Best attractions in Newark
Newark, New Jersey, also known as Brick City, is a 30-minute drive or train ride from Manhattan and Jersey City, making it ideal for a day trip from New York. It is also an excellent choice for those looking for a unique and exciting city break. Despite the fact that its airport connects the world to New York, Newark is unknown, quiet, and easy to explore.
While in New Jersey, you can attend a variety of exciting festivals. The Newark Hurricane Festival is daily from June to September, and the Newark Garden Fest is once a month from the end of August to the middle of October, every Wednesday through Sunday. The Newark Jazz Festival, which takes place in the city centre and features events at many bars, restaurants, and venues, is a must-see for music fans.
The city’s Ironbound neighbourhood also has a rich cultural heritage. Museums, theatres, zoos, restaurants, and parks all provide unique and exciting experiences for families and locals alike. These Newark activities are ideal for a New Jersey vacation.
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1 NEWARK MUSEUM
The largest museum in New Jersey was in 1909, but it has undergone several additions and expansions since then. The museum is well-known for its Tibetan gallery, which houses one of the world’s best collections of Tibetan artefacts. It contains a Buddhist altar dedicated to the Dalai Lama. The Victoria Hall of Science, which houses over 70,000 specimens, a planetarium, and a collection of ancient and contemporary art, are among the other galleries and exhibitions housed within the museum.
2 RIVERFRONT PARK
Riverfront Park is on the Passaic River’s south bank. Because green space is scarce in Newark, the park provides a welcome respite for residents of the nearby Ironbound neighbourhood, as well as other locals and tourists. A park is a great place for a riverside stroll, and it also hosts many events. Riverfront has something for everyone, from early morning yoga classes to Zumba and running clubs.
3 PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE
The New Jersey Performing Arts Centre is an important cultural location in Newark, and it is well worth a visit if there is a performance during your stay. The former Military Park Hotel was to make way for the new centre. The structure was Barton Myers and opened in 1997. The New Jersey Performing Arts Centre is one of the largest in the country and is for its arts education programme. Scholarships, residencies, and classes in dance, music, and theatre are available at the centre.
4 GELATOS AT NASTO’S
When in Newark, those with a sweet tooth should stop by Nasto’s. Nastos was in 1939 by Frank Nasto to serve traditional Italian ice cream to the locals. All the recipes used at Nasto’s are from Frank Nasto’s hometown of Nocera in Italy, and the ice cream is fresh every day. Nasto’s chilled treats are now available for delivery and shipping across the United States for those who can’t get enough of them.
5 THE PROJECT FOR EMPTY SPACE
PES Studios serves as a creative hub for a diverse range of creative outlets. The space spans three levels and is Penn Station’s transit hub, making it easy for tourists and visitors to get around. It is part of a larger project called Project for Empty Space, which was a non-profit organisation in neighbouring New York City in 2012. The project’s goal is to turn vacant office spaces or stores into pop-up art displays and venues. Special events are also available, such as access to art studios and the opportunity for local artists to become artists in-house.
6 HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The New Jersey Historical Society is a great place to learn more about Newark and the state it is in. The Historical Society is in the Essex Club’s beautiful 1926 Georgian-style building. The society occupies two floors of the structure. There are exhibition spaces, a lecture hall, a gift shop, a library, and a reading room on the inside. The society was in 1845 by local citizens, and also to documenting and preserving the state’s history, it also hosts walking tours of Newark and publishes an academic journal exploring the area’s history.
7 MILITARY PARK
Military Park was a training ground for soldiers between 1667 and 1869. Today, the six-acre park is a tranquil haven for relaxation and reflection. Inside the park, there is a large memorial to the Wars of America, which commemorates the lives of those who fought in America’s wars. The monument was Gutzon Borglum, the creator of Mount Rushmore. Aside from learning about military history, the park is a popular urban green space. The park hosts yoga and Zumba classes, provides lawn games to visitors, and is available for special events.
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8 BRANCH BROOK PARK
Branch Brook Park, Newark’s largest public park, was in 1895 by the Essex County Parks Commission, making it the country park’s first in the United States. The park spans 360 acres (146 ha) and includes woodland, open spaces, and flowerbeds. Cherryblossomland, the park’s renowned blossoming area, contains over 4300 trees. The park hosts an annual event in April to commemorate the arrival of the cherry blossoms. There are also lakes, bridges, and sculptures to explore and discover in the park.
9 CATHEDRAL BASILICA OF THE SACRED HEART
The Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart is a Gothic Revival architectural marvel. Following a trip to Europe for inspiration, Jeremiah O’Rourke and Monsignor George Hobbart Doane designed the cathedral. The construction began in 1898 and took 29 years to complete. O’Rourke and Doane incorporated Anglo-style flying buttresses and French mediaeval spires into their work as a result of their European travels. After visiting the cathedral, take a walk-through Branch Brook Park to reconnect with nature.
10 The Ironbound
The neighbourhood is diverse and multicultural, with residents of various ethnicities. The community is close-knit and very active in the surrounding area. Ironbound has over 170 restaurants of various cuisines, making it the ideal place to grab a bite to eat. There are also many shops, bars, and cafes to visit. Stop by Nasto’s Ice Cream and Fornos and Mompou for delectable tapas while in Ironbound. South of the Passaic River is Ironbound.
11 CITIES WITHOUT WALLS
City Without Walls is another fantastic art exhibition in Newark. Crawford Street’s exhibition space aims to inspire cutting-edge art and creativity in the city. The space allows contemporary artists from all over the city to showcase their talents and artworks. Visitors to City Without Walls will see a diverse range of creativity on display, with exhibitions changing on a regular basis. Large sculptural pieces, installation works, and canvas paintings and sculptures have all been in previous exhibitions.
12 HOBBY’S DELICATESSEN AND RESTAURANT
Hobby’s Delicatessen and Restaurant has been serving hungry Newark residents for over 50 years. This traditional Jewish Deli and restaurant serves its legendary corned beef every day. The legendary corned beef cooked in a vat is at the top of the menu. There are a variety of souvenirs available for those who have a connection to the deli, including t-shirts. When the New Jersey Devils play, Hobby’s becomes busy as hungry fans flock to fill up before, during, and after the big game.
13 PRUDENTIAL CENTRE
The Prudential Centre, also known as ‘The Rock,’ is the largest multipurpose indoor arena in the United States. The centre is home to the New Jersey Devils, a National Hockey League team that sells out its 17,000-plus seats on a regular basis. Basketball games are also held at the centre. Aside from sporting events, the centre also hosts Disney on Ice and many music concerts each year. Stop by the restaurant to enjoy hearty traditional American foods and drinks while watching a show or game at the centre.
14 NEWARK SYMPHONY HALL
Head to Newark Symphony Hall for a special evening out, where you can see performances by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as well as other public and private events. The structure itself is impressive. On the outside, Frank Grad designed the hall in a neo-classical style. There are many ancient Greek and Egyptian motifs inside, as well as large marble columns and plenty of gold leaf.
15 WEEQUAHIC LAKE AND PARK
Weequahic Park and Lake in the South Ward is a peaceful retreat from the city’s bustle. The lake is the largest in Essex County and is within a well-kept country park. A 2.2-mile (3.54-kilometer) trail circles the lake and is popular with walkers and cyclists. To welcome the summer months, the park has an 18-hole golf course, sports fields, and picnic areas with grills. Seasonal paddle sports such as kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding are available on the lake, and you can rent equipment in the park.