highlights, there is an artificial stream (which is terrific in the summer) and the view is amazing. While your kids have fun playing and climbing, you can look at the beautiful One World Observatory!
25. Finish at Bubby’s High Line, Drink a local IPA
Bubby’s is a restaurant located at the southern end of the High Line Park and is one of the most pleasant restaurants in the Meatpacking District. In the summer you can also sit outside, eat ice cream or drink an ice cold IPA from New York. You can expect American cuisine, which is delicious. More about Bubby’s Restaurant & Bar can be found here
Being a photographer and creative in general, New York City, I think is the perfect place to be. I moved to NYC from Boston in 2013 and never looked back. Loving New York has given me the opportunity to do what I love and share those images with you all.
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