Tidal flow characteristics in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary are studied with a two-dimensional, depth-averaged finite difference model. Rivers are modeled as one-dimensional channels with variable width and depth and are calculated as part of the two-dimensional calculations at no extra computational cost. An extensive comparison of numerical, tidal calculations with observational data than has previously appeared in the literature is presented. Computed velocity and tidal elevation fields compare well with observations. Comparison with observations at the Sandy Hook-Rockaway Point transect indicates that the barotropic tidal residual current contributes significantly to the overall steady circulation in the harbor. The residual current is mainly induced by the coastal geometry and bottom topography through the nonlinear inertia effects.