Off Campus: New Jersey’s College Towns

New Jersey is home to more than 60 colleges and universities stretching across the state.


Whether you're a first-time guest or a frequent visitor, there are many reasons to venture off campus and explore the surrounding cities and towns. You can take in some regional theater, enjoy a top-ranked restaurant or visit a historic site. The schools frequently promote the biggest area attractions, but venture a little farther for an education in culture, history and charm.


Starting up north, Montclair State University is located in one of New Jersey's most diverse and vibrant towns, making it a great place for strolling Montclair's downtown streets. You can also visit the Montclair Art Museum or travel to nearby West Orange and visit the Thomas Edison Laboratory Complex and his Glenmont Estate.


Farleigh Dickinson University's campus in Madison provides a great launching pad for a visit to the Morristown National Historical Park, where you can take a tour of the Ford Mansion, Gen. George Washington's winter headquarters from 1779-1780 or visit Jockey Hollow and its many trails.


Visitors to Princeton University are often charmed by the boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants across the street from campus in Princeton Borough. But don't miss out on the McCarter Theatre Center, within walking distance of campus. The theater features a variety of shows and performances. Art aficionados will also appreciate a tour of Grounds for Sculpture in nearby Hamilton.


Rutgers University's three main campuses are located in four different cities. The main campus in New Brunswick and Piscataway is close to three famed theaters in downtown New Brunswick, the university's Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, and a surprising array of top-rated restaurants, including The Frog and The Peach. Visitors to the Newark campus can take in a show at the famed New Jersey Performing Arts Center, catch a Newark Bears baseball game at Riverfront Stadium or dine at a Spanish or Portuguese restaurant in the well-known Ironbound District. The Camden campus is just steps from the Camden Waterfront, where visitors can tour the Battleship New Jersey, or check out sea life at the Adventure Aquarium.


Visitors to Rowan University can also enjoy the Camden Waterfront or visit the unique Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center farther south in Millville. The center features a studio where visitors can watch glass being created, as well as visit the Museum of American Glass.