You can’t beat fall on the East Coast, especially in the Garden State where the fall colors are bursting from every home, street and park. We’re also hosting some exceptional weather this year so while the sun is shining and the temperatures are still warm, come enjoy the hot spots around town that make fall in Mercer so magical.

Downtown Princeton

The trees lining Nassau Street in Princeton, especially in front of FitzRandolph Gate, are something to be seen. Walk onto the university grounds to be greeted by color around every turn. Princeton is always beautiful, but in fall it’s simply breathtaking.

Trees with fall foliage lining Nassau Street in Downtown Princeton

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Institute Woods

Princeton Pike, Princeton, NJ

The hiking trails in Mercer County all offer incredible views, but we’re listing Institute Woods for its unique swinging bridge over a beautiful stream. The trail is clean and kid-friendly and just under 3 miles if you do the entire length. Dogs are allowed on leash and parking is available at the Princeton Battlefield State Park parking lot.

Swinging bridge in Institute Woods near Princeton

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Terhune Orchards

330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton, NJ

We always love trips to the farm, but in the fall you get to enjoy the bonus of apple cider donuts, pumpkin spice peanut butter, and other fall goodies found at Terhune. It’s a great spot for families since they have an entire area dedicated to farm animal fun, games, hay bale mazes, a slide, tractors, and more. We recommend stopping by during the week when it’s quieter and admission is free. Just remember to support your family by purchasing some fresh produce on your way out!

Terhune Orchards Bag Filled With Cider Donuts

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Hopewell Valley Vineyards

46 Yard Road, Pennington, NJ

The stress this year has caused means a glass of wine is deserved. Stop by HVV for some light fare, brick oven pizzas and of course, their award-winning wine. Live music happens every week at the vineyard with outside tables available. You’re also welcome to bring your own blankets and enjoy your wine anywhere you find serene within the property.

Hopewell Valley Vineyards

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Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park

Princeton, NJ

If you’re looking for a longer hike with some fall views, stop by D&R Canal Park for a 70-mile hike along the river. History buffs will enjoy the 19th- century bridges and nature lovers will love the wildlife sightings. You can even rent a canoe if you’re feeling up to it!

Trees with fall colors hanging over the canal at the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park

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Kingston Grist Mill

2 Old Lincoln Highway, Princeton, NJ 08540

Powered by the Millstone River, the eponymous gristmill is a beautiful and historical landmark. Also be sure to walk up to Carnegie Lake, which is stunning in its own right and also a great location to do some leaf peeping.

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Princeton University

Nassau Hall, Princeton, NJ 08542

Princeton’s open, park-like campus offers many opportunities to take in the fall foliage. An especially picturesque area is in front of Nassau Hall, right through the entrance at FitzRandolph Gate.

Princeton University

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Grounds for Sculpture

80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619

A unique approach to leaf-peeping would be to visit Grounds for Sculpture where you can view autumn among the sculptures. It’s especially worth scouting out a lane of red leaf maples or copses of sweet gum trees and Persian Parrotias at their most brilliant.

Grounds for SculpturePhoto via



While you’re in Mercer, stop by restaurants fans are raving about! Check out some of our favorite spots to grab a bite in the fall!