The name "Mahwah" is drawn from the word "mawewi" from the language of the local Lenape tribes. In English, this word translates to "meeting place" and is quite appropriate — considering Mahwah's central location to New York City, various waterways, and a vast array of outdoor adventures. To this day, nearly 10 percent of Mahwah residents are of Native American origin.
Mahwah's economy is steeped in history. Famously, when Ford's Mahwah Assembly Plant opened in 1955, it was the largest automotive plant in the country. Over the course of its 25 years, the plant turned out no fewer than 6 million cars. To this day, Mahwah school sports teams are known as "Thunderbirds" in honor of the iconic automobile. The 1980 closure of the plant is mentioned in the first few lines of Bruce Springsteen's song "Johnny 99."
Mahwah industry is still going strong. Some of the many global corporations that make their home in town include Sharp Electronics, Jaguar Cars, Land Rover, and UPS. Mahwah is also the location of the New York Stock Exchange's core data center. It's one of the most active and secure data centers on the entire planet. Biomedicine is strong in Mahwah thanks to firms such as Maquet Datascope, Stryker Corporation orthopedics, and Mindray Medical.
When to Visit Mahwah, New Jersey
Compared to the average American city, Mahwah sees quite a bit of rainfall and humidity year-round. The township gets nearly 50 inches of rain per year, about 10 inches above the national average. Annual snowfall comes in at about 25 inches. However, you'll enjoy over 200 sunny days a year in Mahwah, heavenly white winters, and balmy summers.
The warmest months in Mahwah run from June to August when the mercury tops out at the low to middle 80s. Nights are pleasant and cool with temperatures dropping to the low 60s. You'll still experience many showers throughout the summer, with average monthly rainfall levels of well over 4 inches.
Visiting in winter, especially for skiing, is brisk and pleasurable. January and February are the chilliest months. You'll see highs around 35 to 40 degrees and lows that plummet well below freezing, usually around the high teens. Expect several inches of snow per month, normally coming in just in time for the Christmas holiday and melting off by spring.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Mahwah, NJ:
Averate Rates by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts displaying average rate trends by star rating class in Mahwah, NJ. Analyze these line graphs to evaluate the least expensive seasons to book a room in Mahwah for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Mahwah, New Jersey
4 Star Average Prices: $136.55
If you need to be closer to Ramapo College or the outdoor spaces of Campgaw and the 3,000-acre Ramapo Valley Reservation, opt for the slightly pricier lodging found closer to the 287 freeway at the north end of town. The poshest of these is the Sheraton Mahwah Hotel, a three-star location with a restaurant, indoor pool, and fitness center. Rooms here are priced a bit higher than others in the area, and the breakfast buffet is not included in the price. The decor is superb, however, with a sparkling fountain in the grand entranceway, modern rooms, and a hip cocktail lounge.
Courtyard by Marriott is just south of there, slightly more affordable than the Sheraton, and also boasts three stars. It has a gorgeous indoor pool and modern decor. Rooms are a little smaller than some folks might be used to, but you're sure to find everything clean and in perfect repair. As with the Sheraton, the breakfast buffet is not included. Most guests find the Courtyard's location more convenient to local amenities than most of its competitors, however, so this may be your best luxury choice in town.
Affordable Hotel Options in Mahwah, New Jersey
3 Star Average Prices: $121.13
Mahwah is home to over a dozen quality hotels. Almost every hotel in town is located along NJ-17 just south of the border between New Jersey and neighboring New York state. Most of the higher quality hotels are found on the north end of town, close to the college. Of these hotels, the most affordable by far is Super 8 Mahwah. You'll get clean and basic rooms, free Wi-Fi, free parking, and complimentary breakfast. They even have a small business center for their guests. It's a solid offering at a great price.
As Mahwah blends into Ramsey to the south, hotel rates generally drop — so you might be better off driving an extra few miles to take advantage. Fair Motel is closer to Ramsey and Allendale but its rates are the lowest in the area, comparable to those of Super 8. It's also quieter and less-trafficked, being further from the center of town. The newly renovated Fair Motel has cable TV, free Wi-Fi, and free parking. It's a bit noisy, being so close to the freeway, so light sleepers may want to steer clear.
2 Star Average Prices: $97.56
Which Mahwah hotels have real discounts?
You can't beat AAA memberships for easy-to-find hotel discounts, and Mahwah is no exception. Some of the many places in town where you'll save money include Comfort Suites, Homewood Suites, Super 8, and the Holiday Express in nearby Ramsey. For senior discounts, you'll have to travel a bit further to the Park Ridge Marriott, but you can save on their room rates (which are somewhat expensive compared to those found in Mahwah, but it's a very nice place to hang your proverbial hat).
Grabbing a senior discount is another great way to save cash, but there are few places in town where you can leverage this option. However, once again Comfort Suites comes through. The senior savings aren't huge — but if you're also a AAA member, you can possibly take advantage of both discounts for the same stay.
Best Value Option in Mahwah, New Jersey
DoubleTree by Hilton is a centrally located three-star hotel that has the same room rates as those of the two-star offerings nearby. What you get for your money is a quality hotel where you'll enjoy an indoor pool, sports bar, and close proximity to the NJ Transit train system. Their rates run about 20 percent less than comparable hotels in the area. Enjoy fresh, warm cookies in the lobby, soft and fluffy high-quality bedding, and everything else you'd expect from a Hilton hotel.
Delightful Outdoor Activities in Mahwah, New Jersey
Mahwah is known as "Bergen County's Parkland" due to its high concentration of state and national parks. Many of them center around the picturesque Ramapo River and Ramapo Mountains. Mahwah's public spaces offer many recreational pursuits including skiing, snowboarding, archery, biking, swimming, hiking, and fishing, to name a few. The township also hosts facilities for football, baseball, skating, lacrosse, tennis, bocce, and many other solo and team sports.
Mahwah is where you'll find two jewels for the outdoor enthusiast, the first being Darlington County Park. This lush park spans nearly 200 acres and is located at the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains. It encompasses no fewer than three public lakes, two of them for swimming and a third for fishing. You can swim at Darlington from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning Memorial Day, all the way until Labor Day, so long as the weather is appropriate. The park also has a modern playground, picnic areas, and courts for tennis, handball, and basketball.
The second local gem that makes its home in Mahwah is the 1,300-acre Campgaw Mountain Reservation. This county park is a haven for skiers, boasting a pair of two-person chairlifts and three "magic carpet" lifts (similar to conveyor belts) that are perfect for kids and novices. Tubing is a big deal at Campgaw, and they even have a special lift that drags the tube and rider to the starting area. Campgaw is the closest ski area to New York City and sees thousands upon thousands of visitors a year. If you've never skied before, it's a great place to learn.
Mahwah is also home to the Rampapo Rally. This annual cycling event is a local favorite and has a history that spans four decades. Considered by many to be the best biking event in the state, the Rampapo Rally offers six different routes to delight riders of all skill levels. The route lengths are 12, 25, 50, 62, 100, and 125 miles. Riders are supported by a network of top-level resources including fully stocked rest stops, bike repairs, a catered post-ride lunch, free gifts to all registrants, a raffle with amazing prizes, and lots more.
Whether you're in Mahwah for business purposes, visiting loved ones in nearby New York City, or enjoying outdoor adventures, your stay will always be a pleasant one. Thanks to the many lodging possibilities in town, you can easily find a comfortable and budget-friendly place to rest your head and gather your energy for the fun-filled days ahead.