Planning on visiting the High Line? Take a walk through this beautiful urban park with a NYC resident!
New York is such an awesome city, and I feel super lucky to live here (childhood dream come true). I wish everyone could visit in person, but I understand that not always possible. So I've decided to start a new series, Explore NYC with Me.
For my first Explore NYC with Me post, I'm taking you on a tour of the High Line.
Visiting The High Line in NYC
If you've never been to NYC, you may be wondering what's so special about this park! The High Line is a public park built on an elevated railroad track.
It was originally a freight line that carried meat to the Meatpacking District, agricultural goods to the factories and warehouses of Manhattan's industrial West Side, and mail to the Post Office. Rail operation stopped in 1980, and the tracks sat unused until the first section of the park opened in 2009. Read more about the High Line's history.
What I love most about the High Line is its unique setting. It's a beautiful park in an urban environment. There are plenty of spots to relax and take in the outdoors, but the city is ever present, and you're surrounded by art, too.
Are you ready to take a tour? The High Line runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District up to West 34th Street.
My favorite place to start when I'm visiting the High Line is at 34th Street and 12th Avenue. The entrance is located near the Javits Center.
I took this first photo shortly after starting my walk near 30th street. As you can see, it was pretty overcast.
There's a lot of construction surrounding the High Line, and I caught this group of workers on their lunch break. I thought I was being sneaky when I took their picture, but apparently not.
Can you spot the guy waving at me? Ha!
The High Line is super busy, especially in summer, so be prepared for crowds.
I made the walk around noon midweek and it was packed. As you can imagine, the weekends are even worse!
My favorite time to visit is morning or evening, during the week, in fall or spring when it's a little quieter.
Even though you're in Manhattan, you'll feel like you're surrounded by nature when visiting the High Line.
I can never resist taking a million photos of the gorgeous flowers along the park's path.
Watch a video of Jordan Betten creating Lady Luck (above).
You'll see a lot of art, both on and off the High Line.
Check out those water towers above, too. They're everywhere in New York, and I love spotting them.
Even though you'll be surrounded by people, there are still plenty of spots to sit and relax when visiting the High Line.
Make sure to pause for a few minutes and people watch or just quietly reflect.
One of the many artworks along the path: Archeo: Him and Me by Jessica Jackson Hutchins.
I love finding a quiet spot to sit.
Eduardo Kobra's mural of the Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous photo is located just off the High Line at 25th Street and 10th Avenue.
It's impossible to miss.
Archeo: Creative Crossings, a sculpture by Marianne Vitale ... I love how this piece complements the surrounding architecture.
A little green space ...
Of course, one of the best things about visiting the High line are the city views.
You can even see across the Hudson. Those hills in the background above are in New Jersey.
This spot is one of the areas where you can see the original tracks.
As you follow the tracks, you'll be surrounded by interesting architecture.
This piece is called Urban Rattle. It's by artist Charlie Hewitt
Ed Ruscha's Honey I Twisted Through More Damn Traffic Today can be seen along your walk, too.
Here's one of many views you might spy of the Empire State Building.
Keep an eye peeled for it as you walk along!
A pretty place to relax for a moment.
Or you can sit and watch traffic go by on 10th Avenue.
You'll find great views of the local neighborhood, New Jersey, and even the Statue of Liberty on the High Line.
Trust me, the Statue is much easier to spot in person than it is in my photo!
Hey, it's me!
I was taking a photo of these hydrangeas when a woman asked me if I wanted her to take my photo ... ha! #AlwaysATourist
Another spot where you can walk the tracks.
Grab a seat and check out Spencer Finch's installation The River That Flows Both Ways.
Each pane of glass represents a hue from photographs of water taken during a 700-minute journey on the Hudson River.
This is also a great spot to enjoy a drink or snack from local vendors (everything from barbeque to popsicles to tacos). There's even an open-air cafe, Terroir at the Porch, where you can enjoy wine, beer, and small plates.
If you see me here, I'll be holding a New Orleans Iced Coffee from Blue Bottle (the best iced coffee ever).
Splash around in the water feature on a hot day!
You might even catch a musician along the way.
This saxophone player obviously knew that I was photographing him and seemed to be posing for me.
I need to work on my paparazzi skills!
Here we're passing under the Standard High Line.
Stop in for a fancy drink and amazing city views when you're done ... we're almost there!
Another water tower ...
Told you they were everywhere!
Isabelle Cornaro's Archeo: God Box ... the columns feel like a gate along the path.
We're almost done.
When you're finished, do a little shopping and walking around in the Meatpacking District.
That's it! This last photo was taken in the Gansevoort Woodland, a (usually) quiet area that's a great place to end (or begin) your walk.
If you made it through all these photos, then you seriously deserve a gold star.
Tips for Visiting the High Line in NYC
- Where to start: If you want to walk the entire length of the High Line, enter at either 34th Street and 12th Avenue (ramp access), which is my fave entry point, OR Gansevoort and Washington Street (elevator access). You'll also find access points along the length of the park, some with elevator access and some without. The park is very flat and wheelchair friendly.
- Visit early in the day or late in the afternoon. The High Line is a popular tourist destination and can get super crowded. But that doesn't mean you should avoid it! If at all possible, visit earlier or later in the day during the week. As you'd expect, it's also much quieter during cooler times of year, like winter and late fall or early spring.
- Dress appropriately. Your walk is going to be pretty flat, but you'll be in the sun for most of it. Wear a hat, sunscreen, and comfortable clothes. Bundle up at colder times of year, because you'll be totally exposed to the weather.
- Plan to take your time. The High Line is only 1.45 miles long, but there is so much to see along the way from art to city buildings to plants and flowers. Make sure to leave enough time to take it all in. One of my favorite things to do on the High Line is to grab one of the many seats located throughout the pack and people watch.
- Grab a bite to eat along the way. You'll find vendors selling everything from Blue Bottle to paletas to grilled cheese on the High Line.
- Don't forget to explore the surrounding neighborhood when you're done. There's a lot to see nearby in the Meatpacking District and Chelsea, from shopping to restaurants. Plan to step off the High Line and hit the streets when you're finished.
- Want more information? Visit the High Line website.
Have you ever walked the High Line? What was your favorite part?
More Things to Do in NYC
Now that you know all about the High Line, check out my of my other favorite NYC activities:
- Domino Park - While you're in Brooklyn, head over to Williamsburg and visit Domino Park. This unique park was built on the site of an old Domino Sugar factory and features lots of industrial remnants.
- Central Park - No visit to NYC is complete with a stroll through this world-renowned park! My favorite time to visit is in fall, but it's stunning anytime of year.
- Rockaway Beach - Escape the bustle of the city and go chill at Rockaway Beach ... truly my happy place! It's kind of a hike, but totally worth it on a beautiful summer day.
- Heading to NYC during the holidays? It's magical ... before you go, make sure to check out my comprehensive guide to Christmas in New York. And you'll also want to take a tour NYC's best Christmas windows!
- Visiting in spring? Here’s where to find the best Cherry Blossoms in NYC.
- Governors Island - If you want to escape the city for a bit, head to Governors Island. This unique park / National Monument is only a 10 minute ferry ride from Manhattan and Brooklyn.
- Brooklyn Bridge - Walking the Brooklyn Bridge is one of those activities on everyone's NYC bucket lists, and my guide has tons of tips to help you do it!
- Want more ideas? Check out my A to Z guide to visiting (or living in) New York, as well as my list of NYC favorites after living there for my first eight months!