This small city offers safety, spectacular schools, a wide variety of dining options, endless entertainment and so much more. I’m absolutely enamored by its charm, and I’m not the only one who feels this way. Financial website, WalletHub, recently named this Central New Jersey neighborhood “Overall Best” in their ranking of over 1200 smaller-sized cities throughout the United States. Other accolades include being named the “Best College Town To Live In” by SmartAsset and having one of the top-ranked high schools in the nation. So, which city is it? Princeton.
Home to the best college in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report, Princeton is located in Mercer county, right in the center of our state. The population is approximately 30,000, and it is both one of the oldest and newest towns in New Jersey. How is that possible? Though Princeton predates the Revolutionary War, it was established in its current state in 2013 when Princeton Township and the Borough of Princeton merged. Here are just a few reasons why everyone should love Princeton.
According to neighborhood insights website, City-Data, the crime rate in Princeton is half the national average. Violent crime is very rare, and the crime rate has only been going down over the years. (Photo: A view of Princeton snapped from Fine Hall.)
Princeton University students have SAT scores that are about 700 points higher than the national average. Notable alumni include Michelle Obama, Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Samuel Alito, David Duchovny, General David Petraeus and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The university students aren't the only ones with smarts - Princeton High School has an Advanced Placement Test pass rate of 92%, compared to the national average of 12.5% (according to US News). The high school is pictured, above.
Nassau Street, pictured, is one of Princeton's main shopping areas. You'll find several big name brands here including Lululemon and Polo Ralph Lauren, along with smaller boutiques and charming cafes. Palmer Square, located just off Nassau street, is the heart of downtown. You'll find dozens of shops here, each more charming than the next. Check out Bucks County Dry Goods, The Farmhouse Store and The Papery of Princeton to find great gifts and home goods.
You'll find the famed Princeton University Art Museum, Morven Museum & Gardens, Cranbury Station Gallery, the Arts Council of Princeton, and Lewis Center for the Arts here. Princeton University Art Museum has a collection of over 92,000 works in a variety of mediums dating back hundreds of years. The Arts Council of Princeton offers classes, workshops and a wide range of performances.
Princeton University offers some of the most beautiful buildings you'll ever see, but the entire town is filled with charm. Enthusiasts of Gothic Architecture will not be disappointed.
In addition to the aforementioned attractions, visitors can enjoy tours of Drumthwacket - the governor's mansion. Built in 1835, this is one of three governor's mansions in the country located outside of the state's capital. If outdoor adventure is more your style Princeton is home to Herrontown Woods Arboretum and portions of the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park. Activities include hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, canoeing and kayaking.
Whatever you're craving, you'll find it in Princeton. Enjoy a sizable selection of eateries including popular picks like Blue Point Grill, Seasons 52, Agricola Eatery, Witherspoon Grill and The Peacock Inn.
The Battle of Princeton was fought and won here in 1777. You can still visit the battlefield and monument. More importantly, Princeton's Nassau Hall (pictured) served as the US capitol building for four months in 1783. The Treaty of Paris was signed here, ending the Revolutionary War.
There are countless other reasons to love Princeton. If you’re lucky enough to live downtown, you’ll find walkability unmatched by many other cities of the size; the area has an impressive WalkScore of 95/100. Princeton was also named by Money Magazine as one of the top towns to live and work in the United States. It is undoubtedly the best city in America, and it’s right here in New Jersey. Take that, New York. (Kidding. Kind of.)
Article by Kristen from "Only in your state"
Written, Compiled & Edited by
The Bergen Review Media Team