The ever-so-bike-able Jersey City is open for your enjoyment. If you don’t want to haul your bike on the PATH train, you can easily rent some wheels at Grove Street Bicycles. You’ll want to get there early if it’s a perfect sunny day; rentals are first-come-first-serve. If you prefer a sure thing, try Easy Riders. They’ve re-opened this spring and offer group and private tours of Liberty State Park, and the Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty circuit.
Before you pick up your bike, pack a picnic. Pop into Park & Sixth for one of their signature sandwiches.
A Historic Route
Cruise over to Hamilton Park via Jersey Avenue, admiring the old brick row houses along the way. Ride a few blocks southeast and immerse yourself in the post-industrial conversion of the Powerhouse District. Grab a coffee at the Warehouse Café and check out the latest art display. If you’re in the mood to shop, D.E.E.N. boutique is right next door. Liberty State Park should be next on your agenda, but get closer to the Powerhouse District’s namesake before moving on. The beaux art beauty is currently being renovated; the yellow, orange and blue plates covering the windows only add to its allure.
The Road to Liberty State Park
Cruise down Grove Street all the way to Grand. Turn right, then left at Jersey Ave. You are now entering Liberty Harbor, the northern edge of the sprawling Liberty State Park. Ride into the park, past the old Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, and along the harbor where you’ll experience prime views of NYC, Ellis Island and Ms. Liberty herself. The southern-most end of the park contains a nature reserve and is definitely worth exploring. You can set up your picnic here or at any of the many picnic areas scattered throughout the park.
After you return your wheels to their appropriate owner, walk around the Grove Street area. Tia’s Place carries a gorgeous selection of ladies attire and Kannibal Home on Montgomery is the place to find that odd “found object” that you somehow didn’t know you needed.
Hungry again? Walk to Paulus Hook for dinner at Satis, one of the city’s newest (and best) restaurants. The ricotta gnocchi is pure creamy goodness. Satis is BYOB at the moment, but Liberty Wine and Deli is across the street and will easily satisfy your oenological needs. For classic French cuisine, walk up Newark Avenue to the charmingly rustic Madame Claude. Try les moules frites or one of their savory crepes. They are also a BYOB establishment, so be sure to pick up a bottle of wine along the way.
How to get there: Grove Street Bicycles is located two blocks north of the Grove Street Path Station between First Street and Bay Street. Bikes are permitted on the Path Train, except from 3pm-6:30pm weekdays; no restrictions on weekends. Folding bikes are allowed at all times. For more details, visit panyny.gov.
Photo: Courtesy of the author and idovermani
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