Liberty State Park is almost two square miles in size, located in Jersey City, NJ,, with outstanding city views and lots to do. You can catch a ferry to the Statue of Liberty from here and will probably spend less time waiting in line and experience smaller crowds than if you had departed from Battery Park in Manhattan. However, Liberty State Park itself is a great destination for spending a pleasant summer morning or afternoon biking, picnicking, or strolling around taking in the sites, and it is a favorite spot for catching the 4th of July fireworks display each year.
Manhattan views…..and more
There is a two-mile promenade starting at Audrey Zapp Drive that provides stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, as well as The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Jersey City. Jersey City is walking distance from the park, which makes this a go-to hangout for locals.
Tickets to catch the ferry to the Statue of Liberty can be purchased at the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, located at 1 Audrey Zapp Drive.
Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal
In its heyday, the Central Railroad of New Jersey served up to 50,000 commuters each day. It’s also an important part of U.S. history. From 1892 through 1954 immigrants who came to this country were greeted by the Statue of Liberty, and after being processed through Ellis Island came to this train terminal to purchase tickets for trains that took them to destinations throughout the United States to start their new lives. The tracks are currently closed due to damage from Hurricane Sandy, but the train terminal is open as a small museum and location for purchasing ferry tickets to the Statue of Liberty. You can spend a few minutes looking out over the eerily overgrown tracks, which have the travel destination of each train at each line posted, and imagine the many hopeful travelers who came through here once.
Empty Sky Memorial
749 people that lived in or had ties to New Jersey who passed away at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 are memorialized at the Empty Sky Memorial, also located on Audrey Zapp Drive. Walk through the brushed stainless steel walls engraved with their names in a solemn moment of silence in their memory.
The Liberty Science Center
Walk back along Audrey Zapp drive and take a left on Phillip Street and it will take you to the Liberty Science Center, a place for marvel and learning. It has the largest planetarium outside of Asia. With 12 exhibition halls that include a 35 foot high climbing gym, kids and adults alike often spend several hours just exploring here. For more information and events held throughout the year, see their website Liberty Science Center.
Biking and Picnicking
The park has plenty of trails for long walks or biking, and picnic areas with picnic tables at the south end of the park. There are also two great restaurants with great views for dining and events, Liberty House Restaurant [76 Audrey Zapp Drive, (201) 395-0300] and Maritime Parc [84 Audrey Zapp Drive, (201) 413-0050].
From Jersey City walk down Warren Street to the The Liberty Landing Ferry where for $2 (one way) it will take you across the water straight to Liberty State Park in a few minutes. The ferry stop is on Audrey Zapp Drive and near most of the sights. If you are biking or in the mood for a longer walk, there is a free pedestrian crossing bridge at Jersey Avenue.
Date of trip: July 2021