There's no shortage of lovely college towns in the United States, but Princeton, NJ, gets very high marks. The 28,572-population municipality is home to Princeton University, which is certainly a draw for academics. If proximity to Einstein's former stomping grounds isn't a big enough incentive for you, Princeton is also home to outstanding public schools; adorable independent shops and bookstores (like Labyrinth Books); picturesque, tree-lined neighborhoods; an expansive dining and farmer's market scene; and easy access to New York City and Philadelphia alike.
The university is a major part of the town, which is a bonus for residents who like hobnobbing with some of the country's finest minds, like 2018 MacArthur "Genius" grant winners, Clifford Brangwynne and Allan Sly, professors at Princeton University. Living here comes at a high price—Princeton's median sales price is $610,000, according to Trulia, a tad higher than New Jersey's statewide median sales price of $455,000. But if you've got a little cash, prices here are still slightly lower than they are in Manhattan, plus you get more space. If any of that sounds appealing, here's a taste of what's out there.
This five-bedroom, five-bath Center Hall Colonial, also pictured top, features several wood-burning fireplaces, formal dining and living rooms, a library (this is a place for scholars, after all), and a kitchen with dark wood cabinets. The entire property takes up two acres, with outdoor space including an in-ground swimming pool and stone terrace/patio. The house is located near Princeton's well-heeled Brookstone Drive, and is a 10-minute drive from the university. The listing price is $1,099,000.
If you're looking for a little more hustle, this three-bedroom, two-bath townhouse unit is located in Palmer Square, a busy retail and dining hub that resides just a block away from the university. Apartment highlights include a brick fireplace, custom bookcases and cabinetry, a kitchen outfitted with stainless steel appliances, beautiful French doors and windows, and a washer/dryer. There's also a private terrace. The unit is priced at $1,095,000.
On the other side of Princeton University, there are a series of tree-named streets featuring some beautiful, if less-lavish houses. This area is known as the Tree Street neighborhood, a walkable area adjacent to eateries and boutiques, in addition to the Princeton Public Library. This three-bedroom, three-bath property on Chestnut Street, built in 1890, is just one such Tree Street offering, with highlights including hardwood floors, cut glass doorknobs, and vintage handrails on the staircases. There's also a charming front porch and a little garden and patio out back. The house is priced at $899,000.
If you're in search of a slightly lower price point, consider this four-bedroom, three-bath house, located on the northern end of Princeton, near the airport. The house has 2,460 square feet and includes a gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances, an outdoor patio, library with vaulted ceilings, and formal dining and living rooms. There's also a massive master suite with separate sinks in the bathroom, in addition to a snazzy looking soaking tub and a separate shower stall. The house is listed for $639,900.
On the other side of the spectrum is this five-bedroom, five-bath titan of a house, located in high-end North Princeton. The property totals 5,560 square feet, with space for a Great Room, media room, family room, a gourmet kitchen with a serving bar and copper sink, a dining room, a library, and an enviable master suite with separate sinks and a handsome jetted tub in the bath. There's also an expansive amount of outdoor space, including a heated pool, several patios, and a grass yard. The house is listed for $1,550,000.