When to fly
The weather in Newark is characterised by cold, damp winters and hot, humid summers.
The summer months can be a popular time for tourists to visit, although the high temperatures, usually in the high 20s, and humidity can be off-putting for some travellers. July is the hottest month, with temperatures on average reaching 30 degrees, but also the wettest, so expect some rain. It should be noted, however, that rainfall is mostly consistent throughout the year. If you do plan on booking your trip to Newark during July then be sure to attend the Lincoln Park Music Festival. Around 50,000 local and international attendees come together to experience gospel, jazz, hip hop and rhythm and blues performances.
Winter is cold, with temperatures on average in the low single digits or even dropping to around -4 degrees. There is also an increased chance of snow during this season so make sure you pack some warm clothing. If you are a budget traveller then winter is a good time to search for cheaper flights and better hotel rates, although bear in mind the city can become busy over the festive period.
The ideal time to fly to Newark, weather-wise, is in late spring or early autumn. During these times afternoon temperatures are generally in the low 20s, which is more pleasant for exploring the city and nights are cool but not as cold as winter. Take advantage of the beautiful spring weather and see Branch Brook Park in full bloom at the annual Bloomfest. This event takes place in April to coincide with when the 4,300 cherry trees in the park blossom. As well as the beautiful scenery to enjoy, there is also a marketplace, children’s activities, live music, food and much more.
Most travellers think of Newark as a starting or stopping point on the way to somewhere else, giving little thought to the city itself. Few realise that Newark is the largest city in New Jersey and the third-oldest major city in the US. Visitors coming off their Newark flights will discover a city with a wealth of historic sites and diverse cultural attractions.
Newark's Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart is the fifth-largest cathedral in the United States with towers reputed to be taller than those at Westminster and Notre Dame. The cornerstone was laid in 1899, and construction was completed in 1954, which is a short time for a Gothic cathedral of this size. The Cathedral is located in Branch Brook Park, one of Frederick Law Olmsted’s parks. The park is more than four miles long and has more than 2000 cherry trees — a greater variety and number of cherry trees than the Washington, D.C display. Branch Brook Park’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival is held in April. So the next time you stop over on a long layover off a flight to Newark, make sure take in some of the sights.
After years of being seen as the poor relation to nearby New York City, Newark has come to be recognised as a major tourist destination in its own right. It has become an important centre for the arts, with galleries like Aljira carving out distinctive niches for themselves in the city's alternative arts scene. Newark is also the location for a wide range of festivals celebrating poetry, music and film.
The city's attractions include Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange. The National Park Service now preserves this site, centred on Edison's home and laboratory.
Getting around Newark
Public transport in Newark is the responsibility of New Jersey Transit. From its hub at Penn Station, the relatively small Newark City Light Rail system operates two lines. The bus service is more extensive, with buses running to almost every part of the city. Taxis, which can be hailed on-street in the downtown area, charge metered fares
How to get to city centre from the airport?
The main airport for flights to Newark is the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) (website: www.newarkairport.com), which is just over 3 miles (5 km) from the city centre.
The simplest way to get from the airport to the centre of Newark is by taxi. Drivers charge a flat fee according to your destination; these journeys require you to make a reservation. Another option is to travel by train: Newark-Liberty station sees regular services. The airport has a monorail system, AirTrain Newark. The cheapest but least comfortable option is to take a bus.
Newark insider information
- Newark’s neoclassical and art deco Penn Station (not to be confused with New York City’s Penn Station) is in the Ironbound District, a vibrant Portuguese community, and its Ferry Street is lined with excellent restaurants, pastry shops, and music.
- To see works by local artists, the Aljira Center for Contemporary Art showcases work by established and emerging African American artists. Artists of all disciplines perform, exhibit their work, and interact with visitors at the Sumei Multidisciplinary Arts Centre. City Without Walls offers career development opportunities to new and emerging artists, showcasing the work of more than 200 new artists each year in on-site, off-site, and travelling exhibitions.
- The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performs a full and varied program for diverse audiences, serves the community by performing classical music throughout the state, and offers a number of programmes to foster music education for all ages.
- For history buffs, The New Jersey Historical Society, based in Newark, is the oldest cultural institution in the state with exhibitions, publications, archives, and programs of the political, social, economic, and cultural history of New Jersey.
- The New Jersey Performing Arts Centre (NJPAC) was the last great performing-arts centre opened in the 20th century. The stages of the two performance halls have been graced by renowned artists, orchestras, and dance and theatre troupes.
- The Newark Museum has 80 galleries, a planetarium, a sculpture garden, a mini zoo, and one of largest and most varied Tibetan collections in the US. One wing of the museum is the luxurious Victorian mansion that was the home of Jeannette and John Holme Ballantine of the Newark beer-brewing family.