Take a walk on New York's High Line from end-to-end


To escape the madness of Manhattan's West Side, climb out of the chaos and into the calm of the High Line. More than 10 entry points between Gansevoort Street and 34th Street lead to the free elevated public park, a verdant refuge built nearly two decades after the last freight train hauled frozen turkeys across the tracks. The visionaries behind the urban sanctuary cleaned up the railway line, planting more than 500 varieties of trees, grasses and flowers; installing an outdoor gallery; and plunking down benches every few steps, where visitors can practice the Zen of no traffic. 

The narrow (30 to 50 feet wide) and relatively short (1.45 miles long) trail, which attracts 7 1/2 million visitors a year, offers an expansive experience. In fact, you can design an entire vacation around the High Line and satisfy all of your needs without leaving its environs. Although the park has been fully open for four years, new attractions, art and plantings, plus an extension slated for next year, will renew your sense of discovery. To assist you in your adventure, we have mapped out a High Line getaway that includes hotels, restaurants, culture, nature and activities on or under the promenade. Your heightened trip to Manhattan is just a staircase away. (For more information, the Friends of the High Line, which helps maintain the park, provides maps, hours and a calendar of events, among other useful nuggets.)  

1. Gansevoort Street: Three years ago, the Renzo Piano-designed Whitney Museum of American Art sailed downtown and dropped its anchor at the High Line's southernmost point. The institution dotes on contemporary artists ("Andy Warhol - From A to B and Back Again" opens on Nov. 12) and provocative themes ("An Incomplete History of Protest" closes on Aug. 27). For sweeping views of the High Line and the Hudson River, pass by the Studio Cafe - you can always return later for a ginger-raisin scone and coffee - and step out onto the eighth-floor terrace. Descend until you are forced back inside, on the fifth level.  

2. Gansevoort Street: The dishes at Bubby's will wrap themselves around you like your old college sweatshirt. The restaurant endorses breakfast for lunch and fried chicken three ways. Grab a slice of pie, then add the a la mode at the connecting Ample Hills Creamery. The ice cream parlor created a special flavor for the occasion: Floatin' Over the High Line, a sweet combustion of root beer ice cream, mini-marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles.  

3. Gansevoort Street: Before ascending the staircase at Gansevoort Plaza, look up and under for a surprise. The art installation by Marinella Senatore literally illuminates a line by feminist poet Warsan Shire: "Give your daughters difficult names." The piece is part of the "Agora" group exhibit, which explores how art can influence society and its role in public spaces and as a means of protest. The show features works by more than a half-dozen international artists and runs through March.  

4. Gansevoort Street: From May through September, volunteers with Friends of the High Line lead free tours at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and 10 a.m. Saturdays. The 75-minute "From Freight to Flowers" flits from theme to theme like a butterfly. The guides cover the history of the railway and the creation of the park while pointing out such subtle details as the GPS coordinates on the tracks and the art deco railing on the amphitheater.  

5. West 13th Street: The Standard, High Line hotel embraces its southern and northern exposure. All 338 rooms possess floor-to-ceiling windows so you can peer at the people on the High Line and, if you don't draw your curtains, they can return the gaze. The views will follow you like the Mona Lisa's eyes from the shower in the black-tiled bathroom to the 18th-floor gym to the diamond-shaped hot tub at Le Bain disco to the rooftop bar with the crepe stand. When it's time to return to terra firma, re-acclimate at the Standard Biergarten, a street-level spot with pretzels, ping-pong and tables with taps.  

6. Between West 14th and 15th streets: Cool your heels and toes in the spray at the Diller-von Furstenberg Sundeck and Water Feature. Then dry - and doze - off in a wooden chaise longue with wheels, a nod to the line's original high roller.  

7. West 14th and 15th streets: New York City never turns its lights off, but you can still see a sprinkling of celestial seasonings during stargazing nights run by the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. On Tuesdays from April through October, members of the organization line the route with superpowerful telescopes. On a late May evening, spectators squinted at Venus, Jupiter and four of its 53 moons, and a blooming Flower Moon.  

8. Between West 15th and 16th streets: Chelsea Market inhabits the former National Biscuit Co. factory, which once received its baking ingredients from the elevated railway. The food emporium now feeds the noshing masses at nearly three dozen dining spots, including A-list restaurants (Morimoto, Buddakan) and New York stalwarts (Sarabeth's Bakery, Amy's Bread, Li-Lac Chocolates). For shopping, Artists and Fleas gives a big group hug to local and independent retailers, and Pearl River Mart specializes in Asian homewares and trinkets that say "Hello" to more than just Kitty.  

9. Between West 15th and 16th streets: Food carts huddle inside the Chelsea Market Passage, a covered thoroughfare with seating and global sustenance. Handheld meals include empanadas at La Sonrisa, Italian panini at Tastalu, Venezuelan hot dogs at Perros Y Vainas, gourmet ice cream sandwiches at Melt and paletas (Mexican ice pops) at La Newyorkina. (The latter two also have stands at 22nd Street.) For something kickier than the Grand Master Frappé from Boogie Down Grind Cafe, order a frose at Terroir at the Porch - basically a glass of rosé stuck in a blizzard. Friends of the High Line runs a small shop with park-themed gifts, such as socks patterned after the concrete planks, bookends made of reclaimed railroad tracks and plantable pens so you can grow a High Line in your own back yard (train parts not included).  

10. West 17th Street: At 10th Avenue Square and Overlook, take a seat in the amphitheater overlooking a windshield of windows and enjoy some real-life dramedy ("Chelsea Traffic Live!"). On the Hudson River side, wave to the hardest-working lady on the Hudson, the Statue of Liberty.  

11. West 22nd Street: The High Line is about 65 miles away from Dia:Beacon in New York's Hudson Valley, but only a block from its sister gallery in Chelsea. The contemporary art space, which occupies a former marble-works warehouse, will reopen on Sept. 15 with a show by Nancy Holt and Blinky Palermo.  

12. West 23rd Street: Plan an artful picnic on the park's only lawn, which faces Dorothy Iannone's vibrant mural, "I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door."  

13. West 23rd Street: If the strong-jawed man sipping a ginger beer at the bar resembles the author of "The Perfect Storm," congratulate yourself on your sharp literary eye. Sebastian Junger co-owns the Half King, an Irish pub and restaurant with a bookish bent. The Chelsea establishment holds photography exhibits and weekly readings, with the book-of-the-hour sold on-site.  

14. Between West 25th and 27th streets: Industry and nature stroll hand-in-hand at the Philip A. and Lisa Maria Falcone Flyover. The metal walkway with the eight-foot incline is flanked by warehouses and a floral arrangement of Allegheny serviceberry, eastern redbuds, wild ginger and magnolia trees.  

15. West 27th Street: At the 10-story Hotel Americano, guest rooms that end in 6 or 7 overlook the High Line - and a wealthy neighbor's rooftop soccer field and tennis court. The property's top deck contains a plunge pool that, according to the posted rules, can accommodate only five swimmers at a time. Wait your turn at the bar or on the cushiony bench that is at least a half-lap longer than the pool.  

16. West 30th Street: Hudson Yards, which will open its first phase in March, is the largest development in New York City since the 1930s-era Rockefeller Center. The newly coined New West Side neighborhood will stretch your credit-card limit with 100 shops, including the city's first Neiman Marcus; the fitness-focused Equinox Hotel; the Shed, an entertainment center with Transformer powers; and an array of restaurants tagged by such celebrity chefs as Thomas Keller, David Chang and José Andrés. To rise above it all, climb Vessel, a 50-foot-tall structure with 154 flights of stairs and 80 landings.  

17. West 30th Street: Construction blocks the entrance to the Spur, but come back next year for the final installment. The park's largest open space will host free events, such as ¡Arriba! Latin dance parties, as well as grand public art works. You can also find a set of restrooms that don't require a march south.  

18. West 31st to 34th streets: Blow kisses to the passing ferries, sightseeing boats and cruise ships plying the Hudson River. Depending on the wind direction, some might land on Jersey's shore.  

19. West 34th Street: Exit the High Line and hop on the next express bus to the District. (They pick up curbside.) Or turn around and walk it all over again.


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