30 Things to Do in Bayonne, NJ Before or After a Cruise

Find out what things to do in Bayonne, NJ before or after your cruise vacation. Detailing distance from the Cape Liberty cruise port and more.

The Cape Liberty cruise port in Bayonne NJ is a beautiful destination. If you are sailing from there you might find yourself looking for interesting things to see or do before you depart or after you return from your cruise. Bayonne NJ is located in Hudson County, New Jersey on a peninsula between Newark Bay and the Kill Van Kull tidal strait. The average monthly temperature varies from 32.3 degrees Fahrenheit in January to 77 degrees Fahrenheit in July.

Most of the area is residential but if you look carefully you can find plenty of things to explore and enjoy. Bayonne NJ is covered in fine eating establishments covering a vast and wildly varied assortment of cuisines. You can also find several memorials and parks if you want to spend your time outdoors.

1. Teardrop Memorial

Also known as “To the Struggle Against World Terrorism” this monument was a gift from Russia to memorialize the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It stands at 10 stories tall and is placed directly across the water from the Statue of Liberty and the former location of the “Twin Towers.”

Teardrop, Cape Liberty
Photo Credit: Brian Logan Photography / Shutterstock.com

Beside this memorial, you will find two other headstone memorials and a piece of steel from one of the towers added in September of 2011. The Teardrop Memorial is located within a 5-minute walk of the port and should certainly be one of your first stops upon visiting Bayonne NJ.

2. Bayonne Park

This park is located in the middle of Bayonne and houses many different things to see. For those who love the sea, there is a beach waterfront with a natural walkway. Fitness enthusiasts will be pleased to find a running track that spans the park. The park also includes barbeque facilities and a scenic turtle pond.

For those visitors that bring their children, there is a playground to keep them entertained and all of this within 10 minutes of Cape Liberty Cruise Port. If you are traveling with family and want to spend a nice day together in the outdoors then few destinations compare to Bayonne Park.

3. Hudson River Waterfront

The waterfront 22 minutes from the Cape Liberty Cruise Port stretches along the Hudson River and showcases a stunning view of the New York City skyline. This location is a popular spot for cyclists and joggers alike. One of the many must-see sites in this area is the lighthouse and the 9/11 memorial facing the place the “Twin Towers” once stood.

4. Kuhl’s Sports Bar and Grill

This gem of Bayonne is known for its excellent service. Locals have pleasant things to say about the food found here. Of particular note is the thin crust pizza which has the perfect sauce.

If pizza isn’t your thing then the wings and mussels are equally as delectable. The atmosphere is known to be casual and comfortable. The only downside is that they don’t deliver, but you’re in luck! Kuhl’s is only 10 minutes from Cape Liberty Cruise Port. Find out more details right here.

5. The Bridge Skatepark

The Bridge Skatepark A great destination if you are a skating enthusiast for adults and children alike located a short 11-minute drive from the Cape Liberty Cruise Port on the very southern tip of Bayonne NJ.

There are vending machines and food close by to keep you full of energy! If you’ve never skated before there are lessons on offer here with friendly and welcoming staff. If you’re a skating veteran there are plenty of obstacles to keep you entertained and your skills sharp.

6. Massage Envy

If you need a day of comfort and relaxation or just feel like being pampered then Massage Envy is the location for you 8 minutes from Cape Liberty Cruise Port. A variety of services are offered here including light pressure and deep tissue massages.

Couples massages are available if you plan to attend with your significant other and prenatal massages can be done if you have a child on the way!

7. Funlot

Funlot, located 10 minutes from Cape Liberty Cruise Port is an indoor play space designed to be a “pretend city.” The inside is temperature-controlled which means you never have to worry about being too hot or too cold and it is an excellent escape from the rain. Birthday party services are available if required and they are even open on most holidays!

8. Taproot Organics

Taproot organics is a skin-care company specializing in plant-based materials and sensitive skin treatments. They use real food and plants to create their products. They are an excellent place to shop for a gift for any aromatherapy enthusiasts in your life. They even offer free samples! At only 15 minutes from the Cape Liberty Cruise Port, there is little reason not to visit if you are interested in their products.

9. Classic Skate Shop

This shop is known for its participation in the community. They provide men’s clothing and accessories in addition to their advertised skating hardware. They have loyal customers and put a great deal of effort into event planning. They are only 8 minutes from Cape Liberty Cruise Port so if you want to pick up a souvenir for the skating enthusiast in your life they are an excellent option.

10. The Mills at Jersey Gardens

The Mills is a massive outlet mall located just 20 minutes from Cape Liberty Cruise Port. It includes over 200 stores under its roof including popular destinations like Century 21, Burlington Coat Factory, Marshall’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and more. Among all of the shops is a 20 screen AMC theatre with IMAX. There are even places to eat in the area including a Chili’s and an Applebee’s.

11. Liberty State Park

Located approximately 12 minutes from Cape Liberty Cruise Port this park features a fantastic view of the New York City skyline including the Statue of Liberty. Among its attractions is the Empty Sky Memorial and the Liberation Monument. It is a popular spot for birdwatching as well as meditation and yoga.

12. Newport Centre

If the Mills isn’t your thing then Newport Centre is an alternate option for your shopping needs just 18 minutes from Cape Liberty Cruise Port. The Newport Centre includes 3 large department stores: JCPenney, Kohl’s, and Macy’s.

There are approximately 130 specialty shops throughout the shopping center and it also plays host to a movie theatre. The real attraction here is the dining pavilion which houses 19 different eateries!

13. RPM Raceway

This Raceway is a premier go-karting experience 13 minutes from Cape Liberty Cruise Port. The track is open to inexperienced racers looking to make their first forays onto the track as well as veteran kart racers looking for a new track to conquer and new racers to test their skills against.

RPM Raceway records the high scores of the fastest racers on their track so there is plenty of competition. Attached to the racetrack is an arcade area with plenty of games including racing simulators and an air hockey table. For eating the raceway has a bar and grill attached that serves burgers, pizzas, tacos, salads and more.

14. Beyond the Plate Food Tours

Some may have known this group as “Jersey Girls Food Tours” before their rebranding, they operate out of Newark only 17 minutes from Cape Liberty Cruise Port.

These guides will explain the story behind the signature dishes of 4 well known local eateries. You’ll walk from each destination while receiving information on the art, culture, and history of the areas surrounding these wonderful restaurants. More details and reviews are here.

15. Hudson Bayonne Lanes

This is an excellent place to get your bowling fix in if you’re willing to take a 9-minute trip from Cape Liberty Cruise Port. It has a retro feel that will be sure to give you a nostalgia kick from the past. It is child-friendly with optional bumpers and ramps. There are 60 lanes and a decent selection of snack foods and drinks to munch on between games.

Worth Reading: Essential Guide on Cape Liberty Cruise Port Parking

16. Bayonne Golf Club

If you are an avid golfer this may be the place for you. The Bayonne Golf Club is home to a waterfront golf course with a spectacular view. It was designed to evoke imagery of the links courses of Scotland and Ireland. This scenic location is worth visiting for the view alone and it is hardly out of the way at all, only 10 minutes from Cape Liberty Cruise Port.

17. Otaiko Hibachi & Sushi Lounge

If you’re craving Japanese or Asian cuisine then look no further! Otaiko Hibachi and Sushi Lounge has got you covered! The hibachi grill is a fun and entertaining spot to share a meal with friends or family.

If you’d prefer to eat your meal in one of the many parks dotting Bayonne NJ you can order to go! The menu is impressive without being overly complicated and there is even bar seating for those that like to enjoy a drink with or after their meal. The establishment is only 8 minutes from Cape Liberty Cruise Port.

18. McLoone’s Bayonne Grille

This is a great destination for sports fans and it’s only 9 minutes away from Cape Liberty Cruise Port. McLoone’s is located at an off-track wagering facility so no matter your sport there will be a wager and a conversation to be found.

McLoone’s primary feature is the large bar with direct access to television screens showcasing the NFL, NHL, MLB, and college football at all times.

19. Stadium Sports Bar & Grill

Another eatery specifically for sports fans, this bar has plenty of television screens tuned to local, regional, and national sports. Enjoy the game while snacking on standard pub-fare like burgers and pizza.

It is conveniently located only 11 minutes out of Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne NJ. An excellent destination for cruise-going sports fans that have an evening to kill.

20. Liberty Hall Museum

History buffs will be pleased to visit this museum at Kean University 25 minutes from Cape Liberty Cruise Port. The museum was built in 1772 just before the American Revolution as a home for William Livingston, the first elected governor of New Jersey. Many relics of the past can be found here including antique furniture, ceramics, textiles, toys and tools owned by the Livingston and Kean families.

21. Amazing Escape Room Freehold

If you are feeling particularly quick-witted or if you have a love for puzzles you might try your hand at this escape room located 30 minutes out from Bayonne NJ. Working together with friends and/or family you will attempt to escape from a room using clues that you will have to discover hidden within puzzles.

Usually, these rooms involve a storyline of some kind to assist you in immersing yourself in the experience. Plenty of fun for the family that loves to work together.

22. Monster Mini Golf

If you and the family enjoy mini-golf you are in luck! 35 minutes south of Bayonne NJ is Monster Mini Golf. This horror-themed mini-golf course is plenty of fun for everyone! The course even glows in the dark! The facilities are well maintained and they offer birthday party planning. This is a great place for first-time golfers, children, adults, and put-put veterans!

23. Jockey Hollow

If you have an interest in hiking then you might enjoy Jockey Hollow, part of the Morristown National Historical Park. The park has several miles of hiking trails and plenty of places to stage a picnic.

There are also annual Revolutionary War reenactments to see if you are visiting at the right time. The park might be worth a day trip to visit as it is 45 minutes from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne NJ.

24. Liberty Science Center

A quick 14-minute trip north from Cape Liberty Cruise Port will get you to the Liberty Science Center. The science center includes nine permanent exhibits, some touring exhibits, and an IMAX dome theater.

The exhibits inside cover many topics including subjects like how prey evade predators in the wild and how energy is stored and harnessed from several sources. You can even test your ability to generate power on their energy bike!

25. Bayonne Bridge

If you enjoy architecture, and bridges specifically, you might be interested in checking out Bayonne NJ’s own Bayonne Bridge 12 minutes from Cape Liberty Cruise Port.

The bridge links Staten Island and New Jersey and it is the third-largest steel arch bridge in the world. It even won an award for the most beautiful steel arch bridge in 1931 from the American Institute for Steel Construction.

26. Sarelli’s

This is a family-owned business 11 minutes from Cape Liberty Cruise Port with great service and even better food specializing in Italian cuisine. The atmosphere is comfortable and warm due to the attentive and knowledgeable wait staff. They have many loyal customers that enjoy their large portion sizes and lovely music on Friday nights.

27. Al Richard’s Chocolates

After attending one of the many fine eating establishments in Bayonne NJ you might find yourself with a craving for dessert. If that is the case then look no further than Al Richard’s Chocolates, a local favorite for chocolatey candy located only 8 from Cape Liberty Cruise Port on the way into Bayonne NJ proper.

Al Richard’s chocolatey confectionaries come in many different flavors with different kinds of filling and a large variety of chocolate types. There are even sugar-free options for the health-conscious.

28. Magic Fountain Ice Cream

If chocolate doesn’t strike your fancy then maybe ice cream will? Magic fountain is nearby Al Richard’s Chocolates and serves a large assortment of different flavors and types of ice cream including ices, milkshakes, cups, cones, and parfaits. They also come up with their own flavors in their weekly special. This is a popular destination year-round.

29. Stress Factory Comedy Club

You can never go wrong with a night of laughter and comedy. Just 35 minutes out from Bayonne NJ is the Stress Factory Comedy Club where you can see live comedy shows while enjoying a nice dinner with friends and family.

The club is conveniently located close by a parking garage within walking distance of a train station and hospital in case of emergency.

30. Bookends

During your travels, you might find yourself in need of a good book. If that is the case you might find it worth it to travel 41 minutes out of Bayonne NJ to Bookends. They have a great selection of various genres and they also carry clothing and LEGOs.

They regularly host events such as signing with authors. If you forgot your favorite book at home or you are feeling like something new then try stopping by Bookends just outside of Bayonne NJ.

Also Read: 25 Ideal Hotels Near Cape Liberty Cruise Port

FAQ on Things to Do in Bayonne, NJ

What is the closest thing to do near the Cape Liberty Cruise Port?

The closest “must-see” site and the first stop on anyone’s visit to Bayonne NJ is the Teardrop Memorial. It is located in a park about 2 minutes from Cape Liberty Cruise Port if you are driving or 5 minutes if you are walking. The monument was a gift to the United States from the Russian government as a show of solidarity regarding the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001.

Originally the monument was gifted to the local government of Jersey City but the gift was rejected, after which it was moved to its current location in Bayonne. It is a 10-story sculpture created by Zurab Tsereteli. From this location, you can see the New York City skyline as well as the Statue of Liberty, the former location of the “Twin Towers” and a gorgeous view of the New York Harbor.

How far is Manhattan from Bayonne, New Jersey?

The direct distance between Manhattan and Bayonne NJ is 11 miles but if you are traveling via roads then the distance is closer to 15 miles. If you are traveling without a car then the cheapest and fastest way to get from Bayonne NJ to Manhattan is public transport.

If you decide to take public transport then a bus ride will cost you anywhere from $1 to $5 and the trip will take approximately 23 minutes. The bus leaves from Jfk Blvd at 8th St and arrives at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, departing every 30 minutes and operating every day.

Is there a ferry from Jersey City to Manhattan?

There is a ferry from Jersey City to Manhattan! It travels across the Hudson River and is operated by NY Waterway, the largest operator in New York Harbor. You can travel this way to one of three destinations: West 39th Street, Brookfield Place/Battery Park City, and Wall Street/Pier 11. The departure points from New Jersey stretch from Middletown on Sandy Hook Bay to Edgewater below the George Washington Bridge.

The trip itself can take anywhere from 6 minutes to 50 depending on your starting location. The ferries you can expect to be riding upon are standard double-decker passenger ferries that hold up to 149 people, though there are newer vessels that are larger and can hold up to 399 individuals.

With your ticket aboard the ferry comes a complimentary transport deeper into Manhattan via bus. Though if you mean to get anywhere in a reasonable amount of time it is probably best to avoid traveling by bus in Manhattan, the traffic is brutal!

Which cruise lines sail from Bayonne, New Jersey?

If you’re looking to cruise to or out of Bayonne NJ then you will either be boarding with Royal Caribbean International or Celebrity. Whichever cruise line you decide to go with you will be leaving from Cape Liberty Cruise Port.

If you are traveling by Royal Caribbean International then you will most likely be boarding the “Anthem of the Seas” or “Adventure of the Seas” to Bermuda or Canada and New England respectively. The “Adventure of the Seas” might also take you to the Bahamas. If you are traveling by Celebrity then you are likely traveling aboard “Celebrity Summit” and traveling to the eastern Caribbean.

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