After a very long winter, who wants to be cooped up inside a room with four walls and no views? Not us! Here's where to go for inspiring views of the water.
Maritime Parc, Jersey City
From the boats gently bobbing in the Hudson and the unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty to the picture-perfect Manhattan skyline that seems close enough to touch, Maritime Parc undoubtedly hits it out of the park when it comes to dramatic settings. Of course, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, too, and Maritime Parc’s interiors definitely don’t disappoint. Its dazzling design includes a beautiful three-story lobby, vaulted wood ceilings and 18,000 square feet of event space with wraparound two-floor terraces. The New American menu is also a hit. “What sets us apart is that our quality of food stands equal to the view, and our view is the best of everything. ... waterfront, city skyline, marina and 1,200 acres of historic parkland,” says Chris Siversen, executive chef and co owner of Maritime Parc.
Waterside Restaurant & Catering, North Bergen
In the case of Waterside Restaurant & Catering, the name truly says it all. This full-service restaurant and multifloor event space sits right on the Hudson River in North Bergen and features a postcard-worthy view of the New York City skyline. The ground-floor restaurant operates seven days a week and has several semiprivate rooms for bookings, but it’s the second (capacity for 175) and third (up to 225) floors of the facility that are designed specifically for meetings and events. “We have hosted everything from pharmaceutical industry events and charity fundraisers to magazine premiere parties,” says Lesley Lovett, banquet sales. “Both the food and the views are spectacular. People are always happy after an event here.”
Oyster Point Hotel and Molly Pitcher Inn, Red Bank
Just because you’re near the water doesn’t mean you have to be nautical. Case in point is the Oyster Point Hotel, resting on the Navesink River in Red Bank. This boutique hotel with 56 rooms is sleek and stylish and looks slightly more South Beach than shore. The hotel’s 9,000 square feet of function space are divided into nine rooms and include a 3,900-square-foot ballroom with views overlooking the river. The Terrace Room is a favorite for its riverfront deck and hotel marina. Just 300 yards away is the Oyster Point Hotel’s sister property, the Molly Pitcher Inn. From its brick façade to its elegant restaurant, the Molly Pitcher offers a more traditional look and feel. It’s also larger, with 106 guest rooms and suites. All meeting rooms and event space (9,000 square feet) also include waterfront views.
Camden County Boathouse, Pennsauken
Some places have views—and then there’s the Camden County Boathouse. “We are feet from the river,” says Elaine Long, director of sales and marketing. Owned by Camden County and managed by Rutgers University-Camden, the boathouse is a unique venue set within the 346-acre Cooper River Park—right on the banks of the river. The boathouse is home to recreational and competitive rowing teams, including several area universities, but you don’t need to know your port from your starboard to hold an event here. The 23,000-square-foot boathouse features two smaller meeting rooms with space for 25-30, but the pièce de résistance is certainly the Banquet Room, with room for up to 200. The floor-to-ceiling windows and wraparound porch frame views of majestic sunsets over the Cooper River, as well as lively Philadelphia skyline vistas. “The beautiful river views ... it sells itself,” Long says.
Battleship New Jersey, Camden
For something out of the ordinary, book an event aboard the historic Battleship New Jersey. The ship was designed for a crew of 117 officers and 1,804 enlisted personnel. Eleven separate or combined venues aboard the ship accommodate 50 to 3,000. Allow your guests to experience what it was really like aboard the ship by booking the memorable captain’s and admiral’s cabins, the officer’s wardroom, the crew’s mess or the petty officers’ mess. Perhaps the most dramatic setting is the forecastle, where the 16-gun turrets stand sentry and the Philadelphia skyline serves as the backdrop. “For a truly unique experience, you cannot beat an event aboard the Battleship New Jersey, our nation’s most decorated and largest battleship, now a museum and memorial on the Camden Waterfront,” says Jack Willard, senior vice president, marketing and sales. “Besides full-service catering and bar service, the Battleship can also offer guided tours, USO-style shows and even allow guests to fire the gun.”
Avenue, Long Branch
Escape to the French Riviera without the jet lag at Avenue. This elegant, brasserie-style restaurant and lounge rests right on the beach in Long Branch. Events are held in the dining room (180-200 people), the second floor media room (up to 120 seated; 250 cocktail-style), the rooftop lounge (up to 250) and even right on the beach (up to 100, only from Memorial Day to Labor Day). “Whether you’re celebrating or closing an important business deal, Avenue is the ideal destination for affairs to remember,” says Chris Toohey, events coordinator. “The casual elegance of the unique beachside venue is sure to enchant guests from the moment they arrive. The perfect pairing of a luminous sunset and sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean makes any occasion even more special.”
One Atlantic, Atlantic City
Situated atop the Pier Shops at Caesars, One Atlantic stretches 100 yards out over the Atlantic Ocean for a stunning experience. “We are one of the only over-the-ocean venues,” says Elizabeth McGlinn, general manager. The 22-foot walls of glass mean unobstructed views of the beach, boardwalk and Atlantic City skyline, but for an even better look, step outside onto the open-air terrace. The 10,000 square feet of space allow for 10 to 1,200 for cocktails, 50 to 500 for lunches and dinners and 10 to 750 for classroom-style seating. One Atlantic isn’t just about jaw-dropping views, “We are really known for our food,” McGlinn says. “From butlered hors d’oeuvres and butlered small plates to food stations, all of our food is made by hand. Nothing comes out of a box here.” Indeed, One Atlantic is a Level 2 Green-certified restaurant, so from the build-out to the operations, everything is done with an eco-conscious mindset.
Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Waterparks, Wildwood
Wildwood is famous for its wide stretch of beach and its buzzing boardwalk and there’s no better place to take in the fun than at Morey’s Piers. And it’s not just for the kids anymore. That’s right, Morey’s, which is home to three amusement piers and two water parks, is available for meetings and events. Plan an event on Rendezvous Beach, where an unobstructed view of the beach is lovely. Catering runs “the full gamut, from barbecues to more formal dining,” says Merideth Fiorucci, director of group sales and events. For another outdoor space, complete with full cabana coverage in case of inclement weather, book Joe’s Fish Company restaurant. “The space looks right out over the amusement park. It’s colorful and very unique,” says Fiorucci.
Prefer to see the softer side of Wildwood? Book the penthouse suite at the Pan American Hotel. This top-floor suite is massive—it runs the entire length of the building—so there’s plenty of room for private events or meetings (capacity is 75). The large deck “commands magnificent views of the beach,” says Fiorucci. The nautical-themed Port Royal in Wildwood Crest is perfect for out-of-town groups seeking guest rooms and meeting space, with two event rooms for up to 50.
GET YOUR SEA LEGS
There are views of the water and then there are views on the water. Nothing gets people talking like an event or meeting aboard a boat. Whether you want to sail on the Hudson with New York as the backdrop or enjoy the laid-back feel of the Jersey shore, there’s a boat to meet your needs.
SMOOTH SAILING CELEBRATIONS boasts a fleet of 45 private luxury yachts that sail the East
and Hudson Rivers. Enjoy a three-hour cruise sailing past iconic landmarks such as the Empire
State Building, Ellis Island, Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park City, and of course, the Statue of Liberty.
Cocktails may be served in the lounge or on the rooftop, and dinner is served either buffet-style
or plated. In addition to the executive chef and service staff, each yacht is staffed with a Coast
Guard-trained and certified captain and marine staff. Departures are available from a handful of
cities, including Weehawken, Hoboken, Jersey City, Perth Amboy and Atlantic Highlands. “The
truly unique thing about our company is that because we have so many yacht options to offer
our clients, we do not need to fit a square peg into a round hole. We have exactly what suits our
client’s agenda and criteria and usually there are at least two to three options, so the client has
a variety of styles to truly suit their taste,” says Camille Cerria, owner. “We will tell you the truth
about the yacht you are considering—all the pros and cons. Because the boat companies have
limited inventory, they need to sell you on just their boats, whether or not it’s truly the right boat
for your needs … our priority is making sure you select the yacht option that is going to suit as
many of your requirements as possible.” smoothsailingcelebrations.com // 973.409.4456
Hop aboard the RIVER QUEEN for a sail into history. This riverboat looks like it’s straight out of a
Mark Twain novel and will delight guests with its nod to the past. Docked in Bogan’s Boat Basin in
Brielle, the River Queen is easily accessible from New York and Philadelphia and accommodates
groups from 35 to 140. Cruise the calm, inland waters of the Manasquan and Metedeconk rivers
and Barnegat Bay while learning a bit of local history. “How do you put into words the comments
guests make?” asks Captain Sharon Bogan. “As I walk past them on the bow, I hear, ‘It doesn’t get
much better than this.’” Charters are available year-round. riverboattour.com // 732.892.3377
ATLANTIC CITY CRUISES takes to the back bays of Atlantic City to ensure a calm sail aboard the
Cruisn 1, its corporate meetings and events boat. Enjoy 90 minutes to four hours aboard the boat,
approved for up to 130 passengers. The boat is fitted with enclosed and outdoor areas to ensure
enjoyment April through November. “Atlantic City Cruises provides a unique way to see Atlantic
City while experiencing exceptional food and beverage service,” says Jeff George, president and
owner. “Our experienced, professional crew of bartenders, servers and captains show you and
your group Atlantic City from the other side.” atlanticcitycruises.com // 609.347.7600