▷ The New York City High Line : what you shouldn’t miss
Let’s talk today about one of the most emblematic activities in New York: the famous High Line!
The High Line has become a must-see in the last few years and is nothing less than a beautiful suspended walkway built on the route of an ancient railroad. It offers some of the most beautiful views of New York City while providing a privileged walking environment. Opened in 2009, the High Line extends for 2 kilometers through several neighborhoods on the west side of Manhattan. To experience a unique moment out of time and to watch New York unfold beneath our feet, this is definitely the place to be! So here’s everything you need to know to plan a great getaway on the High Line 🙂
From railroad line to suspended park: the history of the High Line
The construction of this aerial railroad began in 1930. At the time, street traffic was so heavy in the Meatpacking District that it was urgent to find a new means of transport for merchandise. Tons of foodstuffs were transported between the various warehouses in the district thanks to this railroad, which remained active until the 1980s.
The line was then abandoned and became a wasteland that was planned to be destroyed. But in 1999, the local residents joined forces and founded an association: “Friends of the High Line” which works to save the site and rehabilitate it. After many years of work, the new High Line is finally born.
It has now become a suspended walkway that offers many facilities to walkers: rest or work areas, deckchairs, platforms and viewpoints are present everywhere to make the most of the urban panorama. The vegetation chosen remains deliberately wild to preserve the original soul of the place. The rails of the old railroad have also been preserved on certain portions of the promenade.
Access, route and map of the High Line
The good news is that the High Line is a totally free activity!
As a New York City public park, access is totally free during opening hours (see below).
The High Line map
In total, the High Line extends from Gansevoort Street (in Meatpacking district) to 34th Street (in Hudson Yards), passing through Chelsea. The High Line offers an immersive walk through three New York City neighborhoods. From the Hudson Yards entrance/exit, you can also reach the center of Manhattan (Midtown), in a few minutes by foot.
The access points of the High Line
The High Line can be accessed through 10 entry points along the route:
|Gansevoort Street entrance||Access by elevator and stairs. Toilets|
|14th Street entrance||Access by elevator and stairs.|
|16th Street entrance||Access by stairs. Toilets|
|17th Street entrance||Access by stairs.|
|20th Street entrance||Access by stairs.|
|23rd Street entrance||Access by elevator and stairs.|
|26th Street entrance||Access by stairs.|
|28th Street entrance||Access by stairs.|
|30th Street entrance||Access by elevator, stairs and ramp. Toilets.|
|34th Street entrance||Access by ramp.|
My tips for making the most of the High Line
Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t miss out on this iconic New York City landmark!
Which way should I go along the High Line?
Personally, I recommend you to enter the High Line from the south, on Gansevoort Street, and to go up towards the northern districts. This way, you can walk to Midtown and enjoy all the points of interest along the High Line.
My favorite part of the High Line
I’ve always had a real preference for the southern portion of the High Line, in the Meatpacking and Chelsea neighborhoods. This portion concentrates some of the nicest views of New York and the best facilities for walkers (observatories, amphitheaters, platforms, deckchairs, street art, etc).
Points of interest not to be missed on the High Line (and around)
To locate them precisely, you can find them on the Google Map just above. During your walk, don’t miss (from south to north) :
➜ The Standard building, a luxury hotel that literally spans the High Line (between 12th and 13th Streets).
➜ The deckchairs and sunbeds (between 14th and 15th Street).
➜ Chelsea Market, the famous indoor market (between 15th and 16th Street). A must-see in Chelsea!
➜ The 10th Avenue viewpoint (at 17th Street). From here, you can simply admire New York under your feet and watch the sweep of traffic on a big avenue in the city. A perfect place to meditate!
➜ The Stairs (at 22nd Street). Perfect for a break or a snack!
➜ The 23rd Street viewpoint, one of the most iconic views taken from the High Line.
➜ Another street observation area (at 26th Street).
➜ The Vessel, the iconic structure of the Hudson Yards neighborhood is visible at 30th Street.
Some practical information about the High Line
Here is some information you need to know to organize your discovery of the High Line.
Are there guided tours of the High Line?
Yes, it is possible to discover the High Line with experienced guides who will transmit their passion for this place. These visits are done in small groups for maximum comfort and proximity with the guide.
You can also enjoy guided tours of the High Line AND the neighborhoods below (Chelsea & Meatpacking Distric), two very authentic districts of Lower Manhattan. These districts have a rich history and a very active neighborhood life, which makes them very interesting places to discover.
How long does it take to walk the entire High Line?
To walk the entire High Line, you should expect to spend about an hour at a leisurely pace.
What are the opening hours of the High Line?
The park is open all year round, 365 days a year, but the opening hours vary according to the season. If you’re planning a visit at the beginning or end of the day, be sure to check out the hours on the official website to make sure you can get in!
And for those who wonder if it is possible to enter the High Line at night, it is always possible within the opening hours. These are wide enough to enjoy the park at the end of the day at night (in all seasons). But, at the height of the night, the park is closed and therefore inaccessible.
Can we eat on the High Line?
Between April and October, there is a small outdoor food court at the Chelsea Market crossing (between 15th and 16th Street). You can then sit anywhere on the High Line to enjoy your meal. Alternatively, you can momentarily leave the High Line to discover the Chelsea Market (just below the suspended walkway) and you’ll be spoilt for choice for your lunch break!
In any season, Chelsea Market is a great place to eat. Otherwise, just look at the streets just below the High Line, there are plenty of places to eat!
Can people with disabilities use the High Line?
Yes, the entire length of the High Line is adapted for people with disabilities. A number of access points are also equipped with elevators or ramps. You can locate these adapted entrances on the map above.
What other attractions are near the High Line?
There are a number of attractions in the surroundings of the High Line. These include:
➜ On the southern part of the High Line, there is nearby Little Island, a park built on an artificial island over the Hudson River. And of course, we have already discussed it above, the Chelsea Market is a gourmet stop not to be missed.
➜ In the northern part, we reach the Hudson Yards district. There, you can see the famous Vessel and discover the Edge Observatory, with its huge outdoor terrace that extends into the New York skies!
There you go! You know everything you need to know about the High Line! If you still have questions on the subject, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments, it will probably help other travelers too!