Plan Your Visit to Princeton
Princeton offers a variety of activities for visitors of every age and interest. It’s a great place to see a show, meet a friend for coffee, wander through a park, relax at a spa, savor an elegant meal or grab a quick bite. Plan your visit around a special event, visit a museum, take a class, get lost in history or immersed in nature — there are new places to see and things to discover all over town.
People from around the world come to Princeton to visit the university, with its pristine grounds, historical significance, stunning architecture, majestic performance halls and places of worship. You could easily spend a whole day just wandering around the Princeton University campus and its surrounding neighborhoods, but there is so much more to do.
Here are just some of the many historical, cultural and recreational attractions Princeton has to offer:
Arts & Entertainment
Access to Princeton
Princeton is conveniently located halfway between New York City and Philadelphia, and can be easily reached by public transportation or by car.
By Train: Both Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT trains stop at nearby Princeton Junction. You will need to switch to a local shuttle train called the “Dinky” to get right to the Princeton University campus/Princeton Arts District.
By Bus: Four bus companies serve the Princeton area: Greyhound, N.J. Transit Bus, Coach USA and Megabus.
By Car: Princeton is easily accessible from several main highways and interstates, including the NJ Turnpike, I-95, US Route 1, and Route 206.
Parking: Most streets in Princeton have metered parking. There are also several parking garages in downtown Princeton. Click here to find a map and detailed parking information.
By Airplane: The closest international airport is Newark Liberty International at 39 miles away, followed by Philadelphia International Airport at 52 miles away. Two local airports serve the Princeton Mercer region: Trenton-Mercer Regional Airport in nearby Ewing, NJ, and the Princeton Airport on Route 206.
When to Visit Princeton
We think that any time is a good time to visit Princeton, but if you’re looking for the most pleasant weather, consider May or September. If you are looking for the most picturesque time of year to visit Princeton, keep in mind that the cherry blossoms bloom in late March to early April. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, summer is the ideal time to bike, kayak and canoe in Princeton. If fall foliage is your thing, you can catch the brightest colors mid- to late October. Love the holidays? Palmer Square looks like a scene from a storybook each December, complete with public ice skating and festive decorations.
Where to Stay in Princeton
With its many restaurants and attractions, Princeton is a popular destination for a weekend getaway. Whether you are staying a night, a week, or even longer, you will find two charming hotels in the center of town.
For more than 260 years, the historic Nassau Inn in Palmer Square has been welcoming visitors from around the world. The hotel is known for its blend of historical charm and stylish, contemporary amenities as well as the Yankee Doodle Tap Room Restaurant.
The Peacock Inn, located in the heart of downtown Princeton, is a luxury boutique hotel featuring an upscale fine-dining restaurant. Built in the 1700s, the Colonial-style mansion was moved to its current location at 20 Bayard Lane in 1875. Today the Peacock Inn is part of the Ascend Hotel Collection.
Where to Eat in Princeton
Princeton is a dining destination with diverse restaurants and eateries ranging from quick and casual to masterful and unforgettable. From familiar favorites like Hoagie Haven and PJ’s Pancake House, to the inventive and eclectic hot spots like Element and Meeting House, there is something to satisfy every taste and budget. Explore Princeton’s many restaurants, pubs and eateries today.
Shopping in Princeton
Make a day of shopping in Princeton, or just pop into one of the many shops and boutiques when you are out and about in town. Stroll down Nassau Street, window-shop in Palmer Square, explore the Princeton Shopping Center, or wander up and down Witherspoon Street.
Art on Hulfish
Art on Hulfish, the Princeton University Art Museum's gallery at 11 Hulfish Street in downtown Princeton, will showcase a roster of exhibitions led by photography, as well as related programming. It is free and open to the public seven days a week.
Arts Council of Princeton
The Arts Council of Princeton is a non-profit independent arts organization in Princeton, NJ, that offers a range of classes, events, and galleries.
Art@Bainbridge is a gallery project of the Princeton University Art Museum. It is housed in the carefully restored colonial-era Bainbridge House on Nassau Street in downtown Princeton. Admission is free.
Battlefield State Park
The Princeton Battlefield is where American and British troops fought each other on January 3, 1777, in the Battle of Princeton during the American Revolutionary War. The battle ended when the British soldiers in Nassau Hall surrendered.
With over 70 miles of linear multi-use path along a historic canal and additional trail networks and connections across several counties, visitors to the park have much to see, experience and explore. So take a look at our site then pack your hiking shoes, grab your mountain bike or strap that kayak to the car and plan a day trip to the D&R Canal State Park.
Since its founding in 1989, the D&R Greenway Trust has preserved 22,000 acres of land in New Jersey. Visitors can come to a D&R Greenway trail to enjoy the lands they have helped us protect.
Constructed on land that witnessed the 1777 Princeton battle for American independence, today Drumthwacket serves as the stately home and grounds of the official residence of the Governor of New Jersey.
Historical Society of Princeton
Founded in 1939, the Historical Society of Princeton, located at Updike Farmstead at 354 Quaker Road, is a hub for cultural enrichment and experiential education that includes a museum and research center.
The Institute Woods is open to the public and can be enjoyed year-round by bird watchers, walkers, runners and cross-country skiers.
Located in the northeastern portion of Princeton, Lake Carnegie is a lovely reservoir that was built in 1906 by damming the Millstone River.
McCarter’s mission is to create stories and experiences that enliven minds, expand imaginations and engage communities via performing arts.
Morven Museum & Garden
A National Historic Landmark, Morven is situated on 5 pristine acres in the heart of Princeton, New Jersey. The home of Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and former New Jersey Governor’s Mansion, Morven showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Garden State through regular exhibitions, educational programs and special events.
The Princeton Cemetery of the Nassau Presbyterian Church is a historic graveyard that is still active today. The unique, nondenominational burial ground is best known as being the final resting place for many notable individuals.
Princeton Garden Theatre
The Princeton Garden Theatre is a historic movie theater on Nassau Street dedicated to presenting the finest independent, international, documentary, and classic films and series.
Princeton Public Library
The Princeton Public Library serves the town of Princeton, New Jersey. It is the most visited municipal public library in New Jersey with over 860,000 annual visitors.