Romantic Things to Do in Hudson Yards: NYC’s Most Blingy Neighborhood

WHY GO: Hudson Yards – Manhattan’s Newest development, joining New York City landmarks like the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center  – has become quite the curiosity.  What was a wasteland on the West Side of Manhattan is now a playground for the rich – and the curious tourist.

Almost half of Hudson Yards is set aside as green space or parkland – free and open to the public – with plenty of opportunities for wandering and exploration. Plus, it hooks up with the celebrated High Line linear park.  So it makes for a great afternoon’s diversion whether or not your pockets are bulging with bucks.

Hudson Yards location includes the 34th Street Hudson Yards Subway Station.

Much has been written about the exorbitant condo prices here. Apartments, featuring fancy-pants accoutrements out the kazoo, start at $4.2 million.

Fortunately, visitors can tap into the festive and audacious attractions at Hudson Yards for a song, especially if they stay in neighboring/overlapping Hell’s Kitchen or Garment District.

We let you in on our favorite things to do, where to get the best burger – and other vittles, and where to stay upscale without breaking the bank. Read on.

And, if you’re looking for more dreamy escapes with your person in NYC or elsewhere in the State, check out these Best Romantic Getaways In NY State.

Where is Hudson Yards?

The entire Hudson Yards neighborhood spans from the northern terminus of the High Line at 30th Street to 41st Street. And from 8th Ave to the Hudson River. It’s adjacent to the Javits Convention Center, in the footprint of the old New York City rail yards, where trains still sit idle.

The Vessel and The Shed seen within Hudson Yards Redevelopment Zone

Things To Do In Hudson Yards NYC

SEE: The Vessel

  • Since May 2021, the Vessel has been closed to visitors after four tragic suicides. Officials are looking at ways to make this attraction safer, but until then, it will remain off limits. Access to Ground Level base is closed during the winter.

The Vessel–a 150’ tall formerly “interactive” installation designed by British designer Thomas Heatherwick–caused quite a bit of chatter when it opened on March 15, 2019.

The plaza surrounding The Vessel is a popular spot to photograph portraits.

But visitors have grown to love this luminous open basketweave sculpture that transforms from rose-gold to bronze as the sun goes down. In fact, sunset is the perfect time to take snaps of its series of staircases. Watching the sun set over the Hudson River is downright transcendent.

Over 2500 steps spread over 16 stories and 154 flights of stairs producing an Escher-like conundrum of direction.

When/if the Vessel opens up again, you can choose to climb the stairs or skip the work out and ride the unusual Liberty elevator.

The Shed Hudson Yards

VISIT: The Shed

Billed as a “cultural event space,” the 6-story Shed is also an architectural marvel. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the firm behind the High Line, the canopy opens onto a public plaza.

A venue for both the fine and performing arts, the space can be nimbly reconfigured for larger events via a retractable shell positioned on wheels. This dynamic component transforms what would have been a traditional building into a model of ingenuity and design.

The Shed in Hudson Yards at night.

Plan to see a performance here. Or at least visit two floors of art exhibits, featuring the latest in avant-garde and contemporary art. Check website for performance schedule and museum hours.

WALK: High Line and Plinth at “The Spur”

Hudson Yards connects with the northern end of the 1.5 mile High Line elevated park at 30th and 10th Ave.

On any given day, this elevated linear City Park teems with tourists. But if you stick around, you might find a down time when it’s less crowded.

On your aboveground stroll, thrill to multi-faceted spectacles: from new whimsical buildings to glimpses of the Hudson River, to brick alleys, and traffic-clogged roads.

Plus, art installations. The Plinth – an open-air contemporary art space at “The Spur” can be accessed behind The Vessel (after construction of Hudson Yards is complete in mid 2020).

Edge Observation Deck amid Hudson Yards construction.

YIKES: Edge Observation Deck at 30 Hudson Yards

Off the 101st floor, more than a thousand feet up in the air, Edge is the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere.

Wedge-shaped, and jutting 80 feet out over Manhattan, the sky deck’s partial glass floor might be a bit much for those who suffer from acrophobia.

But if possible, coax your honey on over to Edge’s farthest point. Lodged at the tip of the triangular platform, snap a selfie of what is sure to become a NYC Instagram hit.

Will you have the guts? It will cost you in nerve and wallet.  Check website for ticket prices. 

The shops at Hudson Yards includes Neuhaus, one of a couple of chocolate shops.

EXPLORE: The Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards

This slightly antiseptic, starkly polished 5-story Shops And Restaurants at Hudson Yards mall has the feel of a Crazy Rich Asian shopping emporium.

But do you need to be crazy rich to shop here?

Of course, there’s Van Cleef & Arpels and Tiffany for all of your diamond needs. There are also purveyors of Patek Philippe and Rolex for those who can drop twenty grand plus on a timepiece. And, given the residential demographic, Bvlgari, Fendi, Cartier, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and the like, are on offer as well.

The Conservatory Teak Room Tea House at Hudson Yards

But for those who can’t afford couture or bling, fear not. This mall is also home to H&M, Levi’s, Muji, Zara, Uniqlo, and other reasonably priced merchants.

Even if you don’t plan to make a purchase, the Hudson Yards Mall is also a fantastic place for people watching and window-shopping. While meandering, keep your eye out for cool, and sometimes freaky displays that rival those on 5th and Madison Avenue.

Take a break at Blue Bottle Coffee café or Teak Tea Room, and then wander on every level.

The Vessel seen through Neiman Marcus Window at Hudson Yards Mall.

My choice for the perfect photo op is on the 3rd or 4th floor, where The Vessel appears metallic and wavy behind a massive glass window.

B&H Photo Interior

SHOP: B&H Photo 9th and 34th

The legendary B&H Photo requires no introduction among photographers. The multi-level facility sees over 5,000 professionals and hobbyists daily (except for Saturday,) and that’s just a fraction of the online traffic. There is no better place to find a full range pro-level camera and video equipment.

Trim and Feathers Shop exterior

Things To Do In The Garment District

Because Hudson Yards was carved out of existing streets, some neighborhoods overlap. The Garment District, also known as the Fashion Center, covers 35th to 41st Streets along 5th to 9th Avenue. Note: Fashionistas may also want to check out the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum nearby, see our Chelsea NYC post for details.

Mood Fabrics NYC Interior

SHOP: Mood Fabrics

If you’ve ever watched Project Runway, now in its 18th! Season, then you’ve seen Mood Designer Fabrics. It’s where designers head for luxury fabrics, but even non-sewers will appreciate the visual feast of colors and patterns.

NYC Garment District Sculptures
The Garment Worker by Judith Weller and Giant Needle Threading a Button sculpture pay homage to New York City’s garment industry history.

TOUR: Fashion District History Walking Tour

With over 35 years in the Garment Center, Mike Kaback is uniquely qualified to lead a walking tour that includes stops from a designer showroom to the Fashion Walk of Fame.

SHOP: Sample Sales

Lots of shops have sales, but true sample sales are only found where the designers are–mainly New York City and, to a lesser extent, Los Angeles. Here’s how to find NYC Sample Sales:

Mercado Food Truck Little Spain Food Court Hudson Yards NY

Hudson Yards Restaurants

EAT: Burgerology (See under Where to Stay – Crowne Plaza HY36 below)

You’ll find some of the best burgers and comfort food around – not to mention innovative, fun cocktails at Burgerology. Scroll down to Crowne Plaza for more info.

EAT: Mercado (Little Spain) at 30 Hudson Yards

The Mercado Little Spain is the Spanish answer to Eataly. Taking up one far side of the Hudson Yards Mall, descend down two escalators to a food court like no other.

Food stall at Little Spain Hudson Yards

Part of celebrity Chef Jose Andres “Think Food Group,” the Mercado is comprised of more than a dozen food stalls dishing out everything from empanadas, to churros, tortillas, street grub, paella, octopus, pastries, and more.

Octopus display in mercado Hudson Yards food emporium.

In addition, there are three restaurants from diner to fine, and bars as well. The whole place is a spirited, fun, Spanish fiesta.

Friedmans 10th Ave NY
Friedmans 10th Ave NY

EAT: Friedman’s Kitchen and Bar on 10th and 34th

A family-run business with several locations throughout the city – Friedman’s, closest to Hudson Yards, looks like a throwback to watering holes of yore. With a twist. Most proteins (eggs, cheese, meats) are sourced from farms in New York State. And the food is clean and excellent.

EAT: Zoob Zib Thai Noodle Bar at 9th and 36th

Have a penchant for little noodle bars? Offerings at Zoob Zib Thai Noodle Bar from soup to duck, are flavorful and fine. And really a good deal, with most mains under $20.

Neon sign at Tavolo Restaurant in NYC Hells Kitchen.

ITALIAN: Tavola at 9th and 37th

Situated where Hudson Yards crosses into Hells Kitchen territory, intimate quarters at Tavola remind patrons of its former use as Manganaro’s Grosseria Italiana–a 100-year-old establishment reputed to be the creator of the hero sandwich. Wood-fired pizzas, wild boar meatballs, fresh pasta, and light-as-clouds gnocchi are popular items on a menu that draws heavily on owner Nick Accardi’s family recipes.

Interior - Tick Tock Diner NYC

DINER: Tick Tock Diner at 8th and 34th

All day breakfast and 24/7 service across the street from Penn Station (where you catch Amtrak, NJ Transit, Long Island trains, and subway connections, the Tick Tock Diner has been dishing out comfort food since 1997 (another, in Clifton NJ, since 1948). With 280 seats, you never wait to sit at Manhattan’s largest diner.

Crown Plaza Hudson Yards Front Entrance

Best Hudson Yards Area Hotels

STAY: Crowne Plaza HY36

Our pick for the best upscale yet reasonably priced (for NYC) hotel near Hudson Yards is the Crowne Plaza HY36, situated within NYC’s garment district. Featuring a small lobby and large bar; it absolutely has its priorities straight.

Located on 36th St. between 8th and 9th Avenues, the Crowne Plaza Midtown, is a brisk 5-minute walk to the Javits Center (straight down 36th St) and Hudson Yards (34th and 10th).

Artful 4-story overhead lighting at Crowne Plaza HY36 NYC

What a difference a few blocks make in terms of rates. Off-season, you can easily find a nice, updated room for around $200 per night. (Contrast that with the $700+ for Equinox Hotel’s least costly room).

What do you get for that rate?

Reception at Crowne Plaza HY36 NYC

First Impressions of Crowne Plaza HY36

To start – the friendly reception staff hands you a glass of bubbly upon arrival. It’s a nice perk, especially at this price point. Although the lobby is small, the abutting restaurant, Burgerology (see below), opens up to a multi-story windowed bar with overhead lighting that also serves as an art installation.

Burgerology Midtown at Crowne Plaza HY36 NYC

Dine In – Burgerology

The wings are great, the selection of artful burgers are even better at Burgerology – where chefs know how to best assemble the right combination of meats, veggies, and condiments on unfussy buns. Choose Ahi Tuna, turkey, short rib, beef (one variation slathered with mac & cheese) , and even vegan.

Pair with your comfort-food choice of side – crispy fries and honey-charred brussels sprouts for instance. And then end the meal with a “Doughwich” – a house-made glazed donut stuffed with ice-cream: or a customized thick, frozen, shake.

Signature cocktails, like the 68oz “Science Flasks” – are actually served in laboratory glass flasks and meant to be shared by at least 2 people. Most are on the sweet side, (some infused with sour gummies) but if your tastes run drier, you can always order your regular. With ten locations in the NY area, Burgerology has figured out the formula for a fun night out – and the perfect Date Night.

Guest room at Crowne Plaza HY36 NYC

Rooms and Views of Crowne Plaza HY36

Renovated rooms are cozy, compact, and comfortable. Designers know how to maximize each small space, with cubby-like closets, small niche bench seats, floor to ceiling windows, and pin lights over the bed for reading. It’s all very ship-shape.

Compact cubby closet in Crowne Plaza guest room Midtown Manhattan

Bedding is supreme, and flat-screen TV’s are larger than most. On your pillow, there’s a small spritz of lavender and a soothing facial wipe to send you off to sleep.

Bathroom at Crowne Plaza HY36

Bathrooms are gleaming bright – with beautiful beveled-subway-tile rain showers and botanical-based Beekman 1802 toiletries (made in Schoharie New York.)

NYC on a snowy night from room at Crowne Plaza HY36

If it’s snowing outside, your cocoon is extra cozy, especially at night when the scene from your window resembles a moody oil painting.

Crowne Plaza HY36 view

During the day, for a sense of place, just peer out across the street. If you’re lucky (and nosy, like me), you can watch workers laying out and cutting bolts of fabric, or see racks of just-stitched garments ready to roll. It’s kind of thrilling to surreptitiously witness fashion in the making.

State of Art Fitness Center at Crowne Plaza HY36

Amenities at Crowne Plaza HY36

The good-sized Fitness Center on the 6th floor has the latest workout equipment, including several Peloton bikes.  Check website for current rates, which include wi-fi, and glass of prosecco on arrival.

Archer Hotel NYC from the sidewalk

STAY: Archer Hotel  – Garment District

Where fashionistas flock, boutique hotels are sure to follow. (Or, is it the other way around)? That’s true for NYC’s Garment/Fashion District. The Getaway Mavens are fans of the Archer Hotel (on 38th between 5th and 6th), so it earned its very own post.

Whimsical lobby at Stayinpineapple New York.

STAY: Additional Hudson Yards Hotels

Both Springhill Suites by Marriott and Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott are nearby.

Boutique-lovers will love Staypineapple, right across from the Crowne Plaza.

Man watches sunset from Equinox Hotel pool in New York City.

The Equinox Hotel – the Fitness chain’s first ever hotel – is smack dab in the midst of Hudson Yards, overlooking both the Hudson River and The Vessel. Room rates, with tax and fees, start at $700 off season.

Hudson Yards Subway Stop and NYC neighborhood

Getting To Hudson Yards – New York

SUBWAY: 7 Subway from Grand Central Station and Port Authority

If you’re coming in by train to Grand Central Station or by bus to Port Authority – it’s a quick 5-10 minute trip on the 7 Line to Hudson Yards.

Penn Station with Empire State Building in Background
Spot the Empire State Building in the background when crossing 8th Avenue to Penn Station.

TRAIN: Pennsylvania Station

Penn Station is massive, encompassing multiple blocks between 7th and 8th Avenue, and from 31st to 34th Streets. The exit on 8th and 34th places you closest to Hudson Yards attractions. Inside, you’ll find connections to multiple subway lines as well as Amtrak, NJ Transit, and the LIRR.

Weekend Getaways In New York City

Hudson Yards NYC Pin


  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen and Sandra Foyt

    Travel experts Malerie Yolen-Cohen and Sandra Foyt share all-in-one destination guides for the best romantic getaways. Although they generally publish independent articles, this is their collection of collaborative posts. Malerie’s focus and specialty is the Northeastern USA, and she is the Author of the cross-country travel guide, Stay On Route 6; Your Guide to All 3562 Miles of Transcontinental Route 6. Originally from the Caribbean, but based in New York's Capital Region for over twenty years, Sandra specializes in warm-climate destinations.

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