As arguably the epicenter of the international art trade, Chelsea has long been one of New York’s most chic neighborhoods. Meanwhile, over the course of the past decade the High Line has ascended to the ranks of the city’s most popular parks. Put the pair together and you have the makings of one special morning out and about in Manhattan. Fortunately for us, ExperienceFirst Tours has done just that, and their High Line and Chelsea Walking Tour is a terrific way to experience these unforgettable New York City destinations.
High Line and Chelsea Background Information
The portion of the west side of Manhattan that is comprised today of Chelsea, the Meatpacking District, and the High Line has a long history as one of New York City’s industrial hubs. The name of the Meatpacking District neighborhood speaks for itself, while long before Chelsea was home to hundreds of art galleries it was the site of numerous warehouses and factories. The riverfront piers found near here were once part of an active industrial waterfront, too, but today provide New Yorkers and visitors alike with recreational opportunities at attractions like Little Island and the Hudson River Greenway
The history of the beloved High Line is even more interesting. The street-level trains operated by the New York Central Railroad between roughly 1860 and 1920 were quite dangerous for pedestrians, and accordingly the West Side Elevated Line was constructed at considerable expense to eliminate such hazardous conditions. When by the end of the twentieth century the elevated train tracks fell into disrepair and disuse, plans were made to transform these ruins into something new and appealing to the public. It took a while to get the project off the ground, but since 2009 the High Line—a 1.5-mile-long park built on the remains of the abandoned railroad viaducts—has been charming visitors from all over the world.
What You See on the High Line and Chelsea Walking Tour
ExperienceFirst’s High Line and Chelsea Walking Tour meets up on the northwest corner of the intersection of 15thStreet and 9th Avenue, right alongside Chelsea Market. Located in a historic structure that once served as the headquarters of Nabisco, Chelsea Market is considered by many people to be New York City’s finest food court. Your tour will begin and end here, providing you multiple opportunities to sample the culinary delights on display in this great space.
From Chelsea Market it’s off to the High Line, New York City’s second-most popular attraction behind only the iconic Statue of Liberty. This remarkable public park is a scenic oasis in the midst of bustling Manhattan, and between its lovely gardens, breathtaking views, and various art installations, you’ll most definitely want to have your camera at the ready.
The Meatpacking District is next, and what this small neighborhood lacks in geographic footprint it more than makes up for in trendy glamour. Here you’ll encounter the Whitney Museum of American Art, Little Island (one of Manhattan’s newest parks), the 9/11 Museum Workshop, and a whole host of glitzy dining and luxurious shopping.
As you stroll through these posh neighborhoods, your guide will point out additional local landmarks like Liberty Inn (New York City’s only hourly hotel), the block where Sex and the City’s Samantha had her Meatpacking District apartment, and Pier 54 on the Hudson River (where the RMS Lusitania set sail from for the final time in 1915). All the while you’ll learn about how this once-humble industrial area transformed into one of the planet’s wealthiest pockets of real estate.
Tips for Taking the High Line and Chelsea Walking Tour
- High Line and Chelsea Walking Tour is included on several money saving tourist passes including the New York Pass, Go NY All-Inclusive Pass and NY Explorer Pass
- You may alter or cancel your High Line and Chelsea Walking Tour reservations at any point in time up until 24 hours before your scheduled departure without incurring a financial penalty. If for any reason you need to change your plans within 24 hours of your tour reservation, you’ll need to pay to do so.
- ExperienceFirst requests that all participants arrive for the High Line and Chelsea Walking Tour approximately 15 minutes before the excursion is scheduled to depart.
- If you’re looking to spend more time exploring Chelsea Market than your guided tour allows for, make a point of returning in the morning, as that’s when it’s at its least busy. It’s also a great excuse to search out its famous $6 breakfast burrito!
- If you’re planning to join this ExperienceFirst tour and you’ll be traveling with a stroller or wheelchair, be advised that the High Line has stairs. Now, it’s true that the High Line does have elevator access, too, but it’s important to note that ExperienceFirst Tours cannot guarantee that they’ll be in working condition during your tour.
- Likewise, if you believe that mobility might be an issue for you or anyone in your traveling party, you may always arrange for a private High Line and Chelsea Walking Tour. Contact ExperienceFirst Tours directly for more information about this possibility.