Tired of living in a shoebox in New York City? Tons of New Yorkers flocked to Jersey City during the pandemic to take advantage of cheaper rent prices and have more space. While Jersey City rent prices have skyrocketed since then, a luxury 1-bedroom apartment is still cheaper here than Manhattan and you’ll get more square footage for your money.
Aside from apartment rentals, Jersey City also has a strong community spirit and its easy for newcomers to make new friends. It’s the second largest city in New Jersey after Newark and has a vibrant foodie scene with a wide variety of bars and restaurants. Plus, if you’re a pet parent, we have quieter streets and tons of dog parks for your four-legged friend to enjoy.
Still need convincing? Here are 15 reasons to move to Jersey City from New York:
Apartment Buildings Have Pools
One of the best reasons to move to Jersey City is the swimming pools! If you’re tired of sweating in Central Park or Domino Park, you won’t have to worry about that in Jersey City. We all know temperatures in New York can soar in the summertime, and thankfully most of the luxury buildings in Jersey City have pools where you can take a dip and cool off.
If you love tanning and enjoying the summer sun, this is the number one draw of living in Jersey City. Plus, you’ll be able to convince all your New Yorker friends to come visit and enjoy some pool action.
You Can Get a Car!
Another big draw of living in Jersey City is that there’s plenty of parking for cars, which means you can get a vehicle and drive to the supermarket instead of loading all your groceries into a backpack.
Many of the luxury buildings have parking garages, and while they’re not exactly cheap, (expect to pay around $200 per month) it’s nice to have this perk. There’s also zoned permit street parking for those who live in brownstones and some houses have driveways with garages.
You Don’t Have to Pump Gas
Jersey City has lots of gas stations, especially near the Holland Tunnel. Some of them charge as low as $2.89 per gallon, whereas the average gas station in New York charges $3.40 per gallon.
And that’s not all. In New Jersey you can’t pump your own gas – someone else does it for you. Just hand them your credit card and you can relax in the car, which is great in the winter months when it’s freezing outside.
We Have Big Grocery Stores
Forget doing your grocery shopping at Whole Foods or tiny little bodegas, we have big supermarkets here with parking lots. Jersey City has a Shoprite and an Acme, as well as a Sprove Market Place right by the Grove St. PATH. Or, if you like Trader Joe’s you can hop in your car and drive to the Trader Joe’s in Hoboken.
You’ll Pay Less Income Taxes
New York City and Yonkers have their own local income tax on top of the state tax. So if you’re living in Manhattan, Yonkers or Brooklyn, you’ll be paying extra taxes on top of the state income tax.
In 2022, if you earn a salary of $70,000 per year and live in Jersey City, your effective income tax rate would be 3.31% and your marginal tax rate would be 5.53%. There’s no local tax on top.
If you earn $70,000 per year and live in New York City, you’d pay an effective income tax rate of 4.95% and a marginal rate of 5.97%. On top of that you pay a local effective tax rate of 3.25% and a marginal rate of 3.88%.
PATH is Convenient if You Work in FiDi or Midtown
Yes Williamsburg has the L train, which is pretty fast, but Jersey City has the PATH, which is actually super convenient if you work in FiDi or Midtown.
The Journal Square-33rd Street PATH stops at multiple locations in Manhattan, including the West Village, 14th Street, 23rd Street and 33rd Street. Meanwhile the Newark-World Trade Center PATH stops inside the Westfield shopping center at the Oculus, which is a downright beautiful building!
The PATH is also much cleaner than the subway, so there’s that too. Our only gripe about the 33rd Street PATH is that it goes via Hoboken on the weekends, which takes forever, and it also doesn’t run frequently late at night. So if you’re planning to stay out in Manhattan till after midnight, expect to be taking Uber back.
We Have Ferries Too!
Oh yes, did we mention there are ferry stops in Jersey City? In the summer months (or even in winter) you can take the ferry into Manhattan instead of hopping on the PATH. Ferries run from Harborside, Paulus Hook and Marin Boulevard and the views as you approach Manhattan are gorgeous.
The Light Rail Will Take You To Hoboken in a Jiffy
In addition to PATH trains and ferries, we also have the light rail, which connects places like Union City, Hoboken, Bayonne and Bergen-Lafayette with downtown Jersey City.
There are light rail stops all over Jersey City’s waterfront area, which makes getting around super easy. It’s also much nicer to be able to hop straight on the light rail and travel overground as opposed to entering dark, stuffy subway stations.
Views of Manhattan are Better than the Brooklyn Side
Having lived in both Williamsburg and Jersey City, I can confidently tell you that the view of Manhattan’s skyline is much more beautiful than the view from the Brooklyn side.
Our waterfront is lovely and is beautiful for a walk at any time of day. Start at the Colgate Clock and stroll along the waterfront area to J Owen Grundy Park, which is a riverfront pier with benches and stunning views across the Hudson River.
We Have Lots of Green Spaces…
One of the major benefits of living in Jersey City is that the streets are just so much wider, cleaner and less chaotic than those in New York City. We also have tons of green spaces, including the enormous Liberty State Park.
Yes Manhattan has Central Park, but Liberty State Park is way less crowded and has a beautiful waterfront walkway. Covering a total area of 1,212 acres, it’s much larger than Central Park, which covers an area of 840 acres.
Liberty State Park is also home to several attractions, including the Empty Sky 9/11 Memorial, Liberty Science Center and the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal.
Other popular parks around Jersey City include Hamilton Park, Van Vorst Park and Lincoln Park.
Jersey City is home to Liberty Landing Marina, which is filled with yachts and sailing boats. Right by the marina on Marin Boulevard you have Surf City, which is an enormous waterfront bar/restaurant with views of the marina. Grab some friends, order a lobster roll and a pint and watch the boats come into dock.
On the other side of the marina you have Liberty House and Maritime Parc, which also offer views of the water. If you don’t end up making friends with someone who owns a boat, you could also book a ticket to the Honorable William Wall, which includes a boat ride and drinks on a floating barge overlooking Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.
JC Has an Awesome Foodie Scene
Jersey City has so many great restaurants, offering every kind of cuisine you can think of. Whether you’re craving Indian food, Korean food, sushi rolls or a juicy steak, there’s every kind of cuisine you can think of in JC.
Some of our favorites include:
Fine dining – Edward’s Steakhouse, Battello, ONDO, DOMODOMO, Sushi by Bou, Porto Leggero, Liberty House.
Mid-range – Satis Bistro, Frankie, Light Horse Tavern, Bistro La Source, Matthew’s, Kitchen Step, Ani Ramen, Corto, Honshu, Frankie, Cellar 335.
Casual – Taqueria Downtown, Razza, K-Pot, Hudson Hall, Golden Cicada, Kung Fu Pho, Surf City.
Apartments are More Spacious, and Cheaper
Let’s face it, apartments in New York City are often tiny.
Here in Jersey City there are so many new apartment buildings being built and you don’t have to abide by that pesky 40x the rent requirement like in NYC. It’s much easier to get approved for an apartment here and there’s more availability, so searching for an apartment feels like a breeze.
Apartments are generally more spacious and usually have things like in-unit laundry, so you’ll no longer have to visit a laundromat or go downstairs into your building’s basement.
Streets are Cleaner
In Manhattan and Brooklyn you’ll often see garbage bags piled up in the street. Not in Jersey City! The streets are generally quieter (particularly around the Paulus Hook area) and feel much cleaner than in New York.
We Have Cute Brownstones…
New York City has tons of brownstones but Jersey City also has them too! Van Vorst Park, Hamilton Park and Paulus Hook all have leafy streets with lots of cute 19th century brownstones. They’re especially adorable in cherry blossom season and around Halloween, when local residents love to dress their doorways with fun decorations.
And Glassy High-Rises
Jersey City has a really cool blend of old and new. Alongside brownstones you also have lots of sleek, glassy hi-rises that look absolutely beautiful when the sun bounces off them around sunset.
If you prefer modern apartments over older buildings, you’ll find tons of luxury rentals in Jersey City.
It’s Way More Fun for your Dog
Jersey City has many dog parks where your pup can make new friends and run around off leash. Plus, many of the luxury apartment buildings have dog parks in the building, so you don’t even have to venture outside.
We also have quite a few dog-friendly establishments here, including breweries and outdoor beer gardens. With numerous vet clinics, dog groomers and pet stores, being a dog parent in Jersey City has never been so easy.
We Have a Distillery and 2 Breweries
Yep, many people don’t realize that we have two breweries in Jersey City that are both dog-friendly.
In downtown Jersey City you have Departed Soles, which is famous for its gluten-free and #DefinitelyNotGlutenFree beers.
Then there’s 902 Brewing, which is located in the Communipaw neighborhood just a light-rail ride away from downtown. Housed in a large, industrial-looking space, this brewery has a rooftop deck with views of Manhattan and often hosts events throughout the month.
If gin is more your thing, pay a visit to Corgi Distillery, where you can try award-winning gins made by Corgi Spirits. Here you can order gin flights or gin cocktails and relax on their comfy sofas.
There’s Always an Event Happening
Jersey City has lots of annual festivals and events that take place throughout the year. On Halloween there’s the zombie opera – a free opera performance with singers dressed in zombie costumes. Then there’s Groove on Grove – a free summer weekly music series featuring a wide variety of musicians and performers.
The city also hosts one of the biggest Pride festivals in the northeast, which usually takes place in the month of August and celebrates the city’s LGBTQ+ community. With so much happening, you’ll never be short of something to celebrate in Jersey City.
It’s Big Yet Small at the Same Time
With a population of 300,000 people and an area of 21.03 mi², Jersey City is big enough that there’s plenty to do but it’s also small enough to be able to make new friends. We have lots of great restaurants and nightlife, and if you visit any of the local bars enough times, the bartenders will soon know you by name. JC has a strong community spirit and a neighborhood feel with lots of stuff going on.