There are a lot of incredible things to do in Jersey City. The city is big, diverse, and home to a variety of different activities for all ages. Its proximity to New York City also makes it a great segway into an NYC adventure.
As a long-time resident of New Jersey, I’ve spent a lot of time in Jersey City and I’ve even featured it as one of the best cities in New Jersey. Now, I’m going to show you some of the best things this city has to offer. Let’s get into it!
Table of Contents
- 25 Best Things to Do in Jersey City
- Liberty Science Center
- Liberty State Park
- Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial
- Exchange Place Waterfront
- J. Owen Grundy Park
- Liberty Landing Marina
- Water’s Soul
- Newport Centre Mall
- PATH Train Station
- Van Vorst Park
- Newport Green Park
- Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theater
- Stanley Theater
- White Eagle Hall
- Midnight Market – Jersey City
- Novado Gallery
- Sea The City Jet Ski Tours
- Zahara Day Spa
- RPM Raceway
- Cellar 335
- DOMO DOMO
- Paulus Hook Ferry Terminal
- Rooftop Exchange Place
- FAQs About What To Do In Jersey City
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25 Best Things to Do in Jersey City
Liberty Science Center
Explore the world of science with unique and dynamic exhibits.
The Liberty Science Center has awesome interactive exhibits, a lineup of events, aquatic tanks, and so much more. What keeps me coming back is how the center keeps its content fresh by always adding new experiences, while holding on to the classic ones we love.
The Liberty Science Center is not only one of the best things to do in Jersey City, but it’s also one of the best things to do in New Jersey as a whole.
👉 Pro Tip: Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes! There’s a lot to explore, and you may be climbing a few flights of stairs as well.
Liberty State Park
Marvel at historic landmarks and waterfront views.
The Hudson River may not be the most beautiful body of water, but it’s still great to look at if you love waterfront views. Liberty State Park is an expansive park with great views of the river and is awesome for a relaxing afternoon.
I recommend hanging out in Flag Plaza and having a picnic on the grass as you take in great views of Ellis Island. Then, on the other side of the park, you can view the Empty Sky Memorial which honors those who lost their lives on that terrible day in 2001.
📚 Related Reading: Here you get a close-up of Liberty Island, which is actually in New Jersey waters, not New York’s. It’s just one of the many fun and interesting facts about NJ!
Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial
Visit a memorial that honors the fallen.
Few of us can forget that terrible day in 2001 when so many innocent people lost their lives. The Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial was created to honor the many fallen that day. The brushed stainless steel looks spectacular when lit up at night, with the 749 names of those lost etched onto the surface.
This monument can be seen day or night, but is best visited at night.
Exchange Place Waterfront
Relax the day away by the waterfront.
📍 Google Maps | Hours: 24/7 | Entrance: Free
For more great views of the Manhattan skyline, visit the Exchange Place Waterfront. Exchange Place is a more business-oriented area of Jersey City and is home to high-end companies like Goldman Sachs as well as upscale spots for breakfast.
At the far end of the waterfront walkway, there’s even a little pavilion where you can order drinks and enjoy them as you watch the sailboats pass by.
Exchange Place is also the perfect commuter area because it’s within easy reach of the PATH train, the NJ Transit Light Rail, and even Ferry service.
👉 Pro Tip: Parking in this area can be ridiculously difficult. Your best bet is to take the PATH train or Light Rail to Exchange Place, and then walk.
J. Owen Grundy Park
Stroll through this serene waterfront pier park.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (201) 547-4449 | Hours: 24/7 | Entrance: Free
Located within the Exchange Place Waterfront, J. Owen Grundy Park features a riverfront pier that is the perfect place to shop in Jersey City on a sunny day. This location also features a pavilion and plenty of festivals and events.
Most of the seating along the Jersey City waterfront has no shade, but at this park, there is. On particularly nice days it can be hard to get a seat, but I recommend sticking it out for a bit and one will eventually open up.
Liberty Landing Marina
Watch boats as they sail in and out of the marina.
Whether you’re a boat owner or boat admirer, Liberty Landing Marina is a nice place to watch the boats come in and out of the harbor.
If you happen to own a boat, it’s a great place to dock your boat or get it serviced, but for most of us, the appeal is watching the different types of boats come and go. I particularly recommend this spot for families with kids.
For those in the market for a boat, it’s a great place to talk to current boat owners for advice.
Visit one of the unique wonders of the Hudson River.
📍 Google Maps | Hours: 7 am – 7 pm daily | Entrance: Free
Created by Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa, Water’s Soul is an 80-foot-tall monolithic structure made of marble dust, polyester resin, and fiberglass. Jaume Plensa originally crafted the sculpture in his Barcelona studio, and then had it shipped in pieces across the Atlantic. Now, the sculpture stands along the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway and is meant to unite the people of Jersey City with New York City.
Water’s Soul is truly a sight to behold. Friends and I muse that the sculpture looks like it’s telling the bustling city of New York to “shush”!
Newport Centre Mall
Shop ‘til you drop at this upscale suburban mall.
There are some malls in New Jersey that are just pleasant to take a walk through, and this is one of them. Located by the Newport Waterfront, you’ll find both fan-favorite stores as well as unique ones in this mall.
Though I’m not as much of a mall rat as I used to be, this is still a great place to do some shopping and spend an afternoon.
PATH Train Station
Take a train to your next adventure.
The PATH station is your gateway to your next adventure from Jersey City. From here, you can hop on the train and head to the World Trade Center – or even another area in Jersey City.
The PATH train runs throughout Jersey City, Hoboken, and New York, and is a popular choice for visiting NYC because the fare is typically cheaper than NJ Transit. The PATH also runs more frequently than other public transportation methods.
Van Vorst Park
Enjoy historic downtown Jersey City as you stroll through this beautiful park.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (201) 547-4449 | Hours: 6 am -10 pm daily | Entrance: Free
Van Vorst Park is located in historic downtown Jersey City and is perfect for visiting in the fall to witness the stunning fall foliage. Because waterfront parks tend to be the most popular, not as many visitors make it to Van Vorst Park. So, if you want a relaxing afternoon, then this is the place to be.
Newport Green Park
Let the little ones run off steam at this waterfront playground.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (201) 626-5000 | Hours: 8 am – 6 pm daily | Entrance: Free
Newport Green Park is a great place for little ones to run off their boundless energy while adults soak in the blissful waterfront views.
My daughter loves playing in the sand while I relax on the reclining chairs. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset over the Manhattan skyline.
Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theater
Take in a show at this gorgeous theater.
Originally opened in 1929, Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theater was originally one of five “Loew’s Wonder Theatres” in the New York area. Though the theater has gone through quite a few eras and refurbishments in that time, the structure is one of the few Rococco / Baroque-style pieces of architecture left in this area.
The theater is currently undergoing a $72 million renovation, but it’s still worth checking out the outside if you’re an architecture lover!
Marvel at the stunning architecture of this historic theater.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (201) 377-3100 | Hours: Varies – call for details | Entrance: Free
Jersey City’s Stanley Theatre is another iconic New Jersey landmark that is worth visiting if you’re a history or architecture buff.
Though currently (as of 2023) going through a renovation project, the theater hosted events of all kinds in its heyday. After being abandoned, however, it was purchased by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They gave it a major refresh and overhaul while still maintaining the theater’s classic beauty and architecture – including a gorgeous chandelier from Waldorf Astoria.
White Eagle Hall
Enjoy live music in an even livelier atmosphere.
White Eagle Hall is located in downtown Jersey City and hosts a variety of events for you to enjoy. Here, you can catch everything from a comedy show to live music performance or theater production.
Plus, you can even enjoy your event while being served from their menu of food and drinks. The classic dinner and a show!
Midnight Market – Jersey City
Party at one of the most popular festivals in Jersey City.
Midnight Market technically originated in Georgia, but Jersey City has embraced its local expansion with open arms.
However – I have to mention – this is technically not a midnight event as it usually starts in the afternoon and wraps up at about 9pm. Still, this festival has a lot to offer for all ages during the hours it’s open. Here, you can enjoy live music, food vendors, and plenty of great places to shop!
Delight in unique art pieces from local artists.
Art lovers will delight in visiting Novado Gallery – a special collection of carefully curated art. The gallery boasts a warm, welcoming atmosphere and you’ll find gorgeous and intriguing pieces on display for all to enjoy.
You can come in during open hours, or even book an appointment for an art consultation.
Find exquisite Italian dining at this waterfront restaurant.
Come dine at one of the most beautiful Italian restaurants in Jersey City! Battello is a waterfront Italian restaurant that has to be experienced on your next trip to New Jersey. Their exquisite menu matches the luxurious waterfront vibe.
I’ve seen many wedding dinners take place at Battello – and for good reason. Not only is the food divine, but the views are perfect for photos – memories that will last a lifetime.
Sea The City Jet Ski Tours
“Sea” the Hudson River up close and personal.
For the adventurer, there’s nothing better than seeing the Hudson River up close and personal on a jet ski. Zip across the water and take in the New York City and Jersey City skyline from a unique perspective.
Various times are available, some beginning and/or ending in New York as well. Every summer, I love watching the jet skis skip waves across the Hudson as I visit Exchange Place. Visit the site or give them a call to book this one-of-a-kind experience!
Zahara Day Spa
Find your inner zen at this luxurious spa.
Sightseeing and trying different foods in New Jersey can get tiring, so always great to stop, unwind, and recharge your batteries. Thankfully, Zahara Day Spa in Jersey City gives you the opportunity to do just that.
The elegant decor and relaxing atmosphere is the perfect place. Settle into a massage, facial, or treatment, and let all your worries slip away.
High-speed fun for all ages.
RPM Raceway has a clever name that describes what they’re all about. RPM actually stands for Race. Play. More., and that’s exactly what they offer. You can engage in the most popular activity, which is go-karting. The tracks are unique, and some are even partially elevated for added adrenaline.
And of course – there’s an awesome food bar if you get hungry from all the racing. Tired of racing? Try the VR simulators or play some arcade games. This is one of those places that you can enjoy whether you’re with kids or on a date night.
Sip your favorite cocktail while you take in warm breezes off the Hudson.
Smorgasbar is the epitome of great drinks with a view! This waterfront bar is the perfect place to relax on a warm Saturday afternoon. The bar staff is incredibly friendly and even make great suggestions if you’re unsure about what to order.
Get there early to grab a spot to sit, as it can get crowded quickly, especially on nice days! My favorite drink here? The classic Mojito!
An eclectic Jersey City restaurant featuring a wide variety of amazing dishes.
Feeling like you want a little bit of everything at your next meal? Well, Cellar 335 gives you just that! You can expect Asian dishes and flavors from the Caribbean. I also recommend enjoying your food with one of their very creative cocktails.
Cellar 335 truly has a little bit of something for everyone and has a great atmosphere.
Upscale sushi bar with an amazing selection of fresh sushi and other seafood dishes.
Take your taste buds on a trip to Japan without leaving Jersey City with a trip to Domo Domo. This high-end sushi bar features outdoor seating and amazing seafood. They even offer an Omakase experience.
This is where the chef personally curates your meal and transports you directly into a blissful world of Japanese food and culture.
Paulus Hook Ferry Terminal
Sail across the Hudson on a relaxing ferry ride.
Come to Paulus Hook for a ferry that can take you across the Hudson River to the New York Harbor. There are a few routes available on the Ferry, so you can take a quick ride across the Hudson and back. You can even choose a longer ride further out in NYC.
The ferries have both upper and lower levels. The lower level is mainly enclosed with climate control and cozy seats. The upper level is outdoors only, but is my personal favorite. If you have some time for sightseeing and love a good ride across the water, a ferry ride from Paulus Hook is for you!
Rooftop Exchange Place
Grab dinner and a drink with friends at one of Jersey City’s most popular lounges.
Rooftop Exchange Place, located on the terrace level of the Hyatt House Hotel, is one of the most hip things to do in Jersey City. This upscale rooftop bar and lounge is a fan favorite and features a DJ, a great menu, and even better drinks! Visitors flock to the Rooftop at Exchange Place, especially during the warmer spring and summer.
Before 8 pm you can enjoy the rooftop restaurant with your kids. But after 8 pm, the Rooftop is strictly 21+.
FAQs About What To Do In Jersey City
What is Jersey City known for?
Is Jersey City a good place to live?
Jersey City is a good place to live in New Jersey, but only in certain areas. Areas closer to the waterfront are safer but also tend to be more expensive. Areas further into the city are cheaper but aren’t very safe.
Is it cheaper to live in NYC or Jersey City?
Even if you live in the upscale Newport section of Jersey City, it’s still cheaper to live in Jersey City than New York. New York has a higher rate of tax and the cost of living is more expensive in general.
Is Hoboken or Jersey City better?
Whether Hoboken or Jersey City is better depends on what you’re looking for. In general, however, Hoboken tends to be more expensive, but also safer. Certain areas of Jersey City aren’t as safe, but the cost of living is lower.
Thanks for reading my list of the best things to do in Jersey City! This diverse city has so much to offer. Love the area? Hop on over to nearby Hoboken and check out some of the great things to do in Hoboken as well!
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