Trenton, New Jersey is the capital of the Garden State, yet this NJ city is often overlooked. Located in Mercer County, Trenton is filled with interesting history, landmarks and fun activities. And accessibility to residing areas such as New York and Philadelphia.
The Quakers established the Trenton area in 1679 in hopes of pursuing a better life away from their home country of England. Fast forward to present time, this central Jersey region is now a fast-paced modern urban area with a growing diverse population. If you plan on stopping by the Garden State’s capital city on your next road trip, here are seven things you can do in Trenton, NJ.
Learn Some History at the New Jersey State Museum
This educational destination is ideal for any history-seeking enthusiast. From the exploration of subjects such as natural and cultural history, archaeology, ethnography and fine arts, there are a lot of fields for visitors to become more knowledgeable in. The New Jersey State Museum features different amenities such as interactive activities, live lectures, planetarium shows, gallery browsing and the chance to collaborate with well-informed scientists. The museum is located at 205 West State St. and opens from Tuesdays to Sundays from 9 a.m. through 4:45 p.m.
Visit the Trenton Farmers Market
New Jersey State Museum in Trenton, NJ l Photo by @nj_statemuseum
This particular farmers market happens to be one of NJ’s longest-running ones. It has been in business since 1939. There is a wide range of “Jersey Fresh” fruits and vegetables such as apples, blackberries, cherries, collards, carrots and broccoli that all grow in their respective seasons. The Trenton Farmers Market also offers a broad variety of clothing and jewelry selections, a Polish deli, an Amish grocery store, and body care shops. If you are hungry after a long day of shopping at the market, you can enjoy a meal from vendors that sell vegan food options, fresh seafood, baked goods, prime meats, cold cuts and poultry.
If you are a local vendor looking to set up shop somewhere, the market is currently welcoming new vendors. As of right now, the Trenton Farmers Market is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. through 6 p.m. The market has yet to update its hours for the spring season, more information can be found on their website.
See the Iconic Lower Trenton Bridge
Trenton Farmers Market l Photo by @thetrentonfarmersmarket
This long-standing bridge provides a connection between Trenton, NJ and Morrisville, PA. You can either experience the bridge by driving in a car or taking a stroll beside it. The bridge is considered “iconic” because it brandishes the phrase “Trenton Makes The World Takes.” You can find the phrase beside the bridge. We recommend seeing it at night. The sign lights up with neon lights and reflects along the nearby Delaware River.
Admire Local Art at Artworks Trenton
Located in the downtown area of Trenton, this visual arts center likes pushing for more awareness of art, unleashing your creativity and becoming more educated in the fine arts. They welcome people of all ages, whether you are an artist or not. The center also holds educational classes for either adult or youth age groups.
Gallery exhibitions are held all year long. Artworks also welcomes local upcoming NJ artists to exhibit their work in their gallery area. They hold gallery viewing hours on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Masks and social distancing are required. “Public Art Projects” is another featured concept that Artworks has to offer. It involves a community effort to create eye-catching murals. This center has a variety of ways for people to enjoy fine art.
Enjoy a Baseball Game at Trenton Thunder Ballpark
Artworks in Trenton, New Jersey l Photo by @artworkstrenton
Trenton Thunder Ballpark is the home of the Minor League Baseball team, the “Trenton Thunder.” Their first ever game was played on May 9, 1994. They embrace visitors to experience a Trenton Thunder game which makes it an ideal family-friendly destination. Besides baseball, they host events such as graduations, proms, birthday parties, weddings and corporate meetings. The stadium has many event spaces ranging from luxury suites, picnic areas, conference centers or the rental of the entire stadium.
There are different options for you to purchase tickets to a baseball game. There are full and half-season tickets where you can become a Thunder Makes member. Single game tickets are also an option and are available to purchase starting on April 7, 2022. More information about tickets, space rentals and other amenities can be found on their official website.
Shop Locally in Downtown Trenton
Trenton Thunder Ballpark | Photo by @trentonthunder
There are several small businesses open for business throughout Trenton. The downtown area is filled with small, hidden shops ranging from apparel to jewelry, with some places even being family-owned. For example, Classic Books is a long-standing book store that has a selection of used and rare books for any bibliophiles out there. They host community events, support local writers and help give Trenton kids free books.
Grab a Bite at Trenton’s Local Restaurants
Downtown Trenton, NJ l Photo by @downtowntrenton
No trip is complete without grabbing a bite somewhere. If you are in the mood for some BBQ, you might want to check out 1911 Smoke House BBQ based in downtown Trenton. Try a range of smoked meats from ribs and smoked salmon to smoked wings and brisket. Or order their best-sellers: smoked beef nachos, the Trenton burger, pulled pork nachos and the 1911 pork roll sandwich.
Brisket chili with cornbread muffins | Photo by @1911_shbbq
If you are into more homestyle food, Corner Café in Trenton has different kinds of breakfast options such as an egg sandwich, veggie omelet, french toast, mozzarella sticks and their signature chef salad. After you finish your meal, definitely save some room for dessert. Royal Cake Creations can be your last stop to find something sweet. They serve gourmet cupcakes with flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, lemon, strawberry, red velvet and carrot. Other dessert options to explore are their fried Oreos, funnel fries, banana pudding and their range of sundaes.
Will you be visiting Trenton, NJ sometime soon? Let us know in the comments!
Bertha is currently a junior at Rutgers University-Newark. She is interested in writing about fashion, lifestyle, arts / culture and most importantly – food! When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her golden retriever dog, Gizmo.
Great article about my hometown. Cadwalder Park is good if you have kids.
Trenton’s Thunder Stadium is also Great in the summer. After the games, they have a fireworks show at the end which is Awesome to see, even if you’re just driving by the stadium.
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