Once an immigrant neighborhood full of warehouses, Chelsea has evolved into one of the most desirable and expensive parts of New York City. This is a vibrant area full of dining, shopping, and nightlife, art galleries, and studios. The bulk of the celebrated High Line Park winds through Chelsea all the way up to 34th Street, where the park ends. And you've got the Chelsea Piers nearby. This is a large sports and entertainment complex that sits on the Hudson River. It includes synthetic fields for every type of sport you can imagine, a driving range for golf, batting cages, an ice rink, a skate park, bowling lanes, and restaurants.
Along its main avenues and along the High Line Park shiny new condo towers dominate. The stature of buildings tends to decrease as you move away from these areas, however, and you'll soon find old brick tenement housing converted to walk-up apartments. Many of its side streets are quaint, tree-lined, and quiet but the north end of Chelsea feels more industrial, lacks the greenery, and mostly has large apartment and condo complexes.
Given the size of this neighborhood, some residents (and real estate agents) might refer to distinct parts, such as West or East Chelsea to describe the areas separated by the High Line. You'll find a mix of people here, although the middle class is largely being squeezed out by the increase in cost of living. Chelsea is a popular home for Manhattan's LGBTQ community.
Chelsea is bordered on the north by Hell's Kitchen and the Garment District, on the east by the Flatiron District, on the south by Meatpacking and the West Village, and on the west by the Hudson River.
Wall Street: 4.5 miles / 15-30 minutes by car / 25-30 minutes by transit
Rockefeller Center: 2 miles / 10-25 minutes by car / 20 minutes by transit
Jersey City: 8 miles / 20-45 minutes by car / 30-40 minutes by transit