Get Away While Staying Within Reach in Princeton

Destination lodging has historic background.

You are tired. So is your significant other. You both need a getaway, but can’t afford to go too far away, and it’s kind of an off-season time to take a traditional vacation anyway … what’s there to do?

Here’s a thought. The grandparents say they don’t get enough time with their grandkids, so wrap them and their iPads and X-Boxes up, and head for  for the weekend.

Lori Rabon, the general manager of the Nassau Inn (located at 10 Palmer Square in Princeton), has plenty of reasons why you’d want to shake off the late-winter blues at her establishment.

“The Nassau Inn has maintained its historic ambiance and colonial décor throughout the generations and continues to do so with a renovation project nearing completion, the Inn will now provide many contemporary amenities without disruption to its unique look and feel,” Rabon said. “The rooms currently have flat screen HDTVs, all new furniture, bedding, carpeting, and fully renovated bathrooms.  Every guest room has internet access, complimentary wi-fi is in all of the common areas of the hotel including the Tap Room. The 24-hour business center, cardio facility and guest services ensure expectations are exceeded.”

Doesn’t that sound good? And if you feel guilty for enjoying all of that while leaving your your parents (or your kids) behind, you can consider bringing them too … maybe. In any case, a weekend’s respite from the grind could be precisely what you need, which is why we've selected the in for this installment of Day Tripper, a weekly look at destinations that are out of town, but in reachm and worth the trip.


Estimated Travel Time: 16 minutes.

Why it’s Worth the Trip: It’s hard to just completely disconnect during the year, so finding small pockets of rejuvenation time is healthy. And finding them in relatively close proximity, just in case you need to get back home—well, that’s priceless. The Nassau Inn manages to offer the best of both worlds.

How to Get There from HereDetailed driving directions.

You’ll Probably Get Hungry: The Nassau Inn features the , but if you’re inclined to try other things, give 's Mediterranean cuisine a try, taste the French-American combo of , or try a unique and rustic slice of pizza at . If you want your coffee to go, grab a cup at . And if your sweet tooth is demanding indulgences, head to .

While You’re in the Area: Check out the building that once stood as the governor’s mansion, now a destination in its own right as the ; see what the current exhibitions are at the ; delve into the region’s past at the ; catch a performance at the ; see a recent film at ; or tour the world-famous  grounds.

“It is quite an exciting period for the Nassau Inn, her neighbors, guests and employees alike as we usher in a new era of history with 2012 marking a major rejuvenation to the property that will reinvigorate the entire city and transform the face of its tourism,” Rabon said. “A heightened experience awaits all those who choose Princeton for their next destination.”

The historic Inn dates back to 1756, and through the years has hosted many recognizable figures such as George Washington, Norman Rockwell, FDR and Albert Einstein. In more recent years: Russell Crowe, Brooke Shields, General David Petraeus, Megan Fox and Michelle Obama. 

The Nassau Inn is centrally located in Princeton Borough in the center of Palmer Square, across the street from the main entrance of Princeton University. While that makes it an ideal setting for government or business travelers, it also can provide a memorable stay for parents bringing their student children to the campus for college tours.

Another major plus is Princeton’s ease of access to and from NYC, North Jersey, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. It's under one hour from either Newark or Philadelphia Airports. It has all the elements of not being too far from home, but just far enough for a breather from the rut of domestic life.

We'll let Rabon tell you about the rest:

One of the most popular attractions in town is the Yankee Doodle Tap Room and the restaurant’s tribute to many notable Princeton Alumni with a dedicated wall of inscribed and framed photos, locally known as 'the wall of fame,. The Tap Room also houses the largest Norman Rockwell mural commissioned by Edgar Palmer in the mid-1930s after the Yankee Doodle Tap Room was named. Today, this famous piece of American art history continues to hang 13 feet wide behind the bar in the Tap Room.

On the other end of the restaurant is a wooden hearth on the fireplace inscribed with the text: 'Rest Traveller, Rest, and Banish Thoughts of Care; Drink to Thy Friends and Recommend Them Here.'

This quote was drawn from an old English inn near Oxford, and dates back to 1937, when Nassau Inn was rebuilt on Palmer Square. [Our note: The original Nassau Tavern at 52 Nassau Street was first built in 1756, but closed its doors in 1937, when the town and the University required a larger, more modern hotel.]

The fireplace beneath [the hearth] is lit during the winter months, and provides welcoming warmth to the guests.  McCarter Theater goers have long enjoyed dining at the Tap Room before or after the many wonderful performances they have had over the years.


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