Adventure at the Park: Visit The High Line, NYC

Map of The High Line

A visit to The High Line has been on my New York City “activities to do list” for quite a while. We have been in New York many times, but Craig and I finally made it a priority. Shame on me, shame on us, I can’t believe I waited so long! It is truly incredible.

Walking along the High Line

 

A visit to the High Line

What a brilliant plan to save and utilize an old railway line from the 1930’s. It has been repurposed and beautified for the public to enjoy for free in NYC! How wonderful is that? I had some idea what we may find there, but honestly it surpassed anything we could have imagined.

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The High Line is a 1.45 mile linear public park built on a historic freight rail line in Chelsea on the west side of Manhattan. Take the stairs up to this elevated outdoor art museum/park/nature sanctuary/gathering place/boardwalk. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues.

A visit along The High Line

A visit along the High Line

The railroad line was utilized beginning in 1934 and was designed to carry goods to and from Manhattan’s largest industrial district. Because of the growth of interstate trucking, the rail line was no longer needed and was shut down in 1980. The Friends of The High Line was formed in 1993 and after collaborating with the design team of James Corner Field Operations, a landscape architecture firm, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf, planting designer and along with The City of New York, the first phase was opened in 2009, the second in 2011 and finally the third and final phase in 2014.

We happened to visit on a very hot day in July, with stifling humidity…great timing! Despite the sticky weather, we still were amazed and delighted along every turn.

The walking fountain along the High Line

Wildflowers, grasses, trees and a clever walking fountain, where most guests would take off their shoes and stroll through just to feel the smooth pebble bottom and get some relief from the heat. The children of course got a huge kick out of this feature as well.

Relax on the lounge chairs at the High Line

You can also relax on wood chaise lounges and catch some rays while watching the throngs of people walk by. People watching is definitely a highlight of The High Line too! There is no cost to walk the High Line and they do offer free walking tours if you plan ahead, the space is limited.

Walking along The High Line

There are places to rest on benches in amphitheater-like spaces that offer windows into the cityscape where you can watch the bustling New York streets. As you stroll along the boardwalk you travel though neighborhoods with historic architecture and charm.

The view from the High Line

A view of NYC from The High Line

Gorgeous historic buildings along the High Line

The view from the High Line

Visit the High Line

If you are hungry, thirsty or crave dessert you can enjoy gelato, ice pops, street tacos and other yummy items that are available at 15th St & 17th St as well as the Rail Yard.

Under the bridge at the High Line

Frozen pops on the High Line

The restaurant porch at Terroir High Line offers delicious wine and great food with a killer view of the Hudson River.

On the porch at Terroir High Line

The High Line is open year round but the opening and closing times vary due to the time of year. This is a must see, must do activity in one of the greatest cities in the world. I am sorry we did not get there sooner!

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27 thoughts on “Adventure at the Park: Visit The High Line, NYC”

  1. Growing up in NYC, I saw the High Line every time we got onto the West Side Highway. It was such an eye-sore. I was really excited to hear that it had been saved and beautified. It’s very high on my NYC list of things to do. Your photos made me feel as if I was there.

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  2. Such a simple idea to preserve The High Line railroad track has created a beautiful area for multitudes to enjoy the outside as well as appreciate some of NYC’s scenic views. We’re hoping to visit NYC later this year and will try to see this for ourselves.

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  3. The High Line is so brilliantly done. I’d seen many photos of when it first opened, but now that the plantings have matured, it’s just lovely. I particularly enjoyed seeing the groups of echinacea and liatris, two perennials I enjoyed having in my Midwestern garden. Thanks for sharing!

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    • Betsy: They have done an amazing job choosing indigenous plants with a focus on drought tolerance. It is just lovely.

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  4. The High Line walk is a marvelous place and walking it is a real delight. Your photos capture the vibrancy of New York and why spending a summer afternoon on the High Line is a highlight of any NYC trip. Thanks for reminding me of that fun place!

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  5. Love, Love the High Line! I first visited it a few years ago, and have returned several times. The place just gets better and better (even if it’s pretty crowded nowadays). I’ve not been to NYC for a while, so really appreciated this bit of nostalgia.

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    • Anita, the crowds were quite large, you have to jump into the lane, go with the flow of traffic and start walking! I am glad you have enjoyed it too!

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  6. I never heard of the High Line. We’ll be in New York in August and will definitely check it out. Thanks for the post.

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  7. We didn’t look at the high line when we were in NYC in 2010 but I’ve seen a lot about it since then and can’t believe we missed it. Next time it will definitely be first up on our list.

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  8. I looked down on the High Line Park in Manhattan when it was still a work in progress and vowed that I would check it out on a return trip. After reading your narrative and looking at your photos, I’m sorry I haven’t kept my promise to myself. As bustling as New York City is, she clearly cares about her green space—-Central Park, meet your cousin, the High Line.

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  9. We have been to NYC many times and have never yet made it to the High Line! We have been missing out on a great walk through a great city. I love the parks and places like the High Line that take you out of the city and give you a bit of nature. Love the idea of the free walking tours and after visiting the HighLine.org site, I see they offer even more great opportunities to enjoy your time. Great story, thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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