Kips Bay consists of just more than 20 blocks in the eastern section of Midtown Manhattan, New York City. This residential neighborhood straddles the banks of the East River, which sets a natural border between Manhattan and Queens. The riverfront location makes Kips Bay a popular destination for leisurely walks and sightseeing. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy well-maintained promenades that stretch along the district’s premier waterfront area.
Kips Bay Sightseeing and Recreation
Covering just less than 2 acres, Stuyvesant Cove Park terminates at the southeastern corner of Kips Bay. Featuring extensive promenades and many benches, this public park stretches along the East River. Stuyvesant Cove Park offers great views of the neighborhood’s residential skyline and of various districts in Queens.
The East River Esplanade hugs nearly the entire riverfront section of Kips Bay. The esplanade is ideal for short strolls and jogs along this major river that flows past Manhattan and Queens. In fact, many photographers come to this area specifically to capture unique images that highlight a blend of residential and commercial activities in these densely populated boroughs.
If you’d like to enjoy some premium waterfront dining in Kips Bay, reserve a table at the Water Club. This floating restaurant is located on a boat that’s been fully converted to accommodate hungry patrons. As you enjoy gourmet food, you can also admire panoramic views of the East River through original windows.
Nevertheless, you don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy some delicious treats and drinks in Kips Bay. There are several cafes and eateries that sell light fare that you could take out and enjoy along the riverfront walkways.
The rich history of Kips Bay dates back to the late 17th century when the island of Manhattan was part of the short-lived New Netherlands colony. A successful Dutch farmer is the namesake of this neighborhood. During the American Revolutionary War, thousands of British soldiers used Kips Bay for strategic operations against the Continental Army. The bays and coves were ideal locations for docking the powerful British naval forces.
For most of the 19th century, the district was relatively pristine and tranquil compared to the heavily industrialized sectors of Lower Manhattan. In the 20th century, Kips Bay was widely developed for residential use. Today, the high-rise towers at the Waterside Plaza stand as the tallest buildings in the neighborhood.
Layout, Transportation and Directions
The northern boundary of Kips Bay is aligned with East 34th Street, which carries eastbound and westbound traffic across Manhattan. Accommodating vehicular traffic heading Downtown, Lexington Avenue marks the western edge of the district. Open for traffic flow in opposite directions, East 23rd Street identifies the southern tip of Kips Bay. Additionally, the East River acts as a natural boundary for the neighborhood’s eastern section.
FDR Drive, one of the main highways in Manhattan, runs parallel to the waterfront stretch. In fact, this busy road links Kips Bay with essentially all other points in the borough and various parts of Queens. There aren’t any Subway stations that are officially located within the borders of Kips Bay. However, you can take the 4 and 6 trains to various underground stations on Park Avenue, which is located just one block away from the district.
Buses that are managed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) offer direct access to Kips Bay. You can also get to this riverfront neighborhood by taking an NYC Ferry to the East 34th Street dock.