New York City's Elevated Park Gives You Views Of The City You've Never Seen Before

For some of New York City's best views, forget the pricey Empire State Building or the Top of the Rock and take a walk on the High Line instead. This former elevated rail line has been reborn as a leafy public park that runs 1.45 miles from the achingly cool Meatpacking District to Hudson Yards, also undergoing renewal (per DSRNY). It's fully pedestrianized and features lush gardens, shady places to sit and watch the world go by, public art, and access to some of NYC's best local businesses, according to the High Line's official website. Oh, and the views of Manhattan aren't bad either.

Before we get into all that, let's talk about the practicalities. The High Line is a non-profit organization, and almost 100% of its budget comes from donations — it's a public park in the truest sense. There are free docent-led tours up to three times per week if you want to learn more about the area's history and future (90 minutes in the warmer months and 45 minutes long during winter — very sensible). The park is also fully accessible, with elevators spaced along the way, as well as street-level access at certain intervals.

What to see from the High Line

A wander along the High Line is going to take a lot longer than the 30 or so minutes you might imagine because you're going to want to step off and visit some of the outstanding attractions along the route. Starting in the south in the Meatpacking District, consider going to the Whitney Museum of American Art, which is chock full of works by world-renowned artists such as Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollack (per Experience First). Next up is Chelsea Market, a favorite among New Yorkers including Ally Travels, who says you'll find a huge range of restaurants and bars, as well as shops and an art gallery.

If you're walking the High Line toward sunset, consider hopping down to the Frying Pan, a vintage boat moored on the Hudson, where you'll have spectacular views of the city while sipping on a drink (per Loving New York). The Hudson River Park is near here too, and here you can relax with a view of New York's skyscrapers in one direction, and the river in the other. When you reach the end of the High Line, check out The Vessel in Hudson Yards. Ally Travels loves the views from this unusual, honeycomb-like building.

What you can see on the High Line

It's not just the views and surrounding area that make the High Line special: there are lots of things to do on the walkway itself. The High Line is lined by gardens, including woodlands and grasslands, and a sundeck with a water feature, allowing you to wander through calm, natural spaces even in the center of Manhattan. Then there's the art: murals and sculptures are specially commissioned for the High Line and help connect the park to its history and the city around it.

There are plenty of places to sit along the High Line, and a favorite among bloggers, including Experience First, is the bleachers-style seating at 10th Avenue Square and Overlook at 17th Street, where you can sit and watch the world go by below you. You can also grab some food directly on the High Line in the summer. Free Tours by Foot mentions the food carts that line the Chelsea Market Passage between West 15th and 16th Streets in the warmer months.