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New Jersey itinerary: Princeton teems with Ivy League perks

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Princeton is an idyllic, diverse area filled with museums, historic sites and restaurants — all within an hour of two metropolitan cities, New York and Philadelphia. Check out this one-day walking itinerary provided by Princeton Tour Company.

Morning

Princeton University Chapel, Princeton, N.J.

Princeton University Chapel, Princeton, N.J.
Photo: Princeton University, Office of Communications

First, fuel up with coffee at Small World Coffee, everything a group hopes a coffee shop would be in an Ivy League town — academic celebrity sightings guaranteed. Grab a “joe to go” and head to the mega line at PJ’s Pancake House. The line is fun! Groups enjoy getting to know other Princeton visitors.

Discover a world of art at the Princeton University Art Museum. Groups adore the work of Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso, and artwork that rivals the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. This world-class collection is free and open to the public Tuesday through Sunday every week.

Upon leaving the museum, head toward the Princeton University Chapel, the third largest collegiate chapel in the world and arguably the most beautiful. Go inside and take in the largest collection of stained glass in North America. Imagine the students and professors who have been inspired in the very same place.

Cross back over to 158 Nassau Street to the Bainbridge House to see a special exhibition featuring selected pieces of furniture from the Einstein Collection.

Make a stop at Triumph Brewing Company for the best burgers, micro brewed beers and fried pickle chips in Princeton.

Afternoon

Nassau Street, Princeton, N.J.

Nassau Street, Princeton, N.J.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

After lunch, groups like to do a little shopping along lovely Nassau Street. Landau woolen shop has a free Einstein museum — the only place in Princeton that sells the iconic Einstein T-shirts, posters and souvenirs. Along with Luxaby Baby & Child on Palmer Square, Landau also sells the iconic Princeton Black Squirrel items.

Labyrinth Books is the perfect college-town bookstore and is the place to find autographed copies from Princeton’s rock star authors. Around the corner is Princeton Record Exchange, ranked as a top record store in the country by Rolling Stone, Time, USA Today and other publications.

Browse through more than 140,000 new and used CDs, LPs and DVDs. Be sure to check out Jane, a consignment shop at 7 Spring St.

Just as the afternoon is winding down, groups want to discover what’s been called the Westminster of the United States — Princeton Cemetery, owned and operated by the Nassau Presbyterian Church. There are free maps at the entrance, so plan some time to find the graves of U.S. President Grover Cleveland, Vice President Aaron Burr and Nobel Prize Winner George Kennan.

Head to Palmer Square to have dinner. Mediterra Restaurant is an all-around good evening restaurant. With the great bar, perfect outdoor seating in the courtyard and carefully prepared contemporary Italian cuisine, it’s the perfect in-town stop. If groups are looking for a five-star stop, head to The Peacock Inn on Bayard Lane.

For dessert, go down the street to The Bent Spoon, where groups discover what The New York Times voted the best gelato on the planet. If groups prefer ice cream, insiders recommend Halo Pub, also on Palmer Square.

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