Winter Weekend Getaway in Princeton

A picture-perfect haven for academics and artists, historians and foodies, Princeton in winter is a sight to see and the ideal destination for a wondrous 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.

Places 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 Eateries to Try and Things 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. Winner of a 2023 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award, the nearby 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.

Eateries to Try

Have a taste for tavern fare? You have plenty of options with The Alchemist & Barrister 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.

Things 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 on 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 (a limited-time engagement offered through April 7, 2024) and grab a bite to eat at Rat’s Restaurant.

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

Eager to explore some more? Get a map for the Self-Guided Einstein & Pizza Pi(e) Tour 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 official travel guide or sign up for our e-newsletter (both are free!).