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Want to travel but can’t go far? Fill up your itinerary with everything Princeton has to offer

If you're looking for scenic views and plenty of things to do, check out the nearby city of Princeton.  – Photo by Princeton Merchants / Instagram

The leaves are falling, and autumn is in full swing. Obviously, we all want to spend the day in a quaint small town and pretend we’re Rory Gilmore in Stars Hollow. To live out your "Gilmore Girls" fantasy, look no further than just 30 minutes south of New Brunswick to the historic town of Princeton.

Home to the distinguished Ivy League university, Princeton University, the town has a lot more to offer than just its academic prowess.

Upon arrival to Princeton, you transition from the grimy U.S. Route 1 to a wooded street that leads into the magical town. Driving over the sparkling Carnegie Lake, the town itself looks more like a small European village than a typical American town.

Neighborhood touring

Before you arrive in the town center of Princeton, take a drive around, and look at the grand homes of everyone from accomplished professors to affluent professionals. The neighborhoods are nothing short of luxurious, with many homes in Princeton costing close to or even more than $1 million.

The architecture of these homes is unlike any other, and every single one is extremely well-kept. Just simply driving around for 5 minutes makes you feel as though you’re in a museum of houses.

Nassau Street shopping

Once you’ve finished driving around the beautiful neighborhoods of Princeton, you will arrive at the bustling Nassau Street. There’s an abundance of parking along the street, so you won’t have a problem finding a space before you explore the town.

Lined with a variety of stores and world-class restaurants, this small city has everything you need to keep yourself interested and busy. Despite its size, Princeton manages to pack as many amenities as possible to accommodate its students, and its population consists of more than 30,000 people and incoming visitors.

The street has dozens of stores ranging from Urban Outfitters to J.Crew. A lot of Princeton stores are also on the more luxurious side, considering the amount of high-income residents. Unlike New Brunswick, you’ll be able to find high-end stores like Hamilton Jewelers which offers Rolex watches, Ralph Lauren and Bluemercury Inc. which offers Chanel. The street is also in the process of building a new Hermès store right in the center of Palmer Square, a hub for Princetonians.

Places to eat

Princeton has a wide variety of food options that you can choose from. From low-end to high-end options, Princeton has every delicacy you could ever imagine.

Recommendations on the lower end would include Say Cheez Café, an eatery dedicated to every type of grilled cheese sandwich you could possibly imagine.

If you're searching for a place on the sweeter side, look no further than Chez Alice Patisserie, a Parisian-themed restaurant that is nothing short of fantastic. Each dessert looks beautiful and almost too good to eat. The restaurant has a variety of macarons, croissants and cakes with additional options for meals that supplement breakfast or lunch.

On the high end of the scale, Mistral is sure to satisfy your more ambitious taste buds. With small plates inspired by dishes from around the world, Mistral offers a warm yet modern atmosphere that’s worth every penny.


Princeton offers a plethora of activities to fill your day other than just wandering around by yourself, eating or shopping. One of these is the Princeton University Art Museum.

Considering Princeton University is one of the wealthiest schools in the country, it’s no surprise that its museum is breathtaking as it emulates the same European aura that the town presents as well as artwork from many other places internationally.

Another fun activity to do in Princeton would be to go to the McCarter Theatre Center, which offers wonderful plays and musicals from world-renowned actors. Each and every show is so entertaining, immersive and extremely enjoyable that it is worth the drive alone. Be sure to buy your tickets online in advance, as tickets tend to sell out fast!

Regardless of how you spend your day, Princeton is just waiting to be explored. With it being such a short distance away, there’s no excuse to not see what it has to offer.

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