Thursday, June 13, 2024

The Ultimate Jersey City Bucket List

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If you’re contemplating renting an apartment in Jersey City, brace yourself for an extraordinary urban journey. Jersey City beckons with so much culture, diversity, and excitement, offering a myriad of attractions and iconic landmarks just steps away.

To guarantee you seize every moment in this vibrant cityscape, this Redfin article presents the quintessential Jersey City bucket list, brimming with must-visit destinations and unforgettable adventures. 

View of Manhattan from the air from a medium distance

1. Jersey City restaurant recs

Melanie Rudin Founder of Jersey City Restaurant Owners Coalition(JCROC), presenting Jersey City Restaurant Fest, taking place March 2-16, says, “Jersey City is home to some of the most ethnically diverse dining in the U.S. While each neighborhood has fantastic finds, I would recommend as a bucket list activity, a trip to what is becoming the next foodie destination. I’d recommend visiting Betties Restaurant, The Table, and as a true hidden gem, Pompei Pizza. The pizzas and sandwiches are delicious, but the desserts are made in-house and not to be missed.”

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2. Get involved in the community

“Give local,” says Emory from Hudson County Chamber of Commerce, the leading resource for driving economic growth in Hudson County, New Jersey. “It takes a community to enhance the quality of life for all of our neighbors. Set for May 9, Hudson Gives is a 24-hour virtual fundraising campaign that unites our county in support of local causes. Everyone can play an important role. Give to your favorite charity or find a new favorite. By giving locally, we can lift all of our neighbors and strengthen our nonprofits.”

Initiatives like Hudson Gives on May 9th serve as a testament to our community’s commitment to collective progress, rallying individuals to contribute to local causes and nurture a thriving environment where everyone can thrive and prosper.”

3. Bergen Arches

“A walk through the Bergen Arches for those feeling adventurous (and don’t mind some critters) is highly recommended,” mentions Brian Kulbacki from Departed Soles Brewing Company, Jersey City’s first modern brewery and tasting room. “For anyone that wants to play it a little safer, hiking around the Reservoir in Jersey City Heights is a bit of an oasis in the middle of the rush and noise of city living.”

4. Maritime Parc at the park

Exploring Jersey City’s diverse culinary scene offers an array of dining experiences, from cozy cafes to upscale restaurants, where tantalizing flavors and vibrant atmospheres await to delight every palate and occasion.

Vinny Parisi, Editor-in-Chief, Best of NJ, a site where you can get in touch with some of the best and latest New Jersey events, restaurants, local businesses, and more, says, “I recommend Maritime Parc at Liberty State Park. Besides the delicious, seasonal seafood menu – that focuses on local, organic, and sustainable ingredients – there’s nothing better than warm-weather dining on their stone patio; which features panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty.”

5. Exchange Place Alliance

Exchange Place Plaza and its lively playground offer a dynamic urban oasis, inviting visitors to enjoy strolls along the waterfront and indulge in the interactive features of the playground, all while taking in the breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and the bustling activity of the Hudson River.

Focused on large-scale capital improvements to reimagining public spaces, the Exchange Place Alliance’s Director of Development and Operations, Martin Schmid, shares, “Jersey City has an incredible waterfront that boasts amazing views of the Hudson River, the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty along with a one-of-a-kind public art stroll. Check out the redone Exchange Place Plaza and playground, grab lunch at one of the many cafes on the waterfront, and have a great time.”

6. Liberty State Park

Visit Liberty State Park, where sprawling greenery, stunning waterfront vistas, and iconic landmarks converge to offer a tranquil retreat amidst the bustling cityscape, inviting visitors to explore endless recreational opportunities along the picturesque Hudson River waterfront.

Local photographer, Chris Wong, also known as Chris Wong Photography, recommends, “As a dog owner and pet photographer, Liberty State Park is a great place to visit in Jersey City. It’s removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown Jersey City and has many winding trails to explore. With backdrops of the Statue of Liberty and NYC, you can’t go wrong. Also, don’t forget to check out the “Interpretive Center,” which has a museum and a serene walking trail hidden behind it.”

7. Novado Gallery

Experience the best of both worlds at this art gallery/lounge, where you can view captivating art exhibitions before unwinding at the lively rooftop.

Anne Novado from Novado Gallery, a contemporary Jersey City art gallery, shares: “Novado Gallery sits inside the historic Modera Lofts apartment building, formerly known as the Butler Brothers Warehouse, built in 1905. The renovated brick-and-beam building has repurposed many of the industrial fixtures that date back to when it was built. Among the amenities, there is a fantastic rooftop lounge, with incredible views of Manhattan and the surrounding Jersey City area. It’s a huge outdoor space with many areas to relax on the many beautiful sunny days, as well as fire pits to spend a cozy evening after work.”

8. Check out JC’s neighbor, Hoboken

Hoboken, where charming streets lined with historic brownstones, bustling waterfront promenades, and a lively arts and dining scene await exploration – promising an unforgettable urban adventure on the banks of the Hudson River. Local, couples, and family photographer, Mirabelle Photography recommends, “Elevate your bucket list with a visit to the vibrant cityscape of Hoboken. Wander the charming streets, indulge in delectable cuisine, and soak in the breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline. Add a touch of urban adventure to your list and let Hoboken’s energy ignite your sense of exploration.”

9. Mana Contemporary Art Center

Get in touch with your creative side at one of Jersey City’s art centers, where captivating exhibitions, interactive workshops, and live performances ignite the imagination and celebrate the vibrant cultural fabric of the city.

“My favorite Jersey City bucket list place is Mana Contemporary Art Center at 888 Newark Avenue, a sprawling complex of artists’ studios and exhibition and performance spaces” shares Nadine Witkin, Director of a boutique at a gallery known as the ALPHA 137 GALLERY

The center hosts contemporary visual and performing arts programming including curated exhibitions, dance performances, fashion shows, movie screenings, artist talks, book talks, guided tours, arts and crafts for children, mentorship programs and open studios where the public is invited to meet the artists who work there. But the main reason why Mana Contemporary is my favorite Jersey City bucket list item isn’t because of all the activity inside: it’s because the outside front lawn features a magnificent monumental cor-ten steel sculpture entitled In the Beginning – created in 1969 by my father, revered modernist sculptor Isaac Witkin  – so every visitor who drives into the complex will pass by it; you cannot miss it.”


Courtesy of ALPHA 137 GALLERY

10. Gussy’s Cafe

Start your day in Jersey City with a delightful morning breakfast at a cozy local cafe, savoring freshly brewed coffee and indulging in mouth-watering pastries as you soak in the city’s awakening charm.

Nicole Pina from Gussy’s Cafe, located in downtown, shares, “For an early morning delight, kickstart your day at Gussy’s with the “BEC-ky” – bacon, egg, and cheddar on a soft, buttery brioche, paired perfectly with our signature house coffee or a refreshing smoothie. If the weather is inviting, take your breakfast to go and stroll over to Hamilton Park for an al fresco dining experience. Enjoy people and dog watching as you relish your meal.”

11. Stork Club Rooftop 

Maddy Cretella, Director of Marketing and Branding at Landmark Hospitality, recommends, “A visit you need to have on your Jersey City bucket list is a trip to the Stork Club Rooftop at Hudson House. The Stork Club’s unparalleled views of the city skyline, coupled with best-in-class service from its parent company, Landmark Hospitality, make for an unforgettable experience – whether you’re joining with friends, family, or enjoying a date night.

The Stork Club is a rooftop bar and lounge nestled on the water’s edge in Jersey City, with a view of New York City, rooftop fire pits and lounges, high-end cocktails, and special events that will leave you wanting to come back again. 

Spanning the rooftop of the impressive Hudson House, the space is a modernized tribute to the famed original Stork Club, a go-to spot on the West Side of Manhattan during the height of café society from 1929 to 1965. The original Stork Club was a mainstay for celebrities and socialites going to see and be seen, with well-made cocktails flowing day and night.

The rooftop and lounge are open to the public, and feature a 360-degree bar, floor-to-ceiling glass walls, and a walk-around outdoor deck under the stars.”

Landmark Hospitality

Courtesy of Landmark Hospitality

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