Credit: Credit: Hudson County Cultural & Heritage Affairs/Tourism Development

Newark & Jersey City are two phenomenal areas in New Jersey that are very close to us Manhattanites. Both provide wonderful experiences when it comes to food, sightseeing and so much more that it makes me wonder why I haven’t visited there more often.

That all changed last month when I hopped into my car and headed out of The Big Apple for some Jersey realness. As a native Long Islander I’ve always compared us to NJ for so many reasons including our near identical malls and adorable accents (the latter of which I’m dripping in sarcasm just writing about).

But for some reason I never spent too much time in the state outside of the occasional party my friends threw or when I would hit up Hoboken for their amazing restaurant and bar scene.

I can now say that I have fallen in love with the state as I had an amazing time there with everything they provided me. Here is a crash course, aka 3 reasons, why you will love it too this fall and beyond.

Food, food, and more food

Food (and drink) are always an important part of not only your every day life but as a vital aspect of your travel itinerary. Newark and Jersey City shine in this department in two different but equally pleasing ways.

Newark is the Tapas capital of NJ from what I ate there due to its population being primarily Portuguese. They have you covered when it comes to how amazing small plates can be at places like Adega Grill but will also fill you up with other yummy types of cuisine like the decadent omelettes you’ll get at Blueprint Cafe Lounge.

Jersey City on the other hand rivals Newark with what they bring to the culinary table. Places like Hudson Hall, an Eastern European beer hall serving up some of the tastiest bar fare around, are great spots to bring your friends and loved ones too and have a blast at for hours on end.

Relaxation, comfort, etc 

Sure, you can jump into an Uber, Lyft, or any other kind of transportation for a simple day trip to Newark and Jersey City. But that can get kind of exhausting so a night at one of their amazing hotels might be a better option (treat yourself, folks).

Places worth checking into include Tryp by Wyndham Downtown Newark, Canopy by Hilton Jersey City and Candlewood Suites Jersey City: Harborside.

Tryp is in the heart of downtown Newark which is perfect for anyone who wants to have a fun night on the town without having to go too far from your home base. Canopy, which just opened last month, is visually stunning as its insides are filled with a ton of art deco fabulousness not to mention its spacious rooms. Candlewood is right by the water with some amazing places to eat at making this one a great place for the traveler in you who enjoys a good view.

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It's a wrap!! #bts

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Shop til you drop

Who doesn’t love a good shopping spree every once in a while? Newark and Jersey City pride themselves on shopping as you have the option to swipe you credit cards at a bevy of amazing places.

Need a great dress for the evening ahead? Stop by Off the Hanger & Ane Clothier for all your clothing needs. Love that good old mall experience with snacking options galore? Head to Newport Centre. Other places that come to mind to spend some money at include Newark hotspots like Marco Hall Designs, Pop-Up Print Shop and Underground Skateshop.

There’s so much more to look at in Newark and Jersey City than what I just described. For more information please click here.