In any city, there are fun things to do, and many activities which set it apart from other communities. And Jersey City, NJ, is no different. Jersey City is the second most populated city in the Garden State, with a population of approximately 284,000, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data.
But many people don’t often realize that Jersey City is a scenic metropolis on the banks of the Hudson River and the Upper New York Bay. It also has many iconic sites, such as Liberty Island National Park, including the Ellis Island Immigration Station. And the infamous The Statue of Liberty is completely surrounded by Jersey City.
But if you are in town visiting or are thinking of moving to Jersey City, we have some recommendations to help you fall in love with the area (either for the first time, or all over again).
7 fun things to do when visiting Jersey City, NJ
The Harrison Home Inspection team has compiled a list of the best things to do in Jersey City. We hope you’ll enjoy these sites and attractions as much as we do.
1. Liberty Island
We might as well start with one of the most famous U.S. icons – Liberty Island and the majestic Statue of Liberty. Liberty Island is located in Upper New York Bay and can be accessed in one of two ways.
- Take the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) to the Liberty State Park Station; then walk or bike one mile along Audrey Zapp Drive to the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal in Liberty State Park
- You can also access the HBLR via PATH at the Hoboken Station or Newport (Jersey City) Station
Be sure to purchase tickets in advance, though, as tickets are limited.
2. Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal
We might as well list this one next because if you plan to visit Liberty State Park, you’ll likely be visiting this station. The terminal opened in 1967 houses 20 impressive tracks and is a beautiful piece of architecture. While visiting, take a self-guided tour and visit the adjacent 911 memorial.
3. NYC Skyline Dinner Cruise from New Jersey
Book tickets on the Spirit of New Jersey and enjoy a dinner cruise for your next date night. You’ll enjoy the Manhattan skyline after departing from nearby Weehawken. Your tour will provide stunning views of the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Ellis Island, and the Empire State Building. During your cruise, you’ll indulge in a chef-prepared dinner buffet with freshly prepared entrees, salads, and desserts. And don’t worry; the boat comes equipped with a well-stocked cash bar and live musical entertainment, making it a perfect night on the town (or water).
4. Downtown Jersey City
Many newcomers to the area think of Jersey City as simply a stopping point on the way to the Big Apple just across the George Washington Bridge. But downtown Jersey City is a spot worth its visit (and several repeat trips too). Downtown Jersey City sits along the waterfront and features several low-rise brownstone buildings from the 19th century.
Enjoy tree-lined streets bursting with remarkable architecture representing hundreds of years of history. And if you are a foodie or are into the nightlife, enjoy indie shops, a happening bar scene, trendy restaurants that will get your tastebuds salivating, live music venues so you can get your dance on, and upscale hotels so you can crash after a long day.
5. The Morris Canal
If you want to get in some footsteps and take in some area history, head over to the Morris Canal. The canal’s 102-mile meander across the northern part of New Jersey, spanning Phillipsburg to Jersey City, was walked by every mule driver for every team that pulled a canal boat between 1831 and 1924. Now, you can stroll various recreational paths, picturing the infamous commerce route used by so many nearly 100 years ago.
6. White Eagle Hall
If you are into the entertainment scene, then be sure to take in a show at White Eagle Hall. The hall is a newly restored and renovated historic theater located in the thriving nightlife scene of Downtown Jersey City. Enjoy just about any show you can think of, as Eagle Hall offers it all. From Jersey City Fight Night (boxing) to a Railroad Earth performance or Wizard Fest, all of your eclectic tastes will be satisfied.
7. Newport Centre
Any list of fun things to do in Jersey City would be remiss without including an impressive shopping center. And trust us, Newport Centre is the place to be. With three levels of indoor shopping, you can easily access the mall from the HBLR and the Path. Get school clothes for the kids at JCPenney, Kohl’s, or Macy’s. Or, enjoy 130 specialty shops featuring anything you could possibly want or need. There is an 11-screen movie theater and a dining pavilion with over 19 eateries.
Looking to make Jersey City your new home or home-away-from-home?
According to Neighborhoodscout, Jersey City has had some of the highest home appreciation rates of any community in the country over the last decade. This makes Jersey City a great place to live and a great place for a second home for east coasters that love the city life or need easy access to downtown during the workweek. But don’t go into the home-buying process on your own. Secure a reputable real estate agent and a home inspector that you can trust.
The waterfront location of Jersey City can make homes more susceptible to mold and issues from the elements. With the right agent and inspector, we know the top issues to look for in a home inspection and can help you negotiate the best price for your new home.