Once a decaying railroad track looming ominously over a stretch of Manhattan’s West Side, from the blood-stained streets of the Meatpacking District to the bottom of Hell’s Kitchen, the High Line was transformed into a lush urban garden in the sky in 2009. What began as an urban experiment is now an elevated park with a unique vantage on the city. For nearly a mile and a half, visitors and locals mingle, taking in killer views of the Hudson River, Lower Manhattan, and the Statue of Liberty.
The park lives up to its hard-to-kill history. The garden design flanking a concrete walkway was inspired by the wild landscape growing on the rails during the 25 years after trains stopped running. The grasses, flowers, shrubs, and trees were chosen for their hardiness, sustainability, and variation. You should go there if you want a great spot for a date, or to people watch, to sunbathe, to loll, to chill, to snuggle. Find your way there anytime between 7am till 7pm in the winter, until 10pm in the spring/fall, and until 11pm during summer. It’s a year-round attraction, rescued from urban decay, that has become integral to Manhattan.
But putting all of that aside? It’s just a great place for an outing. Here’s what you should get up to when you go high.