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Jersey City, NJ - A City Rich With Attractions, Entertainment And Unbeatable Waterfront Views

Aug 17, 2007
Jersey City is a city rich with lifestyle variety, attractions, and entertainment. It is also a city with fascinating small ethnic neighborhoods, modern high rise condo towers, and attractions that include museums, a nationally recognized science learning center, and unbeatable, world class harbor views overlooking the New York City Skyline, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Jersey City is also steep in history. Before the Civil War, the city was an important stop on the Underground Railroad that led to a secret trail of safe houses that helped runaway slaves escape from the southern plantations. Four main railroad routes converged in Jersey City, and thousands of slaves passed through here on their way to freedom.

In recent years, Jersey City has undergone major redevelopment. The city has benefited from being across the Hudson River from New York City and from the relocation of many major corporations; new residents followed to enjoy a less expensive life style than NYC. This development has seen a dramatic increase in new high rise housing, shopping areas, restaurants, and major attractions.

The redevelopment of Jersey City is best exemplified by its waterfront. Construction of tall office towers and apartment complexes have taken hold along the downtown district, while further south, Liberty State Park is also experiencing improvements with the preservation of its natural environment to preserve the wetlands and creation of recreational areas, and the restoration of the historic CRRNJ railroad terminal. There is no better view in the world than Jersey Citys view of the harbor, overseeing the New York City Skyline, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Jersey Citys Neighborhoods
The Grove Street area, with easy access from the PATH station, is the center of downtown activity with arts, restaurants, and nightlife.

Van Vorst Park is one of the citys nicest neighborhoods, with tree lined historic brownstone homes, and a convenient walk to the Grove Street Path station, cafes and restaurants.

Paulus Hook is a charming neighborhood of Brownstone Row Houses with an excellent view of New York City and is convenient to the ferries to and from Manhattan. It also has many restaurants, arts and shopping throughout the mostly residential district.

Jersey Citys financial waterfront, known as Exchange Place, is home to many large financial firms and tall office towers. 30 Hudson Street, at 781 ft and 42 floors, is the tallest building in New Jersey, and the tallest building in the United States which is not within its metro area's largest city. However, like many financial centers its virtually deserted after 6 PM.

Journal Square is anchored by the Loews Jersey movie palace, which is also home to live music and art works. A short walk from Journal Square is Little India, where you can sniff the aroma of spices, and sample some of the excellent Indian restaurants.

Newport is a complex of residential rental towers, condos, restaurants, hotels, and the Newport Center Mall with on-site parking for more than 15,000 vehicles.

Jersey Citys Major Attractions

Liberty State Park
Created in 1976 for the U.S. Bicentennial, Liberty State Park is as large as New York's Central Park but is far less developed. It is a prime waterfront location that draws 4 million visitors a year to experience the many world class park attractions.

With sweeping views of lower Manhattan, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and ferries to all of the above, it also has playgrounds, picnic areas, bike paths, jogging paths, estuary, gardens, a marina and a large, beautiful restaurant with an awesome view. The park is host to many festivals, concerts, and other cultural happenings, and offers a great view of the fireworks displays over the water on the Fourth of July.

The park is easy to access via car, bus or light rail.

In the parks northwest corner is The Liberty Science Center, a family science museum, located on Phillip Drive. The most visited museum in New Jersey, it has 3 floors of interactive exhibits that focus on invention, health, and the environment. Also located in the Liberty Science Center is the Kodak Omni Theater, with the largest sized IMAX dome screen in the world. The Liberty Science Center is undergoing expansion and construction and will re-open in July of 2007.

The Liberty walk promenade graces the eastern edge of Liberty State Park, and is a 1.3 mile stroll taking in the park office, the Statue of Liberty overlook, and the restored CRRNJ railroad terminal.

The Interpretive Center, an environmental and historical educational facility, is located on Freedom Way. The Center, which houses an exhibit area, auditorium, and classroom space, offers programs for both the general public and school groups. Adjacent to the Center lies a sixty-acre natural area that consists mostly of salt marsh, nature trails and observation points to complement this wildlife habitat.

Hop on a ferry near the CRRNJ railroad terminal and visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

Statue of Liberty
Located on Liberty Island, a 12 acre island, it is 2000 feet from Liberty State Park. While there have been many claims as to which state the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Island) is in, it is in closer proximity to New Jersey and the State of New Jersey in fact does retain the riparian rights to all the submerged land surrounding the statue. However it continues to be within the territorial jurisdiction of the State of New York. Picnicking may be enjoyed at the southern end of the park located near the Administration Building. Picnic tables are provided with magnificent views of the harbor and skyline.

Ellis Island
Since it opened in 1892, Ellis Island has been the nation's premier federal immigration station until 1954 when it closed down. The immigration center processed over 12 million immigrant steamship passengers. After being greeted by the Statue of Liberty and processed at Ellis Island, the arriving immigrants purchased tickets and boarded trains at the nearby railroad terminal that took them to their new destinations throughout the United States

The main building was restored after 30 years of abandonment and opened as a museum on September 10, 1990. Today, over 40 percent of America's population can trace their ancestry through Ellis Island.

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are free, but you need to buy a ferry ticket to make it to the both places. The ferry and tickets for the ride can be had on the waterfront in Liberty National Park.

Liberty National Golf Course
Liberty National Golf Course is the world's most expensive golf course. Opened in 2006, it stretches along New York Harbor with awesome views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and the New York skyline.

Jersey City Museum
Located in the historic Jersey Citys Van Horst district, it contains a collection of more than 20,000 objects of regionally significant art and historical objects, and important 20th century acquisitions. The Collection includes over 300 paintings and works on paper by local illustrator and landscape painter August Will (1834-1910), as well as drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, maps, textiles, decorative arts and industrial objects.
About the Author
Frank Dalotto is a freelance writer and travel consultant. His specialty is writing articles about New Jersey travel, including attractions, events, and restaurant reviews. He is the owner and editor of New Jersey Leisure Guide and a travel consultant for Leisure Travel Mart. He is a member of ASTA (American Association of Travel Agents) and CLIA (Cruise Line International Association).
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