Home to the prestigious university, Princeton, N.J. is a town reminiscent of New England, but just happens to reside smack dab in the middle of the Tri-State area. The charming cobblestone streets harken back to the Revolutionary history there, and in the spring the weather couldn’t be more perfect to take in the sights and sounds of the area. If you’re searching for a quick getaway, Princeton just might be the place for you! Here are a few great places I happened to stumble upon on a last minute trip there this month!
Blue Bears Cafe
When you walk through the front doors of The Blue Bears café, you are greeted by a symphony of French accents and French pastries. While the food is delicious and a feast for the eyes, the charming staff love to tell you about why this restaurant is different— it is a non-profit organization that helps people with special needs find employment! They will be celebrating their 2 year anniversary on the 22nd, and as my friend and I happily munched on our fare, people stopped by bringing gifts inspired by the wonderful work that they do there. It was a happy atmosphere all around—and now is the perfect time to stop by and check out their amazing charity work—and food!
Fueled with energy from your first meal of the day, it’s time to burn off those crêpes and croissants by strolling around the town of Princeton. The grounds and buildings of Princeton University are extraordinarily beautiful, and one cannot help but be drawn into a contemplative mood by the climbing ivy on the historic dorms on campus. After going to the Princeton University Art Museum, cross the street and venture into town. There are a myriad of fun shops you can pop into and explore—like this fun toy store. Forgot something for your trip? Stop by the University store to pick up any toiletry or knickknack that you may have left at home—and a Princeton University t-shirt if you so desire! On your way to dinner, don’t forget to drive by Albert Einstein’s house and wave. As it is a private residence, that’s as extensive as the tour is going to get!
Ramen Stop’s Tonkotsu & Princeton Corkscrew Wine Shop
Speaking of dinner, if you love all things noodles, Ramen Stop’s Tonkotsu is just fantastic. Regular or spicy—as a noodle connoisseur—I came away greatly impressed. If you’re looking to purchase a bottle of wine, meander on over to the Princeton Corkscrew Wine Shop. At the time of this writing—due to COVID restrictions—you can’t go inside, but all you need do is simply order online and a handsome and friendly fellow (in my case) will bring your wine right out to you. Not looking to spend a fortune? If you enjoy red, I recommend the 2018 Chateau du Lort Bordeaux Superieur.
If you are planning on a weekend getaway, the Princeton Marriott at Forrestral is an excellent hotel, that has all the comfort and warmth of a bed and breakfast. The beds and ambiance are incredibly cozy, while the staff is respectful and eager to please. Precautions have been put in place to ensure you feel safe and secure in regards to any COVID-19 concerns you may have, and if you need a breath of fresh air, there is a lovely walking path through the wooded area around the hotel.
Invited to a women’s conference on a whim, I managed to have an amazing weekend—even though I was unable to explore Princeton as thoroughly as I would like! I cannot wait to go back and see what other treasures this delightful town holds.