Princeton, NJ, home of the prestigious and wealthy Princeton University, offers much more than the typical “College Town”. It has a picturesque vibrant downtown, with upscale shops, restaurants, businesses, theatre, and places of historical interest.
The town not only gets it’s tempo from college students, but because of its location midway between Philadelphia and New York, 55 miles southwest of New York City, it draws visitors from those cities who come to Princeton for its charm, educational, historical interest, and entertainment activities.
Princeton also has wide appeal as a place to live, named #15 of the top 100 towns in the United States to Live and Work In by Money Magazine in 2005.
Princeton is deep rooted with historical heritage. In 1777, George Washington led the American patriots against General Cornwallis’s British forces in the Battle of Princeton. Later in 1783, the Continental Congress met in the university’s Nassau Hall, convening here when news came that the peace treaty between Britain and America had been signed. This same structure later served as a temporary capital for the new nation while DC was being established.
Princeton is especially attractive in the summer and the autumn months, when its tree-lined streets, many of them over 100 years old, manicured lawns, flowers, walks, and hedges, and mansions are all in harmony with nature.
Palmer Square, located in the heart of downtown Princeton, is a charming collection of shops, restaurants, offices, and residences surrounding the Town Green and the historic Nassau Inn. Built in 1937, Palmer Square was designed with colonial-style buildings of brick, stone, wood, and stucco that complement the architecture of the University.
Princeton has been the setting of several motion pictures, most notably the Academy Award-winning A Beautiful Mind about the schizophrenic mathematician John Nash. The 1994 film I.Q., featuring Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, and Walter Matthau as Albert Einstein, was also set in Princeton.
America’s best minds have been visiting and meeting in Princeton for over 200 years, from the first sessions of the Continental Congress, to Albert Einstein, to today’s high-tech conventions. The flourishing Princeton Region continues to be the choice of people who want to experience American history in a picturesque and charming and high tech region.
The Princeton area offers variety of good restaurants and more than 5100 guest rooms; accommodations are available with appeal to families, historians, and business’ travelers — from luxury hotels to country inns.
Points of Interest
A coeducational private university, chartered in 1746, it is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the U.S. and is one of the eight Ivy League universities. The campus has a unique charm with many stone, turrets and Gothic arches. They are wide variety of broad lawns with studying students, leaves and flora. Feel free to walk the grounds, or you can sign up to take a guided tour.
The official residence of the Governor of New Jersey and was built in 1835. Drumthwacket and the surrounding land was sold to the state in 1966 and was made into the governor’s mansion in 1982, being close to Trenton, the state capital.
A man-made lake formed from a dam on the Millstone River in the far northeastern corner of Princeton. The Delaware and Raritan Canal and its associated tow path are situated along the eastern shore of the lake. The lake, which is privately owned, is used by the university’s rowing team. It is, however, available for public use for activities such as ice skating, fishing, and picnicking.
McCarter Theatre Center
Recognized as one of this country’s leading regional theaters, it is the only organization in this country that is both a professional producing theater and a major presenter of the performing arts.
Princeton Battlefield State Park
On January 3, 1777, the American troops under General George Washington surprised and defeated a force of British Regulars. Coming at the end of “The Ten Crucial Days” which saw the well-known night crossing of the Delaware River and two battles in Trenton, the Battle of Princeton gave Washington his first victory against the British Regulars on the field. The battle extended over a mile away to the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). The house contains period furniture and Revolutionary War exhibits.
Herrontown Woods Arboretum
Located on 142 acres, it is open to the public every day at no cost. It contains a pine forest, over 30 species of trees, shrubs, and flowers, and walking trails.
The Bainbridge House
Home of the Historical Society of Princeton. It is a small but informative display of local history where one can find everything from pottery created by the Lenape Indians, to the area’s pre-European dwellers. The society sponsors a two-hour walking tour.