Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in North Bergen, NJ

  • Published 2023/01/12

Found in the northern section of Hudson County, New Jersey, is the enthralling township of North Bergen.

It was incorporated as a township in 1843, and its history goes back to the 1600s when it was first inhabited.

According to the 2020 U.S. census, North Bergen had more than 63,000 people, with a majority Hispanic population.

North Bergen is blessed to have diverse geological features, from hills and cliffs to meadowlands and water, due to its location on the Palisades and the Hudson River.

The township offers scenic parks, beautiful trails, waterfront views, gourmet restaurants, fun festivals, and stunning Manhattan skyline views.

Here are some of the best things to do in North Bergen, New Jersey:

Explore the Scenic Walkways at James J. Braddock Park

Entrance archway of James J. Braddock Park

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Established in 1910 and formerly known as North Hudson Park, James J. Braddock Park is a favorite spot among North Bergen residents.

It was renamed in honor of James J. Braddock, also known as “Cinderella Man,” a long-time Hudson County resident and the 1935–1937 World Heavyweight Champion.

It’s one of the most spectacular and largest parks in Hudson County, measuring 167 acres with plenty of amenities.

Have a picnic, admire the beauty of the arboretum, bring your kids to the playground, and let your dog play with furry friends at the dog run.

Stroll the nature trails or the eight miles of scenic walkways along Woodcliff Lake and atop the cliffs, which offer breathtaking Manhattan skyline views.

Steps along a trail at James J. Braddock Park

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You can also find a statue of the famed boxer at The Braddock Plaza.

The park also boasts 45 sports facilities, including a little league field, football fields, and courts for basketball, volleyball, handball, bocce ball, and tennis.

Meanwhile, a natural wildlife sanctuary on the lake is home to a wide array of flora and fauna, including birds, turtles, fish, ducks, and geese.

James J. Braddock Park is located on Bergenline Avenue.

Paved trail at James J. Braddock Park

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Buy Fresh Produce at the J. J. Braddock Park Farmers Market

The J. J. Braddock Park Farmers Market is the best place to shop if you’re looking for fresh, organic produce in North Bergen.

At the market, various New Jersey vendors offer locally grown fruits, vegetables, meats, and other food items for sale, like pastries.

You can also find locally made crafts and specialty items, such as jewelry, artwork, and more.

The farmers’ market also features new vendors per week, live music, food samplings, cooking demonstrations, and more.

The J. J. Braddock Park Farmers Market takes place every Thursday from the end of June through the end of September at the Veterans Memorial on 90th Avenue and Bergeline Avenue.

Purchase Antiques at the North Bergen Monthly Flea Market

If you’re fond of unique items and antiques, you should visit the North Bergen Monthly Flea Market.

The flea market has everything you need, from vintage items and collectibles to other new interesting products and secondhand treasures.

Here, you’ll find home decor, antique furniture, kitchenware, jewelry, clothing, craftwork, books, and more at a bargain price.

Don’t miss the chance to unleash your inner thrifting side with friends and find unique treasures at the North Bergen Monthly Flea Market.

This famous market is held every first and third Saturday of every month from March through December.

You can find it on the sidewalk of Bergenline Avenue, just between 79th and 90th streets, outside of James J. Braddock Park.

Watch the Annual North Bergen Classic Car & Bike Show

The Annual North Bergen Classic Car & Bike Show is perfect for car and cycling enthusiasts.

Lining up on Bergenline Avenue are hundreds of spectacular classic and modern cars and bikes that captivate your interest.

These include pre-50s to current trucks, modified trucks, mustangs, corvettes, street rods, motorcycles, and more of all shapes, sizes, colors, and configurations.

These vehicles are judged on cleanliness and overall appearance, and the top ones in various categories get trophy awards.

Great food, kids’ activities, and music are also available, making the event more fun.

Mark your October calendar and check out the Annual North Bergen Classic Car & Bike Show with family and friends.

Celebrate the Empanada Extravaganza

For empanada enthusiasts or those who love food, you won’t want to skip the township’s Empanada Extravaganza.

It’s an event celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with several delicious empanadas and other finger foods like barbecues and sandwiches.

Aside from that, it also features local vendors, live music, dance performances, and more.

It’s perfect for all ages, so bring your family and friends to enjoy this family-friendly event.

Don’t miss this chance to taste delectable Latin delicacies, too.

Empanada Extravaganza is held every October at the Bruin Stadium parking lot within James J. Braddock Park.

Watch a Movie Under the Stars at the Tuesday Night Movie Series

If you love watching movies outdoors, go to North Bergen’s Tuesday Night Movie Series.

It’s a free, family-friendly event held at various locations throughout the township every Tuesday all summer long from June to August.

Some sites that host this event include the Recreation Center, the main branch of North Bergen Free Public Library, and Policemen’s Park.

You’ll also enjoy free food, like popcorn, sandwiches, ice cream, and beverages.

The movie screening starts at sunset, so you may come earlier with your family to fill the seats.

Enjoy a great movie night out under the stars at the Tuesday Night Movie Series!

Raise Your Glasses at New Jersey Beer Co.

Founded in 2010, New Jersey Beer Co. is the place to cool off with a glass of cold beer in the township.

Start your visit by taking a tour of this craft brewery to see and learn about its brewing process with its innovative and creative team.

Afterward, head to their tasting room to sample and taste unique flavors that suit your palate.

Grab a seat at their bar and start chugging down high-quality beers while hanging out with your best pals.

Don’t forget to try its Hudson Pale Ale, Blood Orange LBIPA, or LBIPA, which won the NJ Brewed Beers Silver Medal at the 2014 AC Beer and Music Festival.

You can find New Jersey Beer Co. just off Tonelle Avenue.

Enjoy a Riverside Date at Waterside Restaurant & Catering

Sitting right on the Hudson River, Waterside Restaurant & Catering is the best place to enjoy posh waterfront dining and jaw-dropping views.

It’s an excellent and famous venue for weddings, birthday parties, bridal showers, corporate events, and other special events.

It boasts a spacious, elegant interior, scenic outdoor patios, and a sophisticated environment.

It has received many awards, including Bride’s Choice Awards, Manhattan Bride Best of 2014, and The Knot’s Best of Weddings.

Likewise, you won’t regret fine dining with your date, family, or friends at the award-winning restaurant, which offers a touch of Mediterranean cuisine.

Try classic steak frites, Greek-style brick chicken, or pan-seared tuna paired with your chosen bottle of wine.

Best of all, this spot offers stunning views of New York City’s Manhattan skyline that are sure to amaze you.

Reserve your spot today if you can’t wait to have your memorable meal and fantastic event at Waterside Restaurant & Catering.

Explore the Streets in North Bergen

The road of Bergenline Avenue

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If you want to explore what a certain place offers, why not try discovering the beauty of North Bergen?

Bergenline Avenue is home to many locally owned stores where you can enjoy shopping and gourmet restaurants to satisfy your craving or try diverse cuisines.

Cultural festivals and other social events also take place on this vibrant street.

A restaurant at Bergenline Avenue

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Take your kids to the children’s playground at a small charming park along 88th Street, which has a basketball court and is a good spot to watch the sunset.

On 82nd Street, you’ll find a park with a playground and a dog run where you can let loose your furry friend, but make sure to clean up after.

You may also watch a baseball game at Robert Allen Field on Durham Avenue or freely stroll along other streets with lovely New York City views.

A building at North Bergen

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Read a Book at the North Bergen Free Public Library

As its name suggests, the North Bergen Free Public Library is one of the places in the township which won’t cost you a penny.

In 1936, the library officially opened with 2,630 volumes to serve a 40,000 population.

It’s one of the busiest libraries in the state, ranking second in 2016 based on the list by American Library Association.

The main library was relocated to its current location at 8411 Bergenline Avenue in 1985.

With its extensive repository, which stores a vast collection of books, you’re sure to find the best one to read.

There are many available resources, from print to online resources, and free programs and events for kids, teens, and adults.

If you’re a traveling bookworm, the North Bergen Free Public Library on Bergenline Avenue is the place to be.

Head to the Top of the Hills for Manhattan Vistas

North Bergen is one of the places in America that has the most hills per square mile.

That’s because the township sits on the Palisades, or Hudson Palisades, which consists of steep cliffs along the west portion of the lower Hudson River northeast of New Jersey.

It has long been argued that the township’s hills are the second hilliest after San Francisco, but there doesn’t seem to be a credible source for this claim.

However, hills in the township are undeniably massive, and from atop these hills are panoramic views of New York City’s skyline.

You can relax with your friends and enjoy the township’s geological features and views of its neighboring places.

Don’t forget to bring your camera and take photos of the majestic views!

Try Unique Cuisine at Tapas de España

As one of the places in the country with a majority Hispanic population, it’s no surprise that North Bergen is rich in Latin American and Spanish cuisine.

A perfect example is Tapas de España, a two-story restaurant with cuisine from the Iberian peninsula, serving various seafood tapas.

You may want to try Croquetas de Bacalao (Salted Atlantic Cod Croquettes) and Crepes de Changurro (Stuffed crepes with crab meat covered with Piquillo and Sherry sauce).

The Paella Valenciana, stuffed salmon, Manchego cheese, Serrano ham, and chicken noodle soup are amazing, too.

Make sure to pair your meal with Spanish wines and sangria.

The restaurant also has a full bar, an earthy-toned interior, a lively, family-friendly atmosphere, and live entertainment like weekly flamenco dancing.

If you want an exciting dining experience at Tapas de España, make your reservation before visiting, as this spot on Bergenline Avenue fills up quickly.

Satisfy Your Craving at Trattoria La Sorrentina

Stop by Trattoria La Sorrentina, situated on Bergenline Avenue, to satisfy your craving for authentic Italian food.

You can find your favorite Italian food here, from brick oven pizza, pasta, and salads, to traditional dishes and seafood.

Sink your teeth on the Margherita pizza, get a fill of the grilled baby octopus, try out fettuccine alfredo with grilled chicken, and savor out-of-this-world tiramisu.

Pair your delectable food with your preferred tasty wine to complete your outstanding Italian meal.

This casual spot also has a warm interior and a homey atmosphere.

If you’re looking for an excellent restaurant and take a break from Spanish and Latin restaurants, Trattoria La Sorrentina won’t disappoint.

Join the Celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month

Do you know what is celebrated annually in the United States from September 15 to October 15?

It’s National Hispanic Heritage Month, which recognizes Hispanic Americans’ contributions and influence to the country’s history, culture, and achievements.

As one of the places with a significant and growing Hispanic population, North Bergen hosts a list of events and activities for this celebration.

These include Latin dance classes and performances, concerts, crafts, children’s workshops, outdoor movies, and more.

It won’t be complete without a festive and colorful parade down Bergenline Avenue, with both sides thronged by crowds.

With lots of exciting things happening during National Hispanic Heritage Month, you’re guaranteed to enjoy it with your family, friends, and the community.

Bike along the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway

Take a breather and stroll along the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway.

This 18.5-mile pathway begins in Bayonne, goes up through Hudson County’s riverfront neighborhoods, including North Bergen, and finishes by the George Washington Bridge.

The general public can enjoy biking, jogging, fishing, kayaking, and boating in the water.

This attraction also offers spectacular views of New York City.

If you’re looking for the ideal place to enjoy quiet time, visit the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway.

Final Thoughts

North Bergen offers magnificent views and exciting events for visitors.

You can also learn about its cultural roots, history, heritage, and more in its various attractions.

Explore this township and try the best things to do in North Bergen, New Jersey!

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