High Line New York is one of the best walking paths in the city and not to be missed on your visit! Built on the old railroad, line you will stroll high above the streets for amazing views of downtown Manhattan. Along the path, you’ll find several great stops to make including the famous Chelsea Market. Below we share the backstory of this unique city trail and everything you need to know about walking the High Line NYC!
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History of High Line New York
Before we get into the actual walk there is some history you should know about the High Line New York City! The original railroad line went through Manhattan starting in the mid 1800’s. However, by the turn of the century the area surrounding 10th Ave became known as Death Avenue for the amount of pedestrians who had been killed by trains.
In response, the city raised the train line up above the streets. The NYC High Line first opened in 1934 and continued to make its way around New York. Some sections even went through the inside of buildings and the present-day Chelsea Market!
The Demise and Rise of the New York City High Line
By the 1960’s trucking was much more popular way to transport goods. With that, the railroads became less suitable especially for short distances around the city. Several parts of the NYC High Line came into disuse with most of the trains stopping service completely by the 1980’s.
From then until the late 90’s the powers that be wanted it demolished…. Yet, others had a different idea for how it could be repurposed! The inspiration for this was the wild forestry growing up onto the old tracks.
A competition was held in 2003 which brought hundreds of designs from all over the world. After the winner was selected, the old railway underwent its incredible transformation and opened to the public in 2009. Once you step foot onto the New York City High Line you’ll see how amazing an architectural feat it truly is!
Where to Start High Line New York
Now that you know the impressive backstory of High Line NYC it’s time to start your walk. The one-of-a-kind trail will take you 1.45 miles through the popular Chelsea neighborhood.
We prefer to start from the very beginning at the south entrance of the High Line NYC. From the corner of Gansevoort & Washington St. you can walk the entire length of the High Line to 34th St. on Manhattans West Side. However, as you’ll see below, you can start or end anywhere along the pathway!
Walking the High Line NYC
On our visit to the city we decided travel from Brooklyn to the High Line and spend the afternoon exploring the area. Along the path there are plenty of places to sit, relax, and enjoy your surroundings.
If you are planning your trip to the High Line we recommend going early in the morning when it isn’t as crowded. During the afternoon in the summertime you can expect it to be pretty busy. Officially, the High Line NYC is open from 7am-11pm daily.
On your walk you’ll not only find some of the best NYC attractions (which we talk about more below), but there are sculptures, water features, murals, and of course great places to eat. You can take a quick stroll at any point or plan to spend several hours discovering Manhattan from above!
High Line New York Walking Tours
If you’re interested in learning more of the history of the High Line New York City you can jump on a free walking tour! Running from May to October, the “Freight to Flowers” takes 45 minutes and runs three times a week. Find the updated times on the High Line website to plan your visit accordingly.
Prefer something a little more in depth? Well, you can also take a guided tour of Chelsea Market, the Meatpacking District, and High Line for three hours of food and fun!
What to See Along the NYC High Line
Starting at the south entrance of the path and continuing north, there are some extremely popular things to see and do. We loved that you can hop off at different places along the walk and combine these special attractions with your day on the High Line New York City.
6 Best High Line Attractions
1. Whitney Museum of American Art: Commonly known as The Whitney, this famous art museum is located in the Meatpacking District at the start of the High Line walk. Pre-purchase your tickets or consider getting the Go Explorer Pass to have access to more awesome activities in New York!
2. Chelsea Market: The Chelsea Market is one of the best stops along the High Line NYC and is the perfect place to grab lunch or go shopping. It was first built in 1890’s so it has a unique shared history with the railroad tracks. Today you’ll find every kind of food under the sun with a sleek new design to experience.
3. The Little Island: Opening recently in 2o21, this new outdoor area is located at Pier 55. The manmade island is a public park complete with walking trails, beautiful lookouts, and snack & drink stands.
4. Mercado Little Spain: A Spanish inspired market with high-end dining, quick sandwiches to go, and even traditional products and groceries.
5. Vessel: With almost 2,500 steps, this new architectural wonder is turning heads with its honeycomb-shape. At the top you’ll find 360 views of the NYC skyline.
6. The Edge: Speaking of views… This epic observation deck is set 100 floors above the city. Make sure to pre-book your entry tickets especially if you are visiting on the weekend or during sunset.
Have any questions about this article? How about some of your own tips for walking the High Line New York City? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where to Stay in New York City
NoMad – Hotel Giraffe by Library Hotel Collection – Boutique hotel with a rooftop garden and quick walk to Union Square Park and Chelsea. The hotel is decorated with classic photos from the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Tribeca – Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown – Historic high-end hotel in the heart of New York. Close to the Brooklyn Bridge and Seaport District.
Little Italy – NobleDEN Hotel – Great location in the Italian district and steps from Ferrara Bakery and Chinatown. Some of the rooms have a terrace or balcony which is not common in the city!
Times Square – LUMA Hotel – Modern design with bright bold patterns which reflect the energy of the area. Great place to stay near all the action of Times Square.
Chelsea – The Hotel Chelsea – Built in in the 1800’s with history reflected in its unique style. Known as one of the best historic hotels in the city.
East Village – The Bowery Hotel – Beautiful boutique hotel with floor to ceiling windows and an industrial loft design. Ideal location in one of the most popular neighborhoods in NYC.
Hudson Yards – Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards New York City – Plush accommodation with a sleek design. Rooms range from deluxe to scenic skyline suites.
New York Travel Planning
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars whenever traveling in New York. Consider renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another for an epic road trip!
Flights: We always find great flights using Skyscanner and Kayak. This way you can plan your trip around the cheapest and most direct routes.
Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also, Hostelworld can be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities around New York. Book a luxury brunch harbor cruise, skip the line at the Empire State Building, or go on a Manhattan helicopter tour!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years and they are there when we need them.
Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
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