Many people only see Newark from its international airport, but New Jersey’s largest city is a fantastic destination of its own. Packed with national historical sites, popular parks and excellent cuisine from around the world, the city has more than enough to fill an itinerary.
One of Newark’s most popular attractions is Branch Brook Park. Famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Manhattan’s Central Park, designed this urban oasis. See the beautiful park-side Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Visit the park in spring to see the blossoms of the United States’ most impressive collection of cherry trees. This 4,300-tree grove is home to Newark’s Cherry Blossom Festival each April.
Stop by Military Park on the banks of the Passaic River to find Wars of America, a sculpture by Mount Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum.
Military Park was the site of the first public exhibition of the electric light bulb by Thomas Edison, whose house and laboratory still stand in Newark’s northwest. Explore the Thomas Edison National Historical Park and take a tour of the labs where Edison and his team invented the electric light bulb and the motion picture camera.
More of Newark’s history is on display at the Newark Museum. See the museum’s huge variety of exhibits, including a preserved 1885 mansion, a large collection of Tibetan art and a planetarium. Founded in 1909, the museum itself is a grand piece of Newark history.
For a fantastic Newark dining experience, explore the Ironbound district. The streets of this immigrant neighborhood are lined with restaurants serving authentic cuisine from around the world, including Brazil, Portugal and Spain.
Newark’s international airport is one of the largest in the U.S., so the city is easy to reach. Tour the city for a few hours while on a long layover or spend a few days here on a trip from New York City, located 8 miles (12.9 kilometers) east.