When you think of Princeton, you probably think of the famous Ivy League university. However, this New Jersey town has a long history. It was home to members of the Lenni Lenape Native American tribe for many years before European settlers arrived around 1680. The university moved from Newark in 1756. Princeton was the site of an important Revolutionary War Battle in 1777. Since then, it has been the home to poets, scholars, students, and scientists working in and around the university.
While much of focus of this town is on academics, there are many things to see and do while you are there. A visit to Princeton can include family fun, outdoor adventures, shopping sprees, and many cultural opportunities.
Find the Right Princeton Hotel
You will find many hotels at several price points in the Princeton, New Jersey area. The hotel you want will depend on your budget and who is travelling with you. Here are a few ideas for hotels near Princeton University.
The Hyatt Regency Princeton – This luxurious hotel features a large indoor pool, restaurant and a comedy club on-site.
The Hyatt Place Princeton – A midrange hotel with a 24-hour café and an indoor pool.
Holiday Inn Princeton – A budget-friendly option with a small café and an outdoor pool.
The Nassau Inn – A 1930s hotel in historic downtown Princeton. It is built over a Revolutionary War era tavern.
The Peacock Inn – Luxurious accommodations in a converted 18th-century mansion.
Check Out the University
Princeton University is at the heart of Princeton, New Jersey. A walk through the campus will put you in touch with years of tradition and learning. One the most beautiful buildings in the area is the Princeton University Chapel. Built in the 1920s after a fire destroyed its predecessor, this chapel hosts weekly services, regular organ concerts, academic gatherings and occasional weddings. Another site worth a visit is the Princeton University Art Museum with art collections from many eras and cultures. A short walk from the university will bring you to the home of one of its most famous residents, the scientist Albert Einstein. The physicist lived on Mercer Street for 20 years, from 1935 until his death in 1955.
Learn the Local History
To explore more of the region’s history, you can step away from the university. In the downtown area you will find Morven Museum and Garden. This 18th-century house was once the New Jersey governor’s mansion. Today it celebrates the local history of the area. Its gardens are especially beautiful in the late spring and early summer. A little further from town, you can walk the trails in and around the Princeton Battlefield, where George Washington successfully repelled the British in 1777.
Do Some Shopping
There are several shopping malls and shopping areas in the region. For a unique shopping experience, stay downtown and enjoy the independent stores, coffee shops, and restaurants in the Palmer Square area. For a typical mall experience, you have a few choices.
The Kingston Mall
The Princeton Market Fair
The Quaker Bridge Mall
The Princeton Shopping Center
Get Out of Town
Princeton is within an hour of some great opportunities for family fun. Six Flags Great Adventure, with the tallest freefall drop in the world, is only 40 minutes away. There is beautiful hiking around Lake Carnegie and at the Delaware and Raritan State Park. Finally, head east to take a dip or walk a boardwalk along the Jersey Shore.