Princeton’s Best Travel Tips

Traveling to Princeton soon?
These are our best tips when coming to visit us!

Palmer Square

  1. Need advice on what to pack? Refer to our seasonal guide for weather tips based on your time of travel. There is always something going on in town, do a quick Google search before you plan your itinerary. You never know what festivals, side walk sales, or events we’re having.
  2. If you are a first timer, check out the Princeton Tour Company. They will give you the all-around Princeton experience. They offer guided walking tours that include sites on Princeton University campus, the neighborhoods of Albert Einstein, TS Eliot, F Scott Fitzgerald, Robert Oppenheimer, James Madison, Woodrow Wilson, Grover Cleveland, JFK, countless tycoons, Hollywood celebrities, Signers of the Declaration of Independence and much more.
  3. You can travel by train from NYC or Newark Airport. The “historical” Dinky Train will pick you up and drop you off at Princeton Junction just minutes away from the center of down.
  4. We have the best shopping right here in Palmer Square, so if you forgot something, do not worry – there is most likely a store where you will find it!

DSCN2374


About the Author: Brandon DeChirico spent the summer interning at the Nassau Inn. He is a student at Widener University studying hospitality.

Edited by Lily Lee

A Seasonal Guide for Princeton Travel

Princeton welcomes you any time of the year. When coming to visit us here in Princeton, know what to expect depending on the season!

Traveling

 

If you’re coming during the autumn, expect green, auburn, and yellow crisp leaves scattered across the grass and sidewalks. Pack layers of clothing so you can enjoy the scenery outside without being bothered by the cool gushes of wind. During this season, try the Pumpkin Spiced Café at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room for freshly brewed coffee with pumpkin spice, cinnamon and whipped cream.


NITPLR-252
75dbcef064f8137cae44c553a78e7431Image source

When winter is here, make sure to keep warm under a big coat. Occasionally, the snow may drizzle. It’s the perfect weather to wear knit hats, mittens and hold hands while staring into the effervescent lights spread jubilantly around Princeton. Join in on the holiday cheer at Palmer Square, where you are sure to bump into carolers or even the big man himself!

Winter Wonderland - outside

Spring is cherry blossom season. Many trees are in bloom here. You don’t want to miss out on the flower filled tree lined streets. Take a walk around the University, Cherry Valley Road, and Washington Ave. This is a good time to bring out the capris, cardigans, blazers, and light jackets for the evenings.

Cherry-Blossoms1 

Image source

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

218

The moment summer arrives is when Princeton feels particularly like an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. In his novel, This Side of Paradise, his writing exemplifies the beauty of Princeton and the special place he had for it in his heart, not failing to mention the Nassau Inn! Summer is time to begin again—so strip away from all the layers, and pack light clothing.

Happy travels!


About the Author: Lily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.

5 Wonderful Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day in Princeton

On the day where we go out of our way to show our moms exactly how much they mean to us, Princeton provides plenty of options. Whether Mom wants a show, a stroll or a shopping trip, there’s something for everyone in our roundup below.

Kick off the day with a fragrant bouquet of freshly cut, elegantly arranged flowers. Our friends at Viburnum Designs can help you find the perfect combination.

mothersdayflowers

Mother’s Day brunch at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room has been a beloved tradition in Princeton for generations. Enjoy an unforgettable dining experience that mom will love. See the full menu here.

191

Drop by Palmer Square where mom can take her pick from familiar brand names such as Ann Taylor and Ralph Lauren, or the many unique locally-owned boutiques, spas, and galleries.

Palmer Square

Take a leisurely stroll around downtown Princeton and through the stunning Princeton University campus. While there, visit the Princeton University Art Museum and Prospect Gardens for even more fun.

PU

Take in a show at the world renowned McCarter Theater. See what’s scheduled for Mother’s Day here.

mccarter-theatre-center

7 Simple Ways to Nail Your Winter Makeup

This is a guest post by Magda’s Designs Inc.

Blog 12.21.15.1

People like to hibernate in the winter. It’s cold out, it gets darker earlier; it’s the time of year one would rather snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie. Ironically, however, winter also happens to be a season filled with holiday parties, family get togethers, weddings, and a lot of photos for proof of getting together. These photos will be plastered on Facebook, Instagram and basically anywhere else photos can be uploaded these days; a scary thought for someone who tends to dislike how they look in pictures.
Here’s a tip…makeup can make all the difference.

Because the Nassau Inn will host of many of these wondrous affairs, we wanted to give their guests and brides a few tips on how to nail their makeup and look great in every photo snapped in their direction.

1. First things first, the same shade of lipstick, eye shadow, etc., does not look the same all year round. Just because you like the way a certain color looks in the summer, does not mean it will flatter you come winter. Check out How is the Sunlight Affecting Your Makeup?.

2. If you read the above article, you now understand that winter has a lot of that not-so-flattering blue light, which brings more attentions to things you’d like to cover up, i.e. red spots, dark under-eye circles. Winter is the time of year to pull out highlighters and light-reflective foundations.

3. Blue light reflects colors with blue tones, so think silver, gray, red, berry shades, etc. when it comes to your eyeshadow.

4. It’s natural to lose your tan in the summer, so don’t over-do it with the bronzer. To add some color to your face, use some blush.

5. Go for the dark lip. Just do it.

6. Use waterproof mascara. It’s great for any occasion, especially if there’s any snow in the forecast.

7. Now that you know the tips to great winter makeup, don’t forget that before the makeup comes the foundation. If your skin is dry and cracked, the makeup won’t look good, regardless of color. Check out 5 Easy Ways to Keep Your Skin Hydrated This Winter.

Please visit our friends at Magdas Designs to learn more about their amazing Hair & Makeup Services.

Heights, Lights, & History – Amazing Stories of the Palmer Square Tree

12.14.15.2

For decades, the colossal conifer rising above Palmer Square has brightened downtown and the spirits of the community every holiday season. Its heights, lights, and decorations draw as many as 80,000 annual visitors. However, there’s a lot more to this spectacular centerpiece than just its dazzling brilliance. From World War II to the world’s greatest tree lighting ceremony, let’s get to the “root” of the most iconic tree in Princeton.

A Token of Appreciation

In 1945, as a token of appreciation for donating his 195-foot steel schooner for commission in World War II to patrol and protect the shores of Iceland, Sveinn Björnsson, the nation’s first president, personally presented Edgar Palmer with quite literally the most beautiful Norway Spruce in all of Scandinavia. A gold collar around the lower trunk bore the inscription: “Megi þetta tré vernda lendir leið skipi sem er varið þín og okkar”; translated: “May this tree protect your lands the way your ship protected ours.” During that time period, the Nordic custom of gifting evergreens to close friends and allies was equivalent to being knighted – an honor of which Edgar Palmer was very proud. He immediately made arrangements to have the tree planted on the green at Palmer Square. Furthermore, while it stood only at a mere 10-feet tall at the time, it had the magnificence and beauty of a tree more than 10 times its size.

Einstein’s Marilyn

Marilyn

In the late 1940’s, Albert Einstein invited his last great love, Marilyn Monroe, to visit his home in Princeton. When he took her to Palmer Square, Marilyn stopped at the tree and expressed how incredibly beautiful she thought it was. Einstein concurred and said, “It’s possibly the most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen.” He paused for a moment and then revealed, “It’s so beautiful, in fact, that I even named it.”

“Named it what?” she kindly asked.

“Marilyn,” he replied.

Some believe it was at that moment in which one of the most unlikely love stories began. Whatever the case, to this day, long time locals still refer to the tree as Marilyn.

Topping the Charts

Brenda Lee

While it’s widely believed that the timeless hit Christmas song ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ was inspired by the annual tree lighting extravaganza at Rockefeller Center, songwriter Johnny Marks revealed to legendary DJ, Cousin Brucie, that he actually got the idea in Princeton. “I remember seeing this truly, truly amazing tree in the center of town,” Marks recounted. “Crowds of people were gathered around it, singing and dancing as if Elvis Presley or Chuck Berry was about to come out from inside the branches. I thought to myself, “Wow! These people are really rockin’ around the Christmas tree.” Seeing all that holiday spirit around that tree gave me such a sentimental feeling that the song (Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’) just began pouring out of me.”

When it was all said and done, it took Johnny Marks all but an hour to write both the lyrics and music to ‘Rockin Around the Christmas Tree’. The following year in 1958, Brenda Lee (AKA Little Miss Dynamite) recorded the song and took it to the top of the charts. Almost 60 years later, the timeless hit is still an essential track for any respectable holiday playlist.

Fit for a Princess

kellyranier-wedding

In 1956, the Prince of Monaco planned to surprise his new wife, actress Grace Kelly, with a Christmas celebration fit for a princess.  She was to have the best of everything – including the most spectacular Christmas tree that money could buy. Having once pursued Marilyn Monroe as a possible wife, the prince was aware of a particular tree in Princeton, NJ that was deemed so amazing that the late genius, Albert Einstein, named it in Marilyn’s honor. The Prince was so bent on obtaining this tree, he practically wrote a blank check in exchange for it. Unfortunately for the Prince, no amount of money was acceptable, as Edgar Palmer left very clear instructions that the tree was never to leave its home for any reason.

Evel Comes to Princeton

evil

By the mid-1960’s, Marilyn – the tree, that is – had grown to be over 40 feet tall. At the same time, a young daredevil under the moniker of Evil Knievel made a name for himself by jumping over rows of cars on his motorcycle. Nevertheless, the novelty of jumping cars had run thin, and he needed to think of something more dangerous to excite the media. Then, on a fateful visit to downtown Princeton in 1966, he saw Marilyn. She was tall, beautiful, and perfectly placed to be jumped by motorcycle.  So, on the Friday after Thanksgiving of that year, Evel rang in the holiday shopping season with a tree lighting ceremony and high flying spectacle that Princeton would not soon forget. Not only was his jump over Marilyn a success, but the crowds and excitement that it drew cemented the Friday after Thanksgiving as the standing date for all future tree lighting ceremonies. As for Evel, he went on to jump everything from Caesars Palace to the Grand Canyon – breaking every record and bone in his body throughout his motorcycle stunt career.

Who Climbed the Tree?

keith moon

In the 1970’s, Keith Moon, drummer for The Who, was out with his alumni friends during Princeton reunions week. After a long night of partying, the bars had already closed, but Moon was still hankering for a drink with his friends. He insisted that they return to his favorite watering hole in Princeton, the Yankee Doodle Tap Room, where a barstool was always on reserve for him. Despite the doors being locked, Moon spent an hour arguing with his friends about getting inside the bar, while maintaining that the door was merely jammed. When his friends tried to physically remove him from breaking into the building, he escaped their grips and made a mad dash for the tree, aka Marilyn. He quickly scaled to the top of the tree and refused to come down until the Yankee Doodle Tap Room reopened. As the story goes, his friends tried to get him down, but eventually, they gave up. The police and fire department even arrived on the scene to respond to complaints of someone yelling and singing from the tree outside. Despite heroic efforts by Municipal authorities, it was concluded that there was no safe way to remove Mr. Moon, so they were forced to wait the night out with him. A few hours later, the manager of the Yankee Doodle Tap Room notified authorities that the bar had reopened. Although excited, Moon was concerned that he would get arrested if he came down from the tree. So he yelled out to the authorities and said, “If I come down now, are you going to let me get a drink, or are you going to arrest me? If it’s the latter, I’ll just stay here forever!” The police knew that Edgar Palmer would not want Keith Moon as a permanent ornament in his prized tree, so they let him get a drink before taking him into custody. However, he was only charged with disturbing the peace and was quickly released. Immediately after, he returned to his stool at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room, but did not settle in until after he poured a drink on the soil beneath Marilyn, thanking her for her hospitality and nice place to stay the previous night.

Note: For entertainment purposes, the author of this blog may have taken certain creative liberties.

 

 

A Brief History of Black Friday

Black Friday is fast approaching, and in Palmer Square, you’re bound to discover countless sales and killer finds you’ll want to purchase for your family and friends.

While the many shops at Palmer Square will be offering incredible deals that you might not believe, here are some historic facts about ‘Black Friday’ that are pretty unbelievable too.

Lion

  • The “Black Friday” tradition likely began in the 1920’s when department stores such as Macy’s and Eaton’s threw Thanksgiving Day parades to whet the appetites of consumers for a holiday shopping feast.
  • It was an unwritten rule that no store would try doing any holiday shopping advertising before the parades were over, making the day after Thanksgiving the official start of the holiday shopping season.
  • The term “Black Friday” first surfaced in 1951 to describe the practice of workers calling in sick on the day after Thanksgiving in order to have a four-day weekend.
  • Around the same time in Philadelphia, the term was used by police, cabbies, bus drivers, and retail workers to to depict the horde of shoppers that descended into the city on the days following Thanksgiving.
  • In the 1980’s, “Black Friday” was marketed to have gotten its name as being the day on which retailers finally began to show a profit for the year (in accounting terms, moving from being “in the red” to “in the black”) after operating at an overall loss from January through mid-November.
  • Many merchants disliked the negative connotation of the phrase ‘Black Friday’ and tried to rebrand it as ‘Big Friday’.
  • The success of “Black Friday” inspired merchants to invent new shopping holidays such as Super Saturday and Cyber Monday.

Fun Thanksgiving Facts

When most people think of a Princeton Thanksgiving, the first thing that comes to mind is spending joyous time with family and feasting on culinary delights such as as golden-roasted turkey, fluffy stuffing, tangy cranberry sauce, and whipped cream on top of pumpkin pie at the historic Yankee Doodle Tap Room.

Wherever you spend your Thanksgiving, here are 10 fun Thanksgiving Day facts to think about and share with your family and friends as you dig into this year’s turkey:

Since 1947, the president has pardoned a live turkey every Thanksgiving and allows it to live out its days on a historical farm.

The first Thanksgiving was a moment for the Pilgrims to thank God for allowing them to kill enough game and grow sufficient crops to get through the winter.

Wild turkeys can fly in short bursts at speeds up to 55 MPH.

Now a Thanksgiving dinner staple, cranberries actually were used by Native Americans to treat wounds and dye clothing. They did not eat them.

cranberries

The Thanksgiving Day football tradition began with Yale and Princeton, who played their first game in 1876 and drew yearly crowds of 40,000 to see them duke it out.

Princeton vs yale

The tradition of breaking a wishbone for good luck started with the Romans.

wishbone

So consumed with passion for the turkey and its respectful stature, it is said that Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey become the United States national bird. However, the bald eagle, which Franklin thought had a “bad moral character” won out.

national turkey

St. Patrick’s Day might get the press, but the day before Thanksgiving is the biggest day for bar and liquor sales in the U.S., also ahead of the Super Bowl or New Years’ Eve.

liquor sales

The first national Thanksgiving was declared by President George Washington in 1789 – although it didn’t stick until Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation in 1863.

George Washington

Considered the “Mother of Thanksgiving,” Sara Hale (1788-1879) was an influential editor and writer who urged President Lincoln to proclaim a national day of thanksgiving. She selected the last Thursday in November because, as she said, harvests were done, elections were over, and summer travelers were home.

sarah hale

Princeton Ghosts & Hauntings

Ghost WashingtonDo you believe in ghosts? Princeton is one of those places where skeptics cross the threshold and start saying yes. Mysterious lights, strange presences, and ghostly figures have made Princeton a ghost hunter’s paradise.

Nestled between New York and Philadelphia, the small town of Princeton is steeped in history. From the Lenape Native Americans, to the British settlement, to the Revolutionary War, to our world famous university, the paranormal footprint left behind here by the people and events of centuries past isn’t too difficult to find.

“You may think you know Princeton well, but there’s a lot more than meets the eye,” said Mimi Omiecinski, owner of Princeton Ghost Tours. “Many people just find Princeton way too beautiful to leave, even after death.”

Ghostly sightings and experiences have been noted in just about every part of town, including here at the Nassau Inn and the Yankee Doodle Tap Room, where dozens of apparitions have been accounted for throughout the course of two and half centuries.

Nick Ballas, Director of Rooms at the Nassau Inn, reported on several occasions of having heard strange noises, seen bizarre figures, and, while staying overnight, witnessed a translucent woman in a white dress floating up the stairs from the 2nd to 3rd floor. “It was both spooky and mesmerizing at the same time,” Ballas recounted.

“The fifth floor is where some of the eeriest stories come from,” remarked a front desk attendant at the Nassau Inn. “There were several instances where guests called down with concerns of hearing constant chatter from disembodied voices. A few guests also described feelings of being hugged by an invisible stranger.”

As a regular stop along the Princeton Ghost Tour route, Mimi Omiecinski knows first-hand that the Nassau Inn is a hotbed of oddities and anomalies. “It’s not just a bunch of kooky ghost stories,” she explained. “We have evidence that they are here.”

You don’t have to take Omiecinski’s word for it, though. She proves the presence of ethereal beings by providing her tour groups with dowsing rods, EMF detectors, and therma-meters.

“Ghosts don’t always announce their presences with scents, sounds or slime,” said Omiecinski. “Ghosts, by their ethereal nature, tend to be a tad elusive. But, with this equipment we can locate, and often communicate with the other side.”

And, Princeton purportedly has quite the cast of famous specters in the area to communicate with. George Washington, John Witherspoon, and Albert Einstein are among the many celebrity spirits associated with Princeton that are believed to frequent the surrounding shops, residences, hotels, and university.

“Princeton has all the right features conducive of paranormal activity,” said Omiecinski. “The historic buildings are conduits of energy that spirits draw from.  You can bet that ghosts like George Washington and Albert Einstein are dropping by Nassau Hall, the McCarter Theater, and the Yankee Doodle Tap Room all the time.”

No matter what you believe about ghosts and the afterlife, one thing is certain – the historic town of Princeton has a lot more odd, unexplained activity than most other places in the world. And, while we don’t guarantee a ghost sighting when you book a room with us, taking a Princeton Ghost Tour should be on your to-do list while you’re here. “Not only is it great time for adults and children alike,” said Omiecinski. “But, what you’ll hear is true and what you’ll see is real.”

Corporate Meetings & the Benefits of Natural Light

NI Crossing DelawareSince before the American Revolution, our meeting space has been widely known among political, business, and military leaders to invite focus and ignite creativity.

Our superior amenities and top notch customer service have always fostered a comfortable and productive environment for our esteemed guests.

While our hospitality greatly compliments the overall experience, the mood of the day is actually determined before a meeting is even convened. It takes effect the moment our guests step into the room and find themselves welcomed by the brilliance of natural light.

All of our meeting rooms come standard with natural light and its many aesthetic and health benefits, which include:

1.) Boost in mood and alertness

NI035

 

 

 

 

 

2.) Reduction in stress

NI005

 

 

 

 

 

3.)  Elevation in happiness

NI065

 

 

 

 

 

4.) Increased quality of sleep

NI070

 

 

 

 

 

5.) Boost in metabolism

NI052

 

 

 

 

 

In addition, our naturally lit meeting space also comes equipped with the proper shade to accommodate video and presentations.

To book a corporate space or to get more information, please contact us at sales@nassauinn.com or call 609-921-7500

 

Pi Day of the Century

Aside

Pi Day of the Century

For the 6th year in a row, there will be much ado in downtown Princeton about the number  einstein Pi (3.14) and Albert Einstein’s 136th birthday. People gather from near and far to partake in this eccentric annual celebration of math, science, and education. But, you don’t have to be a genius to enjoy this jam packed day of fun-filled, family friendly festivities. Everyone is an Einstein on Pi Day – even if you don’t know what Pi is.

This is year is a very special Pi Day. It’s actually so special that it is heralded as the Pi Day of the Century! Here’s why:

Normally, Pi Day falls on any old March 14, which is exciting because when written numerically, it follows the first three digits of the mathematical constant π that allows us to work out the circumference, area, and volume around objects. This year, however, Pi Day will give us 10 digits when we reach 3.14.15 at 9:26.53 AM! And, this only takes place once every century!

Pi Day of the Century will take place on Saturday, March 14, or simply 3.14, or even more simply π.  Check out this years’ schedule of events below or click here to visit the official Pi Day Princeton website for more detailed information:

3.14

7:00 AM: Walk a Pi Event

9:00 AM: Pie Eating Contest

9:26:53 AM: My Once in a Lifetime Teacher Contest

9:30 AM: Westminster Conservatory of Music

10:00 AM: Kids of All Ages Violin Exhibition

10:00 AM:- 11:00 AM: KENKEN Lecture and Demo

11:00 AM: – 12:00 PM: KENKEN Tournament for Teens

11:00 AM: Happy Birthday, Albert!

11:00 AM: Einstein Look-A-Like Contest

11:00 AM: Pi X Pi(e) Bike Tour

12:00 PM: Miss Amy “Fitness Rock & Roll” Interactive Concert

12:00 PM: Dinky Train Rides with Einstein

12:00 PM: Nerd Herd Smart Phone Pub Crawl

12:00 PM: 15 Minute Mini Production of the Steve Martin Play “Picasso at Lapin Agile”     pie eating

1:00 PM: Pi Recitation Contest

1:00 PM: Serious Inventors Only Cocktail Making Class

1:30 PM – 1:59 PM: Hands-On Interactive Event for Children

1:59 PM:- Princeton Pirade by Kids’ Music Round

1:59 PM: Pi Pizza Competition

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM: He’s Got a Theremin and He’s Not Afraid to Use It! Where Music and Physics Meet

2:00 PM: 15 Minute Mini Production of the Steve Martin Play “Picasso at Lapin Agile”

2:30 PM: Where’s the Pi: A Physics Demonstration Show

2:45 PM: Best Apple Pi in Princeton Contest

3:14 PM: Pie Throwing Event                                          pie throwing

3:14 PM: Guided Einstein Tour

4:00 PM: Happy Birthday, Albert! Happy Birthday, Albert!

4:00 PM: Mega Chess Free Style Play

4:00 PM: Celebrating New Jersey’s Inventors: Understanding Their Contributions to Electromagnetism and Interactive Exhibits

5:00 PM: Nerd Herd Smart Phone Pub Crawl

7:30 PM:  The Arts Council of Princeton presents RatioActivity: A Pi Day Concert
featuring Stop Correcting Me

9:26 PM: Last stop on the Smart Phone Self Guided Pub Crawl

pub crawl