Jersey City is New Jersey's second-largest city. It is located in Northeast New Jersey between the Hudson and Passaic rivers.
From the West take the New Jersey Turnpike to exit 14B or 14C, or take the Pulaski Skyway (Route 1/9) and get off between Tonnelle Ave (for Journal Square and the Heights) or just before the Holland Tunnel for Hamilton Park and downtown. From Manhattan take the first left after exiting the Holland Tunnel, or the Kennedy Blvd exit when coming out of the Lincoln Tunnel.
The PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) train runs to Journal Square, Grove Street, Exchange Place, and Pavonia/Newport in Jersey City with connections to Newark, lower Manhattan, midtown Manhattan, and Hoboken. It costs $1.50 each way and is easily the best way to get into town. Travel Time between Downtown Jersey City (Grove Street) and Lower Manhattan (World Trade Center Station) is approximately 6 minutes. From Grove Street to Penn Station Newark, a major regional rail hub, is aproximately twenty minutes.
By light rail
The Hudson-Bergen light rail, operated by NJ Transit connects the Jersey City waterfront to Hoboken and Bayonne. Eventually it is planned to extend northward into the suburbs of Bergen County.
NJ Transit and other operators run buses to the Journal Square bus terminal. For destinations not served by this terminal, check out Newark Bus Terminal and Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan.
The best way to navigate within Jersey City, as a tourist, is likely by PATH, Taxi, or Light Rail. Most of the major sections of town are serviced by these forms of transport. The bus system is simply too arcane for the short term visitor to come to terms with.
Downtown Jersey City (DOJO) The historic center of Jersey City, Ward E, is easily explorable on foot. Downtown Jersey City stretches from 18th Street in the North, down to Liberty State Park in the South; and from Baldwin Avenue to the Waterfront. The area is home to several landmarks.
Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Powerhouse
The H&M Powerhouse is a Romanesque revival industrial masterpiece built between 1906 and 1908. The Powerhouse was designed by architect John Oakman, an alumnus of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. The Powerhouse allowed the operation of the the first trans-Hudson subway, the direct predecessor of today's PATH. It ceased operation as a power generating station in 1929, and was officially designated an historic landmark in the 1990s.
Completed in 1896, This imposing granite and marble municipal structure was designed by Lewis Broome, who also designed the Trenton Statehouse.
A bronze memorial monument by Philip Martiny stands in the small plaza in front of the City Hall entrance. The memorial bears the inscription: "Erected by the People of Hudson County to Commemorate the Valor of the Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines of the Civil War." The statue is of the Goddess of Victory in a seated pose. Although she has lain aside her shield, her hand rests in readiness upon her sword, though she offers the olive branch of peace.
Jersey City Waterfront
The Waterfront which delineates the eastern border of Jersey City faces, across the Hudson River, the island of Manhattan. Ferried and Water Taxis depart regularly from the Marina in front of the Goldman Sachs Tower, the talles building in New Jersey, and the second tallest building in the New York metropolitan area (after the Empire State Building).
On the waterfront is a Hyatt Hotel with a restaurant which, although pricey, offers excellent views of New York. Just South of the Hyatt is a waterfront park which extends some 250 meters into the Hudson river and which is an excellent location to fish, play chess, relax, or to take photographs of the Manhattan skyline. Until 2001, this park was directly across from the World Trade Center.
Liberty State Park Most tourists see the Statue of Liberty from Manhattan, but if you're coming by car, it's easier to do so from New Jersey. Make your reservations on-line [www.statuereservations.com] ahead of time. The Statue, and Ellis Island, are technically free, but you need to buy a ferry ticket to make it to the two. The ferry is first-come, first-served, but your advance reservation will guarantee you a particular window in which to visit the Statue.
Paulus Hook Between Grand Street and the Morris Canal that Divides Downtown Jersey City from Liberty State Park is an area known as Paulus Hook. Today, Paulus Hook is a charming neighborhood of Brownstone Row Houses with an excellent view of New York city, serviced by a light rail. Originally a small peninsula surrounded by marsh, it connected the mainland by a causeway that was passable only at low tide, and was the main landing point before the revolutionary war for travelers going into Bergen County from New York City, it has since been backfilled and Paulus Hook is no longer a hook. Paulus Hook was the site of British fortifications during the revolution that caused serious problems for the local revolutionary government- it was used as a base for loyalist raids into Bergen County. Major Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee (father of the later confederate General Robert E. Lee) took the fortifications by a night assualt carried out during low tide on August 19th, 1779.
Stop by the "La Nueva Isla Meat Market at 265 Grove Street and say Hello to the proprieter, Oscar. While your there, you can pick up everything from the latest issue of the "Daily News" to a couple of home made 'empanadas'.
Manhattan -- Leave your car at the PATH station garage for $10/day. It's cheaper and easier than driving (or parking) in the city.