Top Attractions for First-Timers

If it’s your inaugural visit to Elizabeth, you’ll want to hit up some of the classic attractions that give the city its character. Here are some favorites across categories that you won’t want to miss.

History: Boxwood Hall State Historic Site

Step back in time at Boxwood Hall, a gorgeous eighteenth-century Georgian-style mansion. One of Elizabeth’s hidden gems, Boxwood Hall gives you a window into colonial life with antique furnishings, historical artifacts, and placards detailing the home’s fascinating past. Pay special attention to the unique sawbuck dining room table designed by local cabinetmaker Joseph Belcher. Guided tours run Wednesday through Sunday and last about 45 minutes. Time your visit for a Wednesday or Saturday to also explore the tranquil colonial revival gardens on site.

Art & Culture: Ritz Theater

This historic theater first opened in 1926 but underwent major renovations before reopening in 2018. Today, the glamorous Ritz Theater hosts national music and comedy acts, independent films, and is home to the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Even if you don’t catch a show, it’s worth stopping by just to gawk at the dazzling interior with gold accents, crystal chandeliers, and velvet curtains. Bring your camera for that iconic theater shot!

Family Fun: Liberty Hall Museum

The Liberty Hall Museum is a great spot for families, offering interactive exhibits and programs to engage visitors of all ages. Housed in a centuries old estate, main attractions include the Museum Gallery, the Centennial Exhibit, and the restored Victorian Gardens. Kids will especially love hunting for the Jersey Devil in the gardens! Every third Thursday, the museum hosts hands-on activities and crafts for children. Time your visit right to enjoy special events like these.

Outdoors: Warinanco Park

Warinanco Park is Elizabeth’s largest park at over 200 acres. Here you’ll find plenty of recreational facilities like tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and an ice skating rink. The park also contains a massive lake that is perfect for an afternoon stroll. Pack a lunch and make a day out of exploring the natural side of Elizabeth. Keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife, including turtles, fish, ducks, and birds.

Shopping: Jersey Gardens Outlet Mall

This massive outlet mall is a shopper’s paradise, with over 200 stores from top brands at discounted prices. Department stores, jewelry boutiques, shoe stores, and apparel retailers…you name it, they have it. Even if you’re not a big shopper, it’s worth visiting just to marvel at the sheer size of this place. Leave the kids at home and channel your inner shopaholic at Jersey Gardens.

Eclectic Eats: Restaurant Row

Foodies will feel right at home along Restaurant Row near South Broad Street. This unassuming block holds over twenty eateries serving international cuisines. Grab pupusas at El Continental, slurp ramen at Hanami, or nosh on pierogis at Polonia. And don’t miss dessert at Delicious Heights with over twenty gelato flavors on rotation. Restaurant Row really shows off Elizabeth’s diversity through its palate-pleasing eats.

Nightlife: Rooftop Lounge

For stunning city views and craft cocktails, head to Rooftop Lounge atop the Hilton. This trendy rooftop bar offers a birds-eye perspective of Elizabeth against the backdrop of the New York City skyline. Stop by during happy hour from 4-7pm on weekdays for discounts on drinks and bar bites. Rooftop Lounge is one of the hottest spots in town, so reservations are recommended if you want the best views. Dress to impress and come ready to indulge in delicious cocktails under the stars.

Casual Bites: Manny’s Texas Weiners

You can’t visit New Jersey without stopping for a classic Jersey diner meal. Manny’s Texas Weiners is a local legend, serving fresh “Texas weiners” (hot dogs), fries, and milkshakes since 1912. Pop in for a hearty, no-fuss meal at this historic greasy spoon. The tiny joint only seats about 18 people, so be prepared to grab your grub to-go. Whether you dine at the counter or curbside, these delicious dogs smothered in Manny’s homemade chili sauce are sure to satisfy.

How to Get Around Elizabeth

Elizabeth may not be the biggest city, but getting around efficiently is key to maximizing your time. Here’s an overview of transportation options for visitors.

Public Transportation

The Elizabeth train station services both NJ Transit and Amtrak lines, making it easy to access Elizabeth without a car. Many attractions are within walking distance or a quick bus or cab ride from the station. NJ Transit buses serve major corridors like Route 1&9 and North Broad Street. Plan routes ahead of time on the NJ Transit Trip Planner to make the most of public transportation during your stay.

Taxis and Rideshares

Taxis and rideshares like Uber/Lyft are readily available around downtown and popular destinations. Rideshare apps are the most convenient option, allowing you to easily request a car on-demand. But don’t discount hailing a classic cab on the street for a bit of old school charm!

Charter Buses

For group travel, consider a charter bus rental for customized transportation. Charter buses allow medium to large groups to travel together in comfort, without the hassle of finding multiple parking spots at attractions. You can even rent buses with luxury amenities like wifi, entertainment systems, and restrooms. Elizabeth Party Bus Company offers a range of charter bus sizes for any group, with professional team experienced in navigating the city. Call 551-277-2791 for group transportation that’s efficient, stress-free, and allows you to just enjoy the journey.

Ready to Get Started?

We hope this introductory guide gets you pumped about planning your first visit to the diverse, vibrant city of Elizabeth. With iconic attractions, easy transportation, and hidden local gems to discover, Elizabeth delivers memorable experiences for first-timers and seasoned visitors alike. And when you’re ready to gather your group and see the city care-free, give Elizabeth Party Bus Company a ring at 551-277-2791. From airport transfers to shuttles to attractions, we’ll handle the transportation so you can simply take in all that Elizabeth has to offer. Let the exploring commence!