2. The High Line and Chelsea Market
Would a New Yorker go?: Gladly! Meeting up to stroll the High Line and grab a snack at Chelsea Market is a legitimately enjoyable weekend activity.
Why it’s popular: The High Line is a narrow elevated park built along 1.45 miles of historic railroad tracks, offering glimpses of New Jersey across the Hudson River, plus unique overhead views of busy two-way streets and the surrounding architecture. You’ll find spacious loungers for sunbathing and a plaza where food vendors, musicians, and evening stargazers congregate.
At the southern end of the High Line off 16th Street sits Chelsea Market, the block-long food hall housed in a former Nabisco factory that helped kick off the now-pervasive food hall trend. Inside you’ll find upscale sit-down restaurants like Buddakan, Giovanni Rana, and Cull & Pistol. But New Yorkers take advantage of the more affordable food stands like Mokbar, which doles out Korean-style ramen, and The Lobster Place, where you can grab freshly rolled sushi and lobster rolls to eat at the counter. $20 gets you a solid meal, either at one spot or by mixing and matching a few bites from various stands.
If you go: The High Line can turn into a claustrophobic parade of tourists walking two-by-two, so aim for a weekday, early morning, or late afternoon. We recommend starting at the 34th Street entrance and walking south, so you can hit Chelsea Market and The Whitney Museum of American Art when you’re done (or do it in reverse). Otherwise, stairways to enter and exit the High Line are located every few blocks at 28th Street, 26th Street, 23rd Street, 20th Street, 18th Street, 16th Street, 14th Street, and Gansevoort Street.