Winter Weekend Getaway in Princeton

A haven for academics and artists, historians and foodies, Princeton is the ideal destination for a wondrous winter weekend. And, since we’ve done all the research on where to stay and eat as well as what to do, you can be spontaneous and get away as soon as this weekend.

Where to Stay

Smack dab in the heart of Princeton – across the street from its ivy-covered namesake university — you’ll find the charming Nassau Inn. This property offers an ideal blend of historic charm and modern comfort in 157 guest rooms and 31 suites, as well as its on-site restaurant. Plus, Palmer Square is right outside its door. (Find more details under Where to Eat and What to Do).

Want to stay small instead? We have two recommendations. The Peacock Inn is a AAA Four-Diamond boutique hotel with an in-town location that features fewer than 20 guest rooms. Ranked in the Top 10 for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions in the Condé Nast Readers’ Choice Awards, the 12-room Inn at Glencairn is revered for its homemade breakfast.

If you’d rather reserve accommodations right-off-the-highway, you have a choice between the Hyatt Regency (hotel highlight: its Catch a Rising Star Comedy Club) and the Marriott Princeton at Forrestal with its myriad resort amenities.

Where to Eat

Have a taste for tavern fare? You have plenty of options with The Alchemist & Barrister Restaurant & Pub and Winberie’s Restaurant & Bar, as well as the Yankee Doodle Tap Room (located inside the Nassau Inn). Each eatery offers tantalizing gastropub selections in relaxed environments.

Care to step outside your comfort (food) zone? Pull up a chair at Mistral, led by award-winning chef Scott Anderson and showcasing a progressive menu of fresh, local ingredients and culturally influenced small plates. Locally sourced foods are also the star at The Perch at Peacock Inn. And more farm-to-table dishes can be found at Agricola Eatery

Indulge in international cuisine (from 21 countries on the Mediterranean Sea) at Mediterra Restaurant & Taverna. For a traditional steakhouse atmosphere, head to Roots Ocean Prime or Witherspoon Grill. Satiate your hunger with succulent seafood at Blue Point Grill. Just interested in sips and small plates? Try The Dinky Bar & Kitchen.

What to Do

A trip to Princeton wouldn’t be complete without exploring the venerable Princeton University — no need for a tour guide when you have this handy downloadable map of the campus. Have your phone ready because these ivy-covered historic buildings are begging to be posted to social media.

The past is also picture-perfect at a number of Princetonian sites from our American Revolution itinerary (including Morven Museum & Garden) as well as at Drumthwacket, the official residence of the Governor of New Jersey, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is known as “The People’s House.”

The arts are alive and well in Princeton. You can catch a world-class stage performance at McCarter Theatre Center or travel to nearby Hamilton Township to appreciate larger-than-life works at Grounds For Sculpture. Be sure to order advance tickets for the after-hours light and sound experience that is Night Forms: Infinite Wave (a limited-time engagement offered through April 2, 2023) and grab a bite to eat at Rat’s Restaurant.

Once you’ve checked off your must-see history and arts check boxes, you can explore the downtown shopping destination of Palmer Square — you can even go Skating on the Square. And, no matter how cold it is outside, getting ice cream at the critically acclaimed The Bent Spoon is absolutely required. 

Seeking celebrity? Join the guided Princeton Five Star Shameless Name Dropping Tour (offered Saturdays) by the Princeton Tour Company. Rather explore the town on your own? Get a map for their Self-Guided Einstein Walk or take a stroll through the park at the lovely Marquand Park and Arboretum.

Before you head out, be sure to check with your chosen destinations for the latest updates and details. Discover ideas for even more weekend getaways when you download our free official travel guide or sign-up for our e-newsletter (both are free!).