Bayonne is a city in Hudson County, New Jersey, just some 10 miles southwest of New York City.
A peninsula on Newark Bay cradles the 247 acres of the landmass of Bayonne.
Given this wonderful location, this city offers plenty of things to do in its recreational destinations.
These fun places notably came about along with the long years of history and development of Bayonne.
It was known originally as Bergen Neck, south of the Dutch settlement Bergen (now Jersey City).
Bayonne became the territory of the British in 1664 after they defeated the Dutch.
It was incorporated as a township in 1861 and as a city in 1869 after the American War of Independence.
Interested to know more about this place?
Here are the 20 best things to do in Bayonne, NJ:
Visit the Tear Drop Memorial
A 10–story sculpture, this is a memorial dedicated to the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Also called the Tear of Grief, the memorial is located on the eastern terminus of Port Terminal Boulevard at the former Military Ocean Terminal in Bayonne.
The sculpture, titled Struggle against World Terrorism, is the work of Zurab Tsereteli, an artist originally from Tbilisi, Georgia, who later moved to Moscow.
The Tear Drop Memorial is a gift to the US from the Russian government.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attended its ceremonial groundbreaking in 2005, and former US President Bill Clinton guested the memorial’s dedication in 2006.
Go Italian at Café Bello
This mellow local eatery doles out classic Italian specialties, pizzas, and drinks on its location Avenue C.
Cradled in a comfortable space, Café Bello was opened in 1992 with a mission to surpass customers’ expectations.
It serves high-quality Italian cuisine using the freshest and finest ingredients at all times to maintain the caliber of its customer service.
A variety of weekly food specials and an innovative cocktail and wine menu are the elements upon which Café Bello has expanded its customer following.
Here, one of the diners’ favorites is linguine pasta with clams sautéed in garlic and oil.
Orders for Zuppa Alle Vongole, littleneck clams in a garlic broth with fresh herbs, also keep Café Bello’s kitchen staff busy.
Chill Out at the Stephen R. Gregg Park
This is a large, scenic park of almost 100 acres on John F. Kennedy Boulevard along the east bank of Newark Bay.
It has a half-mile waterfront promenade where you can chill out and enjoy the water views, including the Newark Bay Bridge.
The facilities of this park include a running track, an exercise/cross country course, ball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and bocce courts.
There is also a gazebo fishing pier on the northern side of the park near 48th Street.
Strolls can likewise be enjoyed on the network of pathways in the park, particularly along its pond and lush, well-landscaped garden.
A children’s playground is another attraction at Stephen R. Gregg Park, where there’s a spray pool in the summertime.
Explore the Hackensack RiverWalk
This waterfront walkway is along the Hackensack River and Newark Bay and accessible at Bayonne’s Richard A. Rutkowski Park, a wetlands preservation area on West 48th Street.
The Hackensack RiverWalk stretches southward to the Stephen R. Gregg Park and is set to traverse farther south to the Veterans Park and G. Thomas DiDomenico City Park.
The Hackensack RiverWalk incorporates a quaint quarter-mile wooden pathway along a bird sanctuary at the Richard A. Rutkowski Park.
Besides its section of the Hackensack RiverWalk, this park also exudes charm with its natural amphitheater and butterfly garden.
This garden is a project of the Bayonne Nature Club that hosts bird walks and shoreline cleanups.
Visit the Bayonne Community Museum
This museum is housed in the historical building of Bayonne Trust Company on Broadway corner West 9th Street.
The building, constructed in 1912, is a classic example of the Beaux-Arts architectural style.
Its two-story structure is of Vermont granite cladding, and its front door struts fluted Ionic columns.
In 2006, this building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Bayonne Community Museum, which is building up its artifacts for exhibit, has become a regular venue for local events like vendor fairs.
Have a Drink at the Refinery Tavern
Located on the corridor of Broadway, the Refinery Tavern offers a cozy and updated bar open till 2:00 a.m.
It has 13 gig flat-screen TVs to showcase all-important games and playoffs of major sports leagues.
The Refinery Tavern’s sound system is cutting-edge much capable of playing all your favorite hits.
It likewise serves as the right platform for live entertainment with a DJ spinning acoustic mixes.
The Refinery Tavern provides outdoor dining and has its kitchen open until 10:00 p.m. for late dinners.
Its menu features traditional American food for all tastes, including specials of crispy chicken sandwiches, sizzling rib-eye steak, and fried shrimp baskets.
Keep tab of its daily specials, such as Taco Tuesdays, Wing Wednesdays, and Margarita Thursdays.
Salute First Responders at the John T. Brennan Fire Museum
This museum is located in the historic Bayonne Truck House No. 1 on West 47th Street.
The fire station’s building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, as this was where Bayonne’s first fire company convened in 1870.
This building is notably one of just two buildings in the city listed on the US registry of historic places, the other being the 1912 Bayonne Trust Company building on Broadway.
The Bayonne fire museum was named after the state of New Jersey’s longest-tenured fire chief, John T. Brennan.
The museum celebrates the history of the Bayonne Fire Department and its first responders through its collection of artifacts and old photographs.
Play Tennis at Bayonne’s City Parks
Tennis aficionados visiting Bayonne have several public courts to choose from, including 10 at the Stephen R. Gregg Park on John F. Kennedy Boulevard.
Four tennis courts are also among the facilities at the G. Thomas DiDomenico City Park on West 16th Street.
This 16th Street Park also features the Bayonne municipal pool, where guests of city residents can be accommodated for a small fee.
Special events, such as movie nights and float nights, are scheduled during summer in this pool.
Spacious ballfields and a basketball court are likewise among the facilities in the G. Thomas DiDomenico City Park.
Play at the Bayonne Golf Club
This high-end, 150-acre golf club opened its course in 2006 and boasts a picturesque castle-style clubhouse with an attached lighthouse.
The Bayonne Golf Club’s course is an 18-hole layout offering par 71 play over 7,106 yards from the longest tee mounds.
Members and guests of this golf club have access to a customized club-owned ferry to bring them to the course from Manhattan.
This trip via the club’s private boat is a scenic 20-minute ride passing by Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty along the way.
The club has a private marina and as well as a helipad to receive its members and guests conveniently.
The Bayonne Golf Club provides a four-acre short game area for chipping and putting practice plays which can be supervised by resident pros.
Fish for Bass at Brady’s Dock
Located on East 1st Street and the southern terminus of Lexington, this dock was a former municipal transshipment facility converted into a recreational space.
Brady’s Dock is direct across the Kill Van Kull, a tidal strait between Bayonne and Staten Island, New York.
White perch and striped bass are among the fish species to go for in Brady’s Dock, which has a paved direct pathway toward the west to several park amenities.
These recreational facilities include the playground, baseball fields, and skate park in Dennis P. Collins Park.
There is also a dog park in this area, which affords picturesque views of the Bayonne Bridge leading to Staten Island.
Go Kayaking on Newark Bay
Kayaking is one of the popular water-based recreational activities in Bayonne, with the city holding an annual “Paddle the Peninsula” kayak event since 2017.
This event is typically held sometime September-October and reels off at the kayak/boat launch of the G. Thomas DiDomenico City Park.
Access to the water from this park is easy, particularly if you arrive at low tide when the beachfront is wider.
This free and fun event is open to kayakers 18 years old and over.
The Bayonne fire department and The New Jersey State Police deploy multiple vessels in the Newark Bay for safety measures during the “Paddle the Peninsula” event.
Go for Healthy Food and Drinks at Squeeze'D
For healthy food alternatives, you can drop by Squeeze’D on downtown Avenue C.
This family-owned juice bar welcomes customers to its friendly casual space that serves nothing but all-natural and fresh beverages and meals.
From a small start, they now have an array of juices, smoothies, detox drinks, and guilt-free snacks made with fresh fruit and vegetable ingredients.
Try some delicious filling bowls you can eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner like the Acai Bowl, made with a mix of acai berries, and garnished with bananas, almonds, oats, and more.
Love chocolates? You don’t have to skip that craving with the Chocolate Chia Pudding Bowl made with organic Chia Seeds and raw chocolate, almond milk, and Agave; it’s also served with fresh fruits, garnish, and special drizzle.
Sip refreshing raw juice flavors like the ABC, ABO, G-Power, Sunrise, and Wake Up flavors or enjoy the blended vegetable and fruit juices on the menu.
For something a bit heavy, choose from assorted smoothie flavors or try some Wildcrafted Seamoss for something unique.
Likewise, grab tasty Side Squeeze’D fare like Avocado Toast, Hummus and Chips, AppleNutterwich, Nutellawich, and soup varieties including Butternut Squash, Vegetarian Chili, Red Pepper Tomato Soup, and more.
Get Fresh Buys at Bayonne’s Farmers’ Market
Discover local specialties, products, and organic produce at Bayonne’s Farmers’ Market.
This annual market has been around for more than 15 years and is open to the public around May or June.
You’ll catch the market vendors every Tuesday afternoon until evening at West 23rd Street, right between Broadway and Del Monte Drive.
Find fresh and wholesome food ingredients and staples you might like, but don’t forget to bring your own bags when you shop.
Aside from farm-fresh vegetables, you’ll also get to taste delicious homemade products like empanadas, pickles, kettle corn, beers, and more.
Otherwise, try other tasty treats at Bayonne’s Farmers’ Market like antipasto, gourmet nuts and fruits, peach cobblers, and tasty zeppoles.
Spend a Relaxing Day at Dennis P. Collins Park
Take your family on a relaxing day at Dennis P. Collins Park, one of the local public parks you can find in Bayonne.
The park sits across the Kill Van Kull if you’re on Staten Island; you’ll also have a glimpse of the Bayonne Bridge from the park grounds.
It was named after the former city mayor and is known as First Street Park; also, the park was formerly the site of Killeen Park and Uncle Milty’s Playland.
Today, you’ll enjoy the relaxing park surroundings as you take a stroll on the walking trail or take time to visit the World War II memorial.
Kids can enjoy skating or get active with sports like bocce, basketball, baseball, or tennis while little ones can have fun playtime at the playgrounds.
Cast your line at Brady’s Dock for some fresh catch, cool down at the sprayground, or just have a peaceful afternoon sitting at the gazebo and benches.
Furry family members won’t be left behind because you can take them to the dog park area on a leash at Dennis P. Collins Park.
Book a Tour at Cape Liberty Cruise Port
Have a memorable experience and take a cruise tour at Cape Liberty Cruise Port.
Located on Port Terminal Boulevard, they have scheduled cruise tours that will give you a great vacation experience; check the website for available days and times.
You’ll get to see and enjoy the view of the peninsula at Bayonne’s east end.
For something to note, the port operated as a Naval Base and has been a popular motion picture film location for many world-class movies.
Take snapshots with large cruise ships and sweeping views of the peninsula in the background.
Enjoy the sights and tours at Cape Liberty Cruise Port.
Find an Array of Street Art on Bayonne’s Broadway Avenue
While you’re around Broadway Avenue, do check out Bayonne’s Street Art locations for some fascinating outdoor art pieces.
Broadway Avenue is a central city location with plenty of shopping and dining stops and festivities that fill the streets every year.
Wander around and you’ll find 12 bronze sculptures dotted along the main road and shopping avenue.
These bronze statues were part of Mayor Jimmy Davis’ 2018 program to make the city more attractive and fun for the public.
Designed by Randolph Rose Collection of Yonkers, a company that specializes in bronze pieces, fountains, and plaques, each piece was made to reflect and represent the people in the community.
Catch some of these figures like the charming girl reading a book, the coach keeping watch of the game, or the cheerleader with high spirits, and don’t be surprised if you meet the fierce panther, too.
Take photos, observe the artistic details, then see other Street Art on Broadway Avenue like colorful murals painted on utility boxes.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Rev It Up at RPM Raceway
Enjoy the adrenaline rush at the kart race tracks of RPM Raceway on Caven Point Road, Jersey City, only about 4 miles northeast of Bayonne.
This is RPM Raceway’s first established location and features two one-fourth long tracks with plenty of hairpin turns.
You will steer European-style karts along these exciting tracks, which are combined every Monday for a longer spin of a half-mile challenge.
Just be advised of braking while in a straight line before each turn to avoid possible spin-outs or contact with barriers.
Also, never press the accelerator pedal while braking.
You have the option to skip the kart tracks of RPM Raceway and instead go for the simulators in its arcade.
You can pick RPM SIM and RPM VR here from among the hundreds of the world’s most famous race tracks.
In all, RPM Raceway’s arcade boasts 150+ game choices, ranging from favorite classics to brand new and innovative games.
The RPM Raceway also offers billiard plus food and drinks at The Clutch Snack Bar.
Tour the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
This attraction in Staten Island is on Richmond Terrace, about 7 miles south of Bayonne.
This facility revolves around a 19th-century home for retired sailors, which was built during the 1800s and has been repurposed for cultural events.
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden spreads over 83 acres where the points of interest include gardens, museums, theaters, sculptures, and seasonal activities.
Here, you can enjoy visiting its 23 historical buildings, nine botanical gardens, and 10 acres of wetlands.
A Smithsonian affiliate, this sprawling facility’s attractions include the Noble Maritime Collection, the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, the Staten Island Children's Museum, the art school Art Lab, and the Staten Island Museum.
This cultural center is also home to one of the oldest concert halls in New York City.
One of its gardens, the Richmond County Savings Foundation Tuscan Garden, is notably patterned after an 18th-century Italian garden in Florence.
Join a League in Hudson Lanes
This long-running bowling alley offers 60 lanes with automatic scoring plus a pro shop, an updated bar/lounge, and party rooms.
It is located on Garfield Avenue, Jersey City, less than two miles to the north of Bayonne.
Hudson Lanes is home to several leagues that players can join, such as a daytime seniors’ league, LGBT-friendly league, mixed doubles, and youth bowling.
This family-friendly bowling alley also features a full-service bar and grill.
Learn All about Lighthouses
Visit the National Lighthouse Museum on Promenade at Lighthouse Point, Staten Island, 9 miles southeast of Bayonne.
Here, you will have the chance for an intimate look at the history of lighthouses, especially the local ones.
This museum occupies the grounds of the former super depot of the US Lighthouse Service on Staten Island’s North Shore.
Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design, an award-winning integrated designer, crafted many of the exhibits of this museum as well as the interior of its Educational Resource Center in Building 11.
The museum and its gift shop selling souvenirs are open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
After a museum tour, you can proceed to Pier 1 of its grounds, where the scenic views of New York Harbor provide a perfect backdrop for an Instagram photo.
A visit to Bayonne is more than a side trip when traveling to New York City, which features many iconic attractions.
The city of Bayonne is more than a satellite of the “Big Apple” but a destination with a charm of its own.