Hoboken in Hudson County, New Jersey, is famous for its food, breweries, inventions, artists, and incredible Manhattan skyline views. The most famous Hoboken resident was Frank Sinatra, born in the city. The port was once a bustling industrial area that has been transformed into green spaces and waterfront walkways, and you will find enough things to do in Hoboken besides enjoying the views of New York.
The name Hoboken can be traced back to the area’s Native American roots when the Lenni Lenape people camped there. They called the area’ Hopoghan Hackingh’, which translates to ‘land of the tobacco pipe’. The Lenni Lenape people carved tobacco pipes from the serpentine rock abundant in the Hoboken area. During the time of America’s founding fathers, Hoboken’s Hudson River shoreline was populated by snapping turtles. The turtles were so plentiful that locals began to catch them and make turtle soup. Its popularity led to the creation of the Hoboken Turtle Club, which George Washington and Alexander Hamilton frequented.
History aside, Hoboken is great for a weekend away or a day out from New York City. New York City is a short ferry ride away across the Hudson River. The city is one of the best locations for skyline views of Manhattan. Hoboken is across the Hudson from Lower Manhattan, offering views of Freedom Tower and the Empire State Building.
If food is your passion, Hoboken has numerous food and drink festivals throughout the year. A well-timed trip may line up with the Chilli Cook-Off, Irish Festival, or even the Mutz Festival, which celebrates everything mozzarella. Hoboken also has many independent shops and boutiques along its traditional cobblestone streets. After exploring, stop at one of the city’s 120 bars for a cold beer. Here are 20 things to do in Hoboken to entice you to visit this New Jersey gem.
- Hoboken, New Jersey
- 20 Things To Do In Hoboken
- 1- Go On A Scavenger Hunt
- 2- Go On A Wine Tour
- 3- See Skyline Views of New York City
- 4- Marvel At The View In Hoboken Riverside Park
- 5- Enjoy Art At Barsky Gallery
- 6- Step Back In History At The Historical Museum
- 7- Taste Sweet Treats At Carlo’s Bake Shop
- 8- Enjoy Sunset Castle Point Lookout
- 9- Go For A Stroll Along Hoboken Waterfront Walkway
- 10- Shop At The Hoboken Farmers Markets
- 11- Visit Edwin A Stevens Hall
- 12- See A Performance At Monroe Centre for the Arts
- 13- Admire The Firemen’s Monument
- 14- Blue Eyes Restaurant
- 15- Dine Like A Local
- 16- Explore Sybil’s Cave
- 17- Visit The Fire Department Museum
- 18- Admire The Architecture At The Hoboken/NJ Transit Terminal
- 19- Go Paddleboarding On The Hudson
- 20- Pier A Park
- 20 Things To Do In Hoboken
Hoboken, New Jersey
20 Things To Do In Hoboken
1- Go On A Scavenger Hunt
Head out on a self-guided scavenger hunt to learn more about the city of Hoboken.
Let’s Roam has an app-led scavenger hunt that will lead you to the most important landmarks across the city and take you to some hidden gems.
Hoboken Scavenger Hunt gets participants actively involved in their tours by answering trivia questions based on their surroundings and includes puzzles and challenges to solve.
Scavenger hunts can be done as a team or by competing against your travel companions.
Hoboken Scavenger Hunt is at Warrington Plaza, Country Road 736, Hoboken, NJ 07030.
2- Go On A Wine Tour
Going on a wine tour is a great way for beginner wine tasters to get involved with sampling a range of wines with a dedicated sommelier.
This wine-tasting experience takes in historic Hoboken and pairs each drink with perfectly matched food.
During the tour, two restaurants are visited, with the chance to sample homemade mozzarella and stop by a wine shop where you will learn how to read bottle labels.
Six wines are tasted, and food pairing and blind-tasting techniques are also taught.
Hoboken Wine Tour is at Cafe Michelina, 423 Bloomfield Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030.
3- See Skyline Views of New York City
Booking onto this half-day tour of New York City’s skyline views is a great way to explore Hoboken.
The tour begins in New York City and takes in some of the best Hoboken has to offer, making it a great option if you are visiting the Big Apple but want to explore further afield.
The tours take in Liberty State Park, the famous Carlo’s Bakery, and Hoboken Waterfront Walkway.
Tours are capped at 12 guests making for a more intimate experience.
The Hoboken Half-Day Tour with Skyline Views of New York City meets at either the Stewart Hotel New York or Times Square Hotel New York.
4- Marvel At The View In Hoboken Riverside Park
Hoboken Riverside Park is the best place in Hoboken for perfect skyline views over New York City.
The park is ideally placed to allow visitors to take in the most skyscrapers possible.
Take a stroll along the Hudson River or stop underneath the grand copper-roofed gazebo for a bite to eat with an impressive view.
Hoboken Riverside Park is at Sinatra Drive, Hoboken, NJ 07030.
5- Enjoy Art At Barsky Gallery
Barsky Gallery is a must-visit destination in Hoboken for art lovers focused on contemporary art, and the gallery is packed with paintings, sculptures and more.
The gallery has eclectic art pieces that a great place to purchase your first piece of art.
Art displayed at Barsky Gallery is from local artists and talented artists from all over the world.
The gallery also hosts private events, with tickets for some events available for sale from their galleries or online.
Barsky Gallery is at 49 Harrison Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-6063.
6- Step Back In History At The Historical Museum
Hoboken opened its historical museum in 1986.
Within its walls, it houses an impressive collection of artefacts linked to the history of the city.
Hoboken Historical Museum covers 2000 square feet (185.81 square metres) and is within one of the oldest waterfront buildings in the city.
The building was once the Bethlehem Steel machine shop and is now referred to as the Shipyard.
The museum has an educational program, lectures, tours and hosts plays.
Recent exhibitions have explored the city’s relationship with the Hudson River and its role in the manufacture of candy.
It is open six days a week.
Hoboken Historical Museum is at 1301 Hudson Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030.
7- Taste Sweet Treats At Carlo’s Bake Shop
Fans of Cake Boss, and fans of cake in general, need to head straight to Carlo’s Bake Shop, a Hoboken institution.
Carlo Guastaffero opened Carlo’s in 1910, and Bartolo Valastro Sr. acquired it in 1964.
Since then, the Valastro family have dedicated themselves to producing incredible Italian pastries, celebration cakes and more.
Try their cannoli for an authentic Italian treat.
Bartolo Jr. known as Buddy has led the bakery to stardom with many of their cakes published in magazines such as Modern Bride and The Knot.
Multiple TV appearances and featuring on Cake Boss have led this small family run Italian bakery to be one of the hottest locations in the city.
Carlo’s Bakery is at 95 Washington Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030.
8- Enjoy Sunset Castle Point Lookout
Despite its small size, Hoboken has an extraordinary number of viewpoints across the Hudson River.
Castle Point Lookout is one of the best viewpoints in Hoboken.
Head to Steven’s Institute of Technology, the university located in the city and the city’s highest point.
Castle Point Lookout offers unrivalled views within the university at a height of 100ft (30.48m).
Time your visit for sunrise or sunset to see an incredible skyline backed by blazing colour.
The central point of focus from the lookout is a cannon from the Revolutionary War.
Castle Point Lookout is at 90 Frank Sinatra Dr, Hoboken, NJ 07030.
9- Go For A Stroll Along Hoboken Waterfront Walkway
Hoboken Waterfront Walkway is a fantastic place to go for a walk, jog, or meet with friends to admire the view.
The walkway is open 24/7 and is fully pedestrianised.
The walkway is lined with trees offering welcoming shade in summer and adding to the cosy autumn feeling with orange leaves.
There are plenty of benches along the walkway across the Hudson River towards Manhattan.
Hoboken Waterfront Walkway is at Sinatra Drive, Hoboken, NJ 07030.
10- Shop At The Hoboken Farmers Markets
Head to one of Hoboken’s two farmers’ markets between June and mid-November (on a Tuesday or Saturday afternoon).
Hoboken’s farmer’s markets are the best places to purchase and sample locally grown and produced seasonal foods.
Typical farmer’s market produce, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, are sold, alongside freshly baked bread, handmade mozzarella and a wide variety of jams and preserves.
The markets are a great place to visit to purchase picnic ingredients to enjoy at one of Hoboken’s excellent waterfront parks.
Hoboken Farmers Market is at Church Square Park, 400 Garden Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030, and at the viaduct on 14th Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030.
11- Visit Edwin A Stevens Hall
Richard Upjohn designed and built Edwin A Stevens Hall in 1870.
The hall was named after Edwin Augusts Stevens, a notable American engineer and inventor who left a bequest used to establish the Stevens Institute of Technology, where the hall is dedicated in his name.
The building is Victorian Gothic and an architectural masterpiece within the city.
When visiting Edwin A Stevens Hall, stop by the DeBaun Auditorium, over 100 years old.
Edwin A Stevens Hall is at Hoboken, NJ 07030.
12- See A Performance At Monroe Centre for the Arts
Monroe Centre for the Arts is within the Levolor Blinds Industrial Complex.
The complex, used during Hoboken’s days as a busy industrial port, was repurposed in the late 20th century.
Today, two towering buildings were transformed into bright, airy, open industrial spaces and artist studios.
The centre celebrates Hoboken’s ongoing artistic regeneration and offers a range of services for business and recreation.
Offices and studio space can be rented, and there are plenty of places to dine, meet with friends, and participate in art classes.
Monroe Centre for the Arts is at 720 Monroe Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030.
13- Admire The Firemen’s Monument
Caspar Buberl, an American Sculptor, designed the statue of a Fireman carrying a small child and lantern in 1891.
The statue commemorated the city’s volunteer fire department and was interred in Church Square Park in 1891.
The 28ft (8.53m) statue was sculpted from zinc and cast in bronze.
Firemen’s Monument sits on top of a granite pedestal with emblems such as ladders and a fire hose.
Firemen’s Monument is at Church Square Park, Hoboken, NJ 07030.
14- Blue Eyes Restaurant
For authentic Italian cuisine, try Blue Eyes Restaurant. The restaurant prides itself on its wood-burning pizza oven made from bricks flown from Naples in Italy to give its patrons the most authentic Napoletana pizza outside of Italy.
The restaurant is on the Hoboken waterfront, with incredible views across the Manhattan skyline from its large windows.
The restaurant menu changes seasonally depending on produce availability, so there is always something new to try.
During the summer, the restaurant expands to offer outdoor seating and a gelati stand.
In winter, the patio is heated to allow diners to make the most of the spectacular views still.
Blue Eyes Restaurant is at 525 Sinatra Drive, Hoboken, NJ 07030.
15- Dine Like A Local
Fiore’s House of Quality is a traditional old-school Italian deli in Hoboken.
The Fiore family opened the deli in 1903 and has served the city’s residents ever since.
Currently owned by the Amato Family, the deli keeps its authentic vibe.
The deli makes all its mozzarella by hand and attracts fans from far and wide to buy some.
The deli is a favourite celeb spot, as Frank Sinatra, Danny DeVito, and the Sopranos cast have dined there.
As well as sampling the homemade mozzarella, try one of the deli’s daily sandwich specials.
A local favourite is the Thursday and Saturday roast beef, mozzarella and gravy sandwich.
Fiore’s House of Quality is at 414 Adams Street #2693, NJ 07030.
16- Explore Sybil’s Cave
Sybil’s Cave is Hoboken’s oldest manmade structure.
The Stevens family created the structure in 1832 as a folly containing a natural spring.
During the mid-19th century, the folly became a recreational destination for walkers exploring Downtown Hoboken.
A restaurant was built next to the cave to offer weary travellers refreshments.
The Stevens Family, who started the Stevens Institute university, began to expand their land, and soon the cave was lost under debris.
It was rediscovered in 2007 and preservation works began in 2009.
Sybil’s Cave is at Frank Sinatra Drive, Hoboken, NJ 07030.
17- Visit The Fire Department Museum
The Fire Department Museum is a great day out for families visiting Hoboken.
The museum’s top attraction is a bright red Ahrens Fox fire engine from 1932, lovingly restored and frequently seen in the city’s parades.
Children can sit in the driver’s seat of the fire engine for photographs and even ring the large brass fire bell to complete the experience.
The museum is a true treasure trove of fire department history.
The museum includes postcards documenting some of the worst fires of the 1900s.
Look out for the famous framed photograph of fire captain Marty Sinatra and his son Frank, the most famous singer in America at the time, posing with a Hoboken fire truck in 1947.
The Fire Department Museum is open from 11 am to 4 pm on weekends at 213 Bloomfield Street, Hoboken, NJ.
18- Admire The Architecture At The Hoboken/NJ Transit Terminal
When arriving in Hoboken from the water, you are greeted by the architectural masterpiece that is Hoboken/NJ Transit Terminal.
The terminal is served by railway lines, busses and the port authority, with more than 50,000 people passing through its doors daily.
Kenneth M. Murchison, an American architect, designed the terminal.
The building was opened in 1907 and is an excellent example of Beaux-Arts design.
Head into the terminal to see its early 20th-century design touches, from the lighting and seat design to the well-styled vintage waiting room.
Hoboken/NJ Transit Terminal is at 1 Hudson Place, Hoboken, NJ 07030.
19- Go Paddleboarding On The Hudson
Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse has opened up the Hudson River for those interested in kayaking or paddleboarding.
Residents can participate in these water activities for free thanks to the community boat house.
After opening in 2004, the boathouse has seen more than 6000 paddlers take advantage of their community program and take to the water.
The boathouse is popular, and you can make reservations by offering a donation to the boathouse. As the boathouse is a non-profit organisation, donations are welcome.
Although reservations are not always required, it’s advisable on weekends or during the summer months.
Paddleboarding on the Hudson is at Frank Sinatra Drive, Hoboken, NJ 07030.
20- Pier A Park
Pier A Park is the perfect spot for views over the Hudson, particularly at night when the New York City skyline lights up.
The park is adjacent to the ferry terminal, making it the ideal first stop if you visit the city for the day from New York.
During the summer, expect the park to be busy in the evenings as the warmer temperatures encourage locals and tourists alike to make the most of the view.
Fishermen and runners frequent the park during the day.
Pier A Park is at 100 Sinatra Drive, Hoboken, NJ.