The High Line is undoubtedly one of New York’s most popular attractions, attracting both tourists and locals alike due to its innovative use of green open space, in what was, in its heyday, one of the busiest parts of the United States. The High Line is at it’s most popular during the warmer Summer months where people flock to New York to take in its amazing shows, attractions, tours and culture – and the High Line is now sits atop most visitors list as a must do when visiting NYC.
During the initial planning and feasibility studies of the High Line in the mid to late 1990’s it was determined that the project would need to plan to operate year round, which in New York means through what can be brutally cold winters. The designers were acutely aware of the needs of an elevated garden and ensured that when it came time to finalising the design and composition of the plant life they would not only survive the cold New York winters but also transform the space during the colder months.
The detailed planning lead to a world renowned attraction that not only survives during the cooler Winter months in New York but provides a completely different attraction than what locals and visitors to New York can expect to experience during the warmer months of the year.
Related: VisitingNewYork.com.au walks guide – Walk the High Line
Here are just some of the reasons why New York’s High Line is still an awesome place to visit in the Winter months:
As with New York in general there will be less visitors during the winter months (particularly January through until March) visitors to the High Line will also be greeted with less people, and allow more time to enjoy the plants, art installations and vibrant spaces without hoards of people churning through all day.
If you are a runner and looking for a nice run in the city and you are visiting during Winter the High Line provides a great alternative to other popular running routes such as Central Park or Riverside Park, and given the smaller crowds provides for a far smoother run.
Picturesque vista of a snow covered New York
There is something magical about New York after a snow storm. The normally bustling city slows down and the iconic streets and avenues are transformed into a wonderland of white. The High Line provides for spectacular views any time of the year but after a snow storm looking East along 15th Street and from the specially designed Theatre designed to allow New Yorkers to stop and watch while 10th Avenue moves below, will simply take your breath away.
The early sunset of the Winter months also allows for visitors and locals alike to enjoy the spectacular sunsets over the Hudson River in a far less crowded atmosphere, and NewYorkConcierge.com.au highly recommends watching the sun set from the lower section of the High Line from just below The Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking district.
The winter colours are amazing
The organisation which is responsible for the management and upkeep of the High Line, known as the Friends of the High Line, do a wonderful job of ensuring that even during the shortest and coldest days of Winter there are some amazing plants in bloom to showcase exactly how diverse the attractions plant life is. As mentioned earlier that during the early planning phases it was quickly determined that the High Line would be a year round attraction and as such, specific thought was given to ensure that the beautiful lawns and garden beds would be available to enjoy year round.
In addition to the plant life that is bountiful on the High Line, exploring during Winter also allows visitors to spend greater time to explore and enjoy the many art installations that are installed along the line. Whilst some of the plants are dormant during Winter it does allow the art to take pride of place.
Art, art and more art
What maybe hard to find when the gardens are in full bloom during Spring and Summer suddenly takes centre stage during the cooler months of Winter on the High Line. The High Line is a living breathing art gallery that allows locals and visitors to enjoy the wondrous views of Manhattan as well as the intricate pieces of art that span the entire length of the old elevated railway. Large and small to abstract and modern there is a piece of art for everyone along the High Line.
Some of the more prominent pieces include a 6 foot tall telescope looking out across the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty and The Altar, perfectly framing the New York skyline. One of my favourite pieces of art is a large hand carved sculpture of the island of Manhattan, which can be found at the Southern end of the High Line directly below the Standard High Line hotel.
Use the comments below to tell me what you love about the High Line or if you have any questions about the High Line during Summer or Winter.