Bergen County is one of the four original counties in New Jersey. Before New Jersey was what it is today, its earlier borders extended to what are currently Passaic and Hudson county. Bergen County is 239-square-miles of land in the northeast corner of the state, and its population is just over 900,000 people. Bergen County is also commonly known as being #16 out of the top 20 wealthiest counties in America, behind New York as #2, Westchester as #7, and San Francisco as #10.
Enjoy the unsurpassed cultural and employment opportunities of nearby New York City and the breathtaking natural wonders and recreational opportunities of the great outdoors. Whether you are going for a day trip or a family vacation, there are many places to explore in and around Bergen County.
To get to Bergen County, you can take many different means of transportation. If you're flying, you can fly into Newark International Airport for commercial flights and Teterboro Airport for private flights. If flying into New York makes you happier, you can fly into La Guardia Airport or John F. Kennedy International Airport. Each of these airports are within 40 minutes from Bergen County.
If you're coming from somewhere closer and you'd like to drive it's all very simple.
Anywhere south, get onto the Garden State Parkway North — any of the exits between 160 and 172 will be able to take you to Bergen County. There are some other highways that can also take you there, but this is the most direct and least confusing way.
If you're coming from the north, like NYC, Massachusetts, Connecticut, etc., you can take the George Washington Bridge (NJ/NY lingo "the GW") or the Tappan Zee Bridge. For the GW, follow signs coming off the bridge for Rt. 4 E, then for Rt. 17 N, then signs for the Garden State Parkway N. If you're taking the Tappan Zee, when you get off, follow signs for I-287 W, then take the 14A exit towards New Jersey. After that, merge onto the NY State Thruway NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY S and take the School House Rd. exit which will lead you into Montvale in Bergen County.
There are numerous available options to stay at that can accommodate every price range. And a good thing about staying at any hotel in Bergen County means you’ll have around a 30 minute travel time to anywhere in the county.
The absolute best way to get around Bergen County is to drive. There are lots of places to rent cars for a weekend, because otherwise you're stuck taking public transportation which only takes you to "working" parts of the area, not the fun parts. You can arrange for a car service to pick you up at any of the airports and bring to you the nearest car rental agency to get your car on-the-spot or the airport will have a number of car rental services on it's property.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car NEWARK INTL AIRPORT 162 US HIGHWAY 1 AND 9 NEWARK, NJ 07114-2200 Tel.: (973) 242-3400
At La Guardia: Avis 973 961-4300 800 230-4898
Hertz 973 621-2000 800 654-3131
New Jersey is known for many things. Some true, some completely false. One thing that is true is that no matter where you are, you are always 15 minutes away from a mall. In Bergen County, we have three wonderful malls.
Paramus Park Mall (in Paramus) — some stores: JC Penny, Macy's, Swarovski, Brighton Collectibles
The Shops at Riverside Square (in Hackensack)- Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomindale's, Brooks Brothers for Women, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tiffany & Co, Pottery Barn, Barnes & Noble, Burberry, Barney's CO-OP, Hermes, Movado
Garden State Plaza (in Paramus)- just to name a few: Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Steve Madden, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Godiva, Jessica McClintock, H&M, Louis Vuitton, GEOX, Juicy Couture, Stuart Weitzman, Ed Hardy, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Kiehl’s, Tumi, Apple, and Lululemon Athletica
Bergen Town Center (in Paramus) - This shopping center is geared more toward an "outlet" style. Stores include Target, Century 21, Whole Foods, Nordstrom Rack, Ulta, Banana Republic Factory Store, H&M, Nike Factory Store, Marshall's
For some great trendy shops in town to go to: Marcia's Attic — 32 North Dean Street, Englewood Threads — 128 Vervalen St, Closter
Note, however, that Bergen County has one of the strictest "blue laws" in the country—virtually all Sunday shopping is banned, with the few exceptions including supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations, and restaurants. Paramus has even stricter blue laws that ban all work on Sunday except in groceries, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The ban on Sunday shopping is actually a state law that can be rejected on a county-by-county basis by voter referendum; Bergen County is the only county that has refused to reject the state blue law.
Because Bergen County is such a "family" place, there isn't much of a crazy night life directly in town. A short 20 minute drive to Nyack is a the "it" place to be for a trendy night life.
There are a few bars in the area; Miller's Ale House on Route 4 in Paramus, Cornerstone in Westwood. The Orange Lantern in Paramus, and The Heights Bar & Grill in Hasbrouck Heights. Miller's Ale House offers inexpensive deals on drinks. Cornerstone offers Trivia Tuesday. There are also a numerous amounts of restaurants that include a bar type area or lounge.
If you like the pub/bar scene, Pearl River, NY, which borders Park Ridge in BC, you can go to The Saloon for a more townie, toned down place to have a drink.
If you're still itching for more, NYC is a hop, skip, and a jump away. Take the Lincoln or Holland Tunnel to downtown NYC for great restaurants and bars to go.
The local place for LGBT nightlife is Club Feathers at 77 Kinderkamack Rd.; River Edge, NJ 07661 .
COUNTY PARKS Ski, skate, jog, cycle, golf, picnic, camp overnight, tour a zoo, visit a Revolutionary War site, swim, hike, play softball and tennis. Bergen County parks offer golf courses, horseback riding stables, an environmental center, a zoo and plenty of places to picnic and play.
Ramapo Valley County Reservation Located at 156 Ramapo Valley Rd, Mahwah, NJ 07430-1199, ph: (201) 512-9348. It sits on the eastern side of the Ramapo Mountains and is 3,313 acres. It is most untouched nature, aside from the creation of the trails. There are 10 marked trails throughout the reservation, including challenging hiking trails and leisurely trails for walking or jogging. Many people come here to walk their dogs as well. Fishing is allowed with a NJ fishing license. You can also camp in tents with a permit. Short Line offers bus service from Port Authority Bus Terminal in NYC to Ramapo College, which is located about a mile to the north of the park entrance on Ramapo Valley Road.
Darlington County Park Darlington Avenue, Mahwah. 2 Swimming Lakes with sandy beaches, Changing Rooms, Snack Bar, Picnic Areas, Sand Volley Ball Courts , Fishing Lake, Tennis, Handball and Basketball Courts.
Bergen County Zoological Park Located in Van Saun County Park (Forest and Continental Avenues in Paramus) Your kids will love train ride, the extensive playground, and the zoo which is home to a wide variety of wild and domestic animals and different species of birds.
Campgaw Mountain County Reservation Campgaw Road in Mahwah. Camping, Alpine skiing, Snowboarding, Night skiing, Snow Tubing. Children’s Programs and Lessons. Ski info: (201) 327-7804
The Hermitage Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ (201) 445-8311 Historic house museum that incorporates an 18th century stone house that was visited during the Revolutionary War by George Washington and is the site where Aaron Burr met and married Theodosia Prevost.
Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum Oradell, NJ (201) 261-0012 Founded in 1957 by an early conservationist, the museum showcases the natural world. It includes wildlife art and big game collections.
New Jersey Children's Museum Paramus, NJ (201) 262-5151 Your family will play and learn from 30 neat exhibits including a Kid Sized Grocery, The World of Animal Senses, a Fire Truck, New Jersey largest kaleidoscope, and a Medieval Castle where kids dress up as knights, princesses, fairies and kings.
Ramsey Golf & Country Club (in Ramsey) - ph: (201) 327-0009. The restaurant is called Lakeside Grille & Bar. It serves American cuisine, includes a bar and fireplace, offers live entertainment every Thursday and Saturday and an Italian night every Wednesday.
Rivervale Country Club (in Rivervale) - ph: (201) 391-2300. The restaurant here is called Cherry Brook Restaurant and Bar. It serves Contemporary American Cuisine with European influences. The hours are noon to 9:00pm every day.
Rockleigh Bergen County Golf (in Rockleigh) - ph: (201) 768-6354.
Emerson Golf Club (in Emerson) - ph: (201) 261-1100. The restaurant located here in called Muzzy’s Bar & Grill.
Alpine Country Club (in Demarest) - ph: (201) 768-2121. This country Club offers several different dining experiences. The Aldecress Room offers brunches and casual dining. The Tillinghast Bar/Lounge offers casual cocktails and dinner, as well as lunch during the in-season. The Alpine Room is the main dining room and offers A La Carte dining and family brunch and buffet dinners. The President’s Dining Room offers a space for intimate dinners. Peacock Alley is our scenic patio dining area which overlooks naturally landscaped ponds and the golf course and is ideal for lunch or dinner in the summer months.
The Ridgewood Country Club (in Paramus) - ph: (201) 599-3900. This club offers fine dining with indoor and outdoor seating.
Orchard Hills Golf Course (in Paramus) - ph: (201) 447-3778.
Montammy Country Club (in Alpine) - ph: (201) 768-9000. This club offers drinks in the Main Bar and the Sports-Bar, which also has food. Formal dining is offered in the Montammy Room.
High Mountain Golf Course (Franklin Lakes) - ph: (201) 891-4653. Their restaurant was rated 3 out of 4 stars by The Record of Bergen County.
The Bergen Performing Arts Center is Bergen County's largest theater. The theater presents entertainment for every taste and budget, including a celebrity performers, world class music, theater and dance, glittering holiday shows and a Family Series of quality, affordable children's shows.
The Bergen County Players are one of northern New Jersey's premier community theater groups. For nearly 70 years, they have been entertaining area residents with quality productions. The group performs at the Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell. The American Stage Playhouse (201-692-7744) at Fairleigh Dickinson in Teaneck features revivals as varied as Forever Plaid and The Bad Seed as well as several new and adventurous works every season.
There are many other popular destinations surrounding Bergen County. New York City is a 20 to 50 minute ride, depending on if you are travelling by car, bus, or train. The Jersey Shore points range from an hour to 3 hour travel time depending on which beach you want to visit. Six Flags has a location in Jackson, New Jersey, which is about an hour and a half travel time. Jones Beach State Park in Nassau County, New York is only about an hour and 15 minute trip from Bergen County. The famous Atlantic City is around a 2 and a half to 3 hour drive and offers casino/resort hotels, where you can go to gamble, see a variety of shows, and go to a club or bar.