Hailed as an urban renewal triumph following its opening in 2009, New York City’s High Line—an abandoned elevated railway track converted into a park—has since spawned a series of copycats, including Chicago’s 606 and Sydney’s Goods Line. Stretching over the formerly industrial west side of Lower Manhattan, the lengthy public park serves as an escape hatch for New Yorkers who want to rise above the hubbub at street level, and is a must-see for out-of-towners for its Hudson River views, ample greenery, artisanal food stands, public art, and some of the best people-watching perches in town.
Millions of visitors stroll across this 1.45-mile (2.33-kilometer) linear park every year. Many explore at their own leisure, while others come as part of group or private tours, which typically also visit surrounding areas such as the Meatpacking District, Chelsea, and Greenwich Village. Having a tour guide in tow means visitors can find out about the evolution of the area and the development of the park. There are also free themed walking tours led by High Line docents, volunteers who offer an insider’s perspective on the park’s history, design, and landscape.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The High Line, a NYC public park, is free to enter.
- Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes.
- The High Line is wheelchair accessible. Elevators are at Gansevoort, 14th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th streets, and there’s ramp access at 34th Street.
How to Get There
The High Line snakes from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th avenues. In addition to the elevator and ramp access points, there is also stepped access at 18th, 20th, 26th, 28th, and 30th streets, and at 11th Avenue. Take the subway to 14th Street and Eighth Avenue (L, A, C, and E trains), 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue (C and E), 14th Street and Seventh Avenue (1, 2, and 3), 18th Street and Seventh Avenue (1), 23rd Street and Seventh Avenue (1), Penn Station (A, C, E, 1, 2, and 3) or 34th Street–Hudson Yards (7).
When to Get There
The High Line is open from 7am to 11pm June through September; 7am to 10pm in April, May, October, and November; and 7am to 7pm December through March. Get there first thing in the morning to experience the walkway in relative peace. Summer afternoons are prime sunbathing time, while summer evenings are ideal for couples, as the dipping sun casts the city in a romantic amber glow.
What to See and Do at the High Line
The High Line is a hive of activity, particularly during the warm summer months when food vendors set up shop. The park hosts special events such as live music performances, dance parties, spoken word festivals, and stargazing sessions, as well as guest speakers, interactive kid-friendly activities, and guided meditations. Throughout the year, the lofty park also hosts open-air art exhibitions, from large-scale installations to murals and sculptures.