The small, densely populated Hudson County NJ area is a gateway to New York City and home to tens of thousands of NYC commuters. Known for its sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline, outdoor recreation, rich history, and family-friendly communities, Hudson County is a great place to live or visit.
There are 12 Hudson County cities, towns, and townships home to more than 724,000 people. While the municipality types differ, New Jersey law makes no distinction between them! New Jersey has a unique and complex form of municipal government: townships, towns, villages, cities, and boroughs are all equivalent with names reflecting the history of their incorporation. In other states, these municipality types have different legal powers and townships are typically an intermediate form of government with subordinate municipalities.
Ready to see what Hudson County is all about? Here’s a look at the cities in Hudson County NJ including what they’re known for and the top things to check out when you visit.
Hudson County may be the smallest county in New Jersey, but it’s the most densely populated. It has also been one of the fastest-growing New Jersey counties for decades! The fourth largest NJ county by population, Hudson County is in North Jersey and part of New Jersey’s Gateway Region to the NYC metro area.
Hudson County is just west of the lower Hudson River and mostly between the Hudson and Hackensack Rivers on a peninsula sometimes called Bergen Neck. It’s just across the Hudson from Manhattan and so well-connected to New York City that it’s sometimes called New York’s sixth borough.
The northern portion of the county on the west bank of the Hudson is known as North Hudson. Almost one-third of the county’s population lives in North Hudson which sits mostly on the Hudson Palisades and includes North Bergen, Guttenberg, West New York, Union City, and Weehawken. North Hudson communities are among the most densely populated in the country and the most diverse with large populations of foreign-born residents and non-native English speakers.
The Hudson Waterfront area is known as the New Jersey Gold Coast. Known for its nightlife, luxury homes, and affluence, the Gold Coast includes many New Jersey towns on the Hudson in Bergen and Hudson counties. Gold Coast cities in Hudson County NJ include: Bayonne, Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, West New York, Guttenberg, and North Bergen.
Can’t-miss North Bergen attraction: James J. Braddock Park, one of the largest parks in Hudson County with Woodcliff Lake, Manhattan skyline views, and 45 athletic facilities.
View this post on Instagram
Jersey City is the most ethnically diverse city in the United States for the sixth year in a row, beating out even famously diverse cities like New York City. The population is 29% Hispanic, 25% Asian, 23% Black or African American, and 22% non-Hispanic white. 53% of residents speak a language other than English at home and 42% are foreign-born. It’s the second-largest city in New Jersey after Newark and the largest Hudson County city.
With an easy 35-minute commute to New York and its own thriving nightlife and attractions, it’s easy to see the appeal of this NJ city on the Hudson. Explore neighborhoods in Jersey City to find a place that’s a good fit for you!
Can’t miss attractions: Liberty State Park for magnificent views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Science Center with live animals and an IMAX theater, and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.
Bayonne is one of the largest North Jersey cities and one of the safest places to live in North Jersey. It’s also sparsely populated – for Hudson County at least! This quiet, residential community is situated on a peninsula between Newark Bay and New York Bay in the Gateway Region, yet it feels like it’s worlds away from the hustle and bustle of New York.
Best things to do: Tear Drop Memorial and the picturesque Hackensack River Greenway which passes through the city.
View this post on Instagram
Known for its vibrant arts culture, Union City is part of the North Hudson region that has long been known as “Havana on the Hudson,” a nod to the large population of Cuban immigrants who strongly influenced the area’s culture in the mid-20th century.
Union City has another claim to fame: it’s the most densely populated city in America with at least 50,000 people and one of the world’s most densely populated places. Living in Union City offers the dense urban feel of NYC with a more suburban setting.
Fun things to do in Union City: Washington Park, a large urban park with a playground and game fields, and Bowl-Rite Lanes, a multi-level bowling alley with arcade games and pool.
North Bergen is in the North Hudson area on the Hudson River Palisades, or the steep cliffs along the lower Hudson River. An incredibly hilly community, only San Francisco has more hills per square mile than North Bergen!
North Bergen is famous for its magnificent views of the NYC skyline with single-family homes packed along winding roads and steep slopes. Bergenline Avenue, known as the Miracle Mile of Bergen County, runs from Union City to North Bergen with hundreds of shopping and dining options. If that’s not enough, it’s one of the most affordable Hudson County cities and just minutes from New York.
Famous as Frank Sinatra’s hometown, living in Hoboken has a lot to offer young professionals. This New Jersey town on the Hudson is densely populated with a young population and a fun nightlife scene. It’s also known for its easy access to NYC. Hoboken is one of the best NJ commuter towns with a 20 to 30-minute commute to Midtown and the Hoboken Ferry that can have you at Port Authority in under 15 minutes.
Top Hoboken attractions: Explore great Hoboken parks on the Hudson like Pier C Park with a fishing pier and playground and Sinatra Park with a kayak launch. Play Hoboken is a fun destination for indoor golf, billiards, and board games with friends.
View this post on Instagram
Located in the heart of North Hudson, West New York is one of several densely populated Hudson County towns on the Hudson River. It’s one of the most densely populated municipalities in America yet managed almost 9% population growth from 2010 to 2020. West New York sits on the Hudson Palisades overlooking Manhattan with a waterfront area on New Jersey’s Gold Coast that’s been known as Bulls Ferry for 250+ years.
What to do in West New York: Explore shops and eateries along Bergenline Ave, enjoy the NYC skyline views from Donnelly Memorial Park and the waterfront, and take a 20-minute ferry to NYC from the Weehawken Port Imperial station at Bulls Ferry.
Kearny is one of a few Hudson County towns in the western part of the county near Newark. Separated from Jersey City by the Hackensack River and from Newark by the Passaic River, this riverfront town is known for its picturesque waterfront areas, parks, and rich history.
Kearny is known as Soccer Town, USA. The Irish and Scottish immigrants who settled here in the 1870s to work in the factories started the town’s soccer tradition. This Hudson County town still feels like a small piece of Scotland with authentic fish and chips served with malt vinegar.
Secaucus is one of the Hudson towns in the Hackensack or New Jersey Meadowlands region, a large wetlands area at the terminus of the Passaic and Hackensack rivers flowing into Newark Bay. Secaucus is the most suburban of all cities in Hudson County NJ with large swathes of protected areas and some areas for retail and light manufacturing.
Despite its affluence, Secaucus is one of the most affordable places to live in Hudson County and offers easy access to Newark, Jersey City, and New York. The downtown Secaucus Plaza area offers shopping and dining plus the Kerasotes ShowPlace 14 movie theater.
Once the “beehive of industry,” this western Hudson County town near Newark is now a more residential suburb on the Passaic River. During the peak of its industry during WWII, the town of 14,000 saw more than 90,000 people arriving daily to work in the factories! Today, Harrison is best known as the home of the Red Bull Arena, home of the New York Red Bulls (MLS).
Harrison is undergoing plans to redevelop its waterfront area along the Passaic River. Once complete, the mixed-use development, already home to the Harrison PATH Station, will cover 35% of the town and become a pedestrian-friendly destination.
View this post on Instagram
One of the most affluent towns in Hudson County, Weehawken is a North Hudson community on the Palisades over the Hudson River. This small township offers one of the easiest commutes you can imagine: just 15 minutes to Midtown, Manhattan via an 8-minute Weehawken Ferry ride or about 20 minutes by bus or car.
That isn’t all there is to love about Weehawken: it boasts excellent outdoor recreation with the picturesque Weehawken Waterfront Park and Recreation Center and the 18-mile Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, a highly rated school system, and some of the best views on the Gold Coast.
Sandwiched between Union City, North Bergen, and Weehawken is Guttenberg, the smallest of all towns on the Hudson but the most densely populated by far. With just 0.19 square miles of land, Guttenberg has a population of just over 12,000 – and a population density exceeding 62,000 people per square mile. It isn’t just the most densely populated city in America – it’s one of the world’s most densely populated places!
This North Hudson community has more to offer than crowds. Enjoy magnificent Upper West Side views from the Palisades and the Guttenberg/North Bergen Waterfront Park. The ferry to New York lets you skip the traffic and enjoy a scenic commute. The Galaxy Towers is one of the best places to live on the New Jersey Gold Coast. The three octagonal condo towers are an iconic part of the Guttenberg waterfront.
East Newark is one of the smallest cities in Hudson County, New Jersey with just 0.13 square miles of area. Located on the Passaic River, East Newark is right across from Newark. Despite its small size, this Hudson County town is very diverse. 10% of residents identify as Peruvian American and more than 6% identify as Brazilian American. This is the highest percentage of both ancestry groups in any place in the country!
Hudson County isn’t just a great place to visit for outdoor recreation, nightlife, and beautiful NYC views – it’s also one of the best places to live in North Jersey! If you’re thinking about moving to Hudson County, the North Jersey movers at Catlow Movers are ready to here to help with full-service solutions that make your relocation a breeze. Give us a call today for a free, personalized moving quote!
"*" indicates required fields