As the capital of New Jersey, Trenton has unique qualities, but like Newark, it's not a major visitor destination on its own. It's best seen in combination with Princeton and Lambertville, both of which offer many choices for lodging and dining. The 1792 Capitol with its gold-plated dome is the second-oldest in continuous use in the nation. A short walk away is the New Jersey State Museum—home to 19th- and 20th-century American art, an excellent collection of Native American artifacts, a children's theater and a planetarium. Another museum to see is the Ellarslie Mansion, an 1848 Italianate villa. At the recently restored Old Barracks Museum, Hessian soldiers (German conscripts and mercenaries employed by the British) were quartered for the Battle of Trenton in 1776, during the Revolutionary War. Visit the beaux-arts Trenton Battle Monument, built in 1893 to commemorate the victory of Gen. Washington's troops. Also stop in at the 1719 William Trent House, overlooking the Delaware River, once owned by the founder of Trenton and said to be the city's oldest home.

Trenton's most historic neighborhood is Mill Hill, where you can take a walking tour through the gas-lit streets to see the wonderful Victorian and Gothic Revival homes. And when it comes time to ease your hunger, head for Trenton's "Little Italy." Chambersburg ("the Burg" to locals) is chock-full of great Italian restaurants.

For an intriguing side trip, you might want to visit Allentown, an architectural gem of a community just a few miles to the east off Interstate 195 that contains some 220 structures and homes built prior to 1860. 45 mi/70 km southwest of Newark.

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