Community City Guides

Green City Guide: Princeton

Have a sustainable staycation in this beloved Ivy League town.

Located within an hour from New York City and Philadelphia, Princeton is the perfect place for your next staycation. Home to the Ivy League school of the same name, the charming academic enclave has housed and nurtured some of America’s finest minds, including Albert Einstein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Michelle Obama, and has one of the most beautiful college campuses in the country.

With lots of sustainability-minded local business and many convenient locations to charge your electric vehicle, Princeton is an easy place to travel in an eco-friendly and sustainable way.

Here’s a one-stop guide for New Jerseyans who want an easy weekend escape, complete with recommended stops to Destination Electric businesses that promote environmental sustainability and are within walking distance of an electric car charging station.

Editor’s Note: We understand that travel is complicated right now, and restrictions vary state to state. Check out the New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub for up-to-date New Jersey guidelines. If you plan on visiting any of the below destinations, we recommend checking their official websites for possible closures, limited access announcements, and general safety guidelines.

Friday:

6 P.M.
Dinner

Dine outdoors at Nomad Pizza Company, an upscale pizza joint serving authentic Neapolitan-style pizza with organic produce. Their menu and specials change weekly, based on the availability of fresh and locally grown products, but be on the lookout for their special varieties like Gorgonzola & Pear, Margherita di Bufala and Spicy Sausage. They offer vegan pizzas, too, like the Sassy Vegan and Vegan Margherita. Wash it down with one of their 12 beers on tap or a classic root beer float featuring vanilla ice cream from nearby ice cream shop, the bent spoon.

8 P.M.
Check-in

Rooted in Princeton for more than 250 years, the Nassau Inn is located centrally in the heart of Palmer Square and offers a balance of historic charm and modern style. The hotel’s former guests include Albert Einstein, Paul Revere and Thomas Paine, and their tap room features the largest Norman Rockwell mural in existence. As Princeton’s only full-service downtown hotel, it is the perfect place to unwind and relax.

9 P.M.
Show

Tuck in early and enjoy a virtual production from the Princeton Garden Theatre, a nonprofit theater group that has been active in the community for over 100 years. While the theater is currently closed due to COVID-19, the staff has handpicked feature films and live theater performances that can be rented and streamed directly through their website.

Saturday:

9 A.M.
Breakfast

Start your day off right with a stop at Jammin’ Crepes, a local favorite that prides itself on “servin’ and preservin’” fresh ingredients from local farmers and has an inhouse composting program. The unique flavors of their sweet and savory crepes – like Brownies in a Blanket and Pizza Melty – will make your mouth water. Vegans and veggies alike will also feel right at home with the shop’s many meatless options. Make sure to call ahead to place your curbside pick-up order.

11 A.M.
Shop

Roam around the Princeton Shopping Center, an open-air shopping mall and community staple for over 60 years, as your electric vehicle charges up in the center’s parking lot. The mall spans over 1 mile and contains more than 40 different storefronts. Stop in at Bon Appétit, a European-style premier market and café with a superb selection of cheeses, chocolates, and imported specialties, and then bop over to Lillipies Bakery, a small-batch bakery specializing in artisan breads and sweets. Pop in One-of-a-kind Consignments and peruse their gently used, high-end furniture before browsing the greeting cards, invitations and stationary at The Papery. And, if you want to kick up your feet after a busy afternoon of walking and shopping, take a seat on the mall’s beautiful, two-acre landscaped courtyard or visit 4 Elements Wellness and Tranquility Den Spa for a relaxing treatment.

1 P.M.
Lunch

Grab a warm bowl of lobster bisque or a tasty sandwich (or both) at Princeton Soup & Sandwich Company. Located just off Palmer Street, this homey, mother-and-daughter shop is a two-time winner of the best sandwich place in Princeton and features more than 50 soups, salads and sandwiches made from scratch on their menu.

3 P.M.
Treat

Satisfy your sweet tooth at House of Cupcakes, a bright and colorful bakery offering more than 30 unique cupcake flavors. Perfectly moist with a hearty helping of frosting, their cupcakes are unbeatable, literally. The store owners Ruthie and Ron Bzdewka were winners of the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars”! Check out their Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake, Dulce De Leche, or Margarita cakes, as well as their seasonal desserts.

6 P.M.
Dinner

Dine under the stars at La Mezzaluna for a taste of Italy in the heart of downtown Princeton. Just as the Italians do, La Mezzaluna uses fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients that keeps locals and tourists coming back again and again. This Italian bistro also cares deeply about its community and donated over 15,000 meals to frontline workers during COVID-19 pandemic. While dining, you can do your part, too, and pay it forward by purchasing a meal from the Mr. Rogers’ menu to be sent to a Princeton family in need.

Sunday:

9 A.M.
Breakfast

Coffee lovers can close out their stay in Princeton with a breakfast burrito and a perfectly roasted cup of joe at Small World Coffee. Make sure to call ahead to place your order and purchase some of their frozen scone or cookie dough batter as a treat for later.

Charging:

Need a charge? Fuel up the electric way at a public charging station, all conveniently located downtown near Destination Electric Businesses:

Palmer Square Garage
25 Chambers Street
609-924-9315
Available EV plugs include J-1772.

Spring Street Garage
28 Spring Street
609-924-4141
Available EV plugs include J-1772.

Princeton Shopping Center
301 N Harrison Street
Available EV plugs include J-1772.

Interested in purchasing your first or next electric vehicle? Check out these Greater Princeton dealerships and use Drive Change Drive Electric’s vehicle explorer tool to find your ideal electric vehicle match.

Jaguar Princeton
958 US-208
Princeton, NJ
609-489-5626
Available EVs include the 2020 I-Pace.

Audi Princeton
959 Route 206
Princeton, NJ
888-410-2704
Available EVs include the 2019 and 2020 e-tron.