New York City Sights

The High Line

  • 10th Ave. Map It
  • Chelsea
  • Park/Playground
  • Fodor's Choice
  • The High Line, Chelsea, New York City, New York, USA.

    Stuart Monk/Shutterstock

Published 06/26/2015

Fodor's Review

Once a railroad track carrying freight trains, this elevated space—running from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District (at the Whitney Museum of Art) to West 34th Street—has been transformed into a wonderful retreat from the hubbub of the city. A long, landscaped "walking park" with plants, curving walkways, picnic tables and benches, public art installations, and views of the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline, the High Line is now one of the most visited parks in New York City.

Highlights

One of the main draws of the High Line is the landscaping, which is carefully choreographed and yet wild and untamed at the same time. Visitors can see many of the original species that grew in the rail beds, as well as shrubs, trees, grasses, and perennials chosen for their hardiness and sustainability. The landscape is always changing; check the website before you visit to see what’s in bloom.

Chelsea Market Passage, between 15th and 16th streets, is accented

with Spencer Finch’s stained glass art and home to public art displays, videoprograms, music performances, and sit-down events.

A particularly popular feature that illustrates the High Line’s greatest achievement—the ability to see the city with fresh eyes—is the 10th Avenue Square (between 16th and 17th streets). This viewing window with stadium seating and large picture windows frames the ever-moving and -changing city below as art, encouraging viewers to linger, watch, pose, and engage with the city in a new way.

The 25-by-75-foot billboard located within a parking lot next to the High Line at 18th Street and 10th Avenue presents a series of art installations on view for a month at a time.

Tips

The best way to fully appreciate the High Line is to walk the full length of the elevated park in one direction (preferably from Gansevoort Street uptown so that you can end with stunning views) and then make the return journey at street level, taking in the Chelsea neighborhood, and eats, below.

This is an elevated park so you need to look for elevator points along the route if you are traveling with wheelchairs or strollers.

Chelsea Market and Gansevoort Market are convenient places to pick up fixings for a picnic lunch.

Well-maintained restrooms are available at 16th Street and Gansevoort. From April to October, starting at sunset, you can join the AAA (no, not the motor club, the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York) to view celestial bodies and stars at various points along the High Line. Check the High Line’s Twitter feed (@highlinenyc) or website for current details.

The new Whitney Museum of Art is located at the Gansevoort Street base of the High Line; the two make an excellent combination, along with lunch in the area.

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Sight Information

Address:

10th Ave., from Gansevoort St. to 34th St., New York, New York, 10011, USA

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Phone:

212-206–9922

Sight Details:

  • Dec.–Mar., daily 7–7; Apr., May, Oct., and Nov., daily 7 am–10 pm; June–Sept., daily 7 am–11 pm

Published 06/26/2015

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Sep 14, 2016

One of Our Favorite Things to Do in the City

My spouse and I walked the entire length of the High Line on a Sunday morning in mid-July 2016. We had walked much of the High Line twice before back in October of 2011, so we were eager to see it again and to learn what had changed. (In 2011, the third section from 34th to 30th Street around the Rail Yards was still under construction.) The High Line is a park built on an elevated former freight rail trestle on the West Side of Manhattan that runs

from Gansevoort Street in Greenwich Village/Meatpacking District to 30th Street in Chelsea/Midtown West. The High Line is open daily from sunrise to sunset, and the city does not charge a fee to access/use it. You must enjoy it on foot, except for child strollers and wheelchairs; you cannot ride, bicycle, or skate. You can access the High Line from the street level at Washington/ Streets and 10th Avenue at 14th, 16th, 18th, 20th, and 30th Streets. Every entrance has stair access, but only a few entrances permit elevator access as well. The High Line is handicap-accessible. Restrooms are available in certain locations, and various concessions are open (some seasonally), including Blue Bottle Coffee, La Sonrisa, Santina, Brooklyn Soda Works, Taco Truck, Le Newyorkina, Melt Bakery, People’s Pops, L’Arte del Gelato, and Terroir on the Porch. Along the walkway, vendors sell merchandise, and special events occur in specific locations. The southern end of the High Line over Gansevoort Street near the Whitney Museum is named the Tiffany Foundation Overlook (dedicated in July 2012) because the foundation was a major supporter of the park. The original rail lines continued another five blocks south, but have since been torn down. Walking north, before you pass beneath The Standard hotel, you walk through a section called the Gansevoort Woodland, which includes a small group of birch and serviceberry trees. Looking towards the Hudson River, you can see the remnants of Pier 54, as well as Pier 57 (the floating retail, film, and food complex). After you walk through the 14th Street passage, the High Line splits into two parts of different elevations; the Diller-Von Furstenberg Water Feature (opened in 2010) is located on the lower side, and the Diller-Von Furstenberg Sundeck is located on the upper side (with perennials, shrubs, and grass). Next, you pass Chelsea Market, where you can see many buildings that once housed refrigeration warehouses and meat wholesalers. The 10th Avenue Overlook features a terraced wooden seating area where you can look out directly over busy 10th Avenue. Continue north and look toward the Hudsonagain, where you can see the remains of the White Star Arch at Pier 59 (where the Titanic was supposed to dock), then through the Chelsea Grasslands, past a theological seminary, past the building that housed the Manhattan Project (atomic bomb warehouse), a Catholic Church, and other historic buildings. Although the High Line “attraction” is not as well-known as the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building, it is a unique feature of the city that lets you walk above, around, beside, and through some notable structures. If you have a free hour, do not miss it!

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