Have a spare afternoon and wish to explore scenic, historical, or cultural Princeton? Indoors or out or virtually, we have something for everyone, whether you have an hour or plan to spend the day.
Download the Historical Society of Princeton’s app and take a walk through the Witherspoon-Jackson Historic District on “The Albert E. Hinds Memorial Walking Tour: African American Life in Princeton,” narrated by Shirley Satterfield, a longtime Princetonian and local historian. The tour is also available on the web. Or try this new offering from HSP and explore Hamilton’s Princeton as a virtual tour.
Take the Witherspoon Jackson Historical and Cultural Society’s Heritage Plaque tour of the same historic district.
There are a number of University walking tours available through GuidiGo, online or through the app. Topics include stories of women, traditions, African American life, “Firsts,” and Asian American life.
Visit the many sites that are part of the Arts Council of Princeton’s Tour of the Public Art Around Town.
Robeson grew up in the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood and his childhood home, at 110 Witherspoon Street, is the future site of a museum honoring his legacy. His statue sits in front of the Arts Council of Princeton at the intersection of Witherspoon Street and Paul Robeson Place. The library also has a bust of Robeson in the Princeton Room, sculpted by his friend, Antonio Salemme.
Explore this historic cemetery of the Nassau Presbyterian Church, established in 1757. Use the map, available online to locate the final resting places of Princetonians such as Aaron Burr and Grover Cleveland. Located across the street from the library, the entrance is on Greenview Avenue.
A world class art museum, right in the heart of the University’s campus, free and open to the public. The physical museum is closed at present while a new building is in progress but the virtual museum is always available. The museum has a permanent collection as well as special exhibitions, free virtual programs, and in person Campus Collections outdoor walking tours, March-November on selected times and dates. Art@Bainbridge is a recent gallery project of PU Art Museum, located in the historic Bainbridge House on Nassau Street, also free. Take a Campus Art tour to learn more about its outdoor art collection.
Library cardholders can reserve a free pass to visit Morven Museum and Garden, through our Museum Pass Program. Built by one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Richard Stockton, this was his family home as well as the home of five New Jersey Governors. Visit the permanent exhibits, tour the gardens, or see the current exhibitions. There is a modest entrance fee.
Take a walk along the Delaware-Raritan Canal towpath, stroll around Carnegie Lake, explore the trails in the Institute Woods, Herrontown Woods Arboretum, or in the Mountain Lakes Open Space Area. While it is possible to walk to these places from the library, you might want to drive closer to each location. Parking is available.
Einstein’s residence at 112 Mercer Street, where he lived from 1935-1955, is currently a private home and can be viewed from the street. There is no burial site for him, in Princeton or anywhere else. A bust of Einstein can be found at the Princeton Battle Monument Park located at 55 Stockton Street.
Just for Kids
Have little ones with you who need to blow off some steam? Within walking distance of the library, are Maggie’s Park on Spruce Street and the playground at the Princeton YM/YWCA on Paul Robeson Place. Just a bit longer of a walk (though you might want to drive) will take you to Marquand Park with its open fields and large sandbox. A more comprehensive list of Princeton parks can be found here.