Things to do in Princeton
Collected by Martin Fritz Huber, AFAR Contributor
Although best known for its eponymous Ivy League university, Princeton, New Jersey, is a historic locale in its own right. The site of a crucial battle of the American Revolutionary War, this atmospheric college town is nestled on the bank of (manmade) Lake Carnegie.
38 Spring St, Oldest Bicycle Shop In America, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
Fact checkers are welcome to lay their scrupulous hands on the claim, but Kopp’s Cycle on Spring Street touts itself the oldest bicycle shop in the United States and second oldest in the world. Continually in business since 1891, and owned by the...
74 Witherspoon St, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
Fans of Mediterranean cuisine are well-served in Princeton, especially if they decide to patronize a restaurant by local favorites the Terra Momo Restaurant Group. Which establishment you opt for depends on what you’re craving. For an exquisite...
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
Undoubtedly one of the best things to do when visiting Princeton is to spend an afternoon walking around the university campus. One of the oldest and most beautiful campuses in the United States, Princeton is also among the most architecturally...
Princeton Pike, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
Founded in 1930, the Institute for Advanced Study is one of Princeton’s more renowned research centers, not least because the IAS was where Einstein decided to take up a position. And if it’s good enough for him . . . Those of us who are less...
28 Witherspoon St, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
Skeptics who claim that old-fashioned watering holes shouldn’t double as culinary destinations haven’t been to the Alchemist and Barrister. Equally regarded for its dark, saloon-like atmosphere as it is for creative menu items like a cheesesteak...
36 University Pl, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
Those of us who graduated from solidly mediocre universities have for years been on the receiving end of that half-hearted compliment, “that’s a really good school.” If that sounds wearily familiar, you may want to pick up some Princeton...
55 Stockton St, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
The Morven Museum & Garden on 55 Stockton Street gives visitors a chance to view a historic landmark and take in an exhibition or two while they’re at it. Enter from the street and pass under the towering elms of the garden before reaching this...
25 Palmer Square E, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
The mobiles hang from the ceiling and the display windows flaunt small-scale architectural wonders at JaZams, a toy store geared toward mini Ivy-Leaguers. The children’s book section is one of the more extensive I’ve seen, with innumerous...
112 Mercer St, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
There has been no shortage of brilliant academics during Princeton University’s luminous history, but in terms of reputation one German-born physicist towers above all others. One of the most recognizable figures of the 20th century, Albert...
21 Spring St, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
Say you’ve been invited to an esteemed professor’s house for roast beef, and you want to show up with an appropriate bottle of wine. The only problem is that you know more about Welch’s sodas than you do about good vintages or regions in France....
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
If you have some free evenings during your visit to Princeton, it may be worthwhile to check if there are any athletic events or student theater productions going on while you’re in town. Princeton folks are especially spoiled when it comes to the...
242 Nassau St, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
You’ll never want to visit another Subway after you’ve experienced the bliss that is a sandwich from Hoagie Haven on Nassau. Not only do the portion sizes put its corporate competitor to shame, but the taste of some of the Haven’s more inspired...
Carnegie Lake, New Jersey 08540, USA
On sunny days, you could do worse than pack a picnic and head down to the banks of Carnegie Lake, the three-and-a-half-mile expanse of water that serves as the training site for the Princeton University rowers. Created in 1906, the Lake was a gift...
Nassau Hall, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
It may be the most photographed spot on the Princeton University campus, but just because it’s rather touristy doesn’t mean Nassau Hall isn’t worth checking out. Erected in 1756, the building is now home to the office of the University President...
258 Nassau St, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
As a coastal state, New Jersey has always been known for top-of-line fresh seafood and Princeton is no exception. One of the best places to sample the wares is Blue Point Grill, located on Nassau St. just across from the eastern edge of campus....
248 Nassau St, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
The Ivy Inn has stood in its current location since 1975, when it took over the site of a former gas station on 248 Nassau Street. This is as divey as a bar is likely to get in a town like Princeton, as it caters to a mixed clientele of graduate...
252 Nassau St, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
As Princeton’s main drag, Nassau Street features an eclectic mix of restaurants, from the higher-end spots frequented by visiting dignitaries, to reliable and affordable student favorites. Tiger Noodles falls into the latter category. Come here...
249 Nassau St, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
The vaunted reputation of its eponymous academic institution may lead one to forget that Princeton is a small town in the end. Most of it is easily negotiable on foot or, better yet, by bicycle. At Jay’s Cycles at 249 Nassau St., bikes can be...
Elm Dr, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
When vising the campus, it would be a sin not to stop by the Princeton University Art Museum. Directly adjacent to McCormick Hall, not only does this building contain one of the most impressive university art collections in the world, but there’s...
66 Witherspoon St, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
The “e” may be lower-case, but the cuisine is capital at elements, chef Scott Anderson’s farm-to-table restaurant on Bayard Lane. This is the place for those who value fine dining without haughty attitudes or prices that require you to mortgage...
33 Witherspoon St, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
The blustery Northeast can be pretty dire during the colder months, when you may want to brighten your spirits with a tropical juice infusion at this Princeton oasis. Then again, Tico’s Eatery and Juice Bar is also a pretty ideal destination for...
35 Palmer Square W, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
Few, if any, foodie destinations in Princeton have gotten as much press as The Bent Spoon, a homemade ice cream shop and “good ingredient” bakery on Palmer Square. The attention is well-deserved, as anyone who samples the creamy mascarpone gelato...
59 Palmer Square W, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
Of the numerous stores that occupy the space in and around Palmer Square, there is only one that has endured for over 75 years. Having opened in 1937, the Silver Shop on the Square’s west side is the oldest store in Princeton that still stands in...
35 Spring St, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
From caprese to cannolis, D’Angelo Italian Market on 35 Spring Street is Princeton’s premier location for vittles from bella Italia. Part supermarket, part deli/restaurant and bakery, D’Angelo will help you stock your pantry or satisfy your...
483 Alexander St, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
If you’re visiting during the warmer months, Princeton Canoe and Kayak Rental at 483 Alexander Street offers a chance to satisfy your inner Winklevoss Twin. No, you won’t get to act out vindictive desires on a duplicitous nerd billionaire but, if...
122 Nassau St, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
There were many dismayed bibliophiles around here when Micawber Books closed a few years ago. Luckily, this famous university town didn’t have to go long without a stellar independent bookstore to bolster its reputation. Labyrinth Books on Nassau...
138 Nassau St, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
Occupying the space of a former bowling alley, the Princeton installment of the Triumph Brewing Company (two other locations exist in New Hope and Philadelphia) has a deceptively subtle façade on Nassau Street. A narrow entryway descends into a...
500 Mercer Rd, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
Just over a week after his historic crossing of the Delaware River, General George Washington was victorious in the Battle of Princeton on January 3rd, 1777. The battle took place less than two miles from the University, named the College of New...
73 Palmer Square W, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
Touting the resplendent creations of the late Lilly Pulitzer, Palm Place on, yes, Palmer Square is the ideal antidote to a drab wardrobe. You may need to don some shades when you enter this haven of Palm Beach-chic attire, with its bright, floral...
154 Nassau St, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
What’s an old-fashioned college town without a proper hotcake joint? Maybe it’s that I’ve seen too many movies, but for me the image of a tweedy (and slightly cracked) professor having an informal diner breakfast with an ambitious underclassman is...
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