If you want to traffic in clichés—and why not—you could say that it is Jersey City’s best-kept secret. In Liberty Harbor Marina at the end of Marin Boulevard, just before the ferry slip and Surf City is the Liberty Harbor RV Park. It’s the only one in Jersey City, and the folks who run it say it is the only one within 60 miles.
I’m familiar with it because I used to live in a boat in the marina. I was intrigued by the adventurousness of the tourists who would leave their mobile homes in the morning and head into New York City to sight see. You could tell they were tourists. They wore new windbreakers and new sneakers and un-cool hats that said “CAT” on their visors. They were young families, retirees, honeymooners—anyone resourceful enough to find this convenient and inexpensive way to visit the Big Apple.
Peter Mocco Jr. owns the park. “Probably 100 percent come to visit New York City,” Mocco says. “When they get here, they’re blown away by the location. You could never park this close to a city.”
But it turns out that it isn’t only New York that feeds their wanderlust. They also want to see Jersey City and Hoboken. “The Cake Boss is the reason they go to Hoboken,” Mocco says. “It’s so efficient with the light rail, and the PATH five blocks away. It’s just as enticing as lower Manhattan, and of course we give them guides to local restaurants, with menus and maps.”
Mocco says the tourists come from all over the world—Canada, France, Germany, India, and the United States—California, Florida, the Midwest.
The demographic runs “literally the whole gamut,” Mocco says. “College students from overseas, families with young children, parents visiting kids working in the city, couples on honeymoons.
“They come here to enjoy the ambience that exists. They have a good time and explore,” says Mocco. “I’ve been around since 1995, and I’ve never heard complaints. It’s all positive. It’s a pleasure and rewarding to see people happy.”—Kate Rounds