24 Things You Must Do In Hoboken, New Jersey
A part of the New York Metropolitan Area, the city of Hoboken, New Jersey has had a long history since the 17th century, when it was first settled. The city has seen major changes through the 20th century and as such has now become a major center in the state of New York. It is a major culinary center and the place to be when it comes to get your drink on. There are always things to do while at Hoboken that range from its festivals to its waterfront locales. The quaintly planned city is small and yet packs a lot of action within itself.
Hoboken is a small city on the Hudson River in northeastern New Jersey but has actually become a party town, packed with bars and clubs. The city might be small but it can totally overlook a big city’s vibe in terms of cool bars, restaurants and shops. The main street of Hoboken is Washington Street which is lined up with buzz with some funky dining and drinking spots. It is actually the most vibrant section of the city. Along the Hudson river you can find many outdoor diversions and alluring parks. Plus, it includes a free and open Kayaking spot at the Hoboken Cove Boathouse. And in case you are a skateboard lover, then there is a small skate-park along the Hudson river which offers spectacular Manhattan views.
Hoboken has a variety of fancy restaurants and a number of cuisines which include Cuban, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and much more. There are so many options to choose from that you can be rest assured you can find something according to your mood.
On several occasions Hoboken has been also called “Bartown” because of the fact that the city holds more number of liquor licences as compared to any other city in New Jersey. The city has something for every kind of traveler.
When it comes to exploring the city then the best way to do it is by foot, because the city is small and it is very much possible to see everything the city has to offer without bringing your car. Nevertheless, it is famous for its horrible parking situation plus has many restrictions too. So if you are visiting the city then the best way is to use public transport and also there are a large number of taxis available which can take you anywhere you want in the city.
If you are a tourist here, then there are a lot of attractions that the square mile city has in store for you. Let’s just say that there is enough for you to do here that a weekend is definitely not gonna cut it. With this spirit, we bring you our list of the best things to do in Hoboken:
#1 Pier A Park
This is a large park that is easily accessible by foot or any other mode of transport. Located on Sinatra Drive, not only does the park offer stunning views of the city, but it also boasts an impeccable waterfront location which makes it one of the coolest places to hang out in the city. Find tourists as well as locals here, chilling under the sun and running around the huge space that this location offers (which is larger than your average football field). Here is a link if you wish to find Pier A Park on Google Maps.
#2 Hoboken Arts and Music Festival
You may choose to visit Hoboken just for the annual event that is the Hoboken Arts and Music festival. Whatever your poison, be it music, or live events, or even photography, the Hoboken Arts and Music festival is the thing to do while in the city. Local artists and vendors are known to display their pieces and wares here and every year hundreds of visitors attend the festival to patronize the ravishing culture that talented Hoboken has to offer. Had enough of the arts and music? Well how about a pretzel while you wait to decide what you want to do next. Stands selling food and drink are a dime a dozen here. This festival is held on Washington Street in south Hoboken. Use public transport such as the train or ferry to reach here. Visit the festival’s facebook page here.
#3 Restaurant Week
Restaurant Week is an event happening twice in a year, spread over a number of days. During this time, the best restaurants of Hudson County offer exclusive dishes and let go of their courses at a significantly low price. You should be sure to be quick while booking for the event, as it would come as no surprise that tickets tend to run out real quickly.
#4 Yoga Classes at the Pier
Hoboken is known for many of its Yoga studios. For the people who wish to stay healthy while having fun, this is definitely the place to be. The instructors at Hoboken’s Pier A offer free classes. The months to look out for are April to August, with the sunset yoga classes as the best of the best.
#5 Pier 13 Hoboken – Beer Garden
Hanging around at the Pier 13 park is easily one of the better things to do while at Hoboken. The park features food trucks and vendors which makes for a pretty fun idea when you want to do a piknik. Not only that, Hoboken’s backyard also has movie nights as part of its entertainment schedule. Well what can beat that? Say no more, because Pier 13 park also has its own biergarten. Enjoy a draft while you relax on a lounge chair, gazing at the best sunset views, the greenery of the park, and the impressive skyline of Hoboken New Jersey.
Address of the park: Pier 13 Park 1301 Sinatra Drive.
#6 Hudson River Waterfront Walkway
Hoboken’s major attraction is the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway which is around 19 miles of pathway running north to south. This pathway runs parallel to the Hudson river, with New York just across the other side. Admire the city’s dazzling skyline and take a gander at the many restaurants, piers, and parks that you will find as you walk along the pathway.
#7 Pilsner Haus and Biergarten
Credit – Located at 1422 Grand St. Hoboken, New Jersey, the Pilsner Haus and Biergarten is the place to be when you want to drink. With over 70 beers that are available on draft, along with bottled beer as well as a ridiculously marvelous food menu, the Pilsner Haus and Biergarten is one of the best things to do at Hoboken. This establishment is best not only for you and your friends but also families and groups hanging out. Be sure that this place makes the cut when you are planning on what to do while at Hoboken.
#8 Hoboken Ferry
Visit the Hoboken Ferry Terminal and take yourself on a ride to see all the great attractions around the New York area. A ride on the ferry should be a must on your list of things to do when in Hoboken. To know more about the routes and schedule of the ferry system, follow this link here.
#9 Italian Festival: The Feast
The Italian Festival is an event that celebrates New Jersey’s Italian heritage with a marvellous feast. Everyone attends this event, not just Italians, but just anyone who wants to have a good time. There are fireworks, live music and shows and amusement rides. The capper is of course the ‘Feast’.
#10 Monroe Center for the Arts
Hoboken’s hub for the art lover is certainly the Monroe Center for the Arts. This community center is well known for its galleries and exhibitions. Located at 720 Monroe street, visiting the Monroe Center for the Arts is one of the best things to do when visiting Hoboken. The center features pieces on retail for those of you who want to patronize the artist. All in all, this interactive center is the place to be if you wish to delve into the outpouring culture and aesthetic of Hoboken. You can also visit various museums in Hoboken for some historical insight about the city. Hoboken historical museum is must visit, the museum is centered on showcasing tremendous artworks that reflect and convey about the charming history and the diverse and innovative culture of the city.
#11 Water Activities in the Hudson
The Hudson river that runs parallel to the city of Hoboken is a great area for water sports. As such, there are a number of activities that one may indulge in while enjoying the sun in Hoboken. Find time to visit Pier 13 and engage in some wholesome activities such as kayaking, sailing, and paddle boarding. Swim in the waters of the Hudson river, which by the way is pretty safe and clean. For people who prefer being on land, there are Yoga classes and sessions for you. All in all, spending a day by the Hudson is definitely going to be worthwhile if it is on your list of things to do while at Hoboken New Jersey.Beaux-Arts Architecture
There are many things in Hoboken that you may delve into for its rich history and culture. You may walk around the well crafted lanes and streets of the city, have a bite at some classic restaurant, and visit the many number of places that will speak to you of the city’s culture. However, one of the things to appreciate is something that exists not as a monument but a character of the city itself. The Beaux-Arts architecture that is the design of a number of buildings in Hoboken was quite popular in the early 1900s and still exhales a regal and old-worldly look from the past. Be sure to visit places like City Hall and the Hoboken Terminal to dive into magnificent architecture from the past.
#12 Crunch Fitness
We’re not asking you to join the gym while you’re on vacation. But wouldn’t you want a front row seat to the beautiful river with the skyline of the city on the other side through glass? Crunch Fitness at Hoboken, NJ, is a boutique gym that is extremely popular with both tourists and locals. During the summers, the gym also offers outdoor classes for groups. There is a sauna and steam room within the gym that may be considered the exclusive reason why Crunch Fitness makes our list of things to do in Hoboken.
#13 Try Donuts In Nutella At Anthony David’s
Anthony David’s is one of the best restaurants in Hoboken. Find the bistro in the northern part of the city, at 953 Bloomfield Street. It is a quaint little place that offers both indoor and outdoor seating. The menu is absolutely delightful and therefore this bistro made the cut in our list of things to do while in Hoboken. Be warned, however, that Anthony David’s is a really popular restaurant and that you might have to work your reservation out. The waiting list might be enough to give you a heart attack, if not the gourmet meal you will enjoy here. Just kidding.
#14 Walk around Hoboken
Hoboken is a rather small city. This makes exploring the city on foot a rather delightful idea. Plan your day and set off to scale the town. Grab a light snack at one of the many shops that you’ll find and explore the city of its length and breadth. Grab a map while you’re at it and set up a destination for yourself, and let yourself be lost in the many attractions that you’ll find on your way, until you finally reach where you wanted to, with a day full of memories in your experience.
#15 Don’t Miss Cannoli & Cappaucino At Carlo’s Bakery
Carlo’s Bakery is where everyone in Hoboken would point you to when you ask them about the best bakery in town. This bakery was on the hit show Cake Boss and for good reason, the confectionaries created here are just delectably awesome. The baker shot to fame following the show and as such the bakery is always lined with customers. Our advice, book a private class with the world class pastry chef and learn how to make your own cakes. Otherwise, plan a trip to this pastry joint so that you’re able to beat the crowds that line up here everyday.
#16 Experience Some Fun Time At SantaCon Event
SantaCon is an event that is held worldwide in a lot of cities. On this day, thousands of people dress up in a similar fashion and visit pubs and bars to celebrate. SantaCon at Hoboken is certainly among the most sought out SantaCons anywhere. The fun filled atmosphere of the city plays host to this marvellous day and every year the town is filled with people having the time of their lives. Food, bars and party, this is what defines SantaCon and Hoboken is the most special of them all. If you’re visiting the city during this time you’re definitely in for a treat.
#17 Bars in Hoboken: Most Loved in the list of Things to do in Hoboken
Hoboken is known for its bars. Don’t believe us? Well the city holds the title of hosting the most bars per capita in the country. There are over a hundred bars in the little square mile of Hoboken and most of them are always lined up with tourists and locals alike fishing for a good time. Whatever be the way you like your drink, you can be sure to find what you’re looking for in Hoboken. There are rooftop bars here, there are underground pubs, and there are even quaint little places that let you get your drink on in a quiet serene environment.
Our advice for spending a great nightlife in Hoboken? Find a bar to your liking along the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway and enjoy the panorama that is the city’s skyline alongside the beauty of the Hudson River. Here are some of the establishments that we think you should visit while at Hoboken:
- Belo Bar: 104 Hudson Street
- The Ale House: 1034 Willow Avenue
- Louise & Jerry’s: 329 Washington Street
- Living Room: 225 River Street
- Saku: 936 Park Avenue
- DC’s Tavern: 505 8th Street
- Wicked Wolf Tavern: 120 Sinatra Drive
- The Pig and Parrot: 77 Hudson Street
- Stingray Lounge: 1210 Washington Street
- Onieals: 3343 Park Avenue
#18 Shopping at Hoboken
Hoboken is a shopper’s paradise. The small city is home to a large number of boutiques, gift shops and retail stores that you can find close to each other. If you are a tourist here then you will be absolutely delighted as you shop for clothes, souvenirs, and other stuff that catches your eye. There would be something here for everyone, and nothing’s too far off to be missed. Truly a delight for shoppers, is it not? What’s more, there will certainly be a couple of great places to grab a bite as you end up getting tired looking around here and there for trinkets and more. In a city like Hoboken, every step you take is like stepping into an endless street filled with wares to proffer and vendors to offer them.
#19 Hoboken Festivals
Well yeah, we’ve talked about a few festivals in this list and you might be surprised to see this heading crop up again. True. The festivals that we’ve discussed above were the ones that we felt deserved special mention, and the fact remains that Hoboken is, in its core, a city thriving on festivals. There is a certain atmosphere in the town that speaks to the festive in you. Not only does the city host Art and Music festivals regularly, there are a number of food and drink festivals as well that make the city such a fun place. With no more delay, let us check out this sub list of festivals to look out for when in Hoboken:
- Hoboken Harvest Festival: Pumpkin Carving, Hay Mazes and food, real tasty food!
- The Mutz Festival: All about cheese, specifically Mozzarella cheese.
- Hoboken Italian Festival: This has been celebrated in Italy for over 600 years, and Hoboken isn’t far behind in giving it a personal touch in its annual celebration of tradition.
#20 Pier C Park, Hoboken
The best spot recommended for the list of things to do if you’re travelling with children. Different from the other parks in the city which have a distinctive adult feel to them (with their biergartens and movie nights and waterfront views), the Pier C park is a huge area that has a large playground, sandbox, and locations perfect for activities in the water. Children would love hanging around this park and so would adults. The half acre area is a fun place to hang around. If you’ve spent time hanging around in the other pier parks that Hoboken has to offer, don’t skimp on this one and visit it as well. Your experience will be delightful as you will be amazed at how beautifully different this locale is than the other places that in your mind are already exceptionally beautiful.
#21 Taste Jersey Bagels at Hoboken Hot Bagels.
Not that New Jersey is the only place for good food; as far as bagels are concerned, nearby New York has pretty good ones. However, Jersey bagels are apparently so good that we just had to include them in our list of things to do while at Hoboken. Hoboken bagels would be the best cure for your hangover from last night’s party in Hoboken bars. Here is a list of places that we think sell the best bagels in the city. Be sure to check them out once you’re in Hoboken.
#22 The Hoboken Skyline
What to do here is to admire the beautiful skyline of Hoboken, New Jersey. This goes without saying of course. No matter what you do at Hoboken, be it enjoying the serenity of the Hudson river, or shopping in the Hoboken streets, or even chilling at the parks, the one thing that you cannot miss is the skyline of the city. However, we felt that we must include it into the list as it is an attraction on its own. Admiring the Hoboken skyline should definitely be on your list of things to do here. We are sure that you will end up doing it anyway. The city is well planned and packed within the square mile with the river on its side is the panorama that is the high rise skyline of Hoboken.
#23 Restaurants & Street Food At Hoboken
As has been discussed in this article on multiple occasions, Hoboken has a lot to do when it comes to food and drink. There are a lot of restaurants in the city that the locals will point you to during your trip. One of them, Anthony David’s has been discussed in this article as a special mention. In this section, let us tell you about a couple more places in Hoboken for you if you’re a food lover. Not only are restaurants great in Hoboken, but the city is also known for its street food. Hoboken could be called an important city in America as far as culinary output is concerned. Read more below to find out about the best restaurants and street food markets in Hoboken, New Jersey:
- Grimaldi’s Pizzeria: This is a restaurant chain in Hoboken servicing two locations. Their pizzas are known to be quite huge and at the same time healthy as they are gluten free. Both of the restaurants also serve pasta so you can still visit this place if you’re not a pizza lover. (Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, 411 Washington St, Hoboken)
- Amanda’s: This French restaurant is known for its delectable menu that people fall right in love with. There is a large number of dishes and ingredients for you to choose from and you’re gonna love this place from the first bite to leaving out the door planning to come back soon. (Amanda’s, 908 Washington St, Hoboken)
- La Isla: This Cuban restaurant is a favourite of even the locals who would also recommend its French toast for brunch. They use fresh ingredients with ravishing spices to give a cutting edge to traditional cuisine. Try the specials here, you’ll love them. The locals certainly do. (La Isla, 104 Washington St, Hoboken)
- Karma Kafe: An Indian restaurant with suitable ambience and interiors. Order delectable Indian cuisine here and be mesmerized by the traditional indian flavours they recreate thousands of miles away from India. We recommend you definitely try their lassi, a sweet or sour buttermilk that is very well known in India. (Karma Kafe, 505 Washington St, Hoboken)
- Leo’s Grandevous: This quaint Italian restaurant has been a part of the city since 1939 and serves dishes just like they have always been made in Italy. Find good music here, with some lovely Italian wines of course. (Leo’s Grandevous, 200 Grand St A, Hoboken)
Street Food Markets:
- Garden Street Farmers’ Market: Located at the 14th and Garden Street, this weekly market brings you fresh produce every Saturday. Be sure to visit and put this on your list of things to do while at Hoboken.
- Hoboken Downtown Farmers’ Market: Find this market open on Tuesdays from June to November in the evening. Take a leisurely stroll as you eye the fresh goods and buy the best stuff you possibly can from a plethora of choices. (Willow Avenue)
- Hoboken Chilli Cook off: 400 Willow Street is home to this two way contest where you may either bring your cooking to the table, or be the judge of others. Either way, its a win win and a full belly.
#24 – Don’t Miss Your Routine With Early Morning Jog In Hoboken
Yeah. This one is a bit unconventional. I am sure that as a tourist the last thing one would want to do is to delve back into a routine that one is trying to escape from. Even so, for the people for whom running is an integral part of their life, and who during vacations can’t help but miss their early morning jogs, Hoboken is the place to be. The streets of the town are thoroughly conducive to running and jogging. Take the Hudson River Waterfront pathway for example. The riverside pathway is miles long with spectacular views on both sides.
Hoboken is filled with many routes to run on. Get out of your hotel early morning and go out for a spectacular run along the piers and neatly lined streets before you come back and start your sightseeing in the freshest mood you can be. Here we have lined some of the best routes for you if running’s the thing you wanna do at Hoboken:
- Pier C park to Hoboken train station: Half mile.
- 4th and Monroe Street and back along Grand Street: One mile loop.
- Downtown to Uptown: Three and a half mile run.
- Hoboken Train Station to Weehawken along Frank Sinatra Drive and back from Old Glory Park (west NY).
We hope that you enjoyed our list of things to do while at Hoboken, New Jersey. While this list is no way complete and certainly does not cover all that one can do in the city, we hope that we came a bit close to providing you with relevant information for your future trip. If you have been to Hoboken and have engaged in the activities described above, let us know your experience in the comments section of this article. If there are activities that we’ve missed, let us know that as well and we will update the article to include your welcomed feedback. Now the only thing left for you to do is to book your tickets to Hoboken and take the city for a ride, or rather, let this beautiful town take you for one. If you are in Hoboken and planning to visit nearby places check out things to do in Beacon, New York
Featured Image Credit – Jason/Flickr