Located in the heart of lower Manhattan, Chelsea is a vibrant, exciting neighborhood with a lot to offer. From casual bars to fine dining and some of the best sightseeing in the city, Chelsea is one neighborhood you shouldn’t miss. This article will provide some of the history of the neighborhood along with things to see and how to get to there.
History of Chelsea
Chelsea is actually one of the oldest neighborhoods in New York City. The neighborhood first came into existence in 1750, when an Englishman bought a plot of land bounded by 8th and 10th Avenues and 19th to 24th Streets. Chelsea became a haven for artists in 1884 after the completion of the famous Hotel Chelsea, which was built to “bridge class divisions and to value the arts”. The neighborhood has expanded considerably beyond that first plot of land and is now home to a variety of galleries and museums. Chelsea today is known as a vibrant, eclectic enclave in southern Manhattan with a lot to offer.
Chelsea’s atmosphere can best be described as a blend of Flatiron and the Meatpacking District. North Chelsea is dominated by high rises and luxury apartments more akin to Flatiron and the Union Square area. Many of the stores in that part of Chelsea are housed in buildings with a generally French or European aesthetic. Further south is the more hip, edgy Chelsea on the outskirts of the Meatpacking District’s club scene. This southern area of Chelsea has seen the most development over the past several years and offers a wealth of bars and restaurants.
Things To See
Every first time visitor should check out Chelsea Market. Located in a former Nabisco Building, the Chelsea Market is massive shopping center and underground food court with a diverse array of cuisines. There are also plenty of great cafes and restaurants with outdoor seating located within walking distance of the Market. While you’re walking, you will fall in love with the dense cluster of art galleries that define Chelsea. Some of the more popular options in May include The Kitchen, 303 Gallery, and Garth Greenan. After you’re done getting some culture hop on the High Line, an elevated, beautifully manicured walkway with incredible views (see below).
Chelsea is easily accessible by subway, which is convenient if you’re exploring other parts of the city on the same day. You can reach Chelsea using the A, C, or E trains (which run North and South) or the L and 7 trains, which run West to East. If you want to travel the scenic route, take the High Line. The High Line runs from 34th Street all the way to Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District. The elevated walking path cuts directly through Chelsea and has plenty of stairs where you can exit to street level. It’s a lot of walking and can get crowded when the weather is nice, but it’s a great way to explore Chelsea. There are also plenty of benches and rest areas with great views of the surrounding skyline.
One of the best things to do in New York is visit Chelsea. The neighborhood is hip and vibrant, but also provides a window into the city’s history. Whether you want to explore the neighborhood’s great bar scene or just wander, Chelsea has you covered.