River Vale Township is in Bergen County, in the Gateway region of New Jersey. About a half hour drive outside of New York City, the suburb of River Vale is within driving distance of anything one would ever need. Growing from a rich history dating back to the Revolutionary War, River Vale was established as a township in 1906. It has continued to grow to the point it is at today, with a population of almost 10,000 people today.
Through River Vale and the nearby local towns, there is plenty to do, eat, and discover about what Bergen County has to offer.
There are three major airports near River Vale, all within an hour's drive from the respective airport. To get from these airports to River Vale, a car rental or hitching a ride from a friend would be necessary. Other options from these airports would include hopping in a taxi cab or bus, or a short train ride from Penn Station.
- LaGuardia Airport (LGA): (718) 533-3400, LaGuardia Airport is located in Queens, NY, which serves for mostly domestic flights. It is about a 45 minute drive from River Vale.
NJ Transit - Trains has many train lines and stations all throughout the most of Northern New Jersey. Trains are generally available, running from 7AM - 1AM or later every day. Most trains to New Jersey leave from New York Penn Station (in Times Square) and depart for Secaucus Junction. To get to River Vale, one would need to take the Pascack Valley Line from Secaucus to the Park Ridge train station (Park Ridge is a town boardering River Vale). However, there are not many available times that the trains run through this station, especially in the afternoon and night, so one could take a train on the busier Main-Bergen County Line to Ridgewood, NJ, about a 20 minute drive to River Vale. All in all, from New York to River Vale it is about a 45 minute train ride and $10 for a one way train ticket.
NJ Transit - Buses is New Jersey's public transportation system with 236 different bus routes throughout the state of New Jersey, as well as linking New Jersey to the New York City. From New York City (Port Authority Train Terminal), the closest a bus can take you to River Vale is to Hillsdale, NJ (another small town bordering River Vale), which would take about an hour and 15 minutes. One way tickets generally cost $5-$10. Buses run on a line by line, day by day basis, so one would need to check online for times.
Since River Vale is a suburban area outside of New York City, to get to River Vale one would need to take a lot of back roads to get in. The closest highways to River Vale are the Palisades Parkway to the east, the Garden State Parkway to the west, I-287 (New York State Thruway) to the north, and I-80/I-95 Junction to the south. Locally, NJ routes 4 and 17 are the larger roadways, providing quick access around Bergen County.
The best and easiest way to get around in River Vale and its neighbors would be to drive a car. If one does not own a car when in the area, one could either rent a car or order a taxi. Walking is also always an option - sidewalks on the busier roads help facilitate a pedestrian-friendly environment. A bicycle would also be a more cost-efficient option to driving, as well as a faster transit than walking.
There are 2 taxi companies located near River Vale, both operate with 24 hour service for local trips or for an airport shittle service. For pricing, both are determined based on the length of the trip in the taxi and the hour of the day.
- Westwood Taxi & Limousine, Inc., (201) 666-5666
- Ridgewood Taxi & Limousine, (201) 444-1800
Being a remote suburb, River Vale and its surrounding towns have a few recreational parks open to the public:
- Van Saun Park, 216 Forest Avenue, Paramus and Continental Avenues, River Edge NJ 07661. Van Saun Park, the largest park in the area, provides facilities such as a 1.5 mile trail for running, walking, or hiking, a picnic area, baseball and soccer athletic fields, and much more! Van Saun Park is definitely a great place to spend time with your family, and its only a 15 minute drive from River Vale.
- Wood Dale Park, Prospect Avenue, Hillsdale NJ 07642. Wood Dale Park is a much smaller area than Van Saun, however, their facilities are top of the line. Between the pedestrian path for walking or running, a picnic area, and two tennis courts, Wood Dale Park offers it all. THere is also a great children's playground for the kids. Hillsdale is only a 5 minutes away from River Vale.
- Baylor Massacre Historical Site, located in the heart of River Vale, is the location of a Revolutionary War surprise attack on September 27, 1778 on a Continental regiment. Commemorating this historic site are a few plaques detailing the events of the massacre, as well as an American flag. Having such a large part of American history in such a small town of River Vale is very meaningful and beyond cool!
For whatever reason, the Township of River Vale has enough open and free space to hold 3 private golf courses open to members only.
- Edgewood Country Club: 449 Rivervale Rd, River Vale NJ 07675. (201) 666-1200. Edgewood Country Club has an 18-hole golf course, a pool, and tennis courts, in addition to the clubhouse for meals. For information on membership, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- River Vale Country Club: 660 River Vale Rd, River Vale NJ 07675. (201) 391-2300. This country club has both an 18-hole golf course, driving range, and a country club for meals and banquets. Open to members only, contact email@example.com for more information.
- Valley Brook Golf Club: 15 River Vale Rd, River Vale NJ 07675. (201) 666-2080. Again open to members only, this club has an 18-hole golf course and a gorgeous club house. They also offer banquet halls for weddings and other formal occasions.
- Fritz-Dietl Ice Rink: 639 Broadway, Westwood NJ 07675. (201) 666-9883. This small ice rink is perfect for an afternoon with the kids or even for a children's birthday party. Pricing is $10 for a 2-hour session and $3 for skate rentals.
- Montvale Lanes Bowling Alley: 4 West Grand Avenue, Montvale NJ 07645. (201) 391-3400. Another spot perfect for a children's birthday party or to become a member of a bowling league. There is also a snack bar. Pricing is $4 per game bowled after 5PM, $3 before 5PM.
- Stonybrook Swim Club, 183 Cedar Lane, Hillsdale NJ 07642. (201) 358-5065. Opens each year on Memorial Day, closes in early September. This swim club is a member-only facility, costing about $500 for a family membership for residents of Hillsdale, and about $900 for out of town residents. Stonybrook has an Olympic sized pool, a children's pool, playgrounds, an athletic field, and a snack bar.
- Pascack Movie Theater: 182 Center St, Westwood NJ 07675. (201) 664-3200. Adult tickets - $9.50, Seniors/Children tickets - $7.
- Garden State Plaza, 1 Garden State Plaza, Paramus NJ 07652. (201) 843-2121. M-Sa 10AM-9:30PM, Closed Sundays. The Garden State Plaza, or GSP for short, is about a 25 minute drive from River Vale. This mall has it all: a food court and other restaurants (such as Papa Razzi and Grand Lux Cafe, a brand new movie theater, and shopping stores such as Nordstrom's, Banana Republic, and the Gap. Other facilities include the Apple Store, Brookstone, and Williams-Sonoma.
- Paramus Park Mall, 700 Paramus Park, Paramus NJ 07652. (201) 261-6108. M-Sa 10AM-9:30PM, Closed Sundays. Paramus Park, about a 20 minute drive from River Vale, is the smallest mall in the area. Paramus Park has a food court, Macy's department store, the Old Navy, and the Foot Locker, among others.
- Shaw's Bookstore: 79 Westwood Ave, Westwood NJ 07675. (201) 666-4484. Shaw's is a tradition in River Vale's area. Every one knows about it - a small, locally owned small bookstore with excellent service.
There are many food options in River Vale, and in the surrounding towns. Most of the restaurants are very affordable, especially for those in the middle class. There are, of course, the stereotypical fast food chain restaurants in the area in addition to these locally owned and operated options.
- The Country Pancake House , (201) 444-8395; 140 East Ridgewood Ave, Ridgewood NJ 07450. Su-Th 6:30 AM-9 PM, F-Sa 6:30 AM-10 PM. The Country Pancake House is most well known for its enormous pancakes, with a large option of toppings. Other breakfast foods, such as french toast, waffles, and eggs, are available here as well. The Country Pancake House also boasts a large menu of homemade mixed fruit juices and slushies. Pricing from $5-10.
- Goldberg's Bagels, (201) 666-9896; 425 Broadway, Westwood NJ 07675. Goldberg's has some of the better bagels in the area, and all of the standard toppings are available. Pricing from $5 for breakfast.
- Ronnie's Bagels  - (201) 664-4543; 118 Broadway, Hillsdale NJ 07642. Ronnie's is known in the area as having the best bagels in the area. If you are getting breakfast, this would be the place. Pricing from $5.
- The Ridge - (201) 391-4242; 125 Kinderkamack Rd, Park Ridge NJ 07656. New Jersey is very well known for its superb diners, and The Ridge is at the top of the line. Fresh off a new renovation, this establishment is the best diner in the area, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. It is also open 24 hours on the weekends. Pricing from $7-10.
- Bensi  - (201) 722-8881; 387 Washington Ave, Hillsdale NJ 07642. Su-Th 11 AM-11 PM, F-Sa 11 AM-Midnight. Bensi offers a large menu of fine classic Italian food options. Pricing from $15-20.
- Blue Moon - (201) 782-9500; 42 Kinderkamack Rd, Woodcliff Lake NJ 07677. M-Th 11:30 AM-10 PM, F-Sa 11:30 AM-11 PM, Su 11 AM-10 PM. Blue Moon bosts a menu of Mexican cuisine. Pricing from $10-20.
- China Pavilion IV - (201) 664-7766; 663-D Westwood Ave, River Vale NJ 07675. China Pavilion is your stereotypical small local Chinese restaurant, usually more of a pick-up option as opposed to a sit down establishment. Pricing from $5-10.
- The Country Store - (201) 664-4619; 72 River Vale Rd, River Vale NJ 07675. M-F 6:30 AM-6 PM, Sa 7 AM-5 PM, Su 7 AM-2 PM. The Country Store, open since 1920, is a family owned and operated small store, offering delicious made-to-order subs and sandwiches, as well as many snacks and drinks. Prices from $7-10 for sandwiches.
- Crecco's Cafe  - (201) 664-7200; 655 Westwood Ave, River Vale NJ 07675. M-Sa 11 AM-11 PM, Su 12 PM-9 PM. Crecco's Cafe offers delicious pizza and pasta options, as well as great large salads. You can either eat in the restaurant, or take advantage of their delivery services. Pricing from $5-10.
- The Iron Horse  - (201) 666-9682; 20 Washington Ave, Westwood NJ 07675. M-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-11PM, Su 11:30AM-9PM. The Iron Horse is a great family style restaurant with most generic food options. Pricing from $10 for dinner.
- Davey's Pub  - (201) 391-9356; Kinderkamack Rd & Grand Ave, Montvale NJ 07645. M-F 11 AM-10 PM, Sa-Su 11 AM-1 AM. Davey's Pub is a family oriented establishment, with an Irish style pub feeling. Food options range from sandwiches to hamburgers to salads - you can get whatever you are in the mood for. Davey's also doubles as a bar in the later hours of the night, so if you feel like watching an important sports game or just hanging out with some friends late night, this is a great option. Pricing from $10-20 for dinner.
- Francesca's  - (201) 497-6617; 652 Westwood Ave, River Vale NJ 07675. Open 7 days a week for Lunch and Dinner. Francesca's offers many different specialty pizzas, as well as many traditional Italian heroes and other dinner entrees. BYOB if you plan on eating in the dining room. Pricing from $17 for a pizza pie, and from $7-15 for dinner entrees.
- Gen Sushi & Hibachi - (201) 930-9188; 14B Chestnut Ridge Rd, Montvale NJ 07645. Gen offers some of the best sushi in the area. In addition to the wonderful sushi selection, Gen offers a fantastic hibachi meal, and many classic chinese dishes. Also, Gen has a small but tasteful amount of ice cream selections for dessert. Pricing here, as is most sushi and hibachi, from $20.
- Hanami - (201) 666-8508; 301 Center Ave, Westwood NJ 07675. Hanami offers sushi, chinese food, and japanese food. Eat in for a nice family meal, or get their delivery option if you want to spend the evening at home. Pricing from $20.
- The Park Steakhouse  - (201) 930-1300; 151 Kinderkamack Road, Park Ridge NJ 07656. M-Sa 11:30AM-10PM, Su 4PM-9PM. The Park Steakhouse is one of the more higher scale restaurants in the area. Usually, a reservation is needed for dinner. They have many grilled steak and fish options, with the pricing from $30 for dinner.
- Conrad's - (201) 497-6280; 107 Westwood Ave, Westwood NJ 07675. M-Sa 10AM-5PM. Conrad's make all homemade chocolate and candy treats - simply delicious.
- Dairy Queen - (201) 391-3684; 125 Chestnut Ridge Rd, Montvale NJ 07645. One of the oldest Dairy Queen's in the country, this establishment serves some delicious ice cream and other treats.
- King Kone  - (845) 620-0728; 136 N. Middletown Rd, Pearl River NY 10965. Just over the New Jersey-New York boarder (about a 10 minute drive) is King Kone, which serves some very high quality soft serve ice cream. It is only open during the spring and summer months, however.
The local drinking scene in River Vale and its neighboring towns is, for lack of a better word, bleak. There is always the option of taking a train or a bus in to New York City ("The City"), where one can indulge themselves in the many bars and night dance clubs that are in New York.
There is, however, one local drinking hole that many 21 years old enjoy to frequent, called The Cornerstone. In addition to being a bar, The Cornerstone doubles as a restaurant for lunch and dinner. On occasion, The Cornerstone has live bands and/or DJs perform in the nighttime, as well as other special promotional events. (201) 666-8688; 84 Broadway, Hillsdale NJ 07642.
There are not many hotel accommodations in River Vale and its surrounding areas, as the majority of the area is residential. However, the closest hotels are within a 10 minute drive of River Vale:
- Hilton-Pearl River, (845) 735-9000; 500 Veterans Memorial Drive, Pearl River NY 10965. Hotel includes a fitness room, pool, and spa. Check in at 3PM, check out at 11AM. About $100.
- Hilton-Woodcliff Lake, (201) 391-3600; 200 Tice Blvd, Woodcliff Lake NJ 07677. Hotel includes a fitness room and jogging track, a tennis court, and a snack shop. Check in at 3PM, check out at 11AM. About $100.
- Marriott-Park Ridge, (201) 307-0800; 300 Brae Boulevard, Park Ridge NJ 07656. Hotel includes 24-hour fitness room, spa, and sauna. Check in at 4PM, check out at 12PM. About $100.
For further information on history and/or services, please visit the River Vale Township home page.