Top Attractions for First-Timers

With centuries of history and boundless energy, Newark has something to offer everyone. Here are some of the top spots for first-time visitors.

Arts and Culture

Newark boasts a flourishing arts scene rooted in community and culture. From world-class museums to historic entertainment venues, Newark’s creative spirit shines.

Newark Museum

Founded in 1909, the Newark Museum houses an impressive collection of American art, decorative arts, contemporary art and artifacts from around the world. Don’t miss highlights like Tibetan Buddhist altars, a retro diner exhibit, and the Victoria Hall of Science. The Alice Ransom Dreyfuss Memorial Garden is a hidden oasis with sculptures and serene fountains. General admission is $15 for adults. The museum is free every 3rd Thursday from 2-8 PM.

New Jersey Performing Arts Center

Known locally as “The NJPAC,” this state-of-the-art performance complex hosts Broadway shows, concerts, dance, and more. Catch a play in one of the multiple theaters or grab a bite at NICO Kitchen + Bar, with creative cuisine and skyline views. Upcoming highlights include Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, a cappella group TAPE and comedian Jim Gaffigan.

Grammy Museum Experience

Slated to open in Fall 2023, the Grammy Museum Experience will be an immersive music attraction right in downtown Newark. Guests can explore interactive exhibits on music history, technology, and culture. Expect creative programs, live events, and educational opportunities for visitors of all ages.

Historic Landmarks

As one of America’s oldest major cities, Newark provides a window into the past. Get to know Newark’s roots through its historic buildings and monuments.

Old First Presbyterian Church

Built in 1692, Old First is the oldest church in Newark and the third oldest Presbyterian church in the nation. The Georgian architecture and Tiffany stained glass windows recall the colonial era. Check the schedule for organ concerts and special events.

Newark City Hall

The seat of Newark’s government since 1906, City Hall is a striking beaux arts building designed by architect Cass Gilbert. Climb the grand staircase and admire the marble interiors and ornate chandeliers. Free guided tours run weekdays at 10 AM and 3 PM.

Newark Public Library

In grand renaissance revival style, the Newark Public Library first opened in 1888. The tranquil interior courtyard and carved wood ceiling arches are architectural delights. Browse special exhibits in the galleries and don’t miss the New Jersey room for Newark history. Admission is free.

Parks and Recreation

With over 2,000 acres of parkland, Newark offers many outdoor spaces to explore. Enjoy nature, sports, and relaxing green spaces perfect for picnics.

Branch Brook Park

Spanning 360 acres, Branch Brook is the nation’s first county park and home to the world’s largest collection of cherry blossom trees with over 5,000! Stroll under a canopy of pink and white blooms in spring. Jog along tree-lined paths, spot local birds, or picnic by the lake.

Weequahic Park

At 311 acres, Weequahic is Newark’s largest park. Baseball and softball diamonds, a golf course, and an 80-acre lake offer recreation. Rent a paddle boat, walk the 2.2 mile perimeter trail, or tour the historic Weequahic Park Carousel. The park hosts popular food truck festivals in summer.

Military Park

Once training grounds for Revolutionary War soldiers, this lively downtown park now hosts concerts, markets, and seasonal ice skating. Look for the Wars of America sculpture by Gutzon Borglum, who later sculpted Mount Rushmore.

Local Flavors

Newark’s dining scene reflects the city’s diversity with options from classic diners to chef-driven eateries. Treat your tastebuds to local flavors.

Hobby’s Delicatessen & Restaurant

This old-school Jewish deli has satisfied Newark customers since 1962. Belly up to the counter for overstuffed sandwiches, matzo ball soup, and other classics. Save room for dessert!

Spanish Tavern

Family-owned for over 85 years, the Spanish Tavern serves classic Iberian cuisine like paella, seafood, and tapas in a rustic tavern setting. Their sangria is excellent.

Ferry Street Barbeque

Tucked under the railroad tracks, this hole-in-the-wall dishes up finger-licking ribs, brisket, chicken, and sides. Expect lines for their weekend BBQ – it’s that good!

Milk Sugar Love

For a sweet treat, visit this trendy bakery for macarons, eclairs, custom cakes, and gelato made from organic ingredients. Their cookie shots are brilliant.

How to Get Around Newark

As New Jersey’s largest city, Newark can get busy. Here’s the inside scoop on navigating the city:

Public Transportation

Newark Penn Station is a major regional transit hub served by NJ Transit trains, PATH trains to NYC, Newark Light Rail, and buses. Purchase refillable SmartLink fare cards for trains and buses. The Newark Light Rail’s Green Line connects Penn Station to Broad Street Station. One-way local bus and rail fares start around $1.60. Schedules vary so check timetables.

Taxis and Rideshares

Taxis line up outside Newark Penn Station, Newark Liberty Airport, and major downtown hotels. You can also hail them on busy streets. Fares start at $2.50 plus $0.20 per 1/5 mile. Newark also has Uber, Lyft and other rideshares. Compare fares across apps for best pricing.

Charter Buses

For groups, renting a charter bus is an easy and comfortable transportation option. No crowded trains or traffic headaches! Charter bus companies like Newark Party Bus Company offer Pickups from your hotel, airport, or any location. Buses come in sizes for groups large and small. Many have amenities like WiFi, TVs, bathrooms and reclining seats. Pricing varies but expect $100-$150 per hour for a 56-passenger bus. Booking at least a few weeks in advance is recommended.

Ready to Get Started?

We hope this guide gets you pumped to explore Newark! The city rewards urban explorers with fascinating culture, history, food and entertainment. For getting around town, we recommend charter bus rentals to keep your group together. Contact Newark Party Bus Company at (551) 233-0076 for group transportation quotes and to book your Newark bus rental today!