We reserved a whole week, including the July 4th holiday, at Liberty Harbor Marina and RV Park in Jersey City NJ.
Liberty Harbor Marina and RV Park is the closest RV Park to New York City (only 15 minute walk/subway ride to the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan or a 12 minute ferry ride to Wall Street, Pier 11). Also walking distance to a great viewing spot on the Jersey shoreline for America’s largest fireworks display – Macy’s, over the Hudson river with the New York City skyline as the backdrop. Liberty Harbor Marina and RV Park is across the canal from Liberty State Park (path just west of the RV Park) and Morris Canal Park is only a couple blocks away.
Due to our unexpected early departure from Monticello Casino , we arrived a day early (for our reservations) and had to take a dry camping (boondocking) spot next to the Liberty Harbor Marina and RV Park to boondock for one night.
It got a little hot as the morning ended, but thankfully we caught up with an ice cream truck at the park for a Chocolate Eclair and lemon Italian Ice.
Hope we can return for at least one more bike ride here before our week is up.
In the afternoon we went on another bike ride, this time to the downtown Jersey City Waterfront to take in a closer view of Manhattan and the New York City skyline (and scout a spot for viewing the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks show).
It was a perfect day for a bike ride (or two) and we worked up quite an appetite. For dinner we ordered a large New York style brick oven pizza with sausage from John’s Pizza. Good, for thin crust style pizza (we prefer thick crust style pizza).
We awoke to the sound of thunder and rain. Since we didn’t have power hookups yet, we enjoyed a quiet lazy morning boondocking in the RV.
In the afternoon we moved to spot B05 where we now have power and water. Got the TV, radio, router and computers all set up. It rained most of day so we just focused on getting a lot of work done so we can take some time this week to check out New York City.
Happy 4th of July! This morning we peddled about 10-15 blocks to the grocery store (Shop Rite) and picked up some fresh food, including some Bison to BBQ. We got some work done and BBQ while waiting to head to see the fireworks.
This evening we walked to the Jersey City Waterfront to watch the Macy’ fireworks show on the Hudson River with New York City as the background. WOW! What an awesome display, 40,000 shells (avg 1500 per minute) shot from barges in the river. Over 3 million people watched America’s largest fireworks display live as well as being broadcast nationwide on TV.
After a quick walk to the subway station, we rode the PATH subway from Grove Ave in Jersey City to the World Trade Center Site in New York City ($1.75 ea). Subway ride was only about 5 minutes, took longer to walk to the station (and its not very far).
Once we arrived in Lower Manhattan we decided to explore this section of the city by foot. We walked south on West Street and down to Battery Park.
After a short hike through Battery Park, we went on one of New York’s best sight seeing bargains, the free half hour ride on the Staten Island Ferry. Great views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Governors Island and the Lower Manhattan skyline on the smooth ride to Staten Island. We only stayed on Staten Island for about a half hour and then hopped on another ferry for a ride back to New York City. It was a hot day and the breeze was very refreshing.
Upon returning to dock in NYC we walked north on Broadway past the Bull on Wall Street and up to City Hall Park, then west to Rockefeller Park. Rockefeller Park afforded nice views of the Hudson River and the Jersey City skyline (over where we are staying).
During our tour of NYC today we enjoyed Chicken Gyros, Cherry Italian Ice, Hot Pretzels and Banana Split from street vendors. Even with all the wonderful food, all this exercise (walking and bike riding) has me back under 200 lbs again!
The ride back to Grove Street in New Jersey on the PATH subway was interesting, not even standing room. We were packed in like sardines, but we had a great time, as those riding near us had a great sense of humor. What an experience today was, easily worth double the price of admission!
Peddled into town to get breakfast at the best reviewed bagel shop in the area, Wonder Bagel. Very good bagel, and also had some bacon, eggs. hash browns and orange juice. Back to the RV to get some more work done.
BBQ some burgers this afternoon for lunch. We already ate all the Bison so we had some regular beef hamburgers. Not nearly as good, we will be going out for dinner early tonight. Back to work.
We took a short bike ride to Liberty Park before dinner. More great views of NYC across the Hudson. A lot of traffic in the water, cruises, ferries, barges, water taxis, jet skis, sail boats, etc, etc.
We peddled around town for awhile and then stopped at Tommy 2 Scoops for a Philly Cheese Steak, Truffle fries, lemonade, and real chocolate gelato. All were amazing! We ate in the garden area in the back. What a gem of a cafe here in Jersey City. After sampling most of their flavors, we bought a pint of chocolate gelato (8.99) to bring back to the RV. We will stop for another flavor before we leave town (and maybe another Philly steak or try a panini).
Day 6: After a quick bike ride through the city to the Shop Rite for supplies this morning, we got some more work done while relaxing in the RV (gotta keep working, its not cheap around here, lol).
This afternoon we rode the PATH Subway back to the World Trade Center, then walked north on Broadway to Canal, then cut east to Chinatown and Little Italy. It started to rain heavy so we huddled under a scaffold with several locals and a few tourists to stay dry while the storm passed. We continued up to Houston St and then cut over to 5th Ave to catch the NYC Subway. We rode the B train to 34th then transferred to the Q train to get to Times Square @ 42nd and 7th Ave.
We walked 7th Ave north all the way from 42nd to 59th and the entrance to Central Park. We jumped on a pedicab for a guided tour of Central Park. We were taken to several locations including Strawberry Fields, The Lake, fountains, several sculptures and monuments, arches and bridges, as well as pointing out all the spots used in various movies and celebrity homes. Our driver was informative and entertaining.
During the day we peeked into many shops, stores, markets and souvenir stands along our route. We had pizza at Roll & Go and then again late in the evening we enjoyed a slice of Sicilian at Villa Pizza. We also shared a hot dog from a cart in Times Square today.
Times Square is huge and packed with people.We’re visiting on a Thursday, I can only imagine a weekend or New Years here, wow.
We just barely caught the last E train back to the World Trade Center (we were late getting to the subway station, luckily the train was a few moments late too.)
What a day. My feet are sore and have some blisters but it was awesome. Can’t wait to go back to Times Square and Central Park again!
Day 7: Horrible morning, woke to Maui crying (our cat). He doesn’t look good at all. We’re loading him into his pet taxi to carry him across Jersey City to the local vet (since the local taxi service was not interested in driving us, what an asshole) as soon as they open. We fear the worst and really don’t expect to be coming back home with him. Very very sad. 🙁
He perked up quite a bit during the walk across town. Vet couldn’t believe he was 17.5 yrs old, said he looked great (even sick). He ran some tests and gave him anti-biotics. He’s running a fever. Hopefully everything is ok, and he gets back to his normal self soon.
We stopped at Wonder Bagel on the way ‘home’. While this wasn’t the ideal way to take Maui for a walk, he seemed to enjoy the sites, sounds and smells. (Note: The local people are so much friendlier if you are carrying a cat.) We are so happy to be carrying him back to the RV. We really feared the worst and even though we realize his time left is limited, we want every moment we can with him. He’s the best cat ever. Hope this just a temporary issue and he has many more years to share with us.
Last day in NYC.With Maui resting comfortably, we decided to re-do a few of our favorites from the last week. We finally got to take another bike ride through Liberty State Park, and then had lunch at Tommy 2 Scoops.
We rode the PATH subway back to WTC and walked north on Broadway. We walked all the way past Noho bought a few ‘I love NY’ T-shirts and then headed to Hoboken NJ on the subway. We went out to a nice little local bar and had a few drinks before catching a cab back to Liberty Harbor RV Park.
We were out way too late last night and consequently we are running late getting out of the RV Park and back on the road. Liberty Harbor RV Park has some horrible rules / practices, one of which, if you dont check out (by 11am) they charge you $40. I find this appalling.
At 10:59 we pulled out of Liberty Harbor RV Park and onto the side of Marin Blvd to finish preparing the rig for travel, get the computer fired up and the next leg of the trip mapped out. Getting into the area was a bit of a pain in the ass and I assume getting across the river into Connecticut we be more of the same.
Maui is looking much better after a few days of anti-biotics and bed rest. Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers.
In our short visit to the NYC area, we experienced a lot but it would take years to really check out the entire New York City area. Sad that we have to leave already, but not sure our feet could take much more. Our feet are sore, blistered and bleeding. We will return.
More coming, stay tuned …. (next: New England)
Notes: Liberty Harbor Marina and RV Park is all about the location. Its overpriced for the amenities provided at $60+ per night. The bathhouse is rank (and sorely in need of professional tile & grout cleaning) but useable (recommend you bring shower shoes!). The staff overcharged us and refused to refund the overage. The workers were speaking Spanish over their radios making comments about my wife’s body. Late night loud parties on weekends on boats in the marina and nearby club. The fee for not checking out, etc, etc.
Even with all the bad points, we would not hesitate to return to Liberty Harbor RV Park, as its the best (only) game in town and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed our brief time here in Jersey City and New York City.
* Buying bikes before this trip was a brilliant idea. Not only has it helped us to explore a lot more of the area, but has also provided some much needed exercise. The ladder bike rack has worked great too. We traveled some very poor roads and everything was still solid when we arrived.
Maui was feeling much better today and enjoyed the ride from Liberty Harbor RV Park and the New York City area to Connecticut. He really scared the hell out of us, we thought we may lose him. Very thankful that he is on his way back.