Trenton, the capital of New Jersey, contains a fairly typical mix of government activities with a strong complement of commercial and industrial activities typically found in Mid-sized Eastern cities. Unlike most New Jersey cities, it is more tied economically to the Delaware Valley and Philadelphia than it is to the New York area, but like many places in the state, the area is characterized by contrasts. Numerous well-preserved historic districts date back to the Revolutionary War. Impoverished areas are also present and there’s a strong working-class element.
In marked contrast to most of Trenton itself is Princeton, the college town 15 miles northeast with the Ivy-League university of the same name. Princeton and some of the other communities along the US 1 corridor have excellent residential areas, arts and culture amenities, and a highly educated, mostly upper-middle-class population. Princeton also serves as the outer edge of a residential area for commuters who endure a 90-minute rail trip to New York City. Most don’t do this commute, but a few do as reflected in commute time statistics. Cost of living is moderate for the region, and housing, while quite high in Princeton, is reasonable in other areas and buying power is high. Outside of Princeton, the economic outlook is mixed and educational attainment fairly low.
Trenton lies in the Delaware River Valley with level and gently rolling, mostly wooded and agricultural terrain to the east and more significant hills to the north and west. The climate is East Coast continental, with moderating effects from the Appalachian Mountains to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The climate is variable, with periods of extreme temperatures seldom lasting for more than a few days. The area is far enough inland to have periods of heat and relatively stagnant air, with humidity but little cooling from the marine zones. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year with maximum amounts arriving in summer months. Winter is a mix of cool and colder periods, with rain or snow arriving from either the northwest (continental air masses) or the south (as coastal Atlantic storms). First freeze is mid-October, last is late April.