Little Island NYC is a new park that has been literally built into the harbor! Where Pier 54 once stood, the beautiful gardens are a futuristic escape set in the middle of the city. It’s becoming a hip new spot to hang out with friends, have some drinks, and take in the views. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Little Island Park in New York!
Quick History of Little Island New York
The place where Little Island Park is now located has a deep history you would not believe! Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the Lenape Tribe were a group of Native Americans who inhabited this area of the Hudson River. Once the 19th century rolled around, New York City experienced a maritime boom which transformed the Hudson waterfront.
Specifically, Pier 54 would be a launching point for journeys across the Atlantic Ocean with the British Cunard-White Star line. In the 1980’s this little enclave became a place for LBGTQ pride festivals and other fun events. It actually wasn’t until 2021 that Little Island was built into what you see today!
The new design is something we can only compare to the futuristic buildings of Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay. It’s something truly unique that every traveler should see when visiting Manhattan in New York City!
7 Tips for Visiting Little Island NYC
1. Getting to Little Island Park
Subway: There are multiple train lines that run along 14th street just a short walk from the Little Island. When exploring New York. the best way to find what train you need is to put your destination into google maps and select the public transportation tab. This will show you the most direct route and also if you need to switch lines.
Taxi/Uber: Put in either Little Island New York or Pier 55 when hiring a taxi or Uber to get you to the area.
City Bike: We used these to ride along the bike path and had the best day in the city! There is actually a docking station for Little Island NYC across the street from the harbor at W 15 St & 10 Ave.
Official Address: Pier 55 at Hudson River Park Hudson River Greenway, NY 10014, USA
2. Go Early in the Morning
Little Island Park NYC is quickly becoming one of the most popular places to visit in the city. Opening in just May 2021, it is extremely new compared to all the historic places to visit in New York.
With it being so popular, it’s understandable that it can also get very crowded. For your best shot at beating the crowds, you can always visit in the morning. Little Island New York opens as early as 6pm and doesn’t close until 11pm.
3. Explore the Different Walking Paths
Little Island NYC isn’t very large but there are several walking paths that work their way around the area. Get ready for some steps and make the climb to the Observation Deck located at the upper left side corner. This is where you’ll find the best views that look out over the Hudson River with New Jersey in the distance.
4. Pack a Picnic or Grab Some Food
In the middle of the Little Island there is a large park that was built on a hillside. This is the perfect place to grab a cold drink from one of the stands or bring your own picnic to enjoy. The grass can be wet depending on the weather so it’s best to bring a blanket or something to sit on.
5. Events at Little Island NYC
On the far side of the Little Island Park is a massive amphitheater! It holds everything from free events to family and kid friendly shows, and even concerts for purchase. Make sure to checkout all the upcoming events at the Little Island NYC when planning your trip to the city.
6. See More Around the Area
Little Island New York is positioned nicely for visitors to Manhattan. There are countless things to do close by that you can easily fill an afternoon with. The photo below was actually taken from the famous High Line path as we walked past!
Our ideal day would to be to start at The Edge which is an observation deck set 100 floors above the city. After that you can see the architectural wonder “the Vessel” and stroll along the repurposed High Line railroad track.
About half way down the High Line is also the amazing Chelsea Market. Stop in for a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants and cafes before traveling two more blocks to Little Island Park NYC!
For a more in depth article about the attractions in this area check out our post below about walking the High Line.
7. Sunset at Little Island NYC
Golden hour is hands down the most popular time to visit the Little Island! That’s because it is positioned directly across from where the sun sets over the water.
On the day we visited the sky turned a beautiful shade of orange and it was truly a magical sunset. However, if you do plan to go during this time there’s a few things you should know.
While the observation deck has the best view, it does come with the most crowds. There is a very low chance to actually get up front for the sunset and if you do you will likely be smushed together with others.
If you are catching a show then the amphitheater will have the best view from your seat! There are also some small walking paths to the right of the amphitheater which are often less crowded.
For another great view you can watch it from the right side entry walkway where Little Island’s Glockenspiel is located. Along with the sun setting in the distance, you will see the outside columns of the structure from here. From this angle you can see how unique the Little Island Park NYC really is!
Have any questions about Little Island New York or want to share your own experience at the park? Let us know in the comments 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.
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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!
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.
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