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How to Spend a Day in Harrison, NJ

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If you’re looking for a local day trip, Harrison is a hidden gem not too far from The Mile Square that offers incredible historic sites and is rich in its diversity. Named after William Henry Harrison, the 9th (and shortest-serving) president of the U.S, this Hudson County town has so much to offer. The first steam engine in North America was set up in the Schuyler Copper mines. Some of the industries that called Harrison home included The Edison Lamp Works, Otis Elevator, The RCA Company, and many more. President William Taft named Harrison the “Beehive of Industry” in 1912 –  and the name stuck. The New York Times even called Harrison the next Hoboken for its proximity to NYC. From delicious food to beautiful scenery, there’s so much to explore in Harrison. Read on to find out why Harrison should be the next stop on your list of places to visit.

How to Get There

Harrison is about a 20-minute drive from Hoboken. It is within 15 minutes of Newark Liberty International Airport and 17 minutes to New York City via the PATH train. 

Things to Do 

The Henry Mutz Museum of Harrison Harrison Museum | 318 Harrison Avenue

Harrison Museum

(Photo credit: Harrison Museum)

The Henry Mutz Museum of Harrison opened in 2002 in the lower level of the Town Hall Annex. The museum was named in honor of Henry Mutz who served as the town’s first historian from 1980-1989. Henry spent years collecting memorabilia and items of interest from the Town of Harrison. He devoted a room in his home on Paterson Street as a museum, displaying the many artifacts he had collected. In 1990, Anthony Comprelli was named the town’s second historian and has worked hard to identify many of the items of interest. 

Red Bull Arena | 600 Cape May Street

Red Bull Arena

(Photo credit: Red Bull Arena)

The Red Bull Arena is home to the New York Red Bulls professional soccer team and is the perfect place to catch a game. The 25,000-seat stadium opened in 2010 and has an interesting curving structure that wraps the entire arena. It is a full-service event and catering facility. The high-end event space hosts weddings, bridal + baby showers, and more.

Read More: Commuter Updates: Ferry Resumes Downtown Service + NYC Subways Reopen 24/7

West Hudson Park | Schuyler Avenue + Davis Avenue

West Hudson Park dates back to 1888. It is located on the border between Harrison and Kearny. The 46-acre park offers 4 miles of walkway and views of the 2-acre Fairy Lake. The park has an array of sports fields and courts including two baseball and softball fields, a youth baseball field, a half basketball court, a soccer field, a volleyball court, 4 lighted tennis courts, and an exercise/cross country course. The park is perfect for everyone, including kids, with 2 playgrounds and a spray pool. 

Where to Eat 

Antojos Colombianos Restaurant & Bakery | 530 Harrison Avenue

This family-owned restaurant and bakery is a necessary stop if you’re craving flavorful cuisine with a Colombian touch. The Bandeja Paisa ($22) or The Mini Paisa ($17) is comfort food personified and comes with beans, fried eggs, plantains, rice, chorizo, and more. An empanada is a great on-the-go snack. HG Tip: Try the Arepa de Choclo which is a delectably sweet corn, pancake-shaped dessert! 

See More: A Day Trip to New Haven, Connecticut

The Vanguard | 705 Frank E Rodgers Boulevard South

The Vanguard

(Photo credit: @thevanguard)

The Vanguard restaurant is set as an early 1940s factory used for the wartime effort and the bar nods to the women and men who served on the home front. With an extensive menu catering to meat-eaters and vegetarians alike, beautiful decor, Tiki-inspired cocktails, malts, and homemade sodas, there’s something for everyone. The Vanguard opened in Summer 2019 and has a jazz lounge with walls made of brick from nearby factories in addition to a large dining area. The three spaces that make up The Vanguard The Bar, a ‘Mess Hall’ inspired dining room, and a jazz cocktail lounge, create a rustic tone that reflects Harrison’s industrial past.

ZRolls Ice Cream | 306 Harrison Avenue A 

Z Rolls

(Photo credit: @zrollsicecream)

A sweet way to end this day trip is with a visit to ZRolls Ice Cream shop, which serves rolled ice cream. Try the Strawberry Shortcake which includes strawberries + graham crackers and is topped with whipped cream, strawberry boba, and Teddy Grahams. The milk and fruit boba teas are also delicious. 

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Written by:

Yarleen is a proud Jersey girl with Cuban roots. She’s an actor and freelance writer with an affinity for poetry, astrology, and fried plantains. Born in Jersey City and raised in West New York, where she currently resides, this Hudson county native can usually be found with an Americano in hand, or any caffeinated beverage really. A St. Peter’s University alum with a degree in Communication and Media Culture, Yarleen was News Editor of her college newspaper, while also reporting for the Hudson Reporter and The Jersey Journal. When she’s not on stage, enjoying a new hobby {currently rollerskating}, or typing away on her laptop, you can catch her running along the waterfront listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers or exploring NYC galleries.