Take a tour of the charming town surrounding the No. 1 college in the US

If there's one insight I took from my day trip to Princeton, New Jersey, it's this: It's really pretty. Not just the Princeton University campus — the town surrounding it, too.

According to Business Insider's rankings, the Ivy League university is the top college in the US, thanks to its 90% graduation rate and stellar academic offerings. Students there even boast a thriving social life.

One brilliantly sunny day in mid-November, I visited the school to sit in on a psychology course, and to rub elbows with the über-bright youth in the lecture hall. The class and my meeting with the professor took up the morning, which meant I had the rest of the day free to explore.

Princeton is home to about 30,000 people, and it's a relatively affluent town — the median household income is about $117,000, and there are plenty of designer clothing stores and fancy jewelry shops.

Over the course of the afternoon, I strolled through downtown Princeton, stopping to snap photos of bookstores, ice cream shops, and street corners that were too charming not to document. Below, get an idea of what it's like just outside the gates of the top college in the United States.

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