It’s hard to believe that the High Line – a shining example of brilliant urban renewal – was once a dingy rail line that anchored a rather unsavory district of slaughterhouses. Today, this eye-catching attraction is one of New York's best-loved green spaces, drawing visitors who come to stroll, sit and picnic 30ft above the city – while enjoying fabulous views of Manhattan's ever-changing urban landscape. Its final extension, which loops around the massive construction project at Hudson Yards, ends at 34th St.
The perks are numerous, and include stunning vistas of the Hudson River, public art installations (a permanent plinth, a stage for changing sculpture commissions, will open in 2018 at the plaza at 30th St), wide lounge chairs for soaking up some sun, willowy stretches of native-inspired landscaping (including a mini sumac forest), food and drink vendors, and a thoroughly unique perspective on the neighborhood streets below – especially at various overlooks, where bleacher-like seating faces huge panes of glass that frame the traffic, buildings and pedestrians below as living works of art. There’s also Andre Balazs’ luxury hotel, the Standard, which straddles the park, as well as the sparkling Whitney Museum, which anchors the southern end.
The High Line is an especially romantic place to stroll on a balmy night, when you can see the lit-up city (and maybe even a star or two) sparkling all around.