This pastoral swatch of New Jersey, tucked into the Garden State's northwest corner, serves nicely as both a serious meetings destination and a leisurely, pre/post work getaway. Manhattan is just an hour away, but here, traffic jams are rare. All of this idyllic charm, along with a nice selection of Sussex County event venues, makes for a unique group destination.
The trip into Metro New York by air is relatively easy and reasonably priced. Newark Liberty International is the closest of the three major area airports, offering a healthy slate of flights (many nonstops among them) from around the country and internationally. From Newark, it's a quick, straightforward and often scenic drive west along Northern New Jersey's major highways. Corporate groups should also consider Bergen County's Teterborough Airport for a convenient travel alternative, as it accommodates smaller jets and private planes and offers a similar drive west to Sussex County. East Coast travelers can also ride AMTRAK, which runs a packed daily schedule of trains through New Jersey with major connections in Newark and nearby Iselin (Metro Park).
Don't be surprised to find attractive and affordable accommodations nestled among the rolling hills and farmland of Sussex County. Meeting venues include the Crystal Springs Resort, a rambling 4,000-acre complex that includes several hotels, condominiums, restaurants, retail, and recreation. Planners can count on 100,000 square feet of overall function space at Crystal Springs, most of it spread across three major meeting properties. Leading the way with over 32,000 square feet of indoor and exterior venue space, the Grand Cascades Lodge also comes with 220 guest rooms and Adirondack-styled comfort—lots of wood, fieldstone, and natural light inside and lush gardens surrounding the property exterior. The Mineral Springs Hotel features 175 rooms and some 20,000 square feet of flexible space, with an outdoor pavilion that is perfect for private picnics and parties. The Mountain Creek condominium community includes a variety of units (from studios to multi-bedroom town homes) with easy access to skiing, cycling, and other outdoor recreation. Among Sussex County's other overnight options: the 15-room High Point Country Inn in Vernon, the 79-room Newton Holiday Inn Express, and the 117-room Quality Inn near Mountain Creek.
Truly special event venues in Sussex County include Andover's Crossed Keys Inn, which supplies 19th-century charm and comfort, with a restored playhouse that seats 20 for meetings and tented garden space that holds up to 300 for receptions. It's all about wine and dining at the Cava Winery & Vineyard in Hardyston, where groups of up to 500 can treat themselves to tastings, dinners, and receptions. And the elegant Irish Cottage Inn in Franklin handles 35 for private banquets and board luncheons.
Sussex County is also home to some exciting options for team building, with state parks close by providing mountains for hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, and rock climbing expeditions, plus lakes and rivers for rafting and canoeing adventures. Tamer but no less enjoyable Sussex County pursuits include county fairs, cycling, and browsing the area's numerous flea markets.