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Two Of America’s Best Small Towns Are In NJ

Smithsonian Magazine has ranked its 20 Best Small Towns In America and two of their selections are right here in New Jersey.

Nassau Street in Princeton, NJ
Flickr User Doug Kerr

Red Bank comes in at #3 while Princeton makes the list at #12.

Smithsonian puts emphasis in their ranking on the cultural offerings in each community.

“To help create our list, we asked the geographic information systems company Esri to search its data bases for high concentrations of museums, historic sites, botanic gardens, resident orchestras, art galleries and other cultural assets common to big cities” while also considering “enlightened good times” in communities with a population of 25,0o00 or less.


In Smithsonian’s opinion, Princeton is more than a university town.

“The university museum has one of the richest college art collections in the country—the Chinese art collection in particular is considered world-class. The McCarter Theatre Center isn’t just for undergrads; after opening in 1930, it became known as a pre-Broadway showcase, even hosting the world premiere of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. Stars ranging from Katharine Hepburn to Herbie Hancock have graced its stage.”


The  Princeton Festival will bring in talent from all over to keep Princeton pulls in top talents for performances in musical theater, opera, jazz and cabaret.

Princeton also features a vibrant downtown area right near the University, with walkable shops, restaurants, and areas of interest.  When you walk the main streets of Princeton, you get that small-town charm with the amenities of a city.

The town is tucked into what feels like its own little world, but still offers the convenience to get to Philly, New York, Atlantic City, and around the state of New Jersey with relative ease because of nearby highways and devoted train stations.

Princeton certainly is not short on accolades, but this is another high honor for a beautiful New Jersey town.

CONVERSATION TOPIC: What do you love about Princeton? Tell us in the comment form below.

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