Taking its name from a city in France, and settled by the Dutch in the 1600’s, Bayonne, New Jersey came under British rule in 1664. It’s a 5.6 mile long peninsula nestled between Staten Island, NY and Jersey City, NJ, and was incorporated as a city in 1869. Though not a popular tourist trap by any means, it offers more than a few unique attractions to visitors. Enjoy taking luxury cruises around the world? Bayonne is home to Cape Liberty Cruise Port, with one of the world’s largest cruise ships, the 3,634 passenger Freedom of the Seas, regularly stationed there. From historic pub & grub restaurants, to an Olympic size ice skating rink, to a Links Golf Course, Bayonne offers plenty to see and do for the busy traveler on the go, or a long staying relaxed visitor.
Bayonne Park & Bayonne Bridge – Filming Locale of Steven Spielberg’s War Of The Worlds
If you saw Steven Spielberg’s remake of the classic sci-fi movie War of the Worlds (2005) starring Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning, then you’ve already been to Bayonne – through movie magic.
In Spielberg’s blockbuster film, you watched awestruck as nasty aliens destroyed a bridge. The Bayonne Bridge, the fourth longest steal arch bridge in the world, connects the city to Staten Island. It’s surrounded by small parks, children playgrounds and baseball diamonds. Bayonne Park includes several professional size baseball diamonds, an Olympic running track, and many self contained playgrounds for active kids. There really must be something about Bayonne which attracts those marauding aliens who love to invade us. In the 1997 hit movie Men In Black (Will Smith & Tommy Lee Jones), it’s mentioned Bayonne has been overtaken by aliens.
Olympic Size Ice Skating Rink – Richard L. Korpi
Whether you’re a casual skating fan, or you often lace up skates to conquer the ice as a true ice hockey hooligan, the Richard L. Korpi Ice Skating Rink should be on your list of places to go while visiting Bayonne.
Located on the Bayonne High School campus, this state of the art facility provides basic ice skating, figure skating lessons, and adult and youth ice hockey training. There’s also casual pickup hockey games on the schedule. Call (201) 858-5566 for full info, prices and schedules for all of the rink’s many available activities.
Public Library – Free Public Library Cultural Center of Bayonne
Many libraries are merely a place with books. While you’ll find most any book at the Bayonne Public Library, you’ll also find movies on tape and DVD – both available to rent or screened at the library – live musical concerts, social clubs, plus community workshops for senior citizens, writers, artists and much more.
The library building itself is really a must see. Commanding most of the block on Avenue C, it truly stands as an impressive fortress of cultural knowledge and art. Constructed of mostly polished marble, and other ornate stonework, the building resembles something out of ancient Greece or Rome. It’s designed in the Beaux-Art and Classical Revival style of architecture, and boasts a massive front courtyard area; complete with stone benches, beautiful flower gardens, along with awe inspiring bronze busts of explorer Christopher Columbus, and pioneering scientist, Nobel Prize Winner Marie Curie
Bayonne Golf Club – Links Golf Course
If you’re in the mood to tee up, and play an authentic links golf course, to pursue that fabled, elusive hole in one, you’ll definitely be visiting this popular golfer’s destination.
Designed by developer Eric Bergstol, and built in 2007, the enormous course is sandy, faux-Irish links. Golfers come to play from all around the state – and from even around the country – to play this course. It’s located quite close to the Royal Carribean Cruise port at Cape Liberty Cruise Port.
Hendricksons Restaurant – 19thCentury Pub Restaurant
Pub and grub style restaurants can be common, but when your eatery has been operating non-stop for more than a century, it’s a safe bet your customers are leaving pretty satisfied.
Opening up for business way back in 1884, while President Grover Cleveland was in his first term, Hendricksons serves up a great mix of traditional American food and ethnic eats, along with innumerable spirits, in a quaint, authentic Historical setting. For more info on this great place to dine, hang out, or just relax, read my review Hendricksons Restaurant Of Bayonne, New Jersey.
Robbins Reef Lighthouse
It may not be very big, but the Robbins Reef Lighthouse charms all who sees it. Located off Constable Hook, and built in 1883, it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Hudson County, New Jersey. Katie Walker, a widowed mother with two children, manned the lighthouse alone from 1894 to 1919. Ms. Walker saved dozens of people in her time as lighthouse keeper.