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North America > United States of America > Mid-Atlantic > New Jersey > Gateway (New Jersey) > Bergen County

Bergen County

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Bergen County is in the Gateway region of New Jersey.

Municipalities[edit]

Map of Bergen County


Understand[edit]

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 now Passaic and Hudson county. Bergen County is 239 sq mi (620 km2) 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 (http://money.aol.com/article/50-municipalities-with-highest-per/490738).

Get in[edit]

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 (TEB IATA) 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 New York City, Massachusetts, or Connecticut, 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 New York State Thruway, and take the School House Rd. exit which will lead you into Montvale in Bergen County.

There are also lots of great hotels to stay in that are all over BC. Depending on your price range, there are plenty of Holiday Inns to stay at or you can check-in to a Hilton or Mariott.

There are Holiday Inn Expresses in Ramsey and Paramus and a Hilton and Mariott in Woodcliff Lake. Because BC is so small, no matter where you stay, everything is within a half hour of where ever you'll be.

Get around[edit]

The 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 its property.

  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Newark Intl Airport, 162 US Highway 1 and 9, Newark, +1 973-242-3400

At La Guardia:

  • Avis +1 973-961-4300 or +1-800-230-4898
  • Hertz +1 973-621-2000 or +1 800-654-3131

Although there is no train service in the eastern parts of Bergen County, a project is underway to extend the Hudson Bergen Light Rail north to Englewood.

Buy[edit]

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, there are three 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): 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

For some great trendy shops in town to go to:

  • Guess What's New Boutique — 32 Westwood Ace, Westwood
  • Marcia's Attic — 32 North Dean Street, Englewood
  • Threads — 128 Vervalen St, Closter

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.

Eat[edit]

  • Brazilian Bbq Buffet

Sushi/Asian

  • Kiku — Rt. 17 N in Paramus
  • Ichiban

American/Chain

  • Houlihan's — Rt. 17 N in Ramsey or Rt 4. W in Paramus
  • Bobby's Burger Palace
  • Dante's Italian Deli
  • Houstons — Rt. 4 W in Riverside Square Mall, in Hackensack
  • Morton's Steak House — Rt. 4 W in Riverside Square Mall in Hackensack
  • Napa Valley Grille — Paramus, in Garden State Plaza, off of Rt. 17 S, Phone: +1 201-845-5555

Diner/Breakfast

  • Suburban Diner — Rt. 17 N in Paramus
  • The Ridge Diner — Park Ridge on the corner of Kinderkamack Ave and Park Ave
  • Ronnie's Bagels — 118 Broadway, Hillsdale or 541 Livingston St in Norwood

Italian

  • Aldo and Gianni — in the CVS shopping center on the corner of Chestnut Ridge Rd. and Grand Ave, Montvale (make a reservation — +1 201-391-6866)
  • Fratelli Trattoria — Ridgewood
  • Campania Restaurant (featured in (201) Magazine's Best of Bergen's Editor's Picks for renovations done by Hell's Kitchen's Gordon Ramsey) — 17-15 Broadway, Fair Lawn
  • Sanducci's — 570 Kinderkamack Road, River Edge
  • Cafe Amici — 315 Franklin Avenue, Wycoff — +1 201-848-0198
  • Cafe L'Amore — 455 Ramapo Valley Road, Oakland — +1 201-337-5628

Mexica

  • Rosa Mexicana — The Shops at Riverside, in Hackensack
  • El Bandito — Spring Valley, NY (it's not NJ, it's right on the border outside of Montvale. If you're looking for authentic Mexican food and atmosphere, go there!)

Drink[edit]

Because BC 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 the "it" place to be for a trendy night life.

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 me, 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.

Do[edit]

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.

  • 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 in Van Saun County Park (Forest and Continental Avenues in Paramus): a train ride, 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: +1 201-327-7804
  • The Hermitage, Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ +1 201-445-8311: 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 +1 201-261-0012: 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 +1 201-262-5151: 30 neat exhibits including a kid-sized grocery, the World of Animal Senses, a fire truck, New Jersey's largest kaleidoscope, and a medieval castle where kids dress up as knights, princesses, fairies and kings.
  • Historic sites: 18th, 19th & 20th century landmarks
  • County golf courses: Bergen offers tremendous resources for some 90,000 golfers
  • Cultural events: Films, concerts, art shows, theatre
  • 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 (+1 201-692-7744) 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.

Go next[edit]

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