One of the things that I am loving about living in New Jersey is how easily and quickly it is to access smaller, cute towns that make for either great family getaways or romantic destinations.
What most people know about Princeton, NJ is limited to the university that share it’s name. And though Princeton University, the fourth-oldest college in the United States, is certainly a sight to behold and a wonderful place to walk through, the township of Princeton itself has a lot more to offer.
We only spent a night during this most recent visit, but even in that limited time we felt like we had really gotten away from it all. I love the charm of the downtown area especially, with its cute shops and small eateries and bars. Walking through the streets we witnessed residents and visitors come together in the various plazas to listen to local bands rock out some tunes or watch the children play around Palmer Square.
There is a strong art community in Princeton, much of which you can enjoy at their various museums – such as the Grounds for Sculptures, which displays over 270 contemporary sculptures and the Princeton Dolls and Toy Museum, which hosts a collection of dolls and toys from the 1600’s to present. Those are just two among the very many other art centers and museums in the region.
Walking around Princeton is fun because of its history. The town dates back to late 1600s and its community has done well in preserving a lot of the historic sights, both in architecture as well as environment making it clear that you are somewhere very special when you visit.
We haven’t had the chance to try out too many places to eat in the area as our visits are often so quick, but I have to say that one of my favorites is also a favorite among locals: Winberies Restaurant and Bar. It’s not exclusive to Princeton, but it is one of my go-to spots because of the good food, the comfortable ambiance, as well as the family-friendliness. The kids also loved tasting the American based ice cream with gelato texture served over at The Bent Spoon, where artisan ice cream and delicious bakery are served, and where there is no such thing as a “small scoop”.
There are plenty of places to stay at in Princeton, from luxury hotels to quaint B&B’s. For my huge family, we chose a brand we love and trust: the Residence Inn at Carnegie Center. It is one of the locations that has been newly remodeled (if you haven’t check out the newest suites within the Residence Inn brand, I highly encourage a visit!) and also, the closest to downtown Princeton.
With all the amenities we love and enjoy from Residence Inn – kitchenette, pool, large suites, free Wifi, and fireplace, as well as the complimentary, hearty breakfast – we had a wonderful stay.
We had to leave Princeton, NJ earlier than we had hoped as we expected the storm to hit the evening we left, but I still have a long list of things yet to discover. A short ride from both PA and NYC, it’s a great little road trip to take with or without kids in tow, and one I highly recommend.
For more information on what to see and do and where to eat and stay, please visit the Princeton CVB website at http://www.visitprinceton.org/
My thanks to Residence Inn Princeton Carnegie Center for hosting us!