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
Photo of Katherine Oakes
22 March 2021

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.

Pier A Park

Park
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Couple in hammock enjoying view of New York City/Manhattan skyline from across the Hudson River at Hoboken, New Jersey's waterfront. 2D1BXTR
Courtesy of The Photo Works / Alamy
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

Natural Feature
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View of New York City/Manhattan skyline from across the Hudson River at Hoboken, New Jersey's waterfront. 2D1BY6W
Courtesy of The Photo Works / Alamy
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

Bakery, North American, $$$
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The original Cake Boss Storefront in Hoboken, NJ - J06N8X
Courtesy of Bob London / Alamy
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.

Hoboken's Pilsener Haus & Biergarten

Gastropub, North American, $$$
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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.

Indoor and outdoor classes at Crunch Fitness

Gym
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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

Architectural Landmark, Music Venue, Art Gallery
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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

Architectural Landmark
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Charrito's Restaurant outdoor dining in Hoboken, New Jersey, United States, USA - 2D14GB5
Courtesy of The Photo Works / Alamy

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

Architectural Landmark
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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

Architectural Landmark
Map View

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

Architectural Landmark
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2EK6AFW - Patrons sit outside of a restaurant, as new measures are implemented to allow people to gather outside after months of being under the COVID-19 shutdown to prevent the spread of the deadly virus, in Hoboken, NJ, June 18, 2020. Under city ordinances, busin
Courtesy of Anthony Behar / Alamy

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.

Hoboken Ferry Terminal

Architectural Landmark
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The Erie-Lackawanna Railroad and Ferry Terminal. Hoboken, NJ, USA - C5CBGE
Courtesy of John Van Decker / Alamy

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

Building, Architectural Landmark
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City Hall, Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - C5CBG3
Courtesy of John Van Decker / Alamy

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

Market, Pop-up Store
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Italian deli in Hoboken, New Jersey, United States - 2D63NRB
Courtesy of The Photo Works / Alamy

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

Park
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View of Pier 13 an Open Air Seasonal Beer Garden and Food Truck Place, Hoboken, Hudson County, New Jersey - 2A5N4G5
Courtesy of George Oze / Alamy
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

Park
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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

Shop, Store, Architectural Landmark
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Row Houses and apartment buildings line Washington Street, the main thoroughfare in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA. C5CBH0
Courtesy of John Van Decker / Alamy

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.

These recommendations were updated on March 22, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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