Jersey City, sprawled out along the western banks of the Hudson River and Upper Bay, Things To Do In Jersey City NJ, is the Garden State’s take on the famed Big Apple. It is linked to New York by ferries and subways, and it has some of the best broadside views of Manhattan and Brooklyn in the world.
The Empire State Building can be seen rising above the water, while totemic structures such as Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty dot the bay at downtown jersey city.
With the industrial revolution, the city grew from an outpost of colonial militias in the 1770s to a powerhouse of coal refineries, railroads, and red-brick train depots in the twentieth century at Central Park.
Today, that industrial core is an image of old America, complete with museums and monuments to the thousands of immigrants drawn to the city by its great promise of opportunity and wealth at Ocean City.
That heritage is balanced out by the bars of party-crazed Hoboken and the lovely Hudson River walkways, making this a must-see for any East Coast visitor! Let’s look at some of the best things to do in Jersey City:
List Of 12 Things To Do In Jersey City NJ
1. Ellis Island National Museum Of Immigration
Ellis Island, one of the most iconic sights in modern American history and the country’s first federal immigration site, is thought to have processed over 12 million people coming to settle in the United States between 1892 and the early 1950s in this New York Harbor.
The small speck of land between the shores of Jersey City and New York proper, now a US National Monument and listed on the prestigious National Register of Historic harsimus cemetery Places, attracts visitors with an enthralling immigration museum.
The institution, which is housed in the same building where immigrants were processed from 1900 onwards, documents everything from the harsh medical checks to the famous people who passed through the white eagle hall. It is without a doubt one of JC’s must-sees!
2. Statue of Liberty National Monument
No trip to New York or Jersey City at New Jersey Terminal would be complete without at least a short detour to what is arguably America’s most defining monument.
The site is instantly recognisable, standing tall in the waters of Upper Bay at the mouth of the Hudson River.
The monument, built by none other than Gustave Eiffel at the end of the 1800s, has become a symbol of freedom, democracy, and the American dream, seen by millions of immigrants as they drifted into the ports of Jersey City during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The site, a gift from the people of France, can be reached by ferry from Liberty State Park. Although admission is free, those wishing to ascend the internal stairs to the crown must book well in advance (only 240 people are admitted each day!).
3. Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park, located on the edge of the Upper Bay and overlooking Manhattan, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and Brooklyn, has unquestionably one of the best views of any urban green space in the world.
The redeveloped area, which was once a sprawling industrial space, now contains large lawns and a patchwork of tidal marshes, all of which are part of the Communipaw Cove natural preserve.
Visitors can walk the so-called Freedom Way, cycle along the winding bike paths, and reflect at the thought-provoking Empty Sky Memorial, which was built in memory of the September 11 attacks on New York and includes a piece of the World Trade Center itself.
The van vorst park also serves as the starting point for cruises out into the Upper Bay (Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty et al).
4. Liberty Science Center
For more than 20 years, the Liberty Science Center, located on the western edge of the aforementioned Liberty State Park, has served up bite-sized and hands-on science exhibits to the people and visitors of New York and Chilltown.
The permanent collection includes the world’s largest exhibit of skyscraper construction and design (aptly named Skyscraper! ), the Energy Quest, which reveals the truths of energy and energy production, and the adrenaline-pumping Wildlife Challenge (only during the summer), which includes zip lines and physical challenges at cape may with fun things.
There’s also an intriguing add-on dedicated to the Hungarian Rubik’s Cube, as well as an adjoining IMAX theatre (the country’s largest dome IMAX, in fact!).
5. Light Horse Tavern
Light Horse Tavern, visitors to this 1850s resorted public house can almost imagine themselves in the days of Prohibition, when the smoky recesses were occupied by bootleggers and whiskey sippers.
Things are a little different today, with the restaurant fusing its deep tradition with modern cuisine. Oysters and Maine lobsters meet kale salads and crispy cod fillets on the menu, which focuses on classic East Coast fare at exchange place.
The tavern section of the restaurant serves frothy beers as well as a variety of great pub snacks such as artisanal cheese platters and baked meatloaf. In a nutshell, this is a Jersey City institution!
6. J. Owen Grundy Park
J. Owen Grundy Park, which juts into the waters of the Upper Bay from the eastern edge of Jersey City, is another great place to get a broadside view of New York City and the Statue of Liberty.
It’s a patchwork of timber-built promenades and pagodas that comes alive with local strollers during the summer months, not to mention weekend jogging classes and yoga get-togethers.
The outline of the great Verrazano Bridge can be seen in the distance to the south, where the waters divide the Big Apple before entering the New Jersey Bight and the Atlantic City.
7. Hudson River
This waterside restaurant pokes its way out into the central channels of the Hudson River to offer perhaps the best dinnertime views in town. It is a relatively new addition to Jersey City’s gastronomic line-up (Batello opened in March 2014).
The restaurant, which is themed with all the nautical elements you’d expect of a yacht club eatery, offers a dinner menu of classic and tasty Italian-inspired dishes newport.
It is led by respected chef Ryan DePersio, whose seafood creations include tagliatelle with little neck clams, yellowfin tuna carpaccio, Japanese hamachi, and squid ink pasta bowls. Nice GROVE STREET.
8. Katyń Memorial
The striking outline of the Katy Memorial, built by the accomplished Polish-American sculptor and designer Andrzej Pitynski and raised on the edge of the Jersey City waterfront in 1991, is without a doubt one of the most haunting monuments in town.
A massive bronze soldier is impaled through the back with a bayonet, all rising on a massive monolith surrounded by soil taken from the Katy massacre site.
The statue is not only a testament to the great connection between Jersey City and Poland (from where a large diaspora has come over the years), but it is also now a symbol of freedom against oppression, gilded with a plaque that outlines the city’s post-9/11 defiance to terrorism.
9. Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park, the largest green space in Hudson County features a nine-hole public golf course, miles of tarmacked walking and jogging trails, oodles of tennis courts (up to 20 separate courts), a baseball diamond, and soccer fields.
During the summer, its sporting amenities draw large crowds of New Jersey residents, while travelers can come here to soak up the local vibe.
There’s also a large playground for visitors with children, as well as a series of lakes with beautiful neo-classical fountains.
10. Hudson And Manhattan Railroad Powerhouse
This mighty red-brick coal burner near the waters of Upper Bay was the great engine room of the subway tunnels that connected Chilltown with its bigger brother, New York, across the bay for the first third of the twentieth century.
It burned tonnes of coal each year to power the subterranean transit systems that ran beneath the Hudson to Manhattan, and it is now regarded as one of the jewels of Jersey City’s historic core, alongside the municipal courthouse or liberty house and city hall at newark ave.
Today, the location is only for viewing; it is undergoing major structural restorations that will make it safe for public access.
11. Paulus Hook
Paulus Hook is a must-see section of Jersey City’s downtown, with row upon row of charming redbrick houses.
Believe it or not, the location was once the site of an old British colonial fortification; one that saw action during the Revolutionary War, when no less than Robert E Lee’s father attacked loyalist positions and helped bring New Jersey under patriot control.
There are no rifles to be found today; only expensive flats and condos, the occasional artisanal coffee shop, enticing bistros, and regular ferries to Manhattan.
There’s also the city’s historic post office, which is located on the district’s eastern outskirts.
Hoboken, a small and close-knit city on the northern outskirts of Jersey City, may be only a mile square in size, but it packs a powerful punch.
It’s a jumble of historic brownstones and tenements, all infused with a modern energy and youthful vibe that rivals anything else in town.
Indeed, there are so many drinkeries, dive bars, and cantinas lining Washington, 1st, and Newark Streets that it’s impossible not to find something to suit your partying style.
Check out Bahama Mamas, which is thumping with hip hop and local chatter; McSwiggans for an Emerald Isle tipple; or Chandelier Room for meticulously-mixed cocktails – the choice is yours!
FAQs Things To Do In Jersey City
Is it worth visiting Jersey City?
It’s easy to see why people are relocating to Jersey City for the commute-only it’s a seven-minute ride to the World Trade Center-and the more affordable real estate. But is it worthwhile to go and send your clients in this historic jersey city? The answer is yes, according to those who have visited NYC frequently and claim to know it well.
What is Jersey City best known for?
Jersey City’s historical landmarks are probably its most well-known features. Liberty Island National Park or Hamilton Park, which includes the Ellis Island Immigration Station, is located in Jersey City, and the Statue of Liberty is completely surrounded by the city.
Is Jersey City safe for tourists?
During the day, most of Jersey City’s neighborhoods are safe to walk through. The danger, however, increases at night. Avoid the southern areas near Bayonne, such as Greenville, because they are impoverished and have a high crime rate.
Is Jersey City Expensive?
Jersey City’s housing costs are 79% higher than the national average, and utility costs are 5% higher than the national average. Transportation costs, such as bus fares and gas prices, are 7% higher than the national average. Grocery prices in Jersey City are 10% higher than the national average.