Hoboken is a small city on the Hudson River in northeastern New Jersey. Once known only as the birthplace of baseball and crooner Frank Sinatra and the site of Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken has become a party town, rich in bars and clubs.
Hoboken was first settled as part of the Pavonia, New Netherland colony in the 17th century. During the early 19th century the city was developed by Colonel John Stevens, first as a resort and later as a residential neighborhood to house those affiliated with what was then Stevens College. It became a township in 1849 and was incorporated as a city in 1855. Its waterfront was an integral part of the Port of New York and New Jersey and home to many heavy industries for most of the 20th century and also served as a major port of embarkation for soldiers during both world wars. The character of the city has changed since then from a blue collar town to an upscale oasis for young professional people.
Newark Liberty International Airport is the closest of the three major airports that serve the New York Metropolitan area; the other two being LaGuardia International Airport and Kennedy International Airport. To get to downtown Hoboken from Newark Liberty, connect to the Newark Airport NJ Rail station by way of the skytrain that runs through each of the airport’s terminals. Board any New Jersey Transit train headed for New York to Seacaucus Junction and switch there to a train headed for Hoboken Terminal. During high volume hours, some trains run directly to Hoboken from the Newark Airport Station.
At Newark Pennsylvania Station or New York Pennsylvania Station, you can switch from Amtrak rail service to NJ Rail service or vice versa. NJ Rail offers connections to Hoboken by way of the following:
From New Jersey, go to Newark's Pennsylvania Station, Harrison Station, Journal Square Station, Newport Station, Grove Street Station or Exchange Place and pick up a New York-bound PATH train (marked either 33rd Street or World Trade Center) and transfer to a Hoboken-bound PATH train (green line) at your first opportunity. Easy to decipher maps of the system are aboard every train.
From New York City, pick up a Hoboken-bound PATH train at 33rd & 6th Avenue, 23rd & 6th Avenue, 14th & 6th Avenue, 9th & 6th Avenue, Christopher Street & Hudson Street, or the World Trade Center stations.
Hoboken Terminal is the terminus for two of the three Hudson-Bergen Light Rail services. The Hoboken Terminal-Tonnelle Avenue service to North Bergen and the 22nd Street-Hoboken Terminal service to Bayonne (including Bayonne Flyer service) both operate from the south end of the terminal concourse. The West Side Avenue-Tonnelle Avenue service bypasses Hoboken Terminal, requiring passengers from stations on the West Side Branch to transfer at stations between Pavonia-Newport and Liberty State Park.
NY Waterway/Billy Bey Ferry
Passengers can connect to ferries traveling between Hoboken and Midtown Manhattan (West 39th Street), the World Financial Center or Pier 11.
From NJ: NJ Transit Buses serve Hoboken Terminal:
The best way to navigate Hoboken is by foot; since it is such a small place—just one square mile in area—it is very possible to see everything the town has to offer without bringing your car.
Hoboken is famous for its horrible parking situation; so if you opt to visit with a car rather than making use of the many public transportation options available to you, be very mindful of the many parking restrictions throughout the city and make use of the parking garages on Hudson Street.
A recent addition to the streets of Hoboken, bike lanes now crisscross the town—enabling visitors to bike around Hoboken’s treacherous, visually obstructed corners.
There are also a large number of taxis that usually congregate outside the train station that will take you anywhere you want to go in the city.
With a great assortment of prewar buildings (having great architectural features) and conspicuous lack of many corporate establishments, Hoboken is a great place to wander on foot.
The end of Pier A, which is just north of the historic Hoboken Terminal (complete with Tiffany stain-glass windows) containing the NJ Railway and PATH station, offers great views of New York City. On a clear day, the incredible panorama visible from the end of the pier stretches between the George Washington and Verazano Narrows Bridges. In the summer months around 5PM-6PM, one may often see huge cruise ships sailing by on their way out to sea en route to Bermuda and Canada. If you are an early bird, or night owl, the views of sunrise silhouetting the city from Pier A is unforgettable. It is also the perfect place to view the “Tribute in Light”, by remembering the anniversary of the victims of September 11. Hoboken lost more of its residents on September 11 than any city other than New York. A memorial grove and flame shaped memorial is set up on Pier A to remember their sacrifice. There are various parks spanning the waterfront from Pier A all the way up to 15th Street. Maxwell Park is the newest addition on Sinatra Drive.
Join in Holiday celebrations in Hoboken. The city is full of people and celebrations when the holidays come around. New Years and the 4th of July are two of the biggest holidays pulling in an enormous number of crowds. The crowds gather for the numerous number of bars in Hoboken and to watch the beautiful fireworks show over the water. The fireworks are set off in the city but spectacular views of the fireworks can be seen from Hoboken, especially Pier A (mentioned above). Another huge holiday celebrated in Hoboken is St. Patrick's day. Every year they hold a city parade where mass amounts of people gather and wander down the main roads to stop at all the bars for a drink or two.
Castle Point on Hudson also offers a great view of New York City (day or night) directly across the Hudson. It is located on the campus of Stevens Institute of Technology. One day a year, usually around Christmas, the campus is closed to the general public so the school can assert its property rights. Take in a stunning view of Hoboken and the Manhattan skyline from Castle Point Lookout on the Stevens campus—the highest point in Hoboken.
Depending on the weather, spend a day at Pier A Park; considered one of the nation’s "Top 10 Urban Parks" by the Urban Land Institute.
Visit the birthplace of Frank Sinatra. A brick arch and bronze star in the sidewalk at 415 Monroe Street marks the location of Sinatra's birthplace; although the original building no longer stands. Learn about Hoboken’s favorite son with the "Frank Sinatra Self-Guided Walking Tour", provided at the Hoboken Historical Museum or you can use the map provided online.
If you are a baseball fan, the site of the first recorded baseball game is commemorated on a plaque at the intersection of 11th and Washington Street, right next to Helmers Restaurant.
In terms of contemporary art, the gritty and amazing Brando film, "On The Waterfront" was filmed in Hoboken. The parks on 4th & Park Street and 11th & Hudson Street both were used as locations and can be easily recognized from the film even in their modern state.
Walk down Washington Street: it's the most vibrant section of the city and there are many shops and restaurants here.
Catch a show at Maxwell’s: an alternative live music venue which has featured R.E.M., Nirvana, the Smashing Pumpkins, the Offspring, and many more notorious bands.
You could also stop into Tunes: a small record and music shop located on 225 Washington Street.
Walk, jog, or rollerblade along the Hudson River; of which the small city is adjacent.
Visit Pier A Park on (1st & Sinatra Drive) for spectacular views of Downtown Manhattan and to pay respects to the victims of September 11. A small area of this park is dedicated to the 25 residents of Hoboken who were taken in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
For skateboarders, there is a small skate-park along the Hudson River about one mile north of the PATH station with spectacular Manhattan views.
Take in Hoboken’s art scene with open studio days and live music, theater and film screenings at the Monroe Center for the Arts. Productions by the Mile Square Theatre.
Catch a new movie release at Clearview Cinema’s; a cinema featuring a new state-of-the-art theater.
Kayak for free in the Hudson River and explore Hoboken all from the water.
Pick up some local fresh produce at Hoboken’s two Farmers Markets starting in June and all through October: Tuesdays (3PM-7:30PM) at Washington & Newark Street; Thursdays (3PM-7:30PM) at 13th & Hudson Street.
Hoboken has a variety of notorious restaurants; some of which include Cuban, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and much more. Since there are so many options to choose from, you may find grabbing a bite to eat a bit difficult. Whatever it may be that you're in the mood for, rest assured you will find it in Hoboken. Being such a dense and busy city, you may experience waits at restaurants but it's definitely worth it. Many restaurants in the area are also BYOB, as they don't have liquor licenses.
Hoboken has occasionally been called "Bartown", which is a well deserved nickname since it has more liquor licenses per capita than any other town in all of New Jersey. There is a huge range of lounges and bars in such a compact area. With such a wide variety of bars, Hoboken has something for every type of traveler.
New York City and all it has to offer is just across the river, only a quick car, train, bus ride or even walk away. A good way to transition between the two destinations would be to catch a ferry from Hoboken to Battery Park and from there, take a tour of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island or the New York Holocaust Memorial or the 9/11 Memorial; all of which are well within walking distance of the ferry terminal.
The Hudson River Valley is beautiful to drive through or see by way of boat tour especially during the fall. Further north in the Adirondacks are beautiful ski resorts and camping sites.
Just half of an hour away are historical sites in Morris County, like Jockey Hollow, that also boast magnificent foliage during the fall.
An hour and a half drive south of Hoboken, by way of the Garden State Parkway, are the New Jersey staple beach destinations of Point Pleasant, Long Beach Island and Seaside Heights.