HC Sights + Bites

7 Reasons to Visit Hudson County

 

In a 62-square-mile stretch of North New Jersey, you’ll find everything from internationally recognized food to the best New York City views- all without the city crowds. This collection of culturally vibrant neighborhoods welcomes guests with sights, bites, parks, and bucket-list attractions, and keeps them there with a collection of easily accessible, affordable, and in many cases waterfront, hotels.

So what exactly is this under-the-radar destination? Hudson County is a collection of 12 diverse neighborhoods, such as Jersey City and Hoboken, near the Hudson River waterfront in Northern New Jersey. The county boasts bucket-list attractions like access to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and its hidden gems—including free Manhattan-view kayaking from Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse—are what make this must-visit destination magical.

If you’re planning a visit to New York City or North Jersey, here are seven reasons why Hudson County should be tacked on to your East Coast trip.

1. Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, without Crowds
Few American sights top travelers’ bucket lists like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and in Hudson County, you can hop on a ferry to these attractions without long lines and crowds. Most travelers catch a Statue Cruises boat from the New York City side, but in Jersey City’s Liberty State Park—a scenic gem within itself—you can hop aboard a Statue Cruises boat to the Statue and Ellis Island almost instantly. This remains one of Hudson County’s best-kept secrets!

 

2. Enjoy the Best NYC Views in the World
And the hidden gems don’t stop there. The Hudson River Waterfront Walkwaywinds through nearly 20 scenic miles of New York City views; some of the best walkway spots can be found in Hudson County. Enjoy Midtown Manhattan skyscrapers from Hoboken’s Pier A Park, or see the best of Lower Manhattan’s Battery Park from Liberty State Park in Jersey City. But the city-view attractions go beyond walking.

Enjoy dozens of waterfront restaurants along the Hudson River, including staples like Son Cubano in West New York, Blue Eyes Restaurant in Hoboken, Battello in Jersey City, and the upscale Chart House, located on its own Upper West Side-view pier in Weehawken. Additional upscale local fan favorites, perfect for anniversaries, birthdays, or a special night out, include Liberty House in Liberty State Park and Hudson House in Jersey City.

 

3. Save Money with Affordable Lodging
Instead of spending your entire vacation budget on hotels, head over to Hudson County where affordable yet chic lodging options like Hyatt House and Hyatt Regency in Jersey City, the EnVue in Weehawken, and The W Hotel in Hoboken pair city views with surprisingly budget-friendly prices. From these Hudson County hotels, you can wake up to the sunrise over New York City, then head over the visit Manhattan via ferry, PATH train, rideshare service, or bus—all a quick ride away.

 

4. Access New York City and North Jersey Attractions Easily
Speaking of transportation, getting over to Manhattan is surprisingly simple. You can hop aboard the scenic NY Waterway ferry from Port Imperial and Lincoln Harbor in Weehawken; uptown or downtown Hoboken; and Harborside, Paulus Hook, Liberty Harbor, and Port Liberte in Jersey City. This traffic-free transport option will have you over to Midtown or Lower Manhattan within minutes. And, given the ferry ride is breathtakingly scenic, with views of the Hudson County and New Nork City waterfronts, this experience is more than transportation—it’s a sightseeing tour in and of itself!

Another simple and affordable option, the PATH Train, connects Hudson County neighborhoods like Jersey City, Hoboken, and Harrison to the west side of New York City, including West Village, Chelsea, and Midtown. Many of our local residents use the NJ Transit bus to get to and from Hudson County and Port Authority, near Times Square in New York City. You can plan these quick and affordable rides through NJ Transit’s trip planner.

NJ Transit also offers several transport options in and around Hudson County. The Light Rail routes including Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, the Newark Light Rail, and the River LINE. You can also hop aboard NJ Transit Trains down to the Jersey Shore; catch connecting trains from spots like Jersey City and Hoboken.

 

5. Relax in Dazzling Green Space
New Jersey is known as the Garden State for a reason, and Hudson County’s variety of stunning parks prove why. Each neighborhood has its own serene park to choose from. Liberty State Park is a fan favorite, with its Lower Manhattan views and paved waterfront walkways. Don’t miss the Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial as well as the array of park events, run by Friends of Liberty State Park.

And the green space options don’t end there. North Bergen’s Braddock Park is filled with 167 acres of lakefront trails, sports facilities, and more. Stephen R. Gregg Park in Bayonne is another waterfront gem, with tennis courts, basketball courts, horseshoe pits, and Newark Bay views. The peaceful Lincoln Park in Jersey City, one of the oldest and largest in Hudson County, offers everything from historic monuments to trails and children’s areas.

Plus, for a one-square-mile city, Hoboken also offers an impressive amount of green space. Local favorites like the city-view Pier A Park and Pier C Park—a mini, man-made island overlooking Midtown Manhattan—are among the city’s can’t-miss spots.

 

6. Try a New Outdoor Adventure 
With river access and numerous parks, Hudson County is filled with adventure opportunities. Visit Hoboken to kayak along the Hudson River from the Hoboken Cove Community Boat House, or try your hand at sailing, standup paddle boarding, and jet skiing on the Hudson from Hoboken’s Pier 13. Over at the scenic Liberty State Park, you can get your blood pumping with everything from boating and canoeing to biking and running races. And another gem, the Hackensack Riverkeeper Eco-Cruise, takes you through the Meadowland marshes for education, history, and fun aboard a 30-foot pontoon.

Give fishing a try at watering holes like Bayonne’s Richard A. Rutkowski Park or the Dennis P. Collins Park fishing pier. See wildlife like turtles, fish, and geese at North Bergen’s Braddock Park, or give birding a go back at Rutkowski Park, a local birder favorite. The nearby Meadowlands and Liberty State Park are also great birding destinations; at Liberty State Park, you can even end that birding session with a stroll on the beach. And, if golf is your thing, we have you covered. Hudson County is brimming with golf course options, including the Manhattan-view Skyway Golf Course in Jersey City.

 

7. Visit the NEW! American Dream
The long-awaited American Dream is finally open, and Secaucus is one of the best and most affordable places to stay while you’re here to experience the new 3 million square foot mega mall. American Dream, just two miles from Secaucus, brings immersive and exhilarating experiences like Nickelodeon Universe’s roller coasters, a Dreamworks Water Park, SEA Life Aquarium, Big SNOW’s indoor slopes, and 18 holes of Blacklight Mini Golf—not to mention an exciting array of shopping—to the heart of North Jersey.

Of course, seven highlights hardly scratches the surface of reasons to visit Hudson County. For more Hudson County travel ideas, hear expert tourism tips from the locals in our VISITHUDSON.TV videos.

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