Princeton  is a city of 6,347 people (as of 2000) in West Virginia. It was established in 1838 and named for Princeton, New Jersey, where General Hugh Mercer — an apothecary from Fredericksburg, Virginia, for whom Mercer County was named — was killed in a Revolutionary War battle.
Princeton isn't generally a popular destination in and of itself, but its proximity to I-77 makes it a popular lodging stop for travellers.
Princeton is on US-19 just northeast of Bluefield and south of Beckley. US-460 leads from just south of Princeton to Blacksburg, Virginia.
Tourist Information Center
- The West Virginia Tourist Information Center, US-460 off I-77 (exit 9), 304-487-2214. Locally known as "the Pyramids" for its unmistakeable triple-pyramidal glass ceiling, the TIC also has a large repository of guides and brochures, as well as an extensive craft and gift shop featuring hand-crafted local souvenirs, including glass, coal sculptures, pottery, books, jewellery and foods.
- Princeton Devil Rays, Tiger Drive, 304-487-2000, . Minor-league baseball rookie affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, that plays at Hunnicutt Field. Tickets are $4 - $5, $50 for season tickets.
- Princeton Speedway, Cornbread Ridge Road off I-77 (exit 14), 304-425-0230, . Open April through October. 4/10-mile oval clay speedway. Races held on Saturday at 6PM. Admission $10.
- Princeton Railroad Museum, East Mercer Street, 304-487-5020. Replica depot housing artifacts relating to the Virginian Railroad.
- Vietnam Memorial, next to the Tourist Information Center on US-460, 304-589-3435 or 304-384-7547. Lists Vietnam veterans from eight surrounding counties in West Virginia and Virginia.
- McNutt House, corner of North Walker and Honaker Avenue, 304-487-1502. The only surviving structure from the Civil War standing in Princeton.
- Wiley Cabin and Museum, Oakvale Road off US-460, 304-425-8536. A 1932 cabin now housing a museum with three exhibit rooms, library, and a craft and gift shop.
The upper part of the Brush Creek Falls
- Camp Creek State Park, 2390 Camp Creek Road, 304-425-9481, . 5,300 forested acres for hunting, trout fishing, scenic trail hiking, horseback riding, basketball, volleyball and badminton. Three campgrounds available.
- Pipestem Resort State Park, WV-20 14 miles north of I-77 (exit 14), 304-466-1800, . Scenic overlooks of the Bluestone Gorge and an aerial tramway. Two lodges, rental cottages, campgrounds, four restaurants and three gift shops. Two golf courses, guided horseback rides, outdoor amphitheatre, nature center, Olympic-sized outdoor pool, miniature golf, lighted tennis and basketball courts, hunting, fishing, paddle boating, canoeing, 20 miles of hiking trails, bicycling, horseshoes, archery. Cottages $86 - $182 nightly, $542 - $1,024 weekly; camping $15 - $23.
- Brush Creek Preserve, Brush Creek Falls Road (off Eads Mill Road, I-77 exit 14), . 124-acre nature preserve with a trail following Brush Creek. The highlight are the Brush Creek Falls, the largest falls in southern West Virginia, which tumble 25 feet over a sandstone ledge.
- The Bluestone National Scenic River, WV-20 near Pipestem, 304-465-0508, . 4,310 acres of parkland along an 11-mile tributary of the New River. Hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding along the Bluestone Turnpike Trail; fishing, hunting and whitewater boating along the river.
- Bobby Jo's Home Emporium, 925 Mercer Street, 304-887-1279 or 304-887-1444. Gifts, home decor and furnishings, many hand-crafted in the area.
- Dandelion Gallery, 506 Lazenby Avenue, 304-887-3651, . Open 11AM to 1PM Tuesday and Thursday, 2:30 to 5:30PM Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 to 5:30PM and by appointment on Sunday; closed Mondays and Wednesdays. Local artists featured every other month. "Sweet treat open house" offered one Sunday afternoon a month.
- Elizabeth's Boutique, 901 Mercer Street, 304-425-0425. Ladies' apparel and gifts.
- Endless Seasons, 312 South Walker Street, 304-320-3160. Wreaths, floral arrangements, candles, swags, primitives and accessories.
- Littlejohn Arts & Gifts Gallery, Old Bluefield Road and Courthouse Road, 304-324-0639 or 304-487-5555. Pottery, weaving, drawings and paintings.
- Room to Grow, 510 Stafford Drive, 304-431-KIDS (5437) or 866-531-BABY (2229), . Open 10:30AM to 6PM Monday through Friday, and 10:30AM to 5PM on Saturday; closed Sundays. Clothes for babies and children, maternity clothes, children's bedding, nursery and youth room accessories, toys and more.
- Straight from the Heart, 957 Mercer Street, 304-431-2380, . Americana, wreaths, foods, botanicals and candles.
- The Willow Gift Gallery, 300 Morrison Drive at Four Seasons Pharmacy, 304-425-3687. Fine gifts and collectibles.
- Concord University, Vermillion Street in Athens, 304-384-9188 or 888-384-5249, . A four-year public university established in 1872, offering associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees in business, education, liberal arts, social sciences, travel and tourism, public administration and entrepreneurial studies.
- Angelo's Pizzeria, 1211 Stafford Drive, 304-487-8924. Family-owned pizzeria.
- A Taste of Memphis, 1249 Pine Plaza, 304-425-9667. Barbecue and steak.
- Finks Cafeteria and Restaurant, Beckley Road, 304-487-1911.
- Vincenza's, 801 Oakvale Road, 304-425-0214. Open 11AM to 10PM Tuesday through Thursday, 11AM to 11PM Friday and Saturday, and 11AM to 7PM Sunday. Serving family Sicilian and Neapolitan recipes. Soups, salads, pasta, chicken, veal, seafood, hand-cut steaks and desserts. Try the lasagna classico, manicotti, lobster spaghetti, Italian wedding soup, and antipasto. $10 - $25.
- Sister's Coffee House, 734 Mercer Street, 304-487-8701, . Soups, sandwiches, salads, desserts and freshly-brewed Green Mountain Coffee.
- Airway Motel, 270 Courthouse Road, 304-425-3603.
- Budget Inn, 409 Thorn Street, 304-425-3585. 25 rooms.
- Eden Rock Motel, 504 Oakvale Road, 304-425-8757, . 15 rooms. Clean, spacious rooms with retro interiors; the company also runs a computer repair shop.
- Gateway Motel, 308 Thorn Street, 304-425-5043. 13 rooms.
- Town-N-Country Motel, 805 Oakvale Road, 304-425-8156.
- Turnpike Motel, 1119 Oakvale Road, 304-425-2268. 18 rooms.
- Comfort Inn, 136 Ambrose Lane, 304-487-6101. 51 rooms. Whirlpool rooms available. Complimentary continental breakfast. $58 - $125.
- Days Inn, 347 Meadowfield Lane, 304-425-8100. 123 rooms. Pool. $52 - $155.
- Hampton Inn, 277 Meadowfield Lane, 304-431-2580 or 800-305-6863. 112 rooms. Complimentary hot breakfast and USA Today. $77.
- Holiday Inn Express, 805 Oakvale Road, 304-425-8156. 70 rooms. Indoor pool, fitness center. Complimentary Express Smart breakfast buffet. $76 - $120.
- McKeever Lodge, Pipestem Resort State Park. 113 rooms. Gorge-view rooms, executive suites and jacuzzi rooms available. Indoor heated pool, saunas, outdoor hot tub, exercise room, game room. On-site full-service restaurant and snack bar. $59 - $165.
- Sleep Inn, 1015 Oakvale Road, 304-431-2800. 81/109 rooms. Indoor pool. Complimentary continental breakfast. $61 - $106.
- Super 8, 901 Oakvale Road, 304-487-6161. 70 rooms. Pool. $41 - $63.
Bed and Breakfasts
- The View Bed & Breakfast, WV-20 in Athens, 304-384-9754 or 866-766-7960, . 3 rooms. Views of Athens Lake from the back patio and deck. Home-cooked breakfast included. $65 - $99.
- Mavis Manor B & B Style Family Retreat, 122 Tower Rd, 888.628.4798, . 4 rooms. 1890's Queen Anne Victorian Manor, Flat Top, $85 - $200.
- Bluefield is about 10 minutes southwest on US-460.
- Beckley is about 40 minutes north on I-77.
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WikiPedia:Princeton, West Virginia