Your friends who moved to “New York City” but actually live in New Jersey aren’t necessarily living a lie. New Jersey is so much more than the Jersey Shore. Everything is walkable (and New Jersey locals walk just as damn fast). Newark is only a 20 minute cab ride away (and they have Uber pool – so cheap!) The views of Manhattan are better. And there is no such thing as being over (or under) dressed. Here’s how to spend 24 hours in Hoboken, New Jersey with a big ole smile on your face.
Morning: Breakfast at O’Bagel. New Jersey bagels are a thing, and if it’s not dripping in cream cheese you’re doing it wrong. I had a New Jersey native freak out when they heard I hadn’t tried a local bagel yet. So it’s a definite must on your foodie checklist. Build your own bagel sandwich or enjoy one of the favorite combos off the menu.
Morning: Shop in the boutiques on Washington. There are fan favorites like Anthropologie, but also quaint local places like Dear Hannah (clothing), Nollery (accessories), and Cheap Maggie’s (bizarre collection of brand names + crazy deals like 2 for $10 swimsuits). I found some cute finds in Dor L’ Dor—everything was stylish and the prices were reasonable ($20-40 for dresses and blouses).
Lunch: La Isla Restaurant. Get a taste of Cuba with this adorable café in Uptown Hoboken. Start your meal off with some empanadas and a fat pitcher of sangria. Fresh pressed bread is served complimentary to the table, and if you’re there on the weekend, brunch (and taking pictures with the floor tile!) is a must.
Afternoon: Day Drink on Pier 13 Hoboken. A short walk to the water front from La Isla, Pier 13 is a destination for all of the yuppies on this side of the shore. Note: You have to be 21 to get on. It’s filled with food trucks and an open air bar. It’s got some AstroTurf at the end—perfect for relaxing in the sun. Be sure to bring your camera and get some mad pictures of the Manhattan skyline.
Dinner: Grab snacks from the food trucks on Pier 13 or head over to the Wicked Wolf Tavern. The Wolf has a local sports bar / pub vibe and a menu to match. The most outstanding thing on the menu? The rainbow assortment of fishbowl drinks. Get one in your favorite color.
Drinks: Willie McBrides for beer pong/slap cup (they have a bunch of tables in the back). The Dubliner for rooftop (the line is worth the wait). Cooper’s for a fun AF bartender. Also be sure to lol at all the Jersey tryhards doing pullups on the scaffolding and street posts (YES – THIS WAS ACTUALLY SEEN).
Drunchies: Mac and cheese at Planet Mac. It’s apparently heavenly. Be warned: Yelp says it closes at 4am, but the bouncer was kicking people out around 3am when we got there. Contingency plan: Cluck-U across the street. It’s packed and the mac and cheese is better than Kraft, but just as cheap.
If you must head into Manhattan….the funnest way to do it is to take the ferry (New York Waterway)! Located right next to the train station, it costs only $6 to get to the Financial District. It’s a smooth ride that takes less than 10 minutes and you can some incredible views of the city, the water, and Ellis Island! If you’re on more of a time crunch and don’t want to switch lines, hop on the PATH (aka the train) and take it up to 33rd Street (easily accessible to Chelsea, the Highline, NYC, and the Flatiron). If you’re doing public transportation, take the time to invest in a Metro card—it’ll save you time/money in the future for sure.