Puritans arriving from Connecticut first settled what is now the city’s thrumming central business district way back in 1666. The site of that first settlement went on to become known as Four Corners, and in the early 20th century, it was considered the busiest intersection in the country. Over the years, the neighborhood has seen its fair share of ups and downs, but the revitalizing Downtown corridor is now home to the state’s major cultural venues, including the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark Symphony Hall, the Newark Museum and the New Jersey Historical Society.
Address: Downtown Newark, Newark, NJ 07102, USA
Credit: James Hogarty
Filled with grand estates of all architectural styles (especially Beaux-Arts, Victorian, Colonial Revival and Gothic Revival), this community on the northern edge of the city offers a surprisingly pastoral respite from the bustle of Downtown. Here, you’ll find the historic Tiffany & Co. glass factory, which has since been converted into a condo complex, and the area’s undisputed crown jewel, Branch Brook Park. Home to thousands of Japanese cherry trees, this Olmsted Brothers–designed park is the place to be in the spring.
Address: Forest Hill, Newark, NJ, USA
Credit: Aristide Economopoulos / The Star-Ledger / Newark Happening
Surrounded by railroad tracks, this working-class neighborhood just south of Downtown was historically a hub for Germans, Poles and Italians (like Tony Soprano, who grew up here on The Sopranos). Also called Down Neck because of its location on a bend in the Passaic River, the area began attracting Portuguese immigrants during the early 20th century, and in turn, that attracted a wave of new arrivals from other Portuguese-speaking parts of the world, such as Mozambique, Cape Verde and especially Brazil. The result? One of the most culinarily diverse neighborhoods in New Jersey, where you can sample Brazilian rodizio, Spanish tapas, Portuguese pastries and more.