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In a city like New York where you could spend your entire life navigating the endless neighborhoods and still only experience a fraction of what's out there, it's best to parse down your itinerary to one area at a time.
The Meatpacking District on Manhattan's lower west side is a great place to start for anyone visiting the city—both first-time traveler or regular visitor. At just over half-a-square-mile, the tiny neighborhood is packed with shops, restaurants and cultural institutions that make for a compact vacation. So whether you're here on a romantic getaway or a solo-trip, this neighborhood has just what you're looking for.
We've put together an itinerary that showcases the best of what the Meatpacking District has to offer.
10 a.m.: While it may seem crazy to get out of bed before noon while staying in a late-night hotspot like Manhattan's Meatpacking District, you don't want to sleep the day away. There's too much to see and do in the city that never sleeps. So what are you waiting for? Get up and get dressed. Like any real New Yorker, you don't have time to waste.
While it's known that New Yorkers are always on the go, sitting down for a bottomless brunch is a must. Skip the breakfast cart on the nearest corner and head for a leisurely sit-down meal. The Wild Son in the heart of Meatpacking is a bohemian hotspot that offers an impressive range of breakfast dishes—think burrata tartine to buttermilk pancakes. And while it may be considered a little early for a drink anywhere else in the country, no one would judge if you decided to kick the day off with a craft cocktail. I mean, in a neighborhood known for all-night partying (even by New York standards) you won't be the only one starting the party a little early, and this place is known for their craft drinks.
11:30 a.m.: There's no shortage of green space in New York, but The High Line is a stand-out. It could be argued that the elevated park is one of the country's best reuses of space, repurposing a disused rail line into a much-needed park in the concrete-dominant neighborhood. Designed to mimic a prairie setting, The High Line is a secluded respite that allows visitors to lounge around or meander through a forest-like setting in the heart of the Meatpacking District. Surrounded by newly constructed highrises, the park offers a unique perspective with sweeping views of the Hudson River and Lower Manhattan. Start at the park's entrance on Gansevoort Street and head north, traversing Chelsea, right up to the border of Hell's Kitchen on 34th.
1 p.m.: After wandering The High Line, take a break from the heat and explore the 150-plus stalls and shops at Chelsea Market. From clothing boutiques to quaint eateries, there's plenty to check out. Before heading to your next stop, make sure to grab a quick lunch at one of the many restaurants. Cull & Pistol is a favorite for seafood lovers, or check out Filaga, a Sicilian pizzeria that offers traditional pies, for something a little more casual.
3:30 p.m.: It would be easy to spend an entire day at the Whitney Museum of American Art, getting lost in the winding corridors of modern and contemporary art. At 50,000 square feet, with an additional 13,000 square feet of outdoor exhibition space, there's plenty to explore. With an ever-changing roster of works, you could check out the space every time you're in the city and experience something completely different. From Mary Corse's works that focus on light through different mediums to drawings by renowned wood sculpturist Louise Nevelson, there's always something new to see.
7:30 p.m.: After exploring the Whitney, you're guaranteed to have worked up an appetite. Fig & Olive offers Mediterranean dishes in a trendy space that caters to the after-work crowd. It's a great setting to sit and enjoy live music while dining on well-crafted dishes like Paella Noir (made with squid-ink rice) or lobster ravioli. They also offer an impressive cocktail menu that highlights the restaurant's menu, with drinks like Mediterranean Mule (made with vodka, ginger, lime, rosemary syrup and ginger beer) and Moroccan Old Fashioned (lemon thyme-infused bourbon, chartreuse, mint tea and citrus bitters.)
10 p.m.: Being in New York's trendiest late-night neighborhood you just wouldn't be doing it right if you headed home after dinner. Check out The Top of the Standard for a Gatsby-meets-Mad-Men experience of drinking and dining, among the beautiful people. The expansive space offers a number of private sunken areas that make for easy conversation, without having to shout over the music. Designed with an eye for opulence (even by New York standards) the bar is a highlight for any New York visit. With small bites and inventive cocktails, it's a great spot to end your day relaxing next to a roaring fire with New York as your backdrop.
Where to Stay
The design of The Standard, High Line is the perfect representation of the neighborhoods quirky, luxury character. Nearly every inch of the four-star hotel looks like a piece of art, with sculpted walls and domineering stone concierge desks. And the high design doesn't stop in the lobby. All of the 338 rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows that highlight the sweeping views of Lower Manhattan, all accentuated by furnishings that lean towards mid-century modern.
All 186 rooms are designed with a luxurious flare at Gansevoort Meatpacking. With 22 suites and a duplex penthouse, guests are guaranteed a range of opulent options. Many of the rooms include bay windows or balconies so guests can take in the unobstructed views. Or, head to upstairs for the 360-degree vista of Lower Manhattan while sipping on a cocktail or swimming in the rooftop pool.