We made a stop at the Vessel in Hudson Yard on our most recent trip to Manhattan, New York. It's an outdoor structure of stairs and landings that together forms the shape of a vessel. Narrow at the bottom, and widens near the top. It's not very tall compared to the surrounding towers, but the Vessel is 16 floors tall. In all, there are 2500 steps and 80 landings. It's walking distance from the a metro stop (7 Train to 34th Street-Hudson Yards). What makes it special is the bronze color of the steel and concrete that holds the structure together.
Vessel Cost of Admission
The cost to enter this structure is free! The only thing is you'll need to register for a ticket in advance at their website. You'll get to choose a window of time you plan on visiting for your timed ticket. This is great, as it help limit the number of people visiting the structure at any one time. There are also some same day tickets, but read on the website for more information.
Views from the Vessel
As you slowly spiral your way up to the top of the Vessel, you'll also inadvertently experience all sides of the Vessel. It's a visual experience! As you reach the top, you'll probably want to circle the top. From one side, you'll have a view of the Shed (another highlight of Hudson Yard). Unfortunately for us, the Shed was not yet open.
The most outstanding view was a clear shot of the Hudson River with all the trains lined up at the Hudson Yard train depot.
Don't forget to look up from the bottom, and down from the top as different angles reflect different sunlight and produces very different glares. In the middle at the ground floor is blue light. You'll see tons of people gathered around as they attempt to take photos of themselves surrounded by the Vessel. It's a huge crowd, so take your time and make sure you know how to work your smartphone camera's timer function.
Elevator up the Vessel
There's also an elevator that climbs to the top of the Vessel. From what I understand, this elevator is only for those who need assistance reaching the top. The elevator does not move fast, but is unique because it follows the curved shape of the Vessel. Despite the restriction, there was still a line of people waiting to take the elevator.
No Gift Shop?
For such an attraction, I was surprised it didn't end in the middle of a gift shop. What is nearby is a very fancy shopping mall. It's nothing super fancy, but I get the feeling that many of the tourists that visit the Vessel will find their way to the mall to use the restroom, grab a drink or small bite, or do a bit of shopping.
What to Visit After the Vessel
There's so much to do in New York. But an easy next visit after the Vessel is to walk the High Line. Located off the High Line near the end, it's good to work your way around. Like mentioned earlier, stopping by the mall, especially on warm day is a great way to relax.