Downtown Princeton is a great place to explore! Featuring an extremely rich history and artistic creativity, this Certified Arts Community is your Mercer County destination for museums and murals.
Stop 1: Appalachian Coffee House – Princeton
Grab a cup of coffee or hot tea and a quick bite to eat before taking a walking tour of the Mercer Street Grassroots District! Choose from a variety of lattes, frappes and specialty baked goods, made in house.
Stop 2: Mercer Street Grassroots District
Stroll downtown Princeton to see over 34 professional murals. Colorful and eccentric, these murals fill entire blocks. Here are some gems you’ll see:
- In Honor of All Veterans: This joint patriotic piece by Elden Justice and Tom Acosta features an aircraft carrier, tank and many soldiers.
- Celebrate Life: This bright mural by Rob Cleland celebrates American optimism. It features a high school marching band, hula dancer and several other characters.
- Monsters: You can’t miss this neon mural (complete with grinning monsters and floating eyes) by Patch Whiskey.
- Books: In the parking lot for the Princeton Library, you’ll see this mural celebrating bestselling works of fiction. See if you spot your favorite book!
- Artists’ Alley: 22 colorful murals, all done by volunteers, line the walls of this once nondescript alley. You’ll know you’ve found Artists’ Alley by the steel arches that mark the entrances.
- The preserved past: Not only have artists created new murals in Princeton, you can also see restored, vintage ads on the sides of buildings! See a historic Coca-Cola sign, Pepsi ad, retro “Lynch’s Men’s Wear” and the Orange Crush mural.
Stop 3: Princeton Railroad Museum
At the very end of Mercer Street, history lives on at the Princeton Railroad Museum. Here, you’ll dive into Princeton’s extensive railroad history – don’t miss the VGN 308! This famous red caboose is one of twenty-five cabooses built by the St. Louis Car Company in 1948 and 1949 for the Virginian Railway. It was donated by the Norfolk and Southern Railroad to the City of Princeton in 1989 and brought to the museum in 2010.
Stop 4: RiffRaff Arts Collective
Last on your tour of Princeton is the RiffRaff Arts Collective. This unique gallery and community revitalization project is mostly responsible for the many murals in downtown Princeton. RiffRaff often has live music and other art events, but if you’re just stopping in take time to browse the work of local artists and craftsmen.