Paterson, New Jersey

Welcome to Paterson, New Jersey, a city steeped in history and brimming with vibrant cultures. Encompassing a diverse range of neighborhoods (with zip codes ranging from 07501 to 07544), Paterson boasts thriving communities with roots in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Arab world, South Asia, and North Africa.

Immerse yourself in the rhythmic salsa beats that spill out from lively bodegas, savor the aroma of freshly baked pastelitos wafting through the air, and lose yourself in the kaleidoscope of dazzling colors and costumes displayed in the cultural pride parades and lively music that fill Paterson’s streets.

Paterson’s story begins with the Lenapehoking tribe, the region’s original inhabitants. This land, once under Dutch and then British control, became a pivotal site in America’s journey towards industrial independence thanks to Alexander Hamilton. In 1791, Hamilton co-founded the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures (S.U.M.), which harnessed the power of the Great Falls of the Passaic River to fuel the nation’s industrial revolution. 

Named after William Paterson, a key figure in American history, the city was designed by Pierre L’Enfant with ambitious plans for a bustling industrial center.

Despite early setbacks, Paterson flourished as an industrial powerhouse, particularly in textile production, churning out bolts of cloth that clothed a growing nation. The roar of the Great Falls mingled with the clang of machinery and the shouts of workers, creating a symphony of industrial progress. Immigrants from across the globe flocked to Paterson, seeking opportunity and forging a new life amidst the city’s relentless energy.

Officially becoming a city in 1851, Paterson played a significant role in America’s economic growth, embodying the spirit of innovation.

Today, Paterson is celebrated for its historical significance and as a living testament to the country’s enduring pursuit of progress and resilience. Its rich history invites exploration, offering a unique glimpse into the birth of American industry and the ongoing story of a city that helped shape the nation’s destiny. The grand old mills stand as a testament to Paterson’s industrial might. Now repurposed as art studios and vibrant community spaces, they showcase the city’s ongoing evolution.

Things To Do: Points of Interest in Paterson, NJ

Paterson has a bit of everything—a cool shopping center, to relaxing parks, and spots to just have fun. Let’s check out what makes Paterson a fun place to hang out.


Built in 1932, this art deco stadium hosted the New York Black Yankees, pro-football & iconic performers. Stadium’s entrance and parking lot are wheelchair accessible.

Photo of Passaic Falls

Dog friendly park with plenty of picnic tables

Photo of Mary Ellen Kramer Park

Scenic Park with various observation areas for viewing the Great Falls of Paterson.

Restaurants: Best Places to Eat

Paterson, New Jersey, is a hidden gem for foodies, offering a delicious journey through the diverse flavors of its communities. Dominican, Turkish, and North African cuisine take center stage, with vibrant restaurants serving mouthwatering dishes from Classic Americana to the Dominican and the Mediterranean. Explore the aroma of freshly baked pastelitos wafting from local bakeries, savor the rich stews simmered to perfection, and delve into Paterson’s unique culinary traditions.

Turkish restaurant serving hummus, fried chickpea nuggets, soups, salads and vegetarian dishes. Offers Dine-in and Curbside pickup.

Italian restaurant with an old school vibe. Serves large portions of classic Italian food including calamari, veal, linguini, clams and more. Large menu and good prices!  Offers Dine-in, Takeout and Delivery. 

Armenian restaurant serving classic middle eastern food including Manti (beef stuffed in dough), grilled chicken thighs, and fried Halloumi and more.  Offers Dine-in, Takeout and Delivery.

Mexican restaurant serving happy hour food, vegetarian dishes and cocktails. Provides Dine-in, Curbside pickup and Deliveries. Reserve a table or order online.

Restaurant menu includes El chicharron de pollo and chicken quesadillas, Salmon bites, shrimp tacos and beef empanadas. Offers Dine-in and Curbside pickup. No deliveries. 

Latin American bakery dispensing pastries, sandwiches & hot food such as empanadas. Has Takeout & Delivery.

Cultural Landmark and Museum

Paterson, New Jersey, known for its excellent outdoor spots, also boasts an impressive collection of cultural landmarks and museums. These places bring out the city’s historical significance. Discover Paterson’s cultural gems by exploring these attractions.

Founded in 1925 by the city of Paterson, the museum’s mission is to preserve and display the industrial history of Paterson. The museum exhibits include archaeology, mineralogy & inventors.

Built in 1892, Lambert Castle, formerly known as Belle Vista, is located with the Garret Mountain Reservation. Museum in the home of a 19th-century silk-textile manufacturer, with period furnishings & art.

Neighborhoods: Where to Live in Paterson

With its array of neighborhoods, each neighborhood possesses its own charm and amenities, Paterson, New Jersey, offers residents a wide range of living choices. Here are a few of Paterson’s prime neighborhoods:


Paterson’s Great Falls Historic District is the best-known neighborhood, mainly because of the spectacular Great Falls on the Passaic River. The city’s been giving the district a facelift, with cool old-fashioned period streetlights and converting rundown factories into trendy apartments and shops. The neighborhood has become a popular destination for many of Paterson’s local artists.

Downtown Paterson serves as the city’s commercial hub, housing key buildings like Paterson City Hall and the Passaic County Courthouse Annex. Recognized as an Urban Enterprise Zone, it boasts the Center City Mall, which stretches from Ward Street between Main and Church Streets, offering a mix of shops, entertainment, and business spaces. This bustling area is situated in the city’s 1st Ward.


Manor Section

The Manor Section is a homey spot in Paterson, found east of East 33rd Street, up from Broadway, and down from Route 20 and the Passaic River. This neighborhood is in Paterson’s 3rd Ward. Its culture and setup also influence the nearby Lyncrest and Rivercrest areas of Fair Lawn. Here, the arrangement of homes pays homage to a Jewish Temple that once stood at 33rd and Broadway but has since closed.

Lakeview Neighborhood

Lakeview: In the city’s southern area, you’ll find Lakeview, a neighborhood where primarily middle-class families live. Interstate 80 runs just above it. One of Lakeview’s highlights is the Paterson Farmers Market, a go-to place for fresh produce for many people from North Jersey. The community is mainly Hispanic (around 65%), with a noticeable number of Filipino families. Lakeview and Clifton next door are similar, even having neighborhoods with the same name. Lakeview belongs to the city’s 6th Ward.

People’s Park Neighborhood

The People’s Park neighborhood is located just north of 23rd Avenue and south of Market Street. Twenty-First Avenue, or “La Veinte y uno” as it’s called by the Spanish-speaking community in Paterson, is a vital part of People’s Park. It’s a busy shopping street with various businesses that attract a diverse crowd. The area used to be predominantly Italian, but now it’s home to a large Hispanic population, including many Colombians.

Neighborhood of Hillcrest

In Hillcrest, a neighborhood west of downtown, you’ll find a middle-class community. It’s enclosed by Preakness Avenue to the east and Cumberland Avenue to the west and extends to Totowa Avenue, West Side Park, and the Passaic River to the south. Hillcrest is one of the top places to live in Paterson, with a rich mix of Italian, Arab, and Asian folks. It’s located in the city’s 2nd Ward.

Transit: A Hub of Trains and Buses

Getting around Paterson and beyond is a breeze. The city boasts excellent connections thanks to N.J. Transit:

N.J. Transit Bus: The Broadway Bus Terminal in downtown Paterson is a central hub for N.J. Transit buses. These buses offer extensive service across Passaic, Bergen, Essex, and Hudson counties, connecting Paterson to surrounding areas.

Paterson’s Downtown Station

N.J. Transit Main Line: This commuter rail line directly connects Paterson’s downtown station to Hoboken, making it convenient for commuters working in New Jersey’s waterfront hub.

Even More Options:

In addition to N.J. Transit, private jitney buses offer frequent, unscheduled service along Route 4. These jitneys connect Paterson to neighboring areas and critical New York City terminals, providing additional travel flexibility.

Paterson’s central location and diverse transportation options make it a convenient and well-connected city for residents and visitors alike.

Economic Resurgence & Urban Enterprise Zones

Paterson is experiencing an economic resurgence. The city’s population is on the rise, and its economy is undergoing a shift. While textiles were once king, Paterson embraces modern industries like dyeing and polymer production and even attracts sustainable businesses in advanced manufacturing and aerospace.

Tourism is also booming, particularly around the majestic Great Falls. The area received a significant federal investment of $4.147 million to support upgrades and preservation efforts, making it an even more attractive destination.

Paterson is also dedicated to revitalizing its core. Initiatives like beautification projects on Main Street and crucial service upgrades through the Urban Enterprise Zone program and the Paterson Small Business Development Center are helping to create a more vibrant and livable city.  

Paterson, New Jersey, has a special zone called the Urban Enterprise Zone (U.E.Z.). Established in 1994, Paterson is one of 37 U.E.Z.s designated throughout the state. These zones offer economic incentives to stimulate business growth and revitalize urban areas.

One of the biggest perks for shoppers in the U.E.Z. is the reduced sales tax. The sales tax in New Jersey is 6.625%, but in the U.E.Z., you’ll only pay 3.5%. This significant discount has been a major boost for Paterson’s economy since its inception and continues to attract shoppers and businesses to the area.

Geography and Climate of Paterson

Paterson, New Jersey, offers a unique blend of urban energy and natural beauty. Located in the northern part of New Jersey, the city boasts a hilly landscape with pockets of parks and green spaces. The Passaic River, a vital waterway, snakes through the heart of Paterson, shaping its geography and contributing to its vibrant character.

Paterson experiences a humid continental climate with distinct seasons. Summers are hot and moist, with average highs reaching 86°F (30°C). Winters can be cool to cold, with average lows dipping to 22°F (-6°C). Spring and fall offer pleasant weather, making them ideal times to explore the city’s outdoor offerings. The town is a compact 8.71 square miles, with most of it being land (8.41 sq mi) and a small portion dedicated to water (0.29 sq mi).

Discover the Charm of Paterson: An Inviting Destination Awaits

Paterson, New Jersey, isn’t just a city; it’s a community bursting with energy, history, and potential. Paterson is where the past and future meet, from the majestic Great Falls to a cityscape undergoing exciting redevelopment. For anyone looking for beautiful scenery to explore or a new place to plant roots, Paterson offers a welcoming atmosphere and a chance to be part of something truly transformative.