The best things to do in Jersey City, from visiting art galleries to going on a food tour
Located directly across the Hudson River from downtown Manhattan, Jersey City is New Jersey’s second largest city, with a population of approximately 300,000 (behind Newark). It has been labeled one of the countries the most diverse places in terms of the number of nationalities inhabiting it, and has undergone a significant metamorphosis over a decade thanks to a deluge of new residents, many of whom have been Fixed price from New York and Brooklyn. This, in turn, has led to the opening of countless new and excellent restaurants and bars. All this growth has caught the attention of even the French: last year it was announced that a satellite campus in Paris Centre Pompidou the library will open here in 2024.
It’s one thing to read about the transformation of Jersey City, but it’s another to come and visit, even if it’s just for a day as part of a grand trip to New York, or as a stop to stand on your way to the Jersey Shore. The PATH the train departs from downtown Manhattan, and Ubers and Lyfts will take you where public transit can’t. Just don’t call JC a suburb of New York or the Sixth District; Proud Jersey people won’t appreciate this.
Here are the best things to do in Jersey City on a day trip.
The best art and attractions in Jersey City
One of Jersey City’s main attractions is Liberty State Park, a lush, multi-use 1,212-acre expanse that receives millions of visitors each year and connects to Ellis Island by a bridge. In the park itself, you can hike around the estuary, watch birds at Caven Point, visit the Central Jersey Railroad of New Jersey Terminal where there is a small exhibit on immigration history, or simply picnic on the lawn for a fantastic view of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline.
Although the Pompidou Jersey City doesn’t open until 2024, there are already some truly outstanding arts destinations here. Deep Space Gallery in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood has been a strong advocate for emerging and local artists. One of his most popular shows is the all-female exhibition Mothershipwhich runs through August and features multimedia collages by Deming King Harriman, whimsical pieces in tufted acrylic yarn by Sarah Grace Johnson of Jersey City, and more.
Contemporary Manaan arts center that occupies several 100-year-old red brick manufacturing buildings in the Journal Square area and has branches in Miami and Chicago, is a one-million-square-foot arts and culture complex encompassing the Middle East Arts Center (MECA), the Richard Meier Model Museum, and residency and fellowship spaces for rotating artists. Current exhibitions include large-scale fluorescent light installations by Dan Flavin and original serigraphs by Andy Warhol. If you prefer street art, we have tons of that too. In fact, since 2013, over 200 pieces from around 139 artists (like Shepard Fairey and Pixel Pancho) have been commissioned through a dedicated program wall arts program; you can rent a CitiBike and find them yourself.
If you are staying late at night, check the performance schedule for White Eagle Room, a historic building from 1910 that is now a concert hall that can accommodate 800 people. The building, which was originally built by Polish immigrants, features the coat of arms of Poland and busts of several Polish heroes, is considered Jersey City’s premier performance and event venue. It has hosted events like a Taylor Swift-themed dance party, Cat Power concerts, and open-mic storytelling contests.