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Best things to do in Princeton

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Where in the world: USA  /  New Jersey  /  Princeton

Top 15 things to do in Princeton

1. Princeton University

Established in 1746, Princeton University sits on a 200 ha (500 acre) campus and welcomes 8,000 students each year who learn about humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Take a guided tour of the campus to find out about its educational, cultural, recreational, and athletic aspects. Walk through the grounds and buildings to get a feel for the university's community and culture, and see what one of the wealthiest schools in the United States looks like. The main campus, with its gothic structures and 20th-century sculptures, has been named one of the country's most beautiful by Travel + Leisure magazine.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. Princeton University Art Museum

Part of one of the nation's most prestigious academic institutions, Princeton University Art Museum displays an array of works ranging from antique sculptures and mosaics to modern photography and contemporary pieces. Visit the free museum and explore its collection of more than 90,000 pieces of artwork laid out in a multitude of exhibits and themed sections. Wander the halls and admire ancient Greek bronze sculptures, Roman mosaics, medieval stained glass, paintings from Renaissance greats, Chinese calligraphy, and more. Afterward, swing by the gift shop to pick up a print or souvenir inspired by one of the museum's famous works. Be sure to check the museum website for information about its frequent temporary exhibits.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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3. Princeton University Chapel

The Princeton University Chapel is located on that university's main campus in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. It replaces an older chapel that burned down in 1920. Designed in 1921 by Ralph Adams Cram in his signature Collegiate Gothic style, it was built by the university between 1924 and 1928 at a cost of $2.3 million. The chapel was rededicated in an interfaith ceremony in 2002 following a major two-year restoration.

Its size and design evoke a small cathedral of the English Middle Ages. The only university chapel of its size at the time it was built was King's College Chapel at the University of Cambridge. The foundation is poured concrete, and the superstructure is sandstone and limestone. The main sanctuary consists of a narthex, a gallery, a nave, two transepts joined by a crossing, and an elevated choir. The chapel's extensive iconography consists of stained glass, stonemasonry, and wood carvings. Among the stained glass are four "great windows", one facing each cardinal direction, and four "Christian epic" windows in the walls of the choir. The iconography was planned by Albert M. Friend, a faculty member in Princeton's Department of Art and Archaeology, with the goal of portraying, in one scholar's words, a "synthesis between Christian faith and modern thought."
The chapel seats almost 2,000 people. A nondenominational chapel, it hosts weekly ecumenical Christian services and daily Catholic Masses. It also hosts several annual special events, such as baccalaureate services and commencements.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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4. Princeton Battlefield State Park

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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5. Princeton Battle Monument

The Princeton Battle Monument is located in Princeton, New Jersey, adjacent to Morven and Princeton's borough hall. The monument commemorates the January 3, 1777 Battle of Princeton, and depicts General George Washington leading his troops to victory and the death of General Hugh Mercer. It stands 50 feet (15 m) tall and was inspired by carvings on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Designed to visually anchor the western end of Nassau Street, the monument and its park are a legacy of the City Beautiful movement.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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6. Princeton Cemetery

Princeton Cemetery is located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. It is owned by the Nassau Presbyterian Church. John F. Hageman in his 1878 history of Princeton, New Jersey refers to the cemetery as "The Westminster Abbey of the United States."
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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7. Grounds For Sculpture, Hamilton

A celebration of all things sculptural, Grounds For Sculpture, features a beautifully landscaped park and museum located on the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds. Founded in 1992 by John Seward Johnson II, the park contains over 270 large-scale contemporary sculptures by Johnson and other international artists. Most notable is the 7.9 m (26 ft) tall sculpture of Marilyn Monroe in her famous white billowing dress from the film "The Seven Year Itch.” Rat’s restaurant is well worth a visit, designed by Johnson to make customers feel as if they are dining in Claude Monet’s beloved town of Giverny.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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8. Marquand Park

Marquand Park is a 17-acre (69,000 m2) arboretum and recreational area located in Princeton, New Jersey. It contains walking paths, a baseball field, and attractions for children such as a sandbox and a play structure.

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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9. Morven Museum and Garden

For more than 200 years Morven has played a role in the history of New Jersey and the nation.

Originally part of a 5,500-acre tract purchased from William Penn in 1701 by the Stockton family, it is the home of Richard Stockton, a Signer of the Declaration of Independence. As well as serving as a Stockton homestead for several generations into the 20th century, Morven was home to the families of Robert Wood "The General" Johnson Jr., and eventually five New Jersey governors, three generations of enslaved families, respective domestic workers, and staff.

Morven Museum & Garden showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Garden State through regular exhibitions, educational programs, and special events.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. Tyler State Park, Newtown

Tyler State Park is a day-use Pennsylvania state park on 1,711 acres (692 ha) in Newtown and Northampton Townships, Bucks County, Pennsylvania in the United States.
Park roads, trails, and facilities are nestled within the original farm and woodland setting. Neshaminy Creek meanders through the park (no swimming), north to south. Tyler State Park is home to many different species of birds thank to the diversity of habitats, including mature forests and maintained grassland. The creek is home to water snakes, turtles, eels, and panfishes. The quieter sections of the park are home to foxes, deer, beavers, racoons, rabbits, and coyotes.

Tyler State Park contains a 36-hole disc golf course, a community theater, an art center, several picnic areas, a children's playground, and many miles of hiking and walking trails. One of the main attractions in the park is the Schofield Ford Covered Bridge, originally built in 1874. The bridge burned down due to arson on October 7, 1991, but was rebuilt with raised funds and reopened on September 7, 1997.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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11. Trinity Church

Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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12. Old Barracks Museum, Trenton

The Old Barracks Museum, also known just as the Old Barracks, is a historic building located at 101 Barracks Street in Trenton, Mercer County, New Jersey. Built in 1758 to house soldiers of the British Army, it is the only remaining colonial barracks in the state and is one of the only tangible surviving elements of the 1776 Battle of Trenton. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 25, 1971 and listed as a National Historic Landmark on November 28, 1972, for its significance in military history. It is now a state-run historic site and museum.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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13. St. Paul's Catholic Church

Mass Schedule:

Daily: 6:45 am and 8:15 am M-F, 12:10 pm on W and F

Saturday: 8:15 am

Saturday Vigil: 5:30 pm

Sunday: 7:00, 8:30, 10:00, 11:30 and 5:00. Mass in Spanish at 7:00 pm
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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14. Carnegie Lake

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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15. Baps Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Robbinsville

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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