Last updated on May 19th, 2017 at 09:15 am
For a great picnic spot that comes with sweeping views of New York City, try visiting Liberty State Park in Jersey City. You’ll be treated to large green spaces and two miles of waterside walking paths that also offer great views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
There are several spots for a picnic lunch, but my favorite is on the south end of the park, right in front of the U.S. flag plaza. You’ll get close to Lady Liberty and enjoy a nice breeze coming off the water. Plus, the nearby promenade makes for a nice stroll after eating.
There are also picnic areas near the middle of the park, with playgrounds for children. If you’re having a group picnic outing, you can reserve space (no fee!) by filling out an application. Groups must have a minimum of 20 people and no more than 50 people.
Liberty State Park is also the starting point for a less crowded trip to Ellis and Liberty islands (compared to the NYC terminal). The ferry terminal is at the north end of the park, where there is also a large parking lot. Be prepared for airport-style security at the ferry terminal, which can lead to longer wait times during peak season (summer, holidays). There’s a second security checkpoint if you’re headed into the Statue of Liberty’s crown or pedestal, and backpacks are not allowed inside (there are lockers, however).
I’ve visited Liberty Island only once and found the pedestal tour was more than enough for me, although plenty of people pay to head into the crown. The pedestal offers a unique view of Lady Liberty and the surrounding area. Hobbyist – and professional – photographers will have a great time.
If you’re visiting Liberty State Park, it’s open daily from 6 am until 10 pm. Statue Cruises has ferry service to Liberty and Ellis islands throughout the year and you can purchase advance tickets. If picnics and boats aren’t your thing, the Liberty Science Center is also nearby.
Have you been to Liberty State Park? Plymouth Rock Assurance in New Jersey would love to hear about your experience and your suggestions for other things to do there.