15 Best Things to Do in Hudson County, NJ

Hudson County, NJ
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Though considered the smallest of its kind in New Jersey, Hudson County boasts a waterfront paradise that had me wanting more.

Its nickname, Gateway to New York, is just as accurate not only in terms of its locations but also its promise of recreation all year round.

It resides within the west of the Hudson River and was once notable for being a stop for immigrants hoping to achieve the American Dream by passing through Ellis Island.

Created in 1840, this county in the North Jersey region got its name after Henry Hudson, who was a sea explorer in the 1600s.

So, it's safe to say that this county shines more because of its stunning waterfront vistas and bayside attractions.

I am here to tell you that this is not all there is to Hudson County, and I'm ready to prove this.

Because in this article, I'll be sharing some of the county's best well-kept secrets and more!

Here are the 15 best things to do in Hudson County, New Jersey, for your worthwhile trip ahead.

Bask in the Scenic Riverfront Spot at the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway

Metal benches at Hudson River Waterfront Walkway
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Nothing quite takes you for a front-seat view of the Hudson River than the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway.

This linear pathway passes through 9 communities and 2 counties, one of which is Hudson County.

At 18 miles, this route was a relaxing destination for me.

Helping me remain comfortable and stress-free was the stunning skyline of Manhattan across the river.

Trail of Hudson River Waterfront Walkway
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I also got impressive photos of the views all around during my long walk there.

What made the spot a memorable one for me was its convenient location to many restaurants and shops nearby.

I reached the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway in Hoboken via Sinatra Drive.

But there are multiple access points to this walkway from various neighborhoods, including Bayonne and Jersey City.

Signage of Hudson River Waterfront Walkway
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Check Out the Exquisite Tear Drop Memorial Sculpture

Daytime view of the Tear Drop Memorial Sculpture
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You aren't fully experiencing Hudson County without a stop by the Tear Drop Memorial.

Its name To the Struggle Against World Terrorism means to pay tribute to the victims of the 9/11 tragedy.

Its artist, Zurab Tsereteli, is a Russian who is a continuous advocate for charities and hospices.

This monument reimagines the twin towers as one sculpture with a hole down the center and a tear hanging from it.

Close view of the Tear Drop Memorial Sculpture
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It also comes with a granite name plate that I spent most of my time reading through.

I got to reflect, meditate, and just enjoy the tranquility of the place, which was a nice change from my itinerary.

The Tear Drop Memorial is on Port Terminal Boulevard in the city of Bayonne.

Aerial view of the Tear Drop Memorial Sculpture
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Play with Friends and Loved Ones at Bowl-Rite Lanes

In Union City, Bowl-Rite Lanes is the ultimate family destination for many visitors and residents within Hudson County.

Opened in 1965, this bowling alley offers a ten-pin 24-lane center with a variety of amenities on the side.

What I loved most about this entertainment facility was its calm and friendly atmosphere.

It also brought about a nostalgic touch to my experience with its arcade section and snack counter.

Come by with your friends for an ideal hangout session.

You can head over to Summit Avenue from 8th Street to reach Bowl-Rite Lanes.

Enjoy the Outdoors with a Visit to Liberty State Park

Daytime view of Liberty State Park
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For an all-around adventure of Hudson County's natural areas, I highly recommend coming by Liberty State Park if you've got the time.

Dramatic and inclusive, this park is just what you might expect from Jersey City's waterfront oasis.

It sits opposite Ellis Island and Liberty Island and is the only spot within the county that provides seafaring access to the former island.

Opened in 1976, this park spans over 1,000 acres.

It is home to the Liberty Science Center, which I enjoyed exploring.

Trail at Liberty State Park
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Its exhibits and galleries made me rediscover my love for science.

Also within the park are the Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial and the Richard J. Sullivan Natural Area; both of which are a delight for me to visit.

Other activities that this state park promotes include boat and kayak launching, hiking, fishing, and even picnicking.

Liberty State Park is on Audrey Zapp Drive.

The grounds of Liberty State Park
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Take Photos of the Picturesque Views from the Castle Point Lookout

Open throughout the year, the Castle Point Lookout is one scenic attraction that I will never get tired of recommending.

This Hoboken spot is the highest point of the city at an elevation of 100 feet.

Complete with a simplistic observation deck and multiple trails, this point has been a great source of stress relief for me.

It features not only the Manhattan skyline up ahead but also the waterfront vistas of Hoboken.

I liked the touch of history within the site through the presence of a historical cannon artifact that has been the trademark of the Castle Point Lookout.

This point is a feature of Stevens Institute of Technology campus.

And you can get to this spot on Frank Sinatra Drive.

View the Skyline from the Cliffs at Hamilton Park

A person admiring the view from Hamilton Park
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Weehawken's Hamilton Park offers a blend of natural beauty and history within an unassuming setting.

This park sits next to the historic dueling grounds of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.

To commemorate this historic moment in time, the park features the original rock where Hamilton's head rested after he got shot.

Though the park is mostly abundant with only benches, the picturesque expanse of the lawn makes up for it.

Scenic view from Hamilton Park
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I loved the collection of plaques and monuments lining up the park—certainly added to the historic appeal of the spot.

The floral gardens were also a lovely feature, as were the cliffs and the Manhattan skyline in the distance.

Hamilton Park sits along Boulevard East should you care for a visit.

Trail at Hamilton Park
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Get Inspired by Art Displayed at Mana Contemporary

People outside Mana Contemporary
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Art comes together in various forms at Mana Contemporary.

This Jersey City attraction is a cultural arts center featuring both visual and performing arts.

It resides in what was once a tobacco warehouse back in the day.

Now, the walls are vibrant with the display of contemporary art and the sounds of top-notch shows.

Facade of Mana Contemporary
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I loved exploring the halls and exhibition spaces of the gallery because of its warm surroundings and creative inspiration.

I got to witness art-making sessions for myself, and I wasn't disappointed at all.

So, come by if you need a sprinkle of artistic inspiration.

Mana Contemporary is accessible along Newark Avenue.

Learn More about Astronomy at Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium

Whether you're a fan of space and astronomy or not, Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium is a must-visit.

This planetarium takes pride in being the biggest of its kind in the whole country.

A part of Liberty Science Center's facilities, this planetarium offers a vibrant and informative approach to your trip across the planets and all over the galaxy.

One of the shows I got to watch was the Beyoncé Laser Show, which felt like a concert.

While jamming to the iconic diva's songs, I was awestruck by the array of lasers and lights.

There are also space talks and telescope shows at different showtimes, so better check with the planetarium ahead for any of your planned visits.

Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium—and its greatness—sits along Jersey City Boulevard in Jersey City.

Start a Mural-Spotting Journey along Jersey City

Mural festival at Jersey City
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Jersey City's public art scene is nothing short of impressive.

And let me tell you, I had the time of my life spotting murals all over this wondrous city.

With about 200 murals created by over 100 artists, there's always an art piece that resonates with everyone.

One of the murals that resonated with me is Shauquethqueat's Eutrochium, featuring the very same flower it's named after blooming beautifully against a dark building on Cottage Street.

Another one of my favorites is the Beloved Mural by Ben Keller on 12th Street.

This 2021 masterpiece is a tribute to Michelangelo's famous Greek-inspired art culture.

There are other murals and graffiti works for you, so don't worry!

I hope you find one that inspires you.

Browse through the Archives Section at the Hoboken Historical Museum

History and heritage connect at the local Hoboken Historical Museum.

This museum has the most reliable collection for everything related to Hoboken's past.

From artifacts and relics to photographs and documents, the interesting message of history is abundant.

The Sinatra tributes were one of my favorites.

The staff was kind and informative on my visit too, which added to my wonderful experience there.

It was to my utter delight that its upper gallery offers rotating exhibits, so the next time I'm due for a visit, I know I'll be in for a pleasant surprise.

The Hoboken Historical Museum sits along Hudson Street in Hoboken.

Go on a Hiking Spree along Laurel Hill Park

Rock formation at Laurel Hill Park
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Hudson County's Meadowlands is the highlight of Laurel Hill Park.

Located along Laurel Hill Road, this large expanse of open grassy vegetation shines with historical significance.

In fact, this park got its nickname "Snake Hill" after its large feature of igneous rock resulting from a volcanic eruption.

Though you can no longer see this rock as a whole, there is bedrock forming the southern section of the park that serves as its remains.

I had a grand time making use of the park's sports facilities, including soccer fields and a cricket field.

But perhaps my favorite part of this park is its collection of hiking trails, where I got to enjoy nature at its original beauty.

Laurel Hill Park is within the quaint town of Secaucus.

Explore the Landscaped Gardens at Stephen R. Gregg Park

Entrance to Stephen R. Gregg Park
Jim.henderson, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hudson County has a wide array of parks that are worth visiting at least once in your lifetime.

One of these is Stephen R. Gregg Park.

This 100-acre passive and active park offers the best of waterfront sceneries within the county.

Established in 1916, some of its eye-catching features are its park bridges and walkways.

It also has a multitude of sports amenities that I particularly enjoyed during my visit.

But nothing can top the ornamental gardens.

The Cherie LaPelusa Gardens are the centerpiece of the park, and I had a fun time walking through the colorful spots of flowers and blossoms native to the community.

Stephen R. Gregg Park is in the city of Bayonne, specifically along John F. Kennedy Boulevard.

Go on a Car Match with Your Group at RPM Raceway

It's time for a bit of indoor fun!

RPM Raceway in Jersey City is one of Hudson County's indoor entertainment facilities that I will continue to recommend time and time again.

Its state-of-the-art facility and equipment, including its dizzying ramps, are part of the reason why I loved this center.

Another reason is the thrill it gave me as I went down to its cars and raced with other riders down the track.

The facility also has an arcade section and a bowling alley.

If you've got time on your schedule for an adventure within closed doors, this spot is for you.

RPM Raceway is on Caven Point Road.

Spot Waterfowl and Other Birds at Mill Creek Marsh

The waters of Mill Creek Marsh
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Secaucus' Mill Creek Marsh has been a community staple since its establishment in 1996.

At 209 acres, this marsh took me on a magical outdoor experience full of birdwatching opportunities.

The trails remain well-paved, which I consider a win.

I was also glad the place was as tranquil as I expected, and I got to relax without worrying about a huge crowd.

Trail at Mill Creek Marsh
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Mill Creek Marsh is also most notable for its diversity in open-water habitats, including marshlands and lowland shrubs.

So, experience the beauty of nature for yourself by stopping by.

You can reach this nature preserve on Mill Creek Marsh Trail.

The grounds of Mill Creek Marsh
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Browse through the Fire Exhibits at the Hoboken Fire Department Museum

The Hoboken Fire Department Museum houses a variety of memorabilia and fire gear used in Hoboken's battle against fires across history.

Informative and fun, this center boasts all-around entertainment for both adults and kids.

The kids can have the time of their life riding the museum's accompanying fire engine.

As for the adults, I highly recommend looking for the Marty Sinatra photo featuring Frank who was at the peak of his career at the time.

There's much to see and discover within the walls of this museum, so keep your eyes peeled!

Located along Bloomfield Street, the Hoboken Fire Department Museum is an interesting stop worth checking out.

Final Thoughts

Part of what makes Hudson County a county worth exploring is its diversity of indoor and outdoor attractions.

From museums and tranquil parks to art galleries and landmarks, I am so glad to have visited this county and its treasures.

I think I might even visit the next time I'm in New Jersey if the opportunity allows.

Did you enjoy the list above of the best things to do in Hudson County, New Jersey?

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