Home Food + DrinkBars Things to Do on Hoboken’s Waterfront: Eat, Drink, Play, + Explore

Things to Do on Hoboken’s Waterfront: Eat, Drink, Play, + Explore

by Erin Lanahan
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With warmer weather in the forecast, more locals are taking to the Hoboken riverfront to soak up the sun. The boardwalk along the Hudson River stretches from Jersey City to Weehawken and beyond, providing bikers, walkers, joggers, and more with plenty of space to explore. When they’re tired of moving, there are plenty of spaces to sit back, relax, enjoy a bite, or meet up with friends along the water. Beyond summer, there is a ton to explore along the water all year round. Read more to learn about the Hoboken waterfront and all the places to explore.

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History of the Riverfront

Hoboken has a long history of being a place to escape from the bustle of New York City. Back in 1784, Colonel John Stevens bought the island and developed it as a resort with New Yorkers in mind. In what would later be known as downtown Hoboken, Col. Stevens built a walkway along the Hudson River and park space that accommodated thousands of people.

In the 1830s, a natural spring was discovered by Col. Stevens and his family, so they built a cave around it. The family named it Sybil’s Cave, and it’s the oldest manmade structure in Hoboken and overlooks the Hudson River. As the Stevens’ property became the Stevens Institute of Technology, the cave was lost in building debris in the late 1800s. In 2007, the city of Hoboken rediscovered the cave, dug it out, and put up a plaque commemorating the historical find. A fence now surrounds the cave, protecting the structural integrity and preventing entry.

Read More: Things to Do on Willow Avenue in Hoboken

Being right on the river, across from New York City, Hoboken became a rail and water transportation center. Many piers popped up along the waterfront making the city a major port for transatlantic shipping lines. Later, the federal government made Hoboken into the prime port for shipping troops off to fight in World War I. More than three million soldiers passed through in the 1910s and early 1920s with the hope of an early return home. It led to the slogan, “Heaven, Hell or Hoboken…by Christmas.”

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Over time, the way cargo was shipped changed how Hoboken’s ports were used. By the 1970s, the containerization of ship cargo meant that Hoboken was no longer the popular destination it once was: Hoboken’s warehouses could not accommodate the large containers. Now the riverfront is a massive public space, encouraging residents to spend time outside and enjoy the views of both cityscapes.

Green Spaces

When the sun comes out in Hoboken, parks across the city are littered with friends getting together, readers enjoying their latest books, kids racing around, dogs exploring, and more. Several parks line the water providing plenty of free space for locals to spread out.

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Maritime Park | Sinatra Drive

maritime park hoboken

One of Hoboken’s newest projects is the Maritime Park, planned to sit between the Castle Point Skate Park and Maxwell Waterfront Park. On February 7th, 2024, Hoboken City Council approved the final concept design for the park. The design includes a large lawn, an expanded beach area, an upgraded skate park, a playground area, and more. The final design is available to view online. No word yet on when construction will start or when the park will open.

Pier A Park | 11 Sinatra Drive

pier a park hoboken

Located right next to the Hoboken train station, Pier A Park provides a large green space for those looking to unwind outside after their commute or to simply take in the views of the city.

Pier C Park | 340 Sinatra Drive

Just a short walk up the boardwalk from Pier A Park is where people can find Pier C Park. It has a lot of benches for walkers or joggers to rest.

Sinatra Park | Sinatra Drive Between 4th + 5th Street

sinatra drive

The walkway continues to Sinatra Park, a park situated on a little island off the boardwalk. The funky design features benches, play areas for children, and a great view of New York City.

On The Water

Temperatures are getting warmer which provides the perfect weather to take to the water. The waterfront has a few spots that give locals and visitors the chance to spend time outside and get out on the Hudson River. Check out these spots if you’re leaning into your nautical side this summer.

Hoboken Sailing Club | 1301 Sinatra Drive

Guests can sail away with the Hoboken Sailing Club. Even if you don’t have a boat docked at the pier, there are still plenty of opportunities to get out on the water. Sailors of all ages and skill levels can take a class with the sailing school. Students can join a class to learn with a group of adventurers or take a private lesson with one of the Club’s experienced instructors. The boat club has online courses to help sailors ease into their nautical journey.

Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse | Maxwell Place Park

hoboken cove community

The Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse will celebrate its 20th season in 2024. This program is run entirely by volunteers and provides free kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding days for water enthusiasts of all experience levels to enjoy. Reservations go live on the website four days before each free paddle day. If you’re looking for a more intense paddle, sign up for one of the Boathouse’s River Trips. The trips last from one to two hours and kayakers travel about two miles. Participants do have to take a quick paddle test to ensure they’re safe in their kayak before setting off on the Hudson.

 

 

Eat + Drink

Many establishments along Hoboken’s waterfront boast views of the New York City skyline. Here are a couple of places where the food and drinks are almost (or even better than) the views.

16 Handles | 1185 Maxwell Place

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Perfect for those with a sweet tooth, 16 Handles has plenty of frozen treats to cool off after a hot day. The store has 16 different soft-serve flavors and dozens of creative toppings. It’s located just across from Maxwell Place Park, which has plenty of benches where you enjoy ice cream with friends while watching the boats go by on the Hudson.

Blue Eyes | 525 Sinatra Drive

 

 
 
 
 
 
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With a name inspired by the allure of Frank Sinatra, Blue Eyes is an Italian restaurant located right in front of Sinatra Park. The menu is full of tasty choices, from pasta, pizza, and paninis. The bar has beer, wine, and a small menu of cocktails. Make sure to save room for gelato for dessert! During the spring and summer, the restaurant has outdoor seating, perfect for drinking in the cityscape views.

Halifax | 225 River Street

halifax brunch

Halifax is a trendy spot serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a clear view of the water. The restaurant gets many of its ingredients from places as far as Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia, which inspired the restaurant’s name and menu. This spot is located inside the W Hotel and is known to be a spot for spotting visiting celebrities.

House Of ‘Que | 340 Sinatra Drive

 

 
 
 
 
 
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For those looking to skip the grill but still enjoy a rich barbeque this summer, check out House of ‘Que. Just a short walk from the PATH station, the Texas-inspired BBQ restaurant provides a wide selection of brisket, pulled pork, chicken, hot dogs, and more.

Pier 13 | 1301 Sinatra Drive

pier 13

Celebrating its 13th season this summer 2024, Pier 13 is the destination for people looking to enjoy a drink while soaking up views of the city. With food trucks, bars, live music, and other events, there are many things to keep guests coming back. The owner tells The Hoboken Girl she’s still planning a couple of events and to be on the lookout for a couple of announcements in the coming weeks.

The Ainsworth | 310 Sinatra Drive

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Sitting right next to the Hudson, The Ainsworth is a chic restaurant featuring American cuisine and a wide variety of drinks. It’s a great setting for date night, a girl’s dinner, or watching the game with friends. Order a burger, tacos, salad, or more; there’s something for everyone. Not only can guests enjoy a wonderful dinner near the water, but the restaurant has private and semi-private event space to rent out with views of the cityscape.

The Lola | 102 Sinatra Drive

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Just a short walk from the PATH station, The Lola has great drinks, good food, and lovely views of the water. The seasonal cocktails are a draw, which are frequently changed up to match the vibe. The core menu has classics such as espresso martinis. This is a fun and celebratory stop for brunch or dinner.

See More: Things to Do on Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair

Turning Point | 1420 Sinatra Drive

best byob brunch hoboken turning point

Known as an award-winning brunch spot, Turning Point has a rich menu of pancakes, omelets, french toast, and more. The large coffee menu is sure to keep guests caffeinated through their mornings.

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