Hoboken is the birthplace of Frank Sinatra, home to TLC's hit show Cake Boss, and has been said to have been the birthplace of the first baseball game at Elysian Fields. Union City is the second most densely populated city in the United States, and Jersey City leads you to the Statue of Liberty! There are so many reasons to visit this part of Jersey!
The first three years of my high school experience were spent in the Garden State. As someone who grew up in sunny South Florida, moving to New Jersey when I was 14 caused me to experience culture shock. There are so many differences between the two states. Although I didn't love the snow, losing feeling in my hands every time I went out during the winter, or struggling to find parking, there were some pretty cool things about the state, specifically about the general Jersey City-Hoboken-Union City area. If you're ever in the area, you have to go to these places and do these things!
1. Boulevard East
This is a small park that sits on top of a hill, on the side of a winding road that goes through Weehawken, North Bergen, West New York, and Guttenberg. From here, you can see the entire Manhattan skyline, since the park overlooks the Hudson River. I loved going there with my family to enjoy pretty Spring days and to take pictures. Most people, including me and some of my friends, have gone here to take pictures for Quinceañeras, weddings, and sweet sixteens.
2. Carlo's Bakery
If you've ever seen the TLC show, Cake Boss, you've seen this little bakery from the point of view of a camera crew. The show has the workers create beautiful cakes and desserts. As soon as I arrived in Hoboken, I headed to this bakery with my family and ordered a small coffee and a fudge brownie (the best brownie I've ever had). I wish I would have gone here more since I was always in the area. If I had the chance to go back, I'd spend a lot of time there.
3. MetLife Stadium
The famous stadium located in East Rutherford seats 82,500 people and was home to the 2014 Super Bowl. It can clearly be seen from the New Jersey highway. I remember passing it on my way home multiple times and being amazed by such a massive stadium that was lit up in the night. I was lucky enough to have been able to attend 2 One Direction concerts there in 2014 and 2015. The stadium is gorgeous and the view from anywhere inside is incredible. I could see Metlife from the roof (also football field) of my high school. Whether you're attending a concert or a sporting event, you'll have a great time at Metlife.
4. Anywhere On The Hudson Side Of Hoboken
Hoboken borders the Hudson river which allows you to have a magnificent view of the Manhattan skyline from basically anywhere you can see the water from. The parks in this area are beautiful. They are full of seating areas, playgrounds for kids, and walking areas for the athletes in the city. There is also a beautiful pier that people walk on all the time.
5. Liberty State Park
When you think of the Statue of Liberty, you probably associate it with New York City, but guess what, you can get to it through New Jersey. There's actually a park called Liberty State Park where the statue can be seen in the distance. This park also has boats that take people to the statue. You can also see parts of Manhattan from here and you have a great view of the Freedom Tower (the tower that was built around the rebuilt World Trade Center after 9/11). The sights here make the experience very peaceful and always left me feeling calm. This park is definitely the place to go to if you want to do something majorly touristy or if you want to relax with your family on a Saturday afternoon.
These are just a few great places to visit if you're ever in the area. I think back to my time in New Jersey and always have a lot of fond memories of sitting by the Hudson or of passing by the massive Metlife Stadium by the highway and feeling excited about attending concerts. New York City is full of cool places to check out as well, and when you visit northern Jersey, you'll be able to get to them in less than ten minutes, but Jersey also has some hidden gems that are worth visiting!