A Local’s Guide on Things to Do in Jersey City

Jersey City

A Local’s Guide on Things to Do in Jersey City

Jersey City is a vibrant metropolitan enclave, and its endless amenities, well-maintained parks, and riverside location gives it a unique and enticing appeal to buyers and residents. Outdoor recreation at the expansive Liberty State Park and along the marina offer natural refuges away from the city bustle, while Downtown Jersey City celebrates the community’s energy with local shops and events. Around every corner is an exciting attraction, from high-end boutiques and live music venues to cultural centers and beyond. If you’re visiting the area or hoping to move here, you’ll want to check out these things to do in Jersey City:

Explore Liberty State Park

Liberty State Park is a popular outdoor destination spanning 1,212 acres in the center of Jersey City. From this park, visitors can admire views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Manhattan skyline. Since it’s located right on the Hudson River, this park is the only spot in New Jersey where visitors can ferry to Ellis Island. Visitors can also fish along the shore for bluefish, shad, striped bass, and blue claw crabs.

Liberty State Park is also a major educational and cultural destination, home to many iconic attractions in Jersey City. The Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal runs through the north side of the park and memorializes its long-time history of transporting immigrants. Also located within this park is the 36-acre Richard J. Sullivan Natural Area, which protects an important and rare tidal marsh.

Visit Liberty Landing Marina

Located at Liberty State Park, the Liberty Landing Marina overlooks the Statue of Liberty and provides many amenities for its visitors. This award-winning marina offers 520 slips for boats of all sizes, dry storage, and several amenities to serve any boater’s needs. For fun, visitors can peruse the Marine Center, take a ferry to NYC, join a boat or jet ski tour, or reserve a seat at waterside restaurants such as Maritime Parc and Liberty House.

View the Empty Sky Memorial

The Empty Sky Memorial is an important landmark commemorating the lives lost on September 11th. This monument at Liberty State Park is where many onlookers watched the twin towers collapse that day. The memorial features two walls atop a granite path pointed toward Ground Zero. The length and height of the stainless-steel walls match the length of the Twin Towers and are marked with the names of the 749 people who lost their lives.

Learn at the Liberty Science Center

Families looking for attractions in Jersey City for all ages will love visiting the Liberty Science Center at Liberty State Park. This 300,000-square-foot building includes a live animal collection showcasing 110 species, expansive aquariums, and 12 separate museum exhibition halls. The on-site Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium and LSC Giant Dome Theater make up the biggest planetarium in the western hemisphere.

Visitors can feel what a hurricane and tornado are like in the center’s wind simulators, observe live simulcast surgeries, or watch a movie in the 3D theater. Families can explore all four stories, where they’ll have a chance to pet fish at the touch tanks, get an up-close look at microbes, or partake in a daily schedule of events.

Shop at Downtown Jersey City

Downtown Jersey City is a vibrant community full of unique stores and local finds. Shoppers can stop by Bouquets and Baskets for dazzling custom flower arrangements fit for any occasion. Myrtle & Flossie provides small-batch, ethically-made apparel geared toward mothers. For luxury upholstery, Couture for Home features custom-made window treatments and traditional French wall upholstery.  

Find luxury brands at Newport Centre

Another popular shopping destination in Jersey City is Newport Centre. This large indoor mall serves as a venue for upscale brands like Fossil, Pandora, Michal Kors, and Swarovski. With over 167 stores across three floors, shoppers can spend all day walking through shops and finding the perfect dress or statement piece jewelry. Newport Centre is also anchored by large department stores like JCPenney and Macys.

Catch a live performance at White Eagle Hall

One of the best things to do in Jersey City is to watch a live performance at White Eagle Hall. This historic theater in Downtown Jersey City features stunning designs, including a coffered tin ceiling, a wrought iron wrap-around balcony, and two expansive stained-glass atriums. The stained-glass pieces commemorate music composer Frederic Chopin and opera star Marcella Sembrich, which speaks to the venue’s acclaim as a live music space.

All types of music and talent grace the stage here, from indie hits to Americana, rock, electronic alternative music, and other genre-bending sets that take music to spaces and sounds unheard of. White Eagle Hall also features two restaurants: the sleek Cellar 335 with an exotic island ambiance and the French bistro Madame Claude Bis.

Reserve a table for Battello

After a full day of exploring the city, stop by the luxurious and industrial Battello. This contemporary Italian restaurant offers guests a seafood-influenced menu created by top culinary master Ryan DePersio. Guests can dine under soaring ceilings and elegantly designed dining rooms, along one of the two bars, or in the lounge outfitted for live entertainment.

Dinner guests can peruse the unique wine menu any night of the week or reserve the venue for private events. Lunch is served Monday through Friday, while weekend brunch starts at 11 am. Jersey City residents regularly visit Battello for its high-end dishes, live musical acts, wine tastings, guest chef engagements, and curated experiences celebrating major holidays.

Ready to have fun in Jersey City?

Jersey City offers plenty of fun activities for first-time visitors and locals alike. Liberty State Park is a major year-round attraction for residents and tourists interested in outdoor recreation, historical landmarks, and education centers. Other areas like Downtown Jersey City and the Newport Centre offer a range of local and upscale shopping. The best way to explore Jersey City’s attractions is to work with a local real estate agent. When you’re ready to start a home search in the area, contact one of the experts at Team Francesco to guide you through the process.

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