Living and Learning in Princeton
Welcome to Princeton! Our campus is just 1.5 miles from downtown Princeton and Princeton University, where you'll find world-class dining, entertainment, and educational opportunities. (Did you know the Princeton University library has three copies of the United States Constitution?!) From weekend yoga sessions and lunch at Playa Bowls to the annual music festival, there's always something going on nearby.
Arts and Entertainment
Princeton and the surrounding area are home to rich cultural venues for art and theater and significant historic sites from some of America’s most defining moments. It’s also one of the most academically minded communities in the world—and how could it not be, when it’s home to Princeton University, the Institute for Advanced Study, and more?
- Drumthwacket, 354 Stockton Street (Route 206), Greek revival mansion built in 1835 that serves as the official residence of the Governor
- Institute for Advanced Study, 1 Einstein Drive, One of the world’s leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry; Albert Einstein played a significant role in the early development of the Institute and served on the faculty until his death in 1955. The institute’s woods and grounds are open to the public, and many public events are offered throughout the year.
- McCarter Theatre Center, 91 University Place, Professional theater since 1930, showcasing more than 200 drama, dance, and music productions a year. Keep an eye out for celebrities in attendance!
- Morven Museum and Garden, 55 Stockton Street, National Historic Landmark and former New Jersey Governor’s Mansion built in the 1750s that showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Garden State through regular exhibitions, educational programs, and special events
- Princeton Battlefield State Park, 500 Mercer Road, Site of the Battle of Princeton, one of the fiercest battles of the American Revolution, in which American troops under General George Washington surprised and defeated a force of British Regulars on the morning of January 3, 1777
- Princeton Garden Theatre, 160 Nassau Street, Nonprofit community arthouse movie theater
- Princeton Theological Seminary, 64 Mercer Street, Second-oldest seminary and one of ten theological seminaries related to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Founded in 1812, the seminary offers numerous public webinars, lectures, exhibits, and symposiums.
- Princeton University, Fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States
- Princeton University Art Museum (main museum temporarily closed)
- Art@Bainbridge, 158 Nassau Street (free admission), Gallery project of the Princeton University Art Museum
- Art on Hulfish, 11 Hulfish Street (free admission), New gallery and activity space of the Princeton University Art Museum that showcases a roster of exhibitions led by photography that consider questions and themes of significance to twenty-first-century life
- Grounds For Sculpture, 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton Township, NJ (11 miles), A museum, sculpture garden, and arboretum featuring nearly 300 contemporary sculptures across 42 landscaped acres and temporary exhibitions from established and emerging artists in six indoor galleries
- New Jersey State Museum, 205 West State Street, Trenton, NJ (13 miles), Center for the exploration of natural and cultural history, archaeology and ethnography, and fine art through more than two million artifacts
- Old Barracks Museum, 101 Barrack Street, Trenton, NJ (12 miles), National Historic Landmark constructed in 1758 to house British colonial troops during the French and Indian War and the last remaining colonial barracks in the country
- Rockingham, 84 Laurel Avenue (Route 603), Kingston (6 miles), Final wartime headquarters (1783) of George Washington
Princeton is a foodie’s paradise for everything from ice cream and bagels to upscale dining for a family dinner. The diverse cuisine reflects the town’s multicultural roots and often focuses on seasonal, local ingredients. These are just a few of our—and our students’—favorites!
- Arlee’s Raw Blends, 246 Nassau Street, New Jersey’s premier source for 100% organic cold-pressed juice
- The Bagel Nook, 301 North Harrison Street (Princeton Shopping Center), Bagel store with sweet and savory bagels in a range of inventive flavors and much more (Locals line up on weekend mornings to get their fix!)
- The Bent Spoon, 35 Palmer Square West, Internationally recognized and award-winning farm-to-spoon ice cream shop
- Conte’s Pizza and Bar, 339 Witherspoon Street, Princeton’s first pizza place serving up thin-crust pizza since 1950; named one of the nation’s top-ten pizza places
- Halo Pub, 9 Hulfish Street, Shop serving all-natural ice cream from nearby Halo Farm as well as coffee and espresso drinks (there may be a line!)
- Hoagie Haven, 242 Nassau Street, Student-favorite hoagie landmark for more than four decades
- The House of Cupcakes, 34 Witherspoon Street, Cupcake Wars-winning bakery with more than 35 cupcake flavors and other sweet treats
- Jammin’ Crepes, 20 Nassau Street, Counter-serve operation known for sweet, savory, and breakfast crêpes made with local ingredients
- Mediterra Restaurant and Taverna, 29 Hulfish Street, Upscale restaurant featuring Mediterranean cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients
- The Meeting House, 277 Witherspoon Street, Community restaurant focused on simple American cuisine with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients
- Mistral, 66 Witherspoon Street, Upscale restaurant featuring culturally influenced interpretative American cuisine made from fresh, local ingredients
- Playa Bowls, 10 Hulfish Street, Healthy açaí, pitaya, and coconut bowl and smoothie shop with sustainability and community in mind (a New Jersey original with more than 150 locations nationwide)
- Rojo’s Roastery Princeton Espresso Bar, 33 Palmer Square West, Small-batch, artisan coffee roaster (maker of The Hun Blend!) for all your caffeine needs
- Small World Coffee, 254 Nassau Street and 14 Witherspoon Street, Urbane cafés offering fresh, custom-blended, gourmet coffees; pastries; and sandwiches (Nassau Street location) in a dynamic, artsy atmosphere
- Tacoria, 110 Nassau Street, Modern tacos, burritos, and vegan offerings in a funky Mexican setting with vibrant art
- Thomas Sweet, 183 Nassau Street, Dessert shop serving small-batch ice cream, frozen yogurt, shakes, and coffee since 1979 (Be sure to check out their chocolate shop in Palmer Square!)
- Tico’s Eatery and Juice Bar, 33 Witherspoon Street, Juice bar offering cold-pressed fruit and vegetable blends plus smoothies
- Witherspoon Grill, 57 Witherspoon Street, One of New Jersey’s premier steakhouse destinations in a refined, casual setting
In town for a visit and want to get a little shopping in? Princeton and the surrounding area offer something for everyone, from Apple to ZOË.
- Labyrinth Books, 122 Nassau Street, Acclaimed independent scholarly and community bookstore that also offers frequent in-person, hybrid, and virtual author lectures, conversations, and signings
- Marketfair, 3535 U.S. Highway 1, Upscale mall with more than 35 specialty shops, including Anthropologie, Banana Republic, Pottery Barn, and Williams-Sonoma, as well as casual restaurants and a multiplex movie theater
- Palmer Square, across from Princeton University, A unique collection of shopping—including Barbour, Bluemercury, J.Crew, Ralph Lauren, Urban Outfitters, and ZOË—and dining, right in the heart of downtown
- Princeton Record Exchange, 20 South Tulane Street, One of the country’s top record stores according to Rolling Stone, TIME, USA Today, and Buzzfeed
- Princeton Shopping Center, 301 North Harrison Street, More than 40 local and national storefronts surrounding a two-acre landscaped courtyard home to frequent festivals and outdoor concerts
- Quaker Bridge Mall, 3320 US Highway 1, Unit 150, Lawrenceville (5 miles), New Jersey’s premier shopping destination with 90+ stores, including Apple, Coach, Macy’s, Michael Kors, Sephora, and much more
Parks and Outdoor Recreation
- Lake Carnegie, boat launch area adjacent to Route 27 just south of Kingston, Scenic reservoir formed from a dam on the Millstone River as a gift of steel magnate Andrew Carnegie; owned by Princeton University, but open to the public for fishing (catch and release), boating (rentals available), and ice skating. Fun fact: Lake Carnegie is home to the U.S. Olympic rowing team!
- Delaware and Raritan Canal, 523 Alexander Road, More than 70 miles of linear multi-use path along an historic canal and additional trail networks and connections across several counties, offering opportunities for hiking, canoeing/kayaking, tubing, and mountain biking
- Lawrence Hopewell Trail, Carson Road, Princeton, NJ (Princeton entrance), Family-oriented, 22-plus mile trail that offers safe access to various sections of the towns of Princeton, Hopewell, Pennington, Lawrenceville, and West Windsor for kids, families, bicyclists, joggers, and hikers
- Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve Trail, 30 Mountain Avenue, A 2.3-mile loop trail generally considered an easy route, but offering some challenges
- Terhune Orchards, 330 Cold Soil Road, A 200-acre family farm growing over 35 different fruits and vegetables open to the public every day of the year with a farm market, bakery, cider plant, greenhouses, gardens, farm trail, pick-your-own fruits, tours, and farm festivals
- Hopewell Quarry, 180 Crusher Rd, Hopewell, Nonprofit, protected open space featuring an “old-fashioned swimming hole” in a natural spring-fed one-acre lake, a large pool for non-swimmers, and other recreational activities
- Mercer County Park, Entrances at 1050 Hughes Drive, Hamilton Township, and on Paxson Ave, West Windsor Township (7–9 miles), More than 2,500 acres covering areas of the townships of West Windsor, Hamilton, and Lawrence. with year-round facilities for all ages and opportunities for both active and passive recreational opportunities. In addition to numerous athletic fields, nature trails for hiking and mountain biking, and picnic areas, there are tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, cricket pitches, and an ice skating rink. Kayak, row, and pedal boat rentals are available for Mercer Lake, which also offers opportunities for fishing.
- Plainsboro Preserve, 80 Scotts Corner Road, Cranbury (10 miles), More than 1,000 acres of undisturbed open space with nature trails and 50-acre McCormack Lake that serves as a protected habitat for numerous plant and wildlife species, including those that are rare or endangered. The Rush Holt Environmental Education Center offers a diverse array of educational programs for organized groups and the general public.
- Sourland Mountain Preserve, 421 East Mountain Road, Hillsborough (12 miles), A 6,300-acre reserve that provides a core habitat for a diversity of plant and animal species. It offers several recreational opportunities in an undisturbed natural setting, including hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, bouldering, and horseback riding.
- Watershed Reserve, 31 Titus Mill Road, Pennington (9 miles), Nearly 1,000 acres of forest, wetlands, meadows, and farmland, through which more than 10 miles of hiking trails wind and pass by two historic farmsteads that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The Watershed Center for Environmental Advocacy, Science and Education offers exhibits and live animal displays (including a butterfly house!) and hosts hundreds of educational programs and events each year.