New Brunswick, New Jersey is a small town, but it’s full of history, culture, adventure, and charm. New Brunswick, the county seat for Middlesex County is appropriately named Hub City due to the multitude of activities at every corner.
Rutgers University is also located here, which is one of the oldest and largest educational institutions in the nation.
Many of the campuses are actually located in New Brunswick. This makes it a vibrant college town.
These characteristics have made the city a place where talent, skill, creativity, and innovation are encouraged. You can expect a youthful vibe in contrast to the historical structures and sights.
History of New Brunswick
The Lenape Native Americans first settled the area that is now New Brunswick. Their Minisink Trail crossed the Raritan River, and was then known as Inian’s Ferry (1691-1714). This settlement was originally called Prigmore’s Swamp (1681-1697), and then as Inian’s Ferry (1691-1714). In 1714, New Brunswick was named after Braunschweig, a city in Lower Saxony now in Germany. Braunschweig, a powerful and influential city in the Hanseatic league, was also an administrative seat of the Duchy of Hanover. Soon after the colonial New Jersey settlement, George, Duke and Elector, of Brunswick-Luneburg, became King George I, of Great Britain. Alternatively, the city gets its name from King George II of Great Britain, the Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg.
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Rutgers Gardens is a great stopover if you feel like you are missing nature while on your New Brunswick tour. The Rutgers University system includes the outdoor attraction, which is not surprising. However, it is more focused on the land and nature than the museums previously mentioned. It serves as the official botanical garden of the university, covering an area of 180 acres and sitting next to the Raritan River.
Rutgers Geology Museum
Rutgers Geology Museum, as you might deduce from its name, is another Rutgers University facility, located just a block from Zimmerli Art Museum.
While the former is focused on human creativity and innovation, the Rutgers Geology Museum has collections that highlight the natural history of New Brunswick as well as the rest of the region.
During the tour, you will notice the main attraction of the facility: the fossilized mastodon. It was discovered by a Salem County farmer. It is estimated to be at most 10,000 years old. Other displays include tracks and dinosaur bones, human skulls and an Egyptian mummy.
Zimmerli Art Museum
As we mentioned, Rutgers University has many facilities scattered throughout the city, including the Zimmerli Art Museum. Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum is its full name. However, the second half is much more popular with locals and students. This vast facility houses a large collection of works that can be viewed in the rooms and halls, totaling 70,000 square feet.
The attraction has more than 60,000 pieces permanent, making it one of the most popular attractions in the region. Be prepared to spend several hours looking through the collection.
These include art from different eras and countries, such as Japan, France and Greece. There are beautiful photographs, fascinating sculptures, age-old paintings and original illustrations for children’s book.
You can have a more interactive experience by joining one of the museum’s workshops, which are open to all ages and skill levels.
New Brunswick has many riverside attractions, including Boyd Park. You can enjoy stunning views of both the Raritan River & New Brunswick’s skyline from this spot. There are many historical structures throughout the park, including swing bridges, canals and towpaths that date back decades.
Make sure you read the signs that describe the history of each display.
These sights are not the only attractions in the park. There are also plenty of green spaces, picnic benches and well-paved trails. The park also has an amphitheater that hosts live events.
State Theatre New Jersey
State Theatre New Jersey was established in 1920. It is one of the oldest institutions in New Jersey. It can seat more than 1800 people.
It has seen many owners over the years. The theater has undergone renovations and even had to be closed after it was outcompeted by more modern theaters.
It has survived, and is now a New Brunswick institution that hosts high-quality performances of all kinds.
It is primarily a place for worship but it has been transformed into a gathering place, library, and location for educational lectures. You’ll immediately notice the Gothic architecture on the exteriors upon arrival. This was meant to reflect the masonry surrounding the buildings. The interiors are stunning with their majestic columns and beautiful stained-glass windows. There is also a red motif on the walls. The best thing about this chapel is its ability to accommodate all faiths. This is consistent with Rutgers University’s nonsectarian status. This arrangement is ideal considering the many people who call New Brunswick home.
A 34-acre park featuring a space for on-leash dogs, nature areas & a lake for fishing & kayaking.