Highline, Greenwich Village and Soho
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- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
This great walk in NYC will take you along the Highline, through Greenwich Village and Soho, along the way showing you some of the highlights of New York City. From the redeveloped High Line, to the mouthwatering Mamouns falafel, the tranquil Washington Square Park, and the world-famous Comedy Cellar. It is a great day out in NYC!
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Route Description for Highline, Greenwich Village and Soho
This walk starts in Chelsea, a neighborhood famous for its hundreds of impressive galleries and independent art scene. From there, you make your way south to Greenwich Village. Known simply as The Village by locals, it is a haven for bohemians and the birthplace of the 1960s counterculture movement Finally this walk ends in the SoHo, a shopper’s paradise, on perhaps the city’s most well-known street, Broadway.
Begin this walk on W 34th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenue at the Hudson Yards Park. If you’re coming on the subway, the stop is the 34th Street Hudson Walk subway station (line 7). Take a left on W 34th Street heading towards 10th Avenue. Continue walking on W 34th Street, taking in the enormous buildings and wide streets until you reach the entrance to the High Line on your left. Enter here.
The High Line is a nearly 2.3 km long linear park floating over Manhattan. It was originally a railroad used to transport goods across the city, but went out of use in 1980. Through the persistence of activists and residents the old tracks were turned into a sustainable green space, attracting 5 million visitors each year.
On this route, you’re going to follow the High Line to its finish, checking out the sights of Chelsea below. As you stroll along the entire way, make sure to take in the beautiful blue of the Hudson River on your right hand side, the stunning backdrop of towering skyscrapers cutting through the skyline and the spectacularly abstract architecture you pass – it will be so close you can almost touch it! We also recommend taking a snack or packed lunch here, as it’s really pleasant to take a break on one of the many benches along the way. Occasionally, there are some spots to get off the tracks (quite literally). Check out the map here.
After about 500 m you’ll come to the Pershing Square Beams, a series of sunken areas where children can climb and play. Continue another 500 m to reach the 26th Street Viewing Spur on your left, with crosstown views of West 26th Street and the Philip A. and Lisa Maria Falcone Flyover on your right featuring an elevated grove flanked on both sides by bigleaf magnolia, sassafras, and serviceberry trees at canopy level.
After about 100 m, you’ll come upon the 23rd Street Lawn, the only lawn on the Highline, popular for picnics and relaxing on a warm day. Continue a bit farther to enter the Chelsea Thicket, a two block long stretch of miniature forest full of lush and fragrant dogwoods, bottlebrush buckeye, hollies, roses, and other dense shrubs and trees. Here, the city is a distant memory!
If you’re looking for some more strenuous physical activity, get off the High Line here and check out the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex between 17th and 23rd Streets along the river. Inside you can embark on a tremendous amount of activities such as rock climbing, bowling, open sports such as basketball, soccer, and hockey, play golf, ice skating, and even parkour!
Back on the High Line, after about 200 m, the views of 10th Avenue will open up at the 10th Avenue Square and Overlook. Catch glimpses of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty to the south. Another 100 m farther down is a highlight of the route, the Diller - von Furstenberg Sundeck & Water Feature. Here you’ll find lounge chairs and a water feature to dip your toes into in the warm months.
Chelsea is also historically famous for housing artists looking to escape the higher rents in the neighboring area of Soho, and thus has developed into one of the most important art districts in the world. So if you want to take a quick break, trading greenery for galleries, there are several hundred galleries lining street after street. Some of the most famous include: the Gagosian Gallery, David Zwirner, the Gladstone Gallery, Hauser & Wirth New York and The Pace Gallery.
With or without breaks in between, continue on the High Line until you reach the end. You’ve also reached the Tiffany and Co. Foundation Overlook, a dramatic balcony with views of the Meatpacking District to the left and the Whitney Museum of American Art to the right.
Take the stairs down and you should be on Gansevoort Street. If you’re feeling hungry, perhaps stop in at Santina located right at the exit of the High Line. The food here is inspired by the neighborhood’s history, highlighting seasonal and locally grown vegetables and fish. However, if you’re looking for an excess in variety, hold off till later in the walk when we hit Macdougal Street.
Continue right on Gansevoort Street towards the river. When you can’t go any farther turn left on the pedestrian path on West Street. This runs along the length of the river. If you wish, turn right on one of the piers that jut out over the water. It’s a great place to take in the sun.
Continue on this path for about 600 m. When you reach Christopher Street, take a left. You’re now entering the West Village. This is a pleasant residential area with tree-lined streets, tons of great bars, restaurants, cafes and small independent shops. Continue on Christopher Street for about 450 m, until you reach a large intersection (the subway stop here is Christopher Street Sheridan Square) and take a right onto West 4th Street. If you’re looking for some exceptionally delicious and decadent ice cream check out the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop at 61 Grove Street, a very short distance from the intersection.
Continue on West 4th Street for about 300 m until you reach the corner of Washington Square Park. Enter the park here. This is a great place to relax and enjoy a warm day. Exit the park the same way you entered. Head left down Macdougal Street towards West 3rd Street. After about 100 m, the world-famous Comedy Cellar will be on your right, where some of the most famous stand-up comedians regularly perform. Pop into one of the cafés for a classy dose of caffeine or taste a bit of the world from one of the many international restaurants featuring anything from Indian (we recommend a delicious Kati Roll ) to Middle Eastern (don’t miss out on a world famous falafel from Mamouns – with extra spicy sauce of course), or an insanely addictive Insomnia Cookie, and all that’s in between. If you’re looking for some cheap beers, check out Off The Wagon with excellent happy hour deals (especially for the pricey neighborhood).
After about 300 m, you’ll hit Houston Street. Cross over here and continue about another 100 meters and turn left onto Prince Street. You are now officially in SoHo. Continue on Prince for about 500 m. You’ll notice more and more shops, especially brand names, popping up here. This is one of the best neighborhoods in the city for shopping, so if you’re not too tired after the walk make sure to check out some of the places here. Finish the walk on the world-famous Broadway.
Insider Hints for Highline, Greenwich Village and Soho
- If you plan on visiting a specific gallery in Chelsea, make sure to do some research beforehand. There are several hundred in the neighborhood!
- The NYU Library is located just on the corner of Washington Square Park and has a really dramatic interior – definitely worth a quick visit.
- The West Village (especially around Macdougal Street) is the perfect place to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon with delicious food and drinks.
Getting to the Highline, Greenwich Village and Soho Trailhead
Take the subway to34th Street Hudson Walk station (line 7). Take a left on W 34th Street heading towards 10th Avenue.
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