The newest addition to Hudson River Park is the beautiful Pier 57 Rooftop Park. At Pier 57 you will now find a two-floor outdoor area that is the largest rooftop public park in New York City!
It is the perfect spot to hang out for an afternoon, taking in the views of the Hudson, Little Island, and downtown Manhattan. The park is free to enter and should be added to everyone’s NYC bucket list.
This guide will go through how to go about a visit to the Pier 57 Rooftop Park and what to expect during a visit.
1) What is Pier 57
Below are some fun facts about Pier 57, its history, and where it stands today:
→ The original Pier 57 was first built back in 1907. This pier was not the same pier that is seen today as it was built out of wood. In 1947 the wooden pier burnt down, leaving it unusable.
→ In the early 1950’s, construction began to reconstruct Pier 57 using new building methods, and at the time was the largest dock building in NYC.
→ The pier was officially reopened in 1954 as the terminal for Grace Line. It was used as a terminal for storage and shipping of cargo for the company.
→ In 1969, it then switched hands to the New York City Transit Authority and became the Hudson Pier Depot. It closed in 2003, and had not been used since then.
→ Over the last handful of years, construction has once again begun to revamp the pier. Most recently, Pier 57 now houses City Winery in a 32,000 square foot facility at the base of the pier. In addition, Google has taken over as the prime tenant and is opening office space there.
→ While the Rooftop Park at Pier 57 is the latest opening, look out for future additions at the pier such as tech classrooms for Hudson River Park’s River Project, a massive food market, and more community spaces.
2) Where is Pier 57 Located
Pier 57 is located on the Hudson River at the 11th Avenue (West Side Highway) & 15th Street intersection. It is one pier north of Little Island (Pier 55) and one pier south of Chelsea Piers and its outdoor driving range.
The entrance to the Rooftop Park is located about halfway down the south side of the Pier (starred on the map below). Here you will find an elevator and staircase, taking you up to the first of two outdoor floors.
Pier 57 Parking: If you are looking for parking near Pier 57, your best bet is to try and find street parking just east of the West Side Highway. There are also paid garages nearby, including within the Pier itself – MPG Parking at 25 11th Avenue.
Pier 57 Subways: The closest subways to Pier 57 include A/C/E/L trains at 14th Street and 8th Avenue, the 1,2,3 lines at 14th Street and 7th Avenue, and the F and M lines at 14th Street and 6th Avenue.
» You can also get to Pier 57 by foot, Uber, taxi, or CitiBike depending on where you are coming from, and your overall itinerary for the day.
3) Pier 57 Rooftop Park Things To Know
Here are just a few helpful things to know about the rooftop park to better prepare you for your time there:
Size: The Rooftop Park at Pier 57 is 80,000 square feet of outdoor space, laid out across two levels. That is nearly 2 acres of public space, making it the largest public rooftop park in NYC
Pier 57 Hours: the park is opened from 7:00AM – 10:00PM, seven days of week. That gives you time to enjoy the park early in the morning, when no one is around. And it also gives you the chance to take in perfectly placed sunsets across the Hudson in the evening.
Cost: it is absolutely free to visit the Pier 57 Rooftop Park. Simply make your way to the doors, head up the elevator (or stairs), and enjoy your time there!
Restrooms: there are restrooms located on the rooftop park on the eastern most side of the pier.
Food & Drinks: currently there are no public food and drinks available at Pier 57 (just the City Winery location if you are looking for something more formal). However, there will be a food court opening at the end of 2022 curated by the James Beard Foundation.
Fun Fact: the park will be home to an outdoor screening location for the Tribeca Film Festival.
→ Check out some other viewpoints in the city in the guide to the best views in New York City
4) Visiting the Pier 57 Rooftop Park
I will break up the visit to the rooftop part into three sections – arriving at the pier, the first level of the park, and the second level of the park:
Arriving at Pier 57
As you arrive at Pier 57, either from other spots along the Hudson River Park or directly from the streets of Manhattan, you will be greeted by the large pier structure out in front of you.
At the front of the building, you will see the City Winery entrance if you are interested in having food and drinks before or after your visit. Out front you will also see signage pointing you towards the Rooftop Park.
While you can walk around the entirety of the outer pier, the entrance to the park is located on the south side of the pier (left hand side if you are looking at the pier from the street).
Simply make your way through the Pier 57 gates (pictured below), as you walk parallel to Little Island. You will then follow the pathway around the pier, until you reach a set of doors located at around the halfway point of the pier.
Once inside, you will see a staircase right out in front of you with elevators on either side. If you take the staircase, expect several flights of stairs up.
Rooftop Park First Level
The elevators and stairs will let you off on the first level of the rooftop park. Immediately after walking outside you will be welcomed to stunning views of Little Island, the World Trade Center, downtown Manhattan, and even the Statue of Liberty.
All along the southern part of the outdoor space you will find wooden benches and wooden standing desks. These are great places to sit back and enjoy the views of the NYC backdrop.
If you continue towards the waterside (westbound), you will find the one of the outdoor grassy areas to sit down on. This is a great spot to take in a sunset and just lay out in the grass during those hot summer days.
Continuing around the pier to the north, you will now have even more views come into play. Here is where the Chelsea Piers driving range is located just across the water with Hudson Yards and The Edge further out in the distance.
On the most eastern part of the pier, you will find the second grassy area that is full of these decorative lights built into the ground. While you won’t necessarily get the views from down there, it is a scenic spot to hang out at. Below is photo of the staircase from up top.
Note: just next to this grassy area is where you will find the restrooms located in the metal structure
Rooftop Park Second Level
Getting to the second level can be accessed by one of the three staircases. Two of these staircases are located along the northern part of the pier. The third staircase is located just above the eastern grassy area.
This third staircase is definitely one of the most architecturally impressive parts of the park. This is not only a staircase between the two levels, but it is also a spot where people can sit down on and enjoy the views of Manhattan.
From the stairs, you can get views of the park down below with the Empire State Building out in front, Hudson Yards to the left and downtown Manhattan to the right.
Along the northern and southern portions of the top level, you will be able to get more views of the NYC skyline (similar to the first level).
The western end of the pier has a covered outdoor space for those that want to enjoy time outside but don’t want to be constantly in the sun. There are several benches here along with plenty of standing space. You will also get great views of the initial grassy area on the first level with the Hudson River in the background.
Once you have spent enough time enjoying the Pier 57 Rooftop Park, simply get yourself back to the entrance, head down the elevator or stairs, and then onto the next destination of the day.
5) Hudson River Park
Speaking of next destinations, Hudson River Park is full of them. I would recommend taking a look at the guide I put together for the Hudson River Park that talks through everything you can find along the greenway.
Some of the highlights include:
• Clinton Cove
• Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum
• Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
• The Vessel & Hudson Yards (5 minute walk off the pathway)
• Frying Pan
• Chelsea Piers
• Little Island -> Learn more in the Little Island NYC guide up on the site!
• Pier 51 Park
• Pier 46 Park
• Christopher Street Pier
• Pier 34 Viewpoint
• City Vineyard & Pier 26 Tide Deck
• Pier 25 (Playground, Mini Golf, Volleyball)
6) Where to Stay in Manhattan
There are so many different neighborhoods to choose from when visiting Manhattan. Below are some of my top choices for a few of my recommended locations in the city:
Chelsea: If you are looking to be well situated between uptown, midtown, and downtown, then Chelsea can be a great option for you. You have highlights such as the Highline, Chelsea Market, the Vessel, and the Hudson River right nearby.
And if you are looking to head to Central Park uptown or the World Trade Center area further downtown, then you are just a quick subway ride away. Recommended Chelsea hotels:
Midtown: Right in the middle of the action is the midtown area, where you have the one and only Times Square, and all Broadway shows right at your doorstep.
You are also within walking distance to the southern end of Central Park. Almost all subway lines connect at Times Square so getting around should not be an issue. Recommended Midtown hotels:
Tribeca: If you are trying to stay in downtown Manhattan, then I would recommend looking into the Tribeca area. Staying here and you will be just a stone’s throw away from the World Trade Center area, 9/11 Memorial Pools & Museum, the Brooklyn Bridge and the hop on point for the Statue of Liberty.
While Central Park is a bit further away, you should still be able to reach it in about 30 minutes by subway. Recommended Tribeca Hotels:
The Pier 57 Rooftop Park is just another great addition to NYC’s public outdoor spaces. Be sure to check it out soon during your next trip to the city!
If you have any questions or comments about the park, be sure to write them in below. Also, don’t forget to check out the other New York itineraries and guides up on the site.
Have fun out there and safe travels!