Many of the boroughs and townships of Meadowlands/Bergen County in Northern New Jersey take their names from the hills (Hillsdale), rivers (Upper Saddle River) and scenery (Edgewater) – all of which defines this pleasant suburban region that lies on the western bank of the Hudson River. Along the river and facing Upper Manhattan is the spectacular Palisades State Park, Meadowlands/Bergen County's forested jewel (which obscures the densely populated communities on its other side). Farther north, where Meadowlands/Bergen County shares a border with New York's Rockland County, the landscape is more suburban, dotted with golf courses, stately homes (President Richard M. Nixon retired to Upper Saddle River) and corporate campuses. Social and corporate functions supply business for Meadowlands/Bergen County venues.
Meadowlands/Bergen County's proximity to Newark International Airport makes it easy to get to, while to the south lies the quickest access in and out of New York City, via the Lincoln Tunnel or the George Washington Bridge.
Chief among Meadowlands/Bergen County meeting venues is the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Actually three discrete venues – Meadowlands Racetrack, Izod Center, and the New Meadowlands Stadium – the Meadowlands Sports Complex lies in East Rutherford, about six miles from New York City. Izod Center (formerly Continental Airlines Arena) includes 25,000 square feet of exhibition space, and offers to arrange such goosebump elicitors as player appearances at company meetings, teambuilding events or awards ceremonies. The Meadowlands Racetrack, which features harness racing, invites groups to name a race after their company, mascot or a VIP.
Some meeting venues in Meadowlands/Bergen County, such as the Hilton Hasbrouck Heights, provide airport shuttle service. The Hilton's Executive Meetings Center is an IACC-approved conference center with 21 state-of-the-art meeting rooms; a grand ballroom accommodates 750 for a meeting or 500 for a banquet. A second Meadowlands/Bergen County meetings venue with IACC approval is at the 427-room Sheraton Meadowlands, where 30,000 square feet of versatile meeting space includes two ballrooms.
Dining venues in Meadowlands/Bergen County feature several familiar brand names like Maggiano's, McCormick & Schmick's Seafood and Rosa Mexicano, although eclectic venues like Esty Street in Park Ridge can accommodate groups of up to 70.
Pre- or post-meeting, attendees may want to indulge in a trip to Meadowlands/Bergen County's famous Paramus Park Mall, which, now in its 36th year, has 107 stores in more than 770,000 square feet of space.