17 Best Things to do in Princeton, NJ

best things to do in Princeton, NJ

Princeton, New Jersey is a beautiful town located in central New Jersey. It is home to Princeton University, as well as a number of other historical and cultural attractions.

Visitors to Princeton can take a tour of the campus, visit the art museum, or explore one of the many parks and gardens. There are also a number of shops and restaurants to enjoy.

Princeton is a great place to visit for a day or a weekend getaway, and to help plan your trip here is our list of the best things to do in Princeton, NJ.

1) Walk Around the Princeton Campus

princeton campus
Late Presidents’ Day Afternoon on the Princeton Campus” by aturkus is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Princeton University is one of the world’s most prestigious research universities. Founded in 1746, it is the fourth-oldest college in the United States.

Princeton’s faculty and alumni include Nobel laureates, Fields Medalists, MacArthur Fellows, and Pulitzer Prize winners. Located in the small town of Princeton, New Jersey, the university’s campus is one of the largest in the country.

Visitors to Princeton can tour the campus, visit the art museum, or attend a performance at the renowned McCarter Theatre. Princeton also offers a variety of dining options, from casual cafes to upscale restaurants.

Whether you’re looking to explore America’s academic heritage or just want to enjoy a meal in beautiful surroundings, Princeton University is worth a visit.

2) Morven Museum and Gardens

morven museum and gardens
Morven house built around 1701 the former Governors residence for the state of New Jersey from 1944 to 1981. Now a museum house in Princeton.” by denisbin is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Morven Museum and Gardens is a historic house and museum set on 5 acres of gardens in Princeton, New Jersey. The museum is located in the former mansion of Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and features collections of furniture, silver, ceramics, and textiles that date back to the 18th century.

The gardens at Morven are open to the public year-round and feature a variety of plantings, including heirloom vegetables, native wildflowers, and fruit trees. In addition to the gardens, Morven also offers a variety of public programs, including educational workshops, walking tours, and gardening classes.

Whether you’re interested in history or horticulture, Morven Museum and Gardens is sure to have something for everyone.

3) Carnegie Lake

carnegie lake
Carnegie Lake, Princeton, NJ” by Artbandito is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Carnegie Lake is a beautiful site in Princeton, New Jersey. The lake is situated in the middle of the campus of Princeton University, and it is a popular spot for students and faculty to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

The lake is also home to a variety of plant and animal life, and it is a popular destination for birdwatchers. In addition to its natural beauty, Carnegie Lake is also significant for its historical importance.

The lake was created in the late 19th century by Andrew Carnegie, and it is named after him. Today, Carnegie Lake remains an important part of Princeton University and a beloved spot for students, faculty, and visitors alike.

4) Princeton University Art Museum

princeton university art museum
Princeton University Art Museum” by PMillera4 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The Princeton University Art Museum is one of the leading art museums in the United States. It is located on the campus of Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. The Museum’s collections include thousands of works of art from around the world.

The Museum’s collection is particularly strong in Western and Eastern art from the medieval to the modern periods. The Museum also has a significant collection of works by American artists, including paintings by John Singer Sargent, Edward Hopper, and Andrew Wyeth. The Princeton University Art Museum is open to the public and admission is free.

5) St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church

st pauls church
St. Paul’s” by chrismar is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church in Princeton, New Jersey is a historic church that was founded in more than 150 years ago. The church is located on Nassau Street in the heart of Princeton University’s campus.

It is one of the oldest and most storied buildings on campus and is a vital part of the university community. The church is known for its ornate Gothic architecture, and its beautiful stained-glass windows are a popular attraction for tourists and students alike.

The church has been through a lot over the years, including a major renovation in the early 2000s, but it remains an important fixture of Princeton University and the surrounding community. If you’re ever in Princeton, be sure to check out St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church!

6) Princeton Battlefield State Park

princeton Battlefield State Park
Mercer Oak, Princeton Battlefield State Park, Princeton, New Jersey” by Ken Lund is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The Princeton Battlefield State Park is in the town of Princeton, New Jersey. The Park commemorates the site of the Battle of Princeton, which was fought on January 3, 1777 during the American Revolutionary War.

The battle was a key victory for the Continental Army, as it helped to boost morale and turn the tide of the war in favor of the Patriots. Today, the park offers visitors a chance to learn about the history of the battle through interpretive displays and walking tours.

The Park also features a recreated cannon position from the battle, as well as a monument to honor those who lost their lives. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a beautiful place to take a walk, the Princeton Battlefield State Park is worth a visit.

7) Princeton P-Rade

princeton p-rade
Triumphal Archway” by Joe Shlabotnik is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The Princeton P-Rade is an annual event in which students, alumni, and faculty of Princeton University march through the streets of Princeton, New Jersey.

The procession is led by the school’s marching band, and participants wear a variety of costumes ranging from traditional academic robes to more creative outfits. The P-Rade began in the 1890 as a celebration of Princeton’s bicentennial, and it has been held every year since then.

In recent years, the P-Rade has become increasingly popular, attracting tens of thousands of spectators each year. The parade is just one of the many ways that Princetonians show their school spirit.

8) Princeton University Chapel

Princeton University Chapel: Pythagoras, Democritus, Plato, Aristotle, Bacon” by AKMA is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

The Princeton University Chapel is one of the most iconic buildings on the Princeton campus. Designed by noted architect Ralph Adams Cram, the Chapel is a Gothic Revival-style building with a large stained-glass window at its center.

The Chapel is home to a variety of religious services and activities, as well as a concert series featuring both student and professional musicians. The Chapel is open to the public for tours and events, and it is a popular destination for wedding ceremonies.

The Princeton University Chapel is an important part of the history and tradition of Princeton University.

9) Trinity Church

trinity church
Trinity Church, Princeton, NJ” by thegaventas is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Trinity Church in Princeton, New Jersey is a historic Episcopal church that was founded in 1833. The church is known for its stained-glass windows, which were designed by Tiffany & Co. and installed in 1876.

In addition to its architectural significance, Trinity Church has also played an important role in the history of Princeton University. Today, Trinity Church remains an active congregation, and it continues to be a popular tourist destination.

10) Terhune Orchards and Winery

Terhune Orchards and Winery
Terhune Orchards: Mum Collection” by chlob0t is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Terhune Orchards and Winery is a family-owned farm in Princeton, New Jersey. The farm includes an apple orchard, a vineyard, and a farm store.

The Orchards are open for apple picking from late August through early November. The vineyard produces wine from grapes grown on the property. The farm store sells fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as baked goods and local honey.

Terhune Orchards also offers a variety of educational programs for school groups and families. These programs include tours of the apple orchard and vineyard, as well as lessons on how to make cider and wine.

11) Nassau Hall

Nassau Hall
Nassau Hall (Princeton)” by Accretion Disc is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Nassau Hall is the oldest building at Princeton University, having been built in 1783. It is named after King William III of England, who ruled as Prince of Nassau.

The building originally served as the college’s library, chapel, and main classroom, but now houses the university’s administrative offices. Nassau Hall is a National Historic Landmark and is considered one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the United States.

The building has been remodeled several times over the years, most notably after a fire in 1802 that destroyed much of the interior. Despite these changes, Nassau Hall remains an impressive and iconic symbol of Princeton University.

12) Drumthwacket

Drumthwacket
Drumthwacket” by Joe Shlabotnik is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Drumthwacket is a beautiful and historic estate located in Princeton, New Jersey. The property includes a stunning Georgian mansion, which was built in 1835, as well as extensive gardens and grounds.

Drumthwacket has been the official residence of the Governor of New Jersey since 1982, and it is open to the public for tours and events. The estate is also home to the Drumthwacket Foundation, which works to preserve and interpret the property for future generations.

If you’re looking for a taste of history, beauty, and elegance, be sure to visit Drumthwacket!

13) Princeton Battle Monument

Princeton Battle Monument
Princeton Battle Monument, Princeton, New Jersey” by Ken Lund is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The Princeton Battle Monument is a granite obelisk that stands at the site of the Battle of Princeton, which took place on January 3, 1777 during the American Revolutionary War.

The monument was unveiled in 1922. The monument stands 48 feet tall and is inscribed with the names of the soldiers who fought in the battle. Each year on January 3, a wreath-laying ceremony is held at the monument to commemorate the lives lost in the battle.

The Princeton Battle Monument is a reminder of the sacrifice made by those who fought for our country’s freedom.

14) McCarter Theater Center

The McCarter Theater Center is a renowned performing arts venue in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1930, the theater has played host to a wide range of actors, musicians, and other performers over the years.

Today, it remains one of the most popular destination for live entertainment in the region. The theater center is comprised of three main performance spaces: the Matthews Theatre, the Berlind Theatre, and Richardson Auditorium.

In addition to these spaces, the McCarter Theater Center also houses several smaller studios and rehearsal rooms. The theater hosts a wide variety of performances throughout the year, including dance, music, theatre, and opera.

It is also home to the Princeton University Art Museum and the Princeton University Concerts series. With its rich history and commitment to the arts, the McCarter Theater Center is a treasured cultural asset in Princeton and beyond.

15) Princeton Public Library

Princeton Public Library
New Princeton Public Library building” by OnMyWayTo is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The Princeton Public Library in Princeton, New Jersey is a beautiful, historic building that has been serving the community for over one hundred years.

The library first opened its doors in 1909, and it has been an important part of the town ever since. Today, the library is home to a collection of over one hundred thousand books, and it offers a variety of services to patrons. In addition to its traditional role as a lending library, the Princeton Public Library also hosts story times for children, computer classes for adults, and a variety of other programs.

The library is also a popular meeting place for community groups and organizations. With its beautiful architecture and rich history, the Princeton Public Library is a cherished asset for the town of Princeton.

16) Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park

Delaware and raritan canal state park, Princeton NJ” by Gary 光原 Liu is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park is a state park that runs along the Delaware and Raritan Canal in New Jersey.

The Park is located in central New Jersey and includes over 70 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The Park also has dozens of picnic areas, fishing spots, and canoe launches. The Delaware and Raritan Canal was built in the early 19th century to transport coal and other goods between Philadelphia and New York City.

Today, the canal is used for recreation and is a popular spot for fishing, kayaking, and birdwatching. The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park is a great place to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends.

17) Marquand Park

Marquand Park
Japanese Maple in Marquand Park” by Kerri Lee Smith is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Marquand Park is a 48-acre municipal park located in Princeton, New Jersey. The Park was established in 1846 and is named for philanthropist Henry Marquand, who donated the land to the town.

The Park contains a variety of amenities, including a playground, tennis courts, a basketball court, and a picnic area. There is also a small pond where visitors can fish. The Park is popular with families and is well-known for its extensive system of hiking trails.

In addition to providing recreation for locals and visitors, the park also serves as an important habitat for birds and other wildlife. Marquand Park is truly a special place where people and nature come together.

Recap of the Best Things to do in Princeton, NJ

  • Princeton University Campus
  • Morven Museum and Gardens
  • Carnegie Lake
  • Princeton University Art Museum
  • St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church
  • Princeton Battlefield State Park
  • Princeton P-Rade
  • Princeton University Chapel
  • Trinity Church
  • Terhune Orchards and Winery
  • Nassau Hall
  • Drumthwacket
  • Princeton Battle Monument
  • McCarter Theater Center
  • Princeton Public Library
  • Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park
  • Marquand Park

Where to Next?

For great lakes, shops, and restaurants, add Madison, Wisconsin to your travel bucket list!

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Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Santa Fe is a bustling city with a rich history and cultural heritage.

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