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12 Things to Know About Living in Trenton

Looking to move to Trenton? Considered one of America’s Best Small Cities, the capital city of the Garden State is a great destination for anyone moving to the Northeast! This affordable Mid-Atlantic city offers family-friendly activities, prestigious educational opportunities, and scenic escapes—plus, it’s only a short train ride away from New York City and Philadelphia. Here are 12 things you need to know about living in Trenton!

Live in an Affordable Northeastern City

Trenton is the perfect small city for anyone looking to live in the Northeast without having to pay a fortune! With a median home price of $100,000 and monthly rent averaging $964, the price of owning a home in Trenton is significantly cheaper than the rest of New Jersey. Housing is part of the reason the cost of living in Trenton is a whopping 26% lower than the New Jersey average and even 3% lower than the national average. Plus, the cost of living is lower than nearby Philadelphia and New York City, which are 2% and 62% above the national average respectively.

Take Advantage of the Public Transit

Whether you want to save gas on your commute, work in a different city, or spend a weekend in Boston or New York, Trenton’s various public transportation systems make getting around the region a breeze. The Trenton Transit Center offers various daily Amtrak train connections to all of the major cities in the region. Catch a 50-minute train ride to the City of Brotherly Love. Want to work in The Big Apple? Take a one-hour train from Trenton. Need to get around the city? Jump on one of the many NJ Transit buses making rounds throughout the day to get anywhere in the city. Or pedal your way around the city for a healthier traveling option with Trenton’s new bike share program.

Get Out & Enjoy Every Season

In Trenton, you’ll be able to experience all four seasons in relative comfort. Trenton’s weather consists of humid summers and chilly winters, much like the rest of the Northeast. Temperatures in Trenton are fairly consistent with summer highs in the 80s, perfect for going to nearby Bordentown Beach or boating down the Delaware River. New Jersey is also known for having some of the most beautiful foliage in the country, and Trenton is no exception! So spring and fall are especially breathtaking with growing and blossoming plants and colorful, changing leaves. Winter temperatures are generally around the 30s, staying mild enough to go ice skating at Ice Land Rink in nearby Hamilton Township. As far as precipitation is concerned, Trenton is a little above the national average, producing around 48 inches of rain a year across all 12 months. If you’re someone who wants to get outside and enjoy what every season has to offer, Trenton could be the ideal city for you!

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There Are Educational Opportunities for Everyone

Perspective looking up at a bell tower on the grounds of Princeton University. The building is covered in a rich, green ivy, and autumn leaves of yellow, orange, and red are falling in the photo. Photo by Instagram user @culleyco

Photo via @culleyco

Trenton is perfect for anyone trying to further their education. Study at one of the most prestigious institutions in the world: Princeton University. This private research university offers a comprehensive liberal arts undergrad program and many exceptional post grad programs on what’s commonly regarded as the most beautiful campus in the Ivy League. Check out the great undergraduate, graduate, and honors programs at The College of New Jersey, one of the top colleges most likely to pay off financially. Get a private, liberal arts education from Rider University, less than 20 minutes away. Finish your degree or enroll online, and study one of more than 100 areas of study at Thomas Edison State University. Complete your education at your own pace at Mercer County Community College’s Trenton campus, James Kerney Campus. Offering a variety of opportunities, including non-credit courses to further skills and career experience, MCCC is great for anyone looking to start or continue their education and life experience.

Relive History in the Nation’s Former Capital

That’s right! Not a lot of people know that Trenton was the capital of the United States in November and December of 1784. Trenton is also where George Washington claimed his first major military success by famously crossing the Delaware River to take the city in The Battle of Trenton. Interested in seeing what life in the colonies was like? Stop by the William Trent House, the 1719 home of the city’s namesake. Immerse yourself in the revolution by visiting real Revolutionary War barracks at the Old Barracks Museum. See the turning point of the revolution at Trenton Battle Monument. Make sure to take a moment to remember those who served in WWII at the breathtaking World War II Memorial. With so many living connections to history, Trenton has no shortage of patriotic destinations for families and history buffs alike.

There’s Plenty to Keep the Family Busy

Action shot of the new Wonderwoman Lasso of Truth ride at Six Flags Grand Adventure. Photo by Instagram user @sfgradventure

Photo via @sfgradventure

Bringing your family to Trenton? Fortunately, the Trenton area is full of experiences the whole family will enjoy. Catch a Trenton Thunder (MiLB) game at Arm and Hammer Park. Take the kids to play on Sesame Street at Sesame Place. Spend a day riding rollercoasters, driving through a safari, or watching a live animal showing at nearby Six Flags Great Adventure. Take the whole family out for seasonal activities like pumpkin picking and holiday light shows at Shady Brook Farm. Challenge the family with an afternoon of rock climbing at Rockville Climbing Center. Learn about history, nature, and science with the several permanent and rotating educational exhibits at New Jersey State Museum. Of course, while you’re there make sure to stargaze or study the planets at New Jersey State Museum Planetarium.

Take a Stroll Through the Garden State

New Jersey is called the Garden State for a reason, and while Trenton may not be known for its green space, the area around Capital City has its fair share of breathtaking gardens and parks. Have a picnic or enjoy some recreation in the spacious Mill Hill Park in Downtown Trenton. Go on a bike ride or scenic nature walk along the Delaware River on the Stacy Park Loop—and check out the rest of the Riverfront District. Take a stroll through Sayen House & Garden and absorb the amazing scenery and landscape of this colorful garden. Looking for some wildlife? Visit 3,000 acres of swamps, ponds, and woodlands within Abbott Marshlands. Witness where natural and manmade beauty meet at Grounds for Sculpture, a museum, sculpture garden, and arboretum with nearly 300 contemporary sculptures across 42 beautifully landscaped areas.

Visit Historic Cadwalader Park

An area of Cadwalader Park with a small waterfall over bedrock, surrounded by several trees and greenspace. Photo by Instagram user @lamokaledger

Photo via @lamokaledger

Need to escape the city? Head over to Trenton’s historic Cadwalader Park! Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, this park was made to be an escape for city dwellers, much like Central Park in New York City, another Olmsted design. You can look forward to new amenities coming as well, as the city of Trenton recently spent $120,000 of a $1.2 million grant on upgrades and restorations to the park. Cadwalader Park’s 100 acres of green space make a great place for recreation. With yoga classes, group cardio workouts, movie nights, and more, there’s plenty to do in this massive park! Whether you want to spend an afternoon or shake the stresses of the city, Cadwalader Park is the perfect downtown sanctuary.

Support the Arts in Trenton

An artist speaking to a helper as she finishes her jungle mural. Photo by Instagram user @ckennylin

Photo via @ckennylin

Whether you’re looking to experience great art or create some yourself, Trenton’s art scene is sure to catch the interest of anyone. Become a part of the process to join art and community together to make a difference with the Creek to Canal Creative District, part of the Trenton Arts in Focus plan. Join a mural restoration project, education art program, or meander through a gallery at ARTWORKS. This visual arts center in Downtown Trenton also hosts a 24-hour event called Art All Night in a 50,000-square-foot factory building next to Millyard Park. Submit your artwork or just enjoy the creativity of locals at Art All Night, featuring pieces from artists of all ages and skill levels.

Enjoy Top-Tier Performances

Want to catch a live performance? Watch your favorite big-ticket artists like Bruce Springsteen or Elton John perform at CURE Insurance Arena—the arena even hosts the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and other family-friendly events like the Harlem Globetrotters. Listen to some local jazz artists at Trenton’s Candlelight Lounge. Explore the underground music scene (literally) in the Mill Hill Basement. Attend a variety of shows or catch a movie at The Patriot Theater, part of The War Memorial. Get tickets to see theatre performances at Princeton’s Tony Award-winning McCarter Theatre Center. Or visit Passage Theatre Company to experience completely original, socially-relevant productions like The OK Trenton Project.

Experience the Diverse Food Scene

Much like the city itself, Trenton’s food scene is diverse enough to satisfy any craving. Treat the whole family to barbecue with some brisket and smoked chicken from 1911 Smokehouse Bar-B-Que. Experience Spanish fine dining and catch some Flamenco dancing at Malaga Restaurant. Enjoy a romantic French dinner in the middle of a sculpture garden at Rat’s Restaurant, which was named one of the top 100 most scenic restaurants. Try authentic Polish dishes like pierogi or a Breaded Chicken Cutlet at Rozmaryn Restaurant. Explore other Eastern European cuisine like Wiener Schnitzel and Chicken Paprikas at Blue Danube Restaurant. Share a make-your-own pizza with friends and order a craft beer like the All Day IPA at Jojo’s Tavern. Fill up on some Latin and Dominican cuisine like the Carne Asada con Camarones, Picadera Tica, or T-Bone Steak & Mofongo at Sabor Latino Bar & Restaurant.

Get to Know the Local Hangouts

Want to spend a night out in Trenton? With a wide range of options and plenty of live attractions, the bars in Trenton are sure to entertain. Grab a pint at Tir na nOg, a classic Irish pub offering festive live music and even Irish music jam sessions. Get out and socialize during karaoke and open mic night at Trenton Social. Dance away the stresses of the week at Trenton’s premier Latin dance club, Infinity Lounge NJ. Visit Trenton’s Mill Hill Saloon for an old-timey bar on the main level and a rocking concert venue in the basement. Or take a tour of River Horse Brewery in nearby Ewing Township and try some local brews like the Starboard Coast IPA in their outdoor beer garden!


Moving to Trenton? Extra Space Storage has convenient self storage locations throughout the Trenton metro, so we can help with your transition. Find cheap storage in Trenton!

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About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.