View at the Hoboken Waterfront in New Jersey

15 Best Things to Do in Hoboken, NJ (in 2023)

There are a ton of fun things to do in Hoboken. This city is full of history, top-notch food, and exceptional waterfront views. No wonder Frank Sinatra was proud to call it his hometown.

As a resident of New Jersey and a big fan of Hoboken for many years, I’m going to introduce you to some of the best spots to visit. These Hoboken attractions include some of the best things to do in New Jersey.

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Best Things to Do in Hoboken

Hudson River Waterfront Walkway

Bask in the breeze and take in relaxing waterfront views.

View at the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway during morning
Hoboken Waterfront Views

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (201) 420-2094 | Website | Hours: Always open | Entrance: Free 

Also referred to as the Hoboken Waterfront Walkway, this is where you can find some of the best views of the New York City skyline. Just keep in mind that while finding parking can be tough, the views are spectacular and the atmosphere is so soothing that it’s worth the visit.

There are great spots here for photo ops with the NYC skyline as your backdrop. It can get crowded come summertime, but you can usually still find a corner to enjoy the views and breeze without a lot of chatter near you.

👉 Pro Tip: Parking is pretty rough in Hoboken. If you want to enjoy the waterfront views without the hassle of trying to find a spot, try taking the train. They run frequently and you can enjoy a nice walk on a beautiful day. You can also use Uber or Lyft.

Pier A Park

Grab a spot on the grass for a picnic on a sunny day.

View of a water fountain at the Pier A Park
People Relaxing at Pier A Park

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: Typically open year-round

Pier A Park is one of the first places I ever enjoyed a waterfront view in Hoboken, and it holds a special place in my heart. There’s a lovely fountain you’ll see in action in the spring and summer, and the lawn is well-manicured and big. This is a great spot for putting down a blanket and having a picnic. 

If you’re there later in the evening, you can enjoy the NYC skyline as it lights up for the night.

👉 Pro Tip: On nice days, Pier A Park can get pretty crowded! In addition, sometimes the local geese population leaves ‘presents’ on the ground. If you bring a blanket, be mindful of where you lay it. 

Pier C Park

Fun in the sun for everyone in the family.

View of a boardwalk at the Pier C Park in Hoboken
Pier C Park (photo: John Penney / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (201) 420-2012 | Website | Hours: 8 am – 10 pm daily

Pier C Park is special because it’s almost like a little island on the Hudson. There are awesome 360° views of the Hudson River and plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy. There’s fishing, a water play area, and a playground for the little ones. 

Families especially enjoy Pier C Park on hot summer days, letting the kids run off steam as they take in the scene.

👉 Pro Tip: People like to sit along the cement wall, but those spots can get taken up quickly. If you can, bring a blanket or a nice folding beach chair so you make sure you have a spot to sit.

Pier 13 Hoboken

Savor delicious eats in this waterfront beer garden.

People and food trucks at the Pier 13 Hoboken
Food trucks line Pier 13 in Hoboken (photo: solepsizm / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 4 pm – 11 pm Monday – Friday, 12 pm – 11 pm Saturday and Sunday 

Pier 13 Hoboken is more than just a beer garden with great drinks; it’s a whole vibe. People flock here for the atmosphere and the wide variety of foods. Food trucks line the colorful walkway, giving you plenty of New Jersey foods to delight your palate. The Pier also features covered seating so you can enjoy your meal comfortably in the shade.

But food isn’t the only thing Pier 13 has to offer. You also get the opportunity for water sports like paddle boarding and jet skiing. After a day of fun, sip a drink at sunset and take in views of the glittering Manhattan skyline.

Hoboken Terminal

Hop on a train or ferry to your next adventure.

View inside the Hoboken Terminal in New Jersey
Hoboken Terminal (photo: astudio / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 24/7

The Hoboken Terminal is your gateway to adventure! From here you can catch a train to NYC or another fun destination in New Jersey

Also home to the Hoboken Ferry Terminal, I recommend coming here to catch a ferry to the city. Sail over the water for a bit, take in the fresh air and awesome views, and then come back to Hoboken. 

Keep in mind that to get to either the NJ Transit Terminal or Ferry Terminal, you’ll have to walk to the other end of the main Hoboken terminal. At the NJ Transit Terminal, you can catch a train to other places in New Jersey, such as Secaucus Junction. 

The Hoboken Terminal makes Hoboken one of the best places to stay in New Jersey because it’s so easy to get around.

Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse

Learn to kayak or paddle boat on the Hudson River.

People enjoying their day kayaking at the Hudson River
Kayaking on the Hudson River (photo: Mariusz Lopusiewicz / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: Varied. Check the website for more information. | Entrance: $0 – $10 

One of the most fun things to do in Hoboken is kayaking on the Hudson River. I love watching the kayaks and paddle boats sail across the water on sunny summer days. But at The Community Boathouse, you get the opportunity to be a part of the action.

The Community Boathouse offers free kayaking and paddle boat lessons. The only pre-requisite is that you know how to swim. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the waterfront views right from the water.

👉 Pro Tip: While paddle boat and kayaking lessons are free, small donations, even $10, are strongly encouraged.

Barsky Gallery

Discover your next favorite art piece.

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (201) 464-0908 | Website | Hours: By appointment

The Barsky Gallery has two locations in Hoboken. One is at 50 Harrison Street, and the other is at 89 Hudson Street. Both are open by appointment, and the one on 89 Hudson Street allows you to view the art through the window 24/7. 

Sometimes if you walk by, they might let you inside to view the art without an appointment. Still, it’s best to call ahead first.

Marvel at the beautiful art, or get a consultation to see which piece would fit best in your home or office. The Barsky Gallery is also a beautiful and unique place to host an event.

Hoboken Arts and Music Festival

Enjoy a day full of festivities in the heart of Hoboken.

View from the Washington Street, where the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival takes place
Washington Street in Hoboken – where the festival takes place (photo: Martha Graham / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 11 am – 6 pm daily during event| Entrance: Free 

When the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival comes to town, it takes over Hoboken’s main street, Washington Street. Washington Street is already bustling with activity, but when the festival is in town, you’ll really see why Hoboken is one of New Jersey’s best cities.

During the event, artists and other local businesses have displays with art for sale. If you’re hungry after all of that walking, stop at any of the many food trucks for some tasty eats. While the Festival of 2023 has passed, the 2024 Arts and Music Festival is highly anticipated.

Hoboken Historical Museum

Learn about Hoboken’s rich and diverse history.

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (201) 656-2240 | Website | Hours: Varies, closed Mondays. Check website for details | Entrance: $5, for adults, Free for children and members 

The Hoboken Historical Museum is a great stop if you like history – and Hoboken has some rich history! You can see this in the classic architecture as you walk through this classy city. 

Hoboken itself is relatively small, so the size of the museum itself may at first seem underwhelming. However, they try to keep things fresh by rotating the exhibits yearly. This gives you a new perspective on Hoboken’s history and keeps you coming back for more.

The Hoboken Historical Museum is located on the waterfront. So after a nice walk along the Waterfront Walkway, you can check out how the great city of Hoboken got started.

👉 Are you a history lover? Then you’ll like to know that the first professional baseball game was played on Hoboken’s Elysian Fields – just one of the most interesting New Jersey facts

Elysian Park

Take a stroll through this classy park by the water.

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (201) 420-2012 | Website | Hours: 24/7 

Elysian Park is more of a local, urban park as opposed to a main tourist destination, and this has its perks. Less popularity means fewer people. If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to be surrounded by people all the time. You want to be able to relax at the park, and Elysian Park offers just this.

Of course, those who live in the neighborhood will pop in, but it’s normally not as crowded as the more popular Pier A or Pier C Parks. Elysian Park even has a nice playground for the younger members of your family. You can even bring a blanket and have a nice picnic.

Elysian Cafe

Grab a mimosa at this quaint cafe-meets-bar.

Two glasses of mimosa on a bar counter in Elysian Cafe
Mimosas at the bar

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (201) 798-5898 | Website | Hours: 12 pm – 11 pm Monday – Friday, 10 am – 11 pm Saturday, 10 am – 10 pm Sunday

Just steps from Elysian Park, Elysian Cafe is a quaint bar/restaurant that is the perfect stop after a day at the park. It’s an elegant spot that’s more restaurant than a cafe. Their brunch menu features classics like Omelettes, Cappuccinos, and mimosas.

As the name suggests, the Elysian Cafe is delightful and blissful – a perfect place to relax and have a meal.

Stingray Lounge

Wind down with a cocktail at this upscale lounge.

Cocktails on a bar counter in Stingray Lounge
Cocktails on a bar

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (201) 683-6030 | Website | Hours: 4 pm – 11 pm Monday – Thursday, 4 pm to 12 am Friday and Saturday, 1 pm – 8 pm Sundays

Stingray Lounge is the perfect place to experience Hoboken’s bustling city nightlife scene. Hoboken is full of some of the best bars and lounges that I’ve ever been to, and Stingray Lounge is no exception. Here you can grab a drink and catch up with friends after a day of sightseeing. The lounge also offers great food such as raw oysters and lobster rolls. 

The vibe is great too – whether you’re out with friends or on a date night with that special someone. 

👉 Read Next: Best Hotels to Stay in Hoboken

Carlo’s Bake Shop

Home of the legendary Cake Boss.

The Carlo’s Bake Shop from the outside with lights at night
Carlos Bake Shop in Hoboken (photo: Brian Logan Photography / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (201) 659-3671 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 9 pm Monday – Thursday, 8 am – 10 pm Friday – Sunday 

You know all about Carlo’s Bake Shop if you love watching Cake Boss. One of the best bakeries around, Carlo’s is famous for being home to the TV show but it’s also the birthplace of many unique and delightful cakes and desserts.

Carlo’s Bake Shop offers a huge variety of delectable desserts. You can choose from goodies like crumb cakes, specially-designed cookies, and gourmet cupcakes. You can even order party trays and custom-made assortments. They even sell coffee to pair with your dessert.

Insomnia Cookies

Some of the best cookies in the Northeast.

The Insomnia Cookies from the outside
Insomnia Cookies’ Hoboken location

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (201) 297-6076 | Website | Hours: 11 am – 1 am Monday – Wednesday, 11 am – 3 am Thursday – Friday, 12 pm – 3 am Saturday, 12 pm – 1 am Sunday

Insomnia Cookies is a personal favorite of mine. You will never find a better cookie – at least in my opinion! 

The cookies at Insomnia are so delicious and soft, and you can even get them warmed up. I’ve been going here for years and have never been disappointed. One of their best cookies is the double chocolate chunk – a chocoholics dream come true. They also have vegan options so that everyone can enjoy Insomnia Cookies.


Fine Italian dining in the heart of Hoboken.

A plate of spaghetti with basil leaves on top served at Sorrellina
Spaghetti and basil leaves

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (201) 963-3333 | Website | Hours: Varies, check website for details

Who doesn’t want to enjoy fine dining while visiting Hoboken? Italian food is by far the city’s specialty, and Sorrellina definitely has you covered. This highly-rated Italian restaurant has all of the most delicious Italian dishes. They’re made fresh and cooked to perfection. The owner takes great pride in her restaurant; you’ll see that in the design and service here.

In addition to serving amazing food, Sorrellina also offers a delightful wine bar. It features a wide variety of Italian wines that will pair perfectly with your meal. Stop by for an elegant dinner with friends, family, or even that special someone.

FAQs About What To Do In Hoboken

What are fun things to do in Hoboken besides drinking? 

Drinking isn’t the only thing to do in Hoboken New Jersey as the city has a lot of fun activities. Hoboken also features gourmet restaurants, top-notch bakeries such as Carlo’s Bake Shop and Insomnia Cookies, and amazing views of the New York City skyline.

What are the best things to do in Hoboken for families? 

For families, Hoboken has a plethora of New Jersey parks for the little ones to run around, such as Pier A Park and Pier C Park. These parks feature playgrounds, some with water play areas. The Hoboken Arts and Music Festival is also fun for all ages.

What are some fun free things to do in Hoboken?

Free things to do in Hoboken include visiting Pier A Park and Pier C Park, kayaking and paddle boating at the Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse, and strolling the Hoboken waterfront.


Whether you’re taking in the waterfront views or delighting your taste buds with local goodies, you’re sure to enjoy the best things to do in Hoboken. For more info on the Garden State, check out my guide to staying safe in New Jersey.

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