Since the opening in 2009, the High Line has become a destination for sunbathing, sightseeing, snacking and viewing innovative art. Now the elevated park spans from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District through the length of Chelsea's iconic gallery district, up to West 34th Street and the under-construction Hudson Yards development on the edge of Hell's Kitchen. Visitors can also enjoy a bevy of vendors on the park itself, with food, beverages and treats from the likes of Blue Bottle Coffee, Melt Bakery and the L’Arte Del Gelato.
Every day, visitors stroll the High Line, basking in waterfront views and gazing down at the blocks below. Though one can easily while away a sunny afternoon here, the neighborhood offerings don't stop when you hit street level. Lace up those walking shoes; we've detailed the best dining, shopping and sightseeing surrounding each of the park's exits.
Gansevoort Street Entrance, Meatpacking District
Lush greenery above gives way to cobblestone streets, seafood and shopping below the High Line's first entrance.The entrance is the beginning point for park tours, departing Tuesdays at 6:30pm and Saturdays at 10am from May through September.
Culture: Whitney Museum of American Art
The venerable Upper East Side institution has relocated downtown to a stunning new building by starchitect Renzo Piano. Not only do the museum's five floors of galleries hold amazing American art, its outdoor terraces offer some incredible views of Lower Manhattan and the Hudson River.
After working up an appetite in the fresh air, head to this three-level seafood restaurant in the Meatpacking District that features a menu dotted with inventive dishes like crab spaghetti and scallop gnocchi. The sleek, open space and shareable food create the perfect setting for a memorable meal with friends.
Shopping: Zadig & Voltaire
Outfit yourself at the NYC flagship of this Parisian rock 'n' roll–inspired label. Inside, find delicate cashmere pieces, customized studded knitwear, washed-silk camisoles and hip-hugging denim.
After a filling meal and some retail therapy, head back to the park and continue your stroll. The stretch of the High Line near the Gansevoort Street entrance is known as the Gansevoort Woodland. It's the ideal place to feel miles away from Manhattan, thanks to large trees like colorful redbuds and Whitespire gray birch. (All you have to do is ignore the sounds of honking taxicabs below.)
West 14th Street Entrance, Meatpacking District
On hot summer days, cool off in the shade of the 14th Street Passage, a 4,000-square-foot stretch. It's near here that Tuesday evening stargazing sessions take place. Down below, take in exotic eats, fashionable boutiques and striking art.
Culture: Milk Gallery
This large Chelsea studio and event space (a former location of the MTV Video Music Awards after-party) also hosts an art gallery specializing in the works of photographers who document celebrity, fashion and pop culture. Expect all kinds of exhibitions—from photos of Andy Warhol’s Factory to shows by up-and-comers from Parsons.
Dining: Spice Market
Jean-Georges Vongerichten's sprawling Asian restaurant, which first opened its doors in 2004, focuses on the street food the owner enjoyed during his travels in the Far East. The menu offers everything from charred chili-rubbed beef skewers with Thai basil dipping sauce to caramelized banana with spiced milk chocolate sauce. It's delicious.
Shopping: Diane von Furstenberg
Diane von Furstenberg is one of a number of boldface design names to have set up shop in the Meatpacking District. This flagship, a glass-fronted storefront with curving interior, is a fitting showcase for her iconic wrap dress, which she debuted in the 1970s and now revives every year in updated colors and prints. There’s much more inside: bags, shoes, skirts and seasonal items (swimwear for summer, coats for winter), to name just a few.
West 16th Street Entrance, Chelsea
If you begin to smell fresh food wafting through the air near 16th Street, that's because you're nearing the food trucks that line the Chelsea Market Passage. Choose from vendors like La Newyorkina, Delaney Barbecue's SmokeLine (from the founder of BrisketTown), Melt Bakery, the Taco Truck and more (all cash only), and then claim a spot at the Porch—a seating area on the park—and dig in. We advise treating the fare here as an appetizer, though. Plenty of filling meals await on street level.
Dining: The Green Table
As the name might suggest, the menu at the Green Table, located inside Chelsea Market, is based on sustainability—seasonal and local products that don't drain natural resources. Dishes include soups, salads and entrées such as a vegan hot pot or chicken potpie. Wash it all down with organic and biodynamically grown wines, beers and hard ciders, or cocktails made from house-infused liquors.
Shopping: Chelsea Market
After your meal, explore the rest of this shopping arcade, a neighborhood highlight. Housed in the former National Biscuit Company factory building (where the Oreo cookie was created), Chelsea Market has been functioning as a hybrid urban public square/high-end food court since 1997. Today, find edibles at Amy's Bread and the Lobster Place, and unique gifts at Posman Books, Chelsea Market Baskets and Bowery Kitchen Supply.
West 18th Street Entrance, Chelsea
Visitors with a taste for the unexpected should make a stop near the West 18th Street entrance, where culinary treats below are matched by a creative take on sightseeing above. Restaurants like The Fillmore Room offer a more formal experience or you can try some megaslices or full pies at Artichoke Basille's Pizza.
After a filling meal, retreat to the High Line's overhanging seating area at 17th Street for a one-of-a-kind view (not for those with a fear of heights). Steps face out to four glass panels providing a picture-perfect spot to relax and watch the traffic along Tenth Avenue.
West 20th Street Entrance, Chelsea
At the heart of Chelsea's gallery district, this stretch of the High Line is all about celebrating the City's many art forms, from expertly curated reading material to an ever-changing, statement-making billboard. You're also not far from the striking IAC Building, a modern and unusually shaped creation by architect Frank Gehry at 18th Street and Eleventh Avenue.
Culture: High Line Billboard
In a city littered with advertisements, the High Line Billboard, located at West 18th Street and Tenth Avenue, stands in welcome contrast. Displays change monthly, and past designs have highlighted the work of John Baldessari, Gilbert & George, Raymond Pettibon and other well-known artists and local visionaries. For more information on the latest design, visit thehighline.org.
Stepping away from the High Line's landscape doesn't mean you have to leave nature behind. Chef Marc Meyer, his wife, Vicki Freeman, and Chris Paraskevaides created Cookshop as a platform for sustainable ingredients from independent farmers. The menu changes daily, offering everything from fried green tomatoes to house-made lasagnetti to duck breast with jalapeño-cabbage slaw. Wash it down with a selection of fruit-infused drinks and be sure to leave room for homemade ice cream.
Shopping: 192 Books
Stock up on reading material at this Chelsea store. Owned and curated by art dealer Paula Cooper and her husband, editor Jack Macrae, 192 offers a strong selection of art books and literature, as well as memoirs and books on gardening, history, politics, design and music.
West 23rd Street Entrance, Chelsea
At the center of the gallery district, find drink specials and New York City's go-to sports complex.
Dining: Izakaya Ten
During summer the High Line closes at 11pm, just in time for this Japanese gastropub's signature late-night happy hour (shochu specials on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 11pm to 3am). Pair your drink with yakitori, raw octopus, dumplings and other regional favorites.
Sports & Recreation: Chelsea Piers
If you're craving something more than a slow stroll, burn off extra energy at this 28-acre waterfront sports village on the docks of the Hudson. Hone your game of tennis or golf, try out rock climbing or take a chilly spin around the Sky Rink, a year-round indoor ice-skating destination.
West 26th Street Entrance, Chelsea
This stretch has upscale American dining and galleries galore on the streets, while up at park level, there's more art—and the chance to gaze out at the city while putting yourself on display, at the 26th Street Viewing Spur.
Dining: Trestle on Tenth
The airy bar, brick-lined dining room and cozy back garden are for those in the know. Modern American cuisine gets custom accents from Swiss owner-chef Ralf Kuettel. Start with steak tartare with quail egg and for the main dish sample calves' liver with potato rostï. Be sure to try the selection of cheeses and wines.
Shopping: Printed Matter, Inc.
It's easy to lose yourself in this nonprofit organization's bookstore, full of thousands of art publications (with more available online). Printed Matter stocks all kinds of hard-to-find books and materials, including art and photo titles—both old and new.
West 28th Street Entrance, Chelsea
As you near the northern end of the High Line, the surroundings take a turn for the eclectic. On 27th Street, Hôtel Americano's repurposed conveyor belt facade provides a striking contrast to surrounding buildings. Inside, the Americano restaurant serves Italian dishes, and Bar Americano doles out signature sips. The area also offers international eats and an interactive, Shakespeare-esque show that isn't for the faint of heart.
Culture: Sleep No More
Theater takes a turn for the intriguingly participatory during this three-hour interactive play, which is based on Macbeth, inside the "McKittrick Hotel." Audience members don masks as they journey freely through the space's six floors, sifting through suitcases, opening coffins and encountering eerie characters. You'll want to register for this spectacle in advance—Sleep No More has a reputation for its waiting list. (Also note: elements of the performance can be frightening and include mild violence and nudity; this one's not for kids.)
Buenos Aires meets Chelsea at chef Martín Badillo's Argentinean restaurant. Start with pâté with white grape marmalade and micro greens or polenta with crispy blood sausage and pesto oil, and then delve into main dishes like rib-eye steak with cabbage, kale and three-bean salad and pan-seared cod with grains, vegetables and potatoes in a basil-tarragon sauce.