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New York City Guide: Weekend Vibes at Chelsea Piers

Exploring the vibrant Chelsea Piers and all there is to see and do.

Chelsea Piers is possibly the sportiest area of NYC, with a waterfront sports village offering over 25 different adult and youth athletic options. The surrounding neighborhood often draws in visitors because of the special event spaces as well as the film and production studios, and the ample green spaces in Hudson River Park. The sporty, artsy regulars in the area shape the community's light and fresh restaurants, trendy bars and various specialty boutiques.

Eat

When you're right on the water, seafood always sounds good! Pier 66 Maritime serves up delicious lobster rolls, fish and chips, calamari fritti and more on a floating railroad barge. For something a little funkier and more unique, try the Japanese-Mexican fusion at Takumi Taco. The menu of tacos and burritos is available with sashimi-grade seafood or curry beef. There are also vegan and gluten-free options aplenty. Pastai's creative Italian dishes and seasonal local produce will also appeal to a large group or a small one. Pastai even has fresh pasta available for purchase to take home with you. Tia Pol is open for brunch and dinner service, and it's the place to go to share a pitcher of wine or sangria and a selection of hot and cold tapas.

Pier 66 Maritime, 207 12th Ave., 212.989.6363

Tia Pol, 205 10th Ave., 212.675.8805

Pastai, 186 9th Ave., 646.688.3463

Takumi Taco, 75 9th Ave., 212.989.4200 

Assorted Menu Items at Takumi Taco (©Graham Burns) New York | WhereTraveler
Assorted Menu Items at Takumi Taco (©Graham Burns) 

Drink

The bars in this area run the gamut from swanky date night locations to posh spots to meet your in-laws to casual options to spend an evening drinking brews with your friends. Bowlmor manages to combine the two with a posh lounge in a fun bowling alley setting, complete with functional lanes so you can enjoy a little friendly competition. Go big with their shareable 123oz cocktails, perfect for a group outing with friends. Gallow Green has everything you could want to drink plus a food menu in a lush rooftop garden at the McKitterick Hotel (it's the perfect spot for some stunning Instagram pics). If that's not exclusive enough for you, try Vault Manhattan's underground location with exposed brick interior and a rotating DJ lineup.

Assorted Cocktails at Gallow Green New York | WhereTraveler
Assorted Cocktails at Gallow Green (©Jamie Watts)

Shop

Plan time in your schedule to browse the nearby Chelsea Market shops. Artists & Fleas will be right up your alley with handmade crafts and vintage clothing if you like the hunt of secondhand stores and antique shops. Pick a unique souvenir from the iconic Pearl River Mart's eclectic emporium of Asian ceramics, snacks, home decor and gifts. Is your love language food? Pop into Li-Lac Chocolates for unique edible offerings of the sweet variety, like their famous truffles or chocolate-dipped orange slices. For a savory shop, Saxelby Cheesemongers is small in space but packed with American artisan cheeses and staffed by friendly and knowledgeable cheese lovers. They're known for their themed cheese gift boxes, like the Whey Cool Women or pick up a set of their Best Sellers. 

Chelsea Market New York | WhereTraveler
Chelsea Market (©Crystal Jo)

Play

With so many athletic options in the area, you can rent a bike to cruise the piers or hit up a rental stand for a paddleboard or kayak. Head to Hudson River Park and find the classic carousel at Pier 62, with hand-carved animals. Don't miss a chance to head further south and check out Little Island, an imaginative new public park you can tour with an audio guide led by the architect. There are photo ops and hidden nooks galore in this area, perfect for snapping a new profile photo or staging an engagement.

Little Island New York | WhereTraveler
Little Island (©Heber Galindo)