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The Vessel at Hudson Yards
Photograph: Shutterstock

Things to do in Hudson Yards

Hudson Yards—NYC's new neighborhood—offers stunning waterfront views, an epic shopping mall, and Vessel

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Jennifer Picht
&
Shaye Weaver
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Hudson Yards is NYC's newest built-up neighborhood with new real estate, a fancy subway station that serves the 7 train as well as a handful of attractions like a one-million-square-foot retail center with over 100 places to go shopping in NYC, new mouthwatering restaurants, cultural performance venue The Shed, a five-acre smart park and Vessel—a climbable beehive. It's also home to Edge—NYC’s highest observation deck. For more on that, including things to do in Hudson Yards right now, see below. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to NYC neighborhoods

How to get to Hudson Yards, NY

Take the 7 train to 34th Street-Hudson Yards. 

Things to do in Hudson Yards

  • Art
  • Arts centers
  • Midtown West

This multidisciplinary arts center can physically transform itself to accommodate each performance, installation and exhibition it hosts. The complex boasts a cutting-edge architectural feature: an enormous shell, covered in translucent panels of a Teflon-based polymer, that can be pulled up over the entire eight-story structure or rolled out to turn the spacious outside courtyard into a massive enclosed space, complete with sound, lights and temperature control. Indoors, things are just as malleable: The McCourt Theater’s 17,000 square feet—double that when the shell’s extended—can be arranged in an infinite number of ways. Upstairs, there’s a gallery space and a smaller theater, each with its own customization options. To fill all that space, the Shed commissions new works from a staggeringly diverse range of heavy-hitting talent from across every conceivable artform: music, theater, visual art, film, and even poetry and literature. The Shed also gives space to emerging artists, especially local talent.

  • Attractions
  • Midtown West

The highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere takes you 65-feet into the sky making it the highest public balcony in NYC. The deck not only features panoramic views of our city’s skyline, but a killer vantage point below. Brave souls can stand on a large, see-through glass floor and wave to passerby 1,100 feet beneath. Much like the Top of the Rock concept at Rockefeller Center, there’s a 10,000-square-foot bar, restaurant and event space on the 101th floor. You can now also scale the building itself in a new experience.

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Attractions
  • Towers and viewpoints
  • Midtown West

Update: Climing Vessel is temporarily closed to the public.

New York’s ever-changing skyline has acquired another sky-high attraction for Gothamites to climb: Vessel. The 60-ton sculpture resembles a honeycomb, although some New Yorkers say it looks like a waste can. Others say the larger-than-life art installation designed by British architect Thomas Heatherwick is New York’s version of the Eiffel Tour. As for what we say? It looks like a good excuse to exercise and Instagram. We climbed the spiral staircase made up of 154 interconnecting staircases, almost 2,500 individual steps and 80 landings, and while the current sight of construction is less than ideal (it's a new 'hood after all), the various outlook points offer sweeping views of the Hudson River that will appear mighty dreamy at sunset. Read more for everything you should know before you go. 

  • Things to do
  • Midtown West

When you think about going clothes shopping in NYC, going to a mall is probably not the first thought that comes to mind. But for folks who want to buy-buy-buy and check off their wishlist under one roof, Hudson Yards’ luxurious shopping mall has all your bases covered. Repping 100 stores, shopaholics can nab wares and accessories from popular chains like Aritzia, Uniqlo, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, H&M and Madewell as well as designer outputs like Dior, Tori Burch, Kate Spade, Coach, Kenzo, Fendi and more. Once the shopping fatigue sets in, grab a bite from one of the 25 restaurants on site. Standout snacks and refreshments include Blue Bottle Coffee, Bluestone Lane, Bouchon Bakery, Kith Treats. For something more substantial, order the fried chicken and waffle fries from Fuku (a Momofuku effort) or fill up at Citarella Gourmet Market, serving fresh seafood and other chef-prepared dishes, produce and cheeses.

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Attractions
  • Towers and viewpoints
  • Midtown West

Surrounding the Vessel, this massive public space “functions like a piazza in Italy,” says Thomas Woltz, owner of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects. Elevated above 30 active rail lines and landscaped with native plants from the Hudson Valley, the park sits near Hudson Yards’ dining and shopping destinations (as mentioned above). On sunny days, grab a snack and take a seat to enjoy the horticulture and bask in the contemporary green space.

Hudson Yards, NY coverage

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