NYC Neighborhoods

Moving to Hoboken — What’s Life Like in the 6th Borough?

Hoboken Street

by JStudios

For years Hoboken has resided as it’s own little microcosm; not quite New Jersey but not exactly Manhattan. It’s its own thing, which is why so many Hobokeners have a particular passion for it, similar to the residential love for the East Village, Williamsburg, Astoria, or Riverdale. It’s got spectacular views of Manhattan’s skyline and strides between the cozy, interpersonal connection of being right across the Hudson and a short distance away from the energized center of it all.

With a little over 50,000 residents condensed into the small city, Hoboken feels lively, changing, yet approachable. In recent years, youth and young families have flocked to Hoboken for its relative affordability, family-friendliness, and safe surroundings. As one of the nation’s most walkable cities, there are three areas of interest for people moving to Hoboken: Uptown, Downtown, and Midtown.

Moving to Hoboken’s Uptown

Map of Hoboken

Uptown Hoboken is ideal for people moving to Hoboken from NYC and where you’ll find most of the new construction. While most of Hoboken is deemed quiet, some will tout Uptown Hoboken as the most peaceful area of the city. It’s right on the heels of the 14th Street ferry terminal and a hop away from the Lincoln Tunnel. From here, you wouldn’t need a taxi or car to reach Manhattan. You could walk out your door and onto a ferry.

There’s tons of green space along the waterfront, namely Elysium and Maxwell Place Parks, where you’ll likely find families, dogs, and young couples. A high school, elementary school, and preschool are right on your doorstep, and there are 10+ parking garages to help you overcome the city’s unfortunate lack of street parking. That being said, having a car in Hoboken is pointless unless you need to commute away from the city center.

Places of note:
Choc O Pain – for decadent croissants and freshly roasted coffee
Elysian Cafe – locally-renowned French bistro where nobody is ever disappointed
La Isla – B.Y.O.B Cuban fare

Moving to Hoboken’s Downtown

Map of Downtown Hoboken

Due to the local college and university buildings sprinkled around the area, Downtown Hoboken is where you’ll find most of the young adults. The bars, restaurants, and shops along Washington Street tend to be more lively with a more youthful beat, and the PATH and downtown ferry terminal is 5 minutes away.

Similar to Uptown, there’s tons of green space along the waterfront, namely Pier A and C parks (which also have the most extensive lawns for sunbathing). A middle school, elementary school, preschool, and a variety of charter schools are located Downtown, along with 10+ parking garages. There are a variety of lovely brownstones in the area which get incredibly festive during the holidays, making Downtown a little more lively (and a little more riotous) than Uptown.

Places of note:
Movies Under the Stars – a free summer movie festival along Pier A regularly occurs during the summer
Carlo’s Bakery – cookies, cannoli's, and cakes made famous by the TV show “Cake Boss”
Empire Coffee & Tea Co. – locally roasted coffee that competes with Manhattan & Brooklyn’s best

Moving to Hoboken’s Midtown

Map of Midtown Hoboken

Midtown Hoboken doesn’t get a mention as much as it should since it’s definitely its own spot. Away (but not so far) from the PATH, parks, and bars that can make Downtown a little-less-than tranquil, Midtown is a 15-minute walk to either end, providing you accessibility of the Lincoln Tunnel, both ferry terminals, and the PATH.

A mix of new construction sprawls into the region alongside traditional brownstones, and green space can be found at Sinatra Park or the lawns of the Steven’s Institute. Castle Point Lookout provides one of the best vantage points for enjoying Manhattan’s skyline, although you’ll have to share it with the various frat houses in the area.

There are fewer opportunities for parking, with only four garages. Four preschools and three charters make up the area, not including the nearby schools of Downtown and Uptown.

Places of note:
Benny Tudino’s  pie slices as big as your face and outside seating
Jefferson’s Coffee – a low-key establishment with original pastries and unique coffee drinks
Bwe Kafe – relaxed cafe with ample workspace

Public transport available for people moving to Hoboken

The PATH train at the Downtown Hoboken NJ Transit Terminal and two ferry terminals in Uptown and Downtown, respectively, are the easiest ways into Manhattan besides the Lincoln Tunnel. Either option is incredibly efficient and can get you into Tribeca, Midtown, or Greenwich Village in 5-15 minutes.

The Path

The Hoboken PATH station provides access to and from Manhattan including 33rd, 23rd, 14th, 9th, and Christopher Street subway stations.

Using the PATH is reasonably straightforward. For pay-to-ride, one-way fares you can use your MetroCard. If you have a multi-trip or multi-day plan and no free-standing money on your MetroCard, you’ll need to add money or purchase a PATH card from the blue terminals in any of the above stations.

Using a PATH card alongside a MetroCard is advantageous because multi-trip and multi-day fare plans reduce one-way ride costs from $2.75 to $2.10. As such, it could be beneficial to maintain a multi-trip pass on your MetroCard and PATH card to get the lowest rate when using the NYC Metro or NJ Path.

A typical PATH ride can get you from Hoboken to Greenwich Village in 15 minutes, with 2-4 lines running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Ferry Terminals

Hoboken’s ferry terminals provide an additional entrance to the city. With departures every 10 minutes between 6:00-9:30 a.m. and 3:45-9:00 p.m. (switching to 30-minute intervals in between) and commute times as low as 5 minutes on routes to Wall Street, Battery Park, and Midtown, the ferry is incredibly efficient.

Fares range from $7-9 each way, but regular users can purchase a monthly pass for as little as $230. Riders can buy their tickets at any of the Manhattan or Hoboken ferry terminals, online, or through the NY Waterway app.

Entertainment for people moving to Hoboken

Manhattan Skyline From Hoboken

While Manhattan never sleeps, Hoboken does. Bars close at 3 a.m. on weekends and 2 a.m. on weekdays, which leads younger crowds to think the city’s a death trap for entertainment, recreation, and nightlife. That’s far from true. Hoboken’s summer festivals, various live music venues, green space, and general accessibility to the city presents an abundance of opportunity that most would overlook.

Music venues in Hoboken

If you’re moving to Hoboken, you’ll probably recognize the abundance of blues, jazz, and alternative rock emanating from the many bars along Washington Street, but it doesn’t end there. Grand and Clinton Street both host a variety of bars and music venues with regularly changing schedules. Willie McBrides and Cadillac Catina are two venues with lively crowds, and if you call Willie McBridges they’ll taxi you there in a limo (for free).

Festivals in Hoboken

Hoboken’s festival season is seemingly never-ending. St. Ann’s Feast, the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival, Mutzfest, the Hoboken Comedy Festival, and the Hoboken Italian Festival are some of the year’s most anticipated events. Every month there’s some form of culture or food fest in the parks or along Washington Street.

Outdoor recreation in Hoboken

The Hoboken Cove Boathouse offers free kayaking during the summer months, which can be a pretty excellent way to enjoy the river. Likewise, Pier 13 offers live performances, paddleboarding, water skiing, and yoga class on the pier scheduled throughout the year.

Every Wednesday June-August, Pier A park offers free movie screenings on the lawn during their Movies Under the Stars event. Set along Manhattan’s nighttime skyline, the event is highly anticipated in the community, with plenty of food trucks and stalls available for eating.

Tips from Hoboken movers

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