Hoboken, New Jersey is a mile-square city just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. It's the birthplace of both baseball and Frank Sinatra.
So many images may come to mind. Is Hoboken still a young party town for recent grads? Has Hoboken become the place for new moms and dads? Is Hoboken still flooded after Sandy? Is Hoboken’s parking notoriously difficult?
If you are willing to explore, you’ll find the real Hoboken: your Hoboken.
Here are stops to make around town.
Hoboken Historical Museum
Themed exhibitions rotate every few months but this compact museum has a lot to offer in terms of Hoboken’s history, hence its name. In addition to the exhibitions, the Museum offers educational programs, lectures, volunteer opportunities, and advice for self-guided walking tours. The Museum charges just $3 admission.
Mangia Food Walking Tour
You are guaranteed an “authentic behind-the-scenes experience” every Saturday at 2 pm. If there is enough demand, an additional tour will be added. Go hungry; the tour lasts 3.5 hours and happens rain or shine. Tickets are $46. You can view the itinerary here:
“Mutz:” Fiore’s Deli, Vito’s Italian Deli, and M&P Biancamano
While the Mangia Food Walking Tour does take you to “mutz” (the Hoboken slang for mozzarella) makers, you can choose to DIY around town. These three are far enough apart so you’ll have time to digest before digging in again.
Leo’s is a Hoboken institution. In April 1939, Leo and his wife Tessie opened a bar. Tessie would prepare meals for their patrons in her apartment upstairs. The bar was gradually expanded into the restaurant you see today. Leo and Tessie loved Frank Sinatra and it is evident from the music in the jukebox and the framed photographs on the walls.
Frank Sinatra’s Birthplace
On December 12, 1915, Ol’ Blue Eyes was born at 415 Monroe Street. The actual building is no longer there but a Hollywood-like star marks the spot. There is a Frank Sinatra self-guided walking tour available from the Hoboken Historical Museum.
Stevens Institute of Technology and Castle Point
Castle Point is the highest point in Hoboken and overlooks the Hudson River. Stevens, as it’s often called, is situated on Castle Point and offers interesting landmarks, a beautiful campus and panoramic views of Manhattan.
Hudson River Waterfront
Famous for its appearance in On the Waterfront, Hoboken’s waterfront has been completely revamped since Brando’s time. With spectacular Manhattan views, this waterfront offers pathways, benches, and parks from where to enjoy the views. The waterfront is great for walking and biking and stretches from Jersey City to West New York.
The bustling main street of town, Washington Street, hosts a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars starting from the Path downtown and all the way to the Hudson Tea Building uptown. On a warm weather day, tables and chairs line the sidewalk for plenty of al fresco dining. You’ll find yourself strolling along the river on Sinatra Drive, admiring the brownstones on Bloomfield and wandering on Willow. Discover small shops and restaurants all over town, not just on Washington Street.
Maxwell’s has been dubbed ‘New Jersey’s premier rock ‘n’ roll nightclub.’ Local trivia: Bruce Springsteen’s Glory Days music video was partly filmed at Maxwell’s. Maxwell’s is an iconic venue that is, hopefully, here to stay. Opened in 1978, the venue closed in 2013 but reopened under new ownership several months later.
Bonus: It is believed that the first organized baseball game was played at Elysian Fields in Hoboken. Concrete monuments mark the bases at each of the four corners at the intersection of Washington and 11th Streets. Fun fact: Third base is just outside the entrance to Maxwell’s.