Introduction to Newark, New Jersey
Newark, located in northeastern New Jersey, just 8 miles west of New York City, is the largest city in the state. Settled in 1666, Newark was an important site in the Revolutionary War and developed as a transportation and manufacturing center after the war. The development of canals and railroads accelerated industrial growth, with beer, jewelry and leather goods among the leading industries. The city was a shipbuilding center during World War I and a popular center for jazz music in the middle of the 20th century.
Today, Newark has a diverse population of around 275,000 and is home to leading corporations. Now an insurance center, with Prudential headquartered there, Newark sells more insurance than any city except Hartford. It remains a major transportation hub, with one of the country's busiest airports (Newark International Airport) and seaports.
The New Jersey Performing Arts Center downtown, opened in 1997, offers great acoustics for musical performances of all kinds, from orchestras to hip hop. The Newark Museum has fine collections of American and international art. A Smithsonian-affiliated Museum of African-American music was built in Newark's Lincoln Park neighborhood in 2006. For additional cultural and entertainment attractions, New York City is just minutes away and Philadelphia is just over an hour away.
Newark Sports and Leisure
There are plenty of rooting options for the sports fan nearby. Newark has minor league baseball's Newark Bears, who play home games at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium. Just 7 miles away in East Rutherford, Continental Airlines Arena is home to the NBA's New Jersey Nets and the NHL's New Jersey Devils. East Rutherford is also the site of Giants Stadium, which hosts home games of the NFL's New York Giants and New York Jets, as well as Major League Soccer's New York/New Jersey MetroStars. For more big league action, a short drive to New York offers major league baseball's Yankees and Mets, the NBA's Knickerbockers and the NHL's Rangers and Islanders. And it's just a little more than an hour's drive to Philadelphia, home of the NFL's Eagles, baseball's Phillies, the NBA's 76ers and the NHL's Flyers.
Freshwater fishing is available within the city at Branch Brook Park Pond and Verona Park Lake. Mountain Creek in Vernon, named one of the top 7 water parks in the country by the Washington Post, uses mountainous terrain to access the many slides and tunnels, including one 99-foot drop. Other popular and accessible New Jersey destinations are the summertime beach scene at Asbury Park and Cape May and the year-round indoor and outdoor fun of Atlantic City. Newark has many local courses and is accessible to nationally ranked courses such as Pine Hill (NJ, about an hour away), Bethpage (Farmingdale, NY, an hour away) and Bulle Rock (Havre de Grace, MD, 2 hours away). In the winter, skiing is accessible in Pennsylvania resorts.
Newark at Night
Newark, once one of America's great jazz cities, is still home to many clubs offering musical entertainment. Nightlife in Newark offers its own array of restaurants and bars (with more in Montclair and other neighboring towns), plus the added option of a short trek to the Big Apple.