Princeton is a large town, and there's always a variety of properties up for grabs, so your search for apartments shouldn't be too onerous. You can find rental houses, townhouses, apartments, condos and even lofts in just about every area of the city.
There are plenty of apartments for rent in Princeton, but it's best to snatch one of these apartments before fall and summer. The best time to move to Princeton would be in the fall, although there are many apartments available for rent all year-round. Since this is a very residential area, many of the apartments are three or more floors high. (If you can't take heights, there are some that offer one-story rental apts.) All of these apartments have one or two bedrooms minimum; very few offer studio apartments so be prepared to look long and hard if you're looking for a studio. If you're going to travel back and forth from the downtown area, you should look for a property near public transportation. You may find a few options in Penns Neck, North Princeton and Cedar Grove.
Everything You Need to Score the Perfect Pad
While finding an apartment is easy, the application process is pretty much the same as it is anywhere else. However, many of the apartment complexes will not rent apartments to people with sub-prime credit scores. If your score is less than satisfactory (lower than 620) be prepared to have a co-signer who will be willing to help you out. Some building managers are willing to work with people in this position if they pay extra for the security deposit. To get through the application process, you need statements to prove your financial stability, references from your employer, friends and past landlord, and a polo sweater, Clarks, and a pair of khaki-colored Dickie's (these last items are optional but can set the right tone).
Princeton is a big town consisting of a few neighborhoods. Within city limits, these neighborhoods consist of North Princeton and Princeton Junction. On the outskirts, the most mention-worthy neighborhoods are Cedar Grove and Cox's Corner.
Cedar Grove: Most people travel to Cedar Grove to play a little baseball at Varsity Baseball Field or to enjoy the beautiful scenery at John Witherspoon Woods and Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve.
North Princeton: North Princeton is a neighborhood filled with private clinics, pharmacies and hospitals. You'll most likely pass through this area from downtown if you catch the 605 or the 655. Other than a load of medical centers, there isn't much to see here.
Princeton Junction: Another notable neighborhood is Princeton Junction. This area consists of Princeton Metropark, the Princeton Junction Amtrak, multiple fast-food huts (such as Subway, Bagel Hole and Dunkin Donuts) and the Rogers Preserve, located near Bear Brook. You can also get a pretty decent slice over here at El Johns Pizza and Sub Shop or Brother's Pizzeria.
There is so much to do in this area that we literally wouldn't know where to begin. However, we will say that it's an area steeped in history, so there are a number of museums and government offices in the area, mainly in downtown Princeton. But we know exactly where to begin when it comes to filling up your stomach with delectables. You need to make a stop at the Blue Point Grill and grab yourself some Mussels & Pasta or a whole fish -- that's right, a whole fish to yourself if you really want! Be warned that the menu does change daily to reflect the fresh catch of the day! If you're not feeling seafood, have yourself a meal at Elements, whose chefs are 2014 James Beard semifinalists. If making decisions is something you struggle with, don't worry -- try the 6 Course Tasting Menu or the Chef's Tasting Menu. For a taste of Japanese, get yourself some chirashi at Ajihei and for some traditional pasta, get yourself over to Teresa Caffe.
If you're visiting Princeton, there are plenty of things to do. Most locals spend their time at the Carter Theater watching live performances or at the Princeton University Art Museum enjoying the latest oriental art installment. If you're not the artsy-fartsy type, get out and explore Princeton's natural beauty. If you want to get right in with some light jogging or biking, visit the 74-mile Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park. Here, you can run, bike, swim, fish and canoe. Other parks available to Princeton are Barbara Smoyer Memorial Park, Woodfield Reservation Park, and Princeton Battleground State Park, which is one of four parks in Princeton that has an arboretum. Looking to swim? Community South Park, Harrison Street Park and Mary Moss Park are your spots to be. If you're looking to shop instead, take your pick! Some of the more notable shops in the area are Palmer Square, Princeton Market Fair, Princeton Shopping Center and the Princeton Pilot Shop. Almost every shopping center is named after the town; how's that for a true Princetonian experience?
Getting around Princeton is pretty simple. Most people just jump on New Jersey Transit buses or the Princeton Branch Rail Line that runs to the local Princeton Junction station. Local service routes for the Princeton area are the 605 and 655. You can also catch a coach directly from Princeton to New York. For this trip, most people use USA Coach. Princeton students use the Freebie or Tiger Transit buses to get around near the campus.
If you're too good for buses or trains, and you'd rather show off your new set of wheels, then go right ahead. You can easily drive through the city using North Harrison Street. However, it tends to have a lot of traffic during rush hour. If you want to avoid this traffic, it's best to take the 206 -- also known as the scenic route -- north or southbound through Princeton. The reason the 206 is called the scenic route is because it passes through Community Park North, Community Park South and past multiple art museums.