Residents of the New York metropolitan area converge on this suburban stretch of New Jersey throughout the week for its shopping opportunities. Due to New Jersey’s lower taxes, including zero clothing tax, malls in Paramus have grown to some of the most visited in North America. Enormous malls feature luxury brands, discount outlets and impressive food courts serving a range of international cuisine far exceeding the usual standards of shopping center food courts. Outside the malls, Paramus is home to parklands with rolling hills, golf courses and a zoo in Van Saun County Park.
Start your trip by driving down the state highway that cuts through Paramus. Lined on both sides by malls, this is where the people of New Jersey and New York come to shop. Visit Westfield Garden State Plaza, among the oldest and most famous malls in Paramus, to shop for designer labels, books, electronics and music. Built in 1957, the mall covers more than 198 acres (80 hectares). Continue along the highway to reach Paramus Park Mall, Bergen Town Center and the Fashion Center. Buses and shuttle services connect all the malls. Underground parking is available at each site for a small fee. Shop during the week; Bergen County’s “blue” laws allow only restaurants to operate on Sundays.
Take a break from shopping at one of the mall food courts. Riverside Mall’s recently renovated dining facilities feature upmarket restaurants alongside fast-food chains and international takeaway outlets.
Venture outside the malls to discover some of New Jersey’s local heritage. See Terhune House, a historic 18th-century Dutch home, and the Midland School, a one-room schoolhouse now serving as a library. Get some fresh air as you cycle along the 6 miles (9.7 kilometers) of bike paths in Saddle River County Park or visit the zoo in Van Saun County Park.
Rent a car to best explore the Paramus area, which is located just a short drive from New York City and the Newark International Airport.