The Meatpacking District counts as one of New York’s hippest districts. While it started off as a very industrial area with many factories, designers, artists and corporate headquarters have now taken over the district. Many of the old buildings have been transformed into fancy bars, popular nightclubs, stylish shops and trendy restaurants. That being said, you can be sure there are plenty of things to do in the Meatpacking District – whether it is seeing the district’s best attractions, eating at some great restaurants or visiting amazing rooftop bars.
In order to explore all things to do in the Meatpacking District, be sure you know how to get there! The nicest way is to walk the High Line along the Hudson river all the way to its Southern end. Should you be further away and planning on taking the subway, simply take linesor from wherever you are to ’14 Street / 8 Av’ and you’ll be just a few steps away from the Meatpacking District!
Walking through the Meatpacking District you will instantaneously notice its unique appearance. What stands out most are the comparatively low industrial buildings made of clinker brick. Every once in a while you’ll stumble upon cobbled streets. Did you know that the Meatpacking District has highest concentration of cobbled streets you will find in New York? Now you do! You will definitely notice a strong contrast to other parts of the city, such as Midtown Manhattan or Lower Manhattan.
High Line Park is one of our favorite parks in New York! It’s the most unique park the city has to offer. Why? Because it’s an elevated park, built atop former railroad tracks. The entire park stretches over 1.45 miles, starting from Chelsea leading all the way to the Meatpacking District. While walking, stunning views of the city and the Hudson River are guaranteed. You can even see the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty from the same spot. What you’ll see along the way is a lot of greenery, street art, seating areas and a couple of vendors.
Chelsea Market (75 9th Ave)
Chelsea Market is one of the best spots to combine shopping and food. This market hall used to be a former Nabisco factory. Now, the space is filled with more than 50 shops. You could possibly spend a few hours browsing through the many little stores here. Visiting Chelsea Market is definitely one of the best things to do in the Meatpacking District.
Gansevoort Market (353 W 14th St)
A great alternative to Chelsea Market is Gansevoort Market, which we only discovered recently! It is generally not as crowded as Chelsea Market and hosts about 27 shops, including a bakery, a beer hall, a waffle shop and a cheese counter. It is smaller and feels a little more local than Chelsea Market, as you won’t see as many tourists in here.
Whitney Museum (99 Gansevoort St)
Located at the foot of High Line Park you will find Whitney Museum. The museum displays various collections of contemporary art, including masterpieces from artists like Andy Warhol and Edward Hopper. What makes this museum even more special is the outdoor exhibit space that comes with a spectacular view of the Hudson river and the Meatpacking District itself.
Plunge Rooftop Bar and Lounge (18 9th Ave)
Plunge Rooftop Bar and Lounge is located on top of the popular Gansevoort Hotel. It offers a fabulous 360 degree view, which you don’t get at too many viewing platforms. When we visited, we fell in love with the taste of their drinks. The combination of spectacular views and delicious cocktails helped the Plunge be one of the 34 best rooftop bars in New York and therefore needed to be included in the best things to do in the Meatpacking District New York.
The Meatpacking District is known for Chelsea and Gansevoort Market, but you’ll also discover that it offers a large variety of restaurants. One of our favorite Meatpacking District restaurants is Dos Toros!
Meatpacking District bars are one of the fanciest in New York. As described, many buildings have been transformed into nightlife hubs, which means you’ll have plenty of bars to choose from. The district’s vicinity to Midtown Manhattan also makes it a perfect area to enjoy one of the many rooftop bars.
Shopping in the Meatpacking District New York is known by many due to its appearance in the famous show Sex and the City. You will find luxury brands like Diane von Fürstenberg (874 Washington St), Hugo Boss (401 W 14th St), Levi’s (414 W 14th St), Asics (420 W 14th St / currently closed for reconstruction) and Tory Burch (38-40 Little W 12th St) – all located conveniently close to Chelsea Market and Gansevoort Market. As you may imagine, these are shops for those who seriously like to splurge on shopping! You will, however, also find cute little shops inside of Chelsea Market. Our favorite one is Artists & Fleas. There you can find a great selection of jewelry, maps, bags, clothing and other cool items – at affordable prices!
If you are looking for a hotel that is close to Midtown or you’re interested in being close to a wild nightlife, then you should go for a hotel in the Meatpacking District. Especially the Gansevoort Hotel is very popular among travelers.
Once you are done exploring the Meatpacking District, it’s time to head to nearby neighborhoods like Chelsea or Greenwich Village. Each neighborhood has its unique corners. Chelsea is most known for its art scene. You will find a number of beautiful galleries and also cute little stores to shop at. Greenwich Village is a rather residential area and home to many celebrities. So don’t be surprised if you run into Sarah Jessica Parker, Cameron Diaz, Julia Roberts or any other famous people you can think of!