Chelsea is the art hub of Manhattan and is home to more than 300 galleries, including Pace, David Zwirner and Gagosian. It also houses famed cultural and arts institutions, such as the Rubin Museum of Art and The Joyce Theater, so there’s plenty to do in this vibrant neighborhood located along the Hudson River.
If you’ve spent the night in one of the neighborhood’s glamorous hotels like The High Line Hotel, you’ll wake up to views of the High Line, the Hudson River and the tree-lined streets dotted with beautiful brownstones.
The High Line Hotel is named after the nearby and very popular elevated park, the High Line. This luxury hotel, which is featured in annual ‘best of’ lists by various publications and websites, offers 60 rooms designed to evoke a bygone area, each featuring tons of light, hardwood floors and locally sourced furniture. Gaze out the large windows for views of the High Line or the hotel’s private garden. Traveling with your furry companion? No worries: The High Line Hotel is dog-friendly, welcoming pooches of all shapes and sizes. According to the hotel’s website, it has even had a cat come spend the night.
You’d be remiss not to spend your morning eating breakfast or brunch, the perfect preparation for a long day of touring the area. Chelsea offers plenty of breakfast options, but Cookshop is one of the best.
Cookshop owners Vicki Freeman and Chris Paraskevaides, along with chef Marc Meyer, take pride in bringing an honest and seasonal dining option to New York City. Breakfast is on offer from 8am to 11am during the week, while brunch is available 10am to 4pm on weekends. Enjoy brioche French toast, huevos rancheros or gluten-free almond pancakes to kick-start your day. Brunch cocktails, including four styles of bloody mary, range from $12 to $16.
Now that you’ve fueled up, it’s time to start exploring. First, head west toward the High Line. Afterwards, it would be sacrilege not to visit a gallery, theater or museum while you’re in Chelsea, so do that as well. Afterwards, you can stop by the famed Chelsea Market for lunch.
The High Line, not to be confused with the aforementioned High Line Hotel, is an elevated park along the west side of New York City. Built on a former railway, this public park is one of the city’s most popular, offering ever-changing art, vendors and activities among gardens and unique design. Opened in 2009, this hybrid space is perfect for an afternoon stroll to see the city from a unique perspective.
Pace Gallery has been home to innovative contemporary art for more than 50 years. Originally founded in Boston in 1960, Pace moved to New York City in 1963, and there are now three galleries in the Big Apple. It has continued to expand to London, Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul and more. It is a must-visit for all art lovers in NYC.
Another must-visit contemporary art gallery, David Zwirner has three locations in New York City. The first opened in SoHo in 1993, but relocated to West 19th Street in Chelsea in 2002. David Zwirner will launch his fifth space in NYC (and seventh worldwide) by autumn 2020; the new five-story gallery on the corner of West 21st Street is set to be Zwirner’s new headquarters. Artists including Joan Mitchell, William Eggleston, Marcel Dzama and Yayoi Kusama can be found at Zwirner.
Chelsea Market is a food hall, shopping mall, office building and TV production facility all rolled into one. A block long and a block wide, this space is one of the greatest indoor food halls in the world, offering goods and services from approximately 40 vendors, including Artists & Fleas, Doughnuttery, Los Tacos No. 1, The Nut Box and more. Chelsea Market attracts six million visitors each year.
Opened in January 2016, Momofuku Nishi offers Italian-inspired dishes created using unexpected techniques and ingredients by chef Nick Tamburo and company. The menu also features a home-made pasta tasting and à la carte pasta, meat and fish offerings.
Visit The McKittrick Hotel for its interactive adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth called Sleep No More. Utilizing dance, time and space, this award-winning retelling gives audience members an interactive experience, rather than the traditional theater performance most are accustomed to. The audience walks around the multi-story hotel to witness scenes as the play unfolds before their eyes.
Gin was one of the more popular drinks consumed around the United States during Prohibition . Bootleggers would make gin in bathtubs and serve it in hidden speakeasies to avoid the law. Bathtub Gin celebrates this bygone era. This speakeasy-themed bar and performance venue features a hidden entrance and an assortment of gin-based cocktails. There is live jazz on Mondays, burlesque on Tuesdays and Sundays, and DJs on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. There is a bathtub in the middle of the floor that is featured in many an Instagram post.