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.
- 1 West Virginia Tourist Information Center (US-460 off I-77 (exit 9)), ☏ . Locally known as "the Pyramids" for its unmistakable 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.
- 2 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.
- 3 Princeton Railroad Museum (East Mercer Street), ☏ . 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.
- 4 McNutt House (corner of North Walker and Honaker Avenue), ☏ . The only surviving structure from the Civil War standing in Princeton.
- Wiley Cabin and Museum (Oakvale Road off US-460). A 1932 cabin now housing a museum with three exhibit rooms, library, and a craft and gift shop. +1 304-425-8536.
- 5 Mercer County Agricultural Museum.
- 6 Mercer County War Museum.
- 7 Camp Creek State Park, 2390 Camp Creek Road, ☏ . 5,300 forested acres for hunting, trout fishing, scenic trail hiking, horseback riding, basketball, volleyball and badminton. Three campgrounds available.
- 8 Pipestem Resort State Park, 3405 Pipestem Dr, Pipestem, WV, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- Bluestone National Scenic River, ☏ . The, WV-20 near Pipestem. 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.
- The Willow Gift Gallery, 300 Morrison Drive, ☏ . At Four Seasons Pharmacy. Fine gifts and collectibles.
- 1 Princeton Shopping Center.
- 1 Concord University (Vermillion Street in Athens), ☏ , toll-free: . 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.
- 1 Angelo's Pizzeria, 1211 Stafford Drive, ☏ . Family-owned pizzeria.
- A Taste of Memphis, 1275 Stafford Dr, 304-425-9667. Barbecue and steak.
- Sister's Coffee House, 1606 W Main St, ☏ . Soups, sandwiches, salads, desserts and freshly-brewed Green Mountain Coffee.
- Airway Motel, 270 Courthouse Road, ☏ .
- 1 Budget Inn, 409 Thorn Street, ☏ . 25 rooms.
- 2 Turnpike Motel, 1119 Oakvale Road, ☏ . 18 rooms.
- Quality Inn, 136 Ambrose Lane, ☏ . 51 rooms. Whirlpool rooms available. Complimentary continental breakfast. $58 - $125.
- 3 Days Inn, 347 Meadowfield Lane, ☏ . 123 rooms. Pool. $52 - $155.
- 4 Hampton Inn, 277 Meadowfield Lane, ☏ , toll-free: . 112 rooms. Complimentary hot breakfast and USA Today. $77.
- 5 Holiday Inn Express, 805 Oakvale Road, ☏ . 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, ☏ . 81/109 rooms. Indoor pool. Complimentary continental breakfast. $61 - $106.
Bed and Breakfasts
- The View Bed & Breakfast, ☏ , toll-free: . WV-20 in Athens. 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, toll-free: . 4 rooms. 1890s Queen Anne Victorian Manor, Flat Top. $85 - $200.
A small unincorporated community located along US Route 19, 3.5 miles (5.6 km) northwest of Princeton.
- 9 Lake Shawnee Amusement Park. An abandoned amusement park (1920s-1966) occupies a desecrated native burial ground which was the site of the 1783 Mitchell Clay settler farm. Three of the Clay children (Bartley, Tabitha, Ezekial) were killed by a band of natives; Mitchell Clay led a group of settlers in bloody retaliation, causing several fatalities. In the 1920s, businessman Conley T. Snidow purchased the site of the Clay farm for development as an amusement park; the park was abandoned in 1966 after two children were killed (a girl on a circling swing was hit by a truck and a boy drowned in the amusement park’s swimming pond). The park structures and rides stand in abandoned and deteriorating condition; tours of the "cursed" site are offered in the days leading up to Hallow'een.
- Bluefield is about 10 minutes southwest on US-460.
- Beckley is about 40 minutes north on I-77.
- Blacksburg, Virginia is about 1 hour east on US-460.
|Routes through Princeton|
|Charleston ← Beckley ←||N S||→ Bluefield → Wytheville|
|Mount Sterling ← Bluefield ←||W E||→ Blacksburg → Roanoke|