From its rural beginnings, Newark, New Jersey, has become one of New Jersey’s busiest urban areas. Although much has changed since the town was founded in 1666, much has remained the same. Newark has a variety of landmarks and historic sites for those who want to use their rental car to explore Newark’s past. In this post, we’ve created a short list of some of the historic buildings, churches, and homes that play a special part in Newark’s history.

The John Ballantine House, built in 1885, is named after its influential owner. Now part of the Newark Museum, the Ballantine House has been restored, and several rooms are furnished in the late Victorian style. Ballantine House also hosts a variety of decorative objects that would have been found in American homes from the 1650s to the present.

You can also use your 15 passenger van rental to visit Branch Brook Park, which is part of America’s oldest county park system. The land now occupied by Branch Brook Park was once home to six Union regiments during the Civil War. Today, the park hosts the yearly Cherry Blossom Festival, and its 3,500 white and pink cherry trees make this park a must-stop attraction if you’re visiting New Jersey in the spring.

Head to downtown Newark in your car rental and visit the Four Corners neighborhood. Named after the intersection of Broad Street and Market Street, this area has been the center of town since its establishment in 1666. Many buildings in this twenty-two-square-block area are on the National or State Register of Historic Places. The architecture ranges in style from neoclassical to Art Deco to Victorian, and you won’t want to miss seeing the spectacular buildings of downtown Newark.

While you’re checking out historic neighborhoods in your 12 passenger van rental, don’t miss the Forest Hills Neighborhood. Developed between the 1850s and the 1920s, this neighborhood was populated by affluent businesspeople and contains homes designed in Beaux-Arts, Victorian, Colonial, Edwardian, and Spanish Revival styles.

The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, while newer than the sites mentioned so far, is no less important historically and architecturally. Modeled after the great French Gothic cathedrals in Chartres, Laon, and Rheims, construction began on the church in 1913 but was not completed until 1954. The Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, similar in size to London’s Westminster Abbey, is the fifth-largest cathedral in North America. Don’t miss seeing this spectacular masterpiece.

We hope you enjoy your visit through historic Newark! If you need to rent a car for your trip to New Jersey, contact Value Van & Car Rental at (973) 792-0343. We serve Newark, Elizabeth, Union, and the surrounding areas.