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The High Line: Escape the Hustle & Bustle in NYC

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You may be in the busiest of cities, but crave some alone time, a moment’s peace. Many cities have been built around the idea that you’ll need this, so often come with parks and green spaces available throughout town.

New York City has daringly tried to be a bit different in this regard though.

Yes, yes, they still have their large green spaces – Central Park, anyone? But they also have The High Line, NYC’s answer to escaping the hustle and bustle, and getting a decent view of the streets below.

The High Line in New York: Quick Facts

The High Line is a public park, but one that has a big difference – it’s 30 feet off the ground!

It first opened in 1934, but wasn’t a public park back then. It was designed to allow trains to transport goods through the centre of blocks, rather than having to go the long way around. This continued until the last train ran in 1980.

Fast forward another 20 years from then and discussions took place to turn this unused space into a public park. And another decade on (in 2009), The High Line was finally opened to the public, section by section.

Head there today and you’ll be greeted with a flat walkway suspended in the air, complete with benches, plants, trees, old railway sleepers and even a glimpse of the old train tracks.

High Line Train Tracks

The High Line is incredibly eco-friendly, with the use of self-seeding plants, a clever watering system and loads more sustainable practices in place. So whilst you take a breather and have a relaxing walk, rest assured that you’re also helping the environment!

RELATED: 4 Day New York Itinerary For First Time Visitors

The High Line in New York: What is it like to walk The High Line?

The High Line walk itself is really relaxing. It runs from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, a total of 1.45 miles (2.33km). To walk the full high line takes about 30 minutes at a gentle stroll, or longer if you pause for breaks and photos.

Dotted along the walkway are several entrances. There’s a great map available on the official website, which also points out where the elevator access points are as well. If you’re able to, I’d highly recommend walking the length of it so you can see everything.

Sadly, dogs aren’t allowed on The High Line, so this will be a humans only affair. Sorry pups!

Some of the highlights of the High Line walk include:

  • Tiffany & Co. Foundation Overlook: Great views of the Meatpacking District and Whitney Museum of Art.
  • Chelsea Market Passage: Loads of great art to see as well as a locally-run food court.
  • 10th Avenue Square: There’s a very cool amphitheatre here, offering views of the streets below – great for people watching!
  • Diller von Furstenberg Sundeck & Water Feature: A great spot for sunsets, and dipping your toes during the warmer months.
  • Chelsea Thicket: This part is like a mini forest full of plants, trees and thick shrubs.
  • The Rail Yards: This was one of the best bits, with 360° views of the Hudson River, skyscrapers and the best place to see the sun set!
High Line Walk - Skyscrapers
Sunset at the end of the High Line walk

The park is open year-round, even during winter, but the high line park hours do vary so be sure to check them before visiting. As the park is maintained by volunteers, it’s not open 24/7, so make sure you’re aware of that before visiting to avoid any disappointment!

At the time of writing, the park is open during the following hours:

  • December to March: 7am-7pm
  • April to May: 7am-10pm
  • June to September: 7am-11pm
  • October to November: 7am-10pm
High Line Sunset

The High Line in New York: Where to go afterwards

Once you’ve finished your walk, and hopefully caught a great sunset at the end, you may want to rest (or warm up if visiting during the colder months). I’d highly recommend checking out La Colombe Coffee Roasters.

Although they have cafes throughout New York and beyond, the nearest one to the end of the High Line can be found at:

601 W 27th St
New York

La Colombe Coffee & Hot Chocolate

They’ve been perfecting coffee since 1994, and trust me when I tell you their hot drinks are seriously incredible. The coffee is topnotch and the hot chocolates are made with real chocolate!

Their service was great too – the barista had prepared one cappuccino for us but decided the heart on top didn’t look right. So he made us another!

La Colombe come highly recommended, I’m just gutted they’ve not yet expanded into the UK. One day, I hope!

La Colombe Coffee

You could also go to the new Hudson Yards metropolis, which is also where part of the Dash & Lily Netflix TV series was filmed.

What do you think? Would you walk the New York High Line and stop for coffee at La Colombe afterwards? Let me know in the comments…

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The High Line: Escape the Hustle & Bustle in NYC
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Justine Jenkins

Justine is one half of the married couple behind the Wanderers of the World travel blog. She lives in Bristol, UK and has travelled extensively within Europe and beyond since 2013. After her trips, she shares detailed travel itineraries, helpful travel guides and inspiring blog posts about the places she's been to. When she's not travelling overseas, you'll find her joining her husband, Scott on various day trips, weekend getaways and walks within the UK, which she also writes about on Wanderers of the World. Aside from travelling and writing, she also loves reading, crafting and learning about nature.

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