The Best Things to See and Do in Hoboken, New Jersey

You will be entertained for days by the activities squeezed into the square mile of Hoboken
You will be entertained for days by the activities squeezed into the square mile of Hoboken | © John Penney / Alamy
Katherine Oakes

Home to young professionals, urbanites and families, the square mile of Hoboken has more attractions, restaurants and events than you can pack into one weekend. For those spending a day or two here and wondering what to do, we’ve found the best things to do in Hoboken, New Jersey.

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Pier A Park

Jutting out into the Hudson River, this football field-sized park is an urban oasis for city dwellers looking to chill with fantastic views of Manhattan Island. Located in southeast Hoboken, the park looks right over the Hudson to low-rise Greenwich Village. To the left of that, you can see the Empire State Building and a phalanx of modern skyscrapers shooting out of Hudson Yards like crystals; to the right, the buildings rise up into another sky-high crescendo around One World Trade Center. Easily accessible by foot, bike and public transportation – it’s right next to Hoboken station – Pier A Park is a great place to meet up with people on a clear day, with a grass area to soak up the rays and a tree-covered area where you can avoid them.

Hudson River Waterfront Walkway

Doing just about anything, from running to walking, to bike riding or taking your pup out for a stroll on the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway is fun. The long path runs parallel to the Hudson River and gives you the option to visit one of Hoboken’s parks and piers along the way. The piéce de résistance is the panoramic view of the city skyline that you get all the way from the north to the south end of the city.

Cake Boss

Thanks to the hit show, Cake Boss, Carlo’s Bakery has become a household name. This Hoboken-based baker rose to fame for his impressive confectionery creations, and today you’d be lucky to visit the storefront and only wait in a line for a few minutes. So beat the crowds and schedule a cake decorating class instead, and learn the secrets of the Cake Boss himself.

Monroe Center for the Arts

A hub for arts and culture, the Monroe Arts Center is the heart of Hoboken’s creative scene. From galleries and exhibitions, to their artists’ lofts and retail space, it’s an interactive community center that makes Hoboken an inspired – and inspiring – place to be.

Hoboken’s Pilsener Haus & Biergarten

Every city needs a good biergarten and Hoboken has just that in the Pilsener Haus & Biergarten. The Austro-Hungarian-style establishment has over 70 beers on draft – and in bottles, for the beer snobs – and a tasty gastropub menu for the foodies. Its family-style dining tables are perfect for big groups.

Anthony David’s

Ask any local for a restaurant recommendation and you’re likely to hear Anthony David’s. Located on a quiet corner in Hoboken’s North End, this cozy and chic bistro has indoor and outdoor seating, a gourmet menu and one heck of a waiting list for weekend brunch.

Indoor and outdoor classes at Crunch Fitness

As you may already have noticed, Hobokenites really enjoy their waterfront views and make the most out of them. Crunch Fitness is a popular boutique gym that offers attendees a front-row seat to the river and the city skyline from inside. When it gets warmer, they also offer group classes outside – perfect for locals and weekenders too. Just don’t forget to take advantage of the sauna and steam room while you’re there.

Hoboken Arts and Music Festival

The annual Hoboken Arts and Music Festival features, you guessed it, live music, photography, local vendors such as makers, artists and plenty of food and drink stands. Held on Washington Street on the south end of Hoboken, it’s easily accessible by train, PATH or even the ferry if you’re coming from across the river.

Walk Uptown to Downtown

A walking tour of Hoboken isn’t just doable – its the best way to get around in this one square-mile city. Cut down side streets and backstreets with old-world cobblestones, do some window-shopping and grab a bite to fuel up for the rest of your self-guided tour at one of the many bodegas along the way.

SantaCon

Depending on what camp you’re in, SantaCon is either your favorite or most hated time of the year. Hundreds and hundreds of visitors dressed as jolly St Nick descend upon Hoboken with friends in similar garb to enjoy a day of pub crawls, food and merry making. It’s a worldwide event that’s organized independently in different cities and during SantaCon Hoboken is certainly a highlight.

Restaurant Week

A bi-annual, multi-day event that showcases Hudson County’s best bites, Restaurant Week is a must-see and, er, must-eat event. Taste exclusive dishes and enjoy a few mouthwatering courses from each restaurant for only a fraction of the regular cost. So, make sure you grab a ticket and RSVP because this event sells out fast!

Bar hopping

Thanks to its proudly held title of “most bars per capita in America”, Hoboken has over 120 drinking establishments – from dives to bistro-pubs and rooftop bars, there’s really something for everyone. Spend an evening with friends and check out Hoboken’s fun and lively bar scene.

Yoga on the Pier

Take a free class at Pier A with one of the instructors from Hoboken’s many local yoga studios. From April through August, you can get your “Om” on with a fun and flowy vinyasa class outside. For those warm summer evenings, we recommend the sunset yoga class.

Tuesday nights at Green Rock

Grab your beer-and-pizza-loving friends and take them to Green Rock for $1 domestic mugs and two-for-one pizzas all night. This fun, casual old-school tavern doubles as a sports bar and is great for big or small groups and cheap (but delicious) pub eats.

Hoboken Ferry Terminal

Now, not that we’re encouraging you to leave Hoboken, but a ferry ride around Manhattan and back, of course, is certainly worthwhile. Its convenient waterfront location makes it easy to see the sights both on and off land. So, be sure to take just a quick ride and come right back to keep enjoying Hoboken.

Beaux-Arts architecture

Hailing from the early 1900s, the opulent Beaux-Arts architecture was a popular design at the time and many of New Jersey’s buildings, including the Hoboken Terminal and City Hall were created in this style. Visiting these spots shows off the charming old-world look and feel of the Beaux-Arts era and a look back into the grand history of Hoboken.

Italian Festival

Tony Soprano, Frank Sinatra … New Jersey is famous for its Italian heritage and Hoboken is the spot for to celebrate it. The popular Italian Festival is a huge cultural event that brings Italians and non-Italians together with amusement rides, fireworks, live music and everyone’s favorite part, “The Feast”.

Pier 13 Park

Hoboken’s very own “backyard”, the Pier 13 Park is large, outdoor area with green space, city views, food trucks, movie nights and even its very own biergarten. Open to both families and young urbanites, Pier 13 is easily one the most fun places to be in the warmer months. Grab a sangria, your sunglasses and relax in one of their outdoor lounge chairs. Not too bad for weekend plans, huh?

Water activities

Pier 13 is a great place to spend a day on the water with friends. Here, you’ll find classes and tours on sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking and even SUP Yoga (that’s Stand Up Paddleboard yoga, for the uninitiated) so that you can enjoy the Hudson from a unique angle. Pro-tip: Don’t worry, the Hudson River is clean and safe, so get out there!

Go shopping

Hoboken is chock-full of boutiques, gift shops and popular retail stores that are all within walking distance of one another (and the bodegas, naturally) on Washington Avenue. Check out local faves like the Hudson Paperie, the Washington General Store, Peper & Parlor just to name a few. No shopping trip is complete without a lunch at a local bistro nearby, so make sure you find somewhere yummy to fuel up.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

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