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How to Have a DAY at Liberty State Park

by Jen Gonzalez
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Unmatched historical significance, diverse wildlife coupled with sweeping views of Manhattan and Lady Liberty make Liberty State Park one of New Jersey’s most cherished attractions among locals and tourists alike. Ongoing attempts to privatize and develop the beautiful park are vehemently opposed by many residents and lawmakers, who recently introduced the Liberty State Park Protection Act. Thankfully, with summer right around the corner, the park is still free for all to enjoy — and have a serious day. An oasis in an urban desert, Liberty State Park provides a luscious green space for residents of a seemingly concrete jungle. Read on to discover all the things you can do in and around Liberty State Park this spring.

liberty state park

Explore Ellis Island

Proudly declared the most diverse city in the US the last two years in a row, it is no wonder that Jersey City houses Liberty State Park, which served a vital role in European immigration from 1892 to 1954. After being processed at Ellis Island, immigrants were ferried to Liberty State Park, where the Central Railroad of New Jersey {CRRNJ} transported them to their new homes across New Jersey and the country. Although passenger operations ceased in April 1967, this landmark is still intact with educational exhibits on display. Experience the immigration journey in reverse by taking the ferry to Ellis Island {located right outside the CRRNJ} and visit the Statue of Liberty by boat.

Visit the Central Railroad of NJ

ellis island


The CRRNJ Terminal was utilized from 1892 through 1954 in conjunction with Ellis Island. Immigrants purchased tickets and boarded trains at the terminal that took them to their new homes throughout the United States. Today there is a small museum dedicated to area history, interpretive programs and tours and ferry service to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

Discover The Wildlife

Another surprisingly diverse aspect of Liberty State Park is the wildlife. Bird watching is a common pastime in the park, where you may even spot a falcon. In fact, did you know that the oldest running live stream wildlife camera in New Jersey is the Jersey City Falcon Cam, which is in its 19th year and responsible for the recovery of over 40 pairs of the endangered species  Jersey City local John Dunstan’s film, Jersey City, the Wildlife and Me {@wildjerseycity}, details the exotic wildlife Liberty State Park offers from its insects to marine life. Bring binoculars!

Walk the Marsh of the Hudson River Estuary

The Nature Interpretive Center is still closed, but an adjacent pathway through the 36-acre salt marsh of the Hudson River Estuary is open for self-guided strolls. Kayak tours for ages 16 and older depart from the southern end of the park {advanced registration is required}. There’s also

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See The 9/11 Memorial

liberty state park memorial

The NJ Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial, the official State of New Jersey’s memorial, is located in the North Field outside of the old CRRNJ station. Comprised of two 210-foot-tall stainless steel walls, this memorial provides a peaceful area to reflect and pay tribute to the 749 NJ residents who lost their lives on that tragic day and whose names are permanently inscribed on the walls.

Have a Barbecue

For those looking to get outside on a beautiful day, the perimeter of the park provides a picturesque promenade for joggers, bikers, and strollers to enjoy a perfect view of Manhattan and Lady Liberty. Kayak Eco Tours are available for children and adults over 16 years old on the South Side of the park beginning in May from 10:00AM-12:00PM. There are also Picnic Pavilions for those who want to grill. The reservation fee is $150 for NJ residents and $200 for non-NJ residents and includes a grill, access to a restroom, parking, electrical outlet, and lighting.

Eat Dinner at a Restaurant Near the Park

liberty house

{Photo credit: @libertyhouserestaurant}

For those looking for an indoor dining experience, Maritime Parc and Liberty House restaurants are open to the public for a classic dining experience complete with views of Manhattan and the marina. Liberty State Park also offers SummerFest, a series of free outdoor concerts all summer long. Check the Jersey City Office of Cultural Affairs for the schedule here.

Visit the Liberty Science Center

Near the entrance of the park lies Liberty Science Center, a state-of-the-art science center right here in NJ {take the light rail to Liberty State Park station to get there}.

liberty science center

This science wonderland boasts one of the largest planetariums in the Western Hemisphere and is constantly hosting various science shows for both adults and children to enjoy. They also have Thursday night events called LSC After Dark — for age 21+.

See More: Unique Indoor Kid Friendly Activities in Hoboken


Have you visited Liberty State Park yet? What’s your favorite attraction? Let us know in the comments!

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