One of the most popular destinations in Manhattan is The High Line, otherwise known as High Line Park. Developed on an already overgrown and unused elevated rail line, it provides ample walking and green space as well as fantastic views of the neighborhoods it winds through.
The High Line originally opened in 1934 with trains transporting goods up and down the west side of Manhattan between SoHo and Midtown. Operations ceased in 1980 and the tracks were abandoned to grow over. After years of fighting for its preservation, advocacy groups finally convinced the city to take the raised rail bed over from the rail company and plans began to renovate it for other uses. 29 years after the last train rolled across those tracks, the Friends of the High Line organization successfully opened the first section of the High Line park to the public in 2009.
Today there are three sections of the park open, starting at Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District, running parallel to 10th Avenue through Chelsea, and finally winding around the west side of Hudson Yards before terminating on 34th Street at 11th Avenue. A map can be found here.
There are several permanent and temporary art exhibits on the High Line, ranging from sculpture to murals (like this one by artist Kerry James Marshall, a man I’m very familiar with after an intense semester-long project on his work). There are also sometimes performances and talks, which you can find information on here. There are also several well known murals on buildings around the High Line, although most of them are not officially part of the park.
When Dan and I visited, we had no intention of walking the entire length of the park, but that’s what happened! It was a happy accident though, because even though we walk more than enough here, walking along the High Line and looking around as we went made me forget how exhausted my legs were.
This time, like each time I’ve visited, I started my visit by wandering through Chelsea Market on 15th Street & 9th Ave. I could do another entire post on Chelsea Market, but for now let’s just say that if you come to New York, you need to do the same! There is High Line access from upstairs in Chelsea Market, so it makes sense to combine a trip to both at the same time.
Another great idea is to just start at the bottom on Gansevoort Street. This area is full of shops and restaurants, and the Whitney Museum shares a sidewalk with the High Line stairway. (You can always check out Chelsea Market on your way by.) I’ll share some recommendations on where you could enjoy brunch or lunch in this area below.
There are several access points along the length of the High Line, some with elevator access. Here is a bit of info on how to get there by public transit. You can tell your taxi or Uber driver any of the intersections below, or take the corresponding subway lines and walk a couple of blocks.
- Gansevoort Street & Washington Street +elevator access
- W 14th Street near 10th Ave +elevator access
- W 16th Street near 10th Ave +elevator access
- W 18th Street West of 10th Ave
Subways for above: 14th Street stop on the A, C, E (14th and 8th Ave), 8th Ave stop on the L (14th and 8th Ave), 14th Street stop on the 1, 2, 3 (14th and 7th Ave), 18th Street stop on the 1, 2, 3 (18th and 7th).
- 20th Street West of 10th Ave
- 23rd Street West of 10th Ave +elevator access
- 26th Street West of 10th Ave
- 28th Street West of 10th Ave
- 30th Street West of 10th Ave +elevator access
- 30th Street & 11th Ave
Subways for above: 23rd Street stop on the C, E (local) (23rd and 8th Ave), 23rd Street stop on the 1 (local) (23rd and 7th Ave), 28th Street stop on the 1 (local) (28th and 7th Ave)
- 34th Street & 12th Ave +ramp access
Subways for above: 34th Street/Penn Station stop on the 1, 2, 3, A, C, E
Bathrooms: I’m always the one to need a public restroom when we’re out. There are two along the High Line, located at Gansevoort and 16th Street
Food & Drink: There are two restaurants on the High Line, Santina at Gansevoort and Washington Streets, or Terroir at the Porch at 15th Street. And of course there’s always Chelsea Market at 15th and well as an abundance of shops and restaurants at street level all along the park. A few restaurants to check out near the entrance on Gansevoort Street are Bubby’s, Gansevoort Market, and The Standard Biergarten.