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Experience

Experience New Brunswick

Quirky, under-the-radar experiences only a local could recommend.

New Brunswick, NJ has long been a great city in American history. Situated along the King’s Highway, close to modern day US Route 1, between New York and Philadelphia, during Colonial times, New Brunswick became an important and highly regarded center for trade and a way point for travelers. Today, it is home to the world-renowned Rutgers University as well as companies like Johnson and Johnson.

The Heldrich invites you to explore the best of New Brunswick’s many downtown attractions located only steps outside our front door offering plenty of things to do for the weary business traveler, college parent, and more. Directly across the street from The Heldrich are three of New Jersey’s amazing performing arts theaters, as well as top of the line shopping, dining and nightlife. And if that was not enough, The Heldrich is also ideally located from NJ Transit or Highways so guests can easily take off on day trips to New York City, the Jersey Shore, and Atlantic City and arrive in a quick 60-minutes or less.

 

Things To Do In New Brunswick

Beyond being home of Rutgers University, New Brunswick boasts not only fascinating historical sites from its beginnings during the pre-Revolutionary War era, but also a sophisticated and vibrant modern arts & culture scene along with some of New Jersey’s premier dining locations. The state of the art New Brunswick Performing Arts Center has become the Northeast's premier venue for theatrical performances, and with nearly 50 restaurants to choose from in the downtown area, New Brunswick will quickly become a favorite destination for any foodie.

Rutgers University

Originally founded as Queen’s College in 1766, Rutgers University is one of only nine existing colleges within the US to be chartered prior to the Revolutionary War and the US gaining independence. Today, Rutgers University is home to more than 67,000 students as well as many professors, visiting academics, as well as countless parents and other family members who descend on New Brunswick, especially in late October for Family weekend or for Rutgers Day in early spring. Discover new ways to make your time in New Brunswick unforgettable.

    Business Trip Happy Hour Activities

    Of course there is more to New Brunswick, NJ than just Rutgers University. Known by many as also “Hub City” or “Healthcare City,” five nationally-recognized hospitals, global biotechnology and pharmaceutical corporations, such as Johnson & Johnson, internationally-recognized medical research facilities, and more, all call New Brunswick home. After a hard-day’s work, enjoy time off from your business trip and explore New Brunswick’s awesome nightlife, from the theater district to the mouth watering restaurants all just steps away.

    Escape The Ordinary

    The Heldrich Hotel and Conference Center is a dramatic departure from the underwhelming décor of chain hotels with a guest room experience that has subtly sophisticated touches which give each space a luxurious residential feel.

    1. Explore Our Accommodations

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    The Helrich Wanderguide

    Your top-rated places to explore in New Brunswick, NJ

    Brunswick Farmers Market

    Brunswick Farmers Market

    Distance: 0.6 mi


    In the 10 years the market has been around, it has outgrown two locations, meaning there are three mini-markets scattered around town on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

    Brunswick Farmers Market

    Brunswick Farmers Market

    Distance: 0.6 mi


    In the 10 years the market has been around, it has outgrown two locations, meaning there are three mini-markets scattered around town on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

    George Street Playhouse

    George Street Playhouse

    Distance: 0.2 mi


    No need to head into New York City to see a show...on- and off-Broadway musicals, dramas, and comedies play right down the street every Friday from October to April.

    George Street Playhouse

    George Street Playhouse

    Distance: 0.2 mi


    No need to head into New York City to see a show...on- and off-Broadway musicals, dramas, and comedies play right down the street every Friday from October to April.

    New Brunswick Train Station

    New Brunswick Train Station

    Distance: 0.2 mi


    Like an old train stop out of a movie, this quaint train station is the perfect launching point for day trips to New York and throughout New Jersey. @Tom Slucer

    New Brunswick Train Station

    New Brunswick Train Station

    Distance: 0.2 mi


    Like an old train stop out of a movie, this quaint train station is the perfect launching point for day trips to New York and throughout New Jersey. @Tom Slucer

    Old Man Rafferty's Restaurant

    Old Man Rafferty`s Restaurant

    Distance: 0.02 mi


    Affectionately known as “the New Brunswick habit,” this local eatery serves classics like chicken pot pie and corned beef brisket sandwiches in modern, atmospheric digs.

    Old Man Rafferty's Restaurant

    Old Man Rafferty`s Restaurant

    Distance: 0.02 mi


    Affectionately known as “the New Brunswick habit,” this local eatery serves classics like chicken pot pie and corned beef brisket sandwiches in modern, atmospheric digs.

    Rutgers Busch Campus

    Rutgers Busch Campus

    Distance: 0.5 mi


    Launched as a “daring move” during the Great Depression, today the Busch campus section of Rutgers University–New Brunswick boasts five libraries, a stadium, and even an 18-hole golf course!

    Rutgers Busch Campus

    Rutgers Busch Campus

    Distance: 0.5 mi


    Launched as a “daring move” during the Great Depression, today the Busch campus section of Rutgers University–New Brunswick boasts five libraries, a stadium, and even an 18-hole golf course!

    Rutgers Douglass Campus

    Rutgers Douglass Campus

    Distance: 0 mi


    Rutgers has more to offer than your average college campus, like the 60,000-works-strong Zimmerli Art Museum and the hidden gardens tucked under the Route 1 exit ramps.

    Rutgers Douglass Campus

    Rutgers Douglass Campus

    Distance: 0 mi


    Rutgers has more to offer than your average college campus, like the 60,000-works-strong Zimmerli Art Museum and the hidden gardens tucked under the Route 1 exit ramps.

    Rutgers High Point Stadium

    Rutgers High Point Stadium

    Distance: 1 mi


    Truly a multi use facility, you can catch a football game, both men's and women’s basketball, as well as wrestling and lacrosse.

    Rutgers High Point Stadium

    Rutgers High Point Stadium

    Distance: 1 mi


    Truly a multi use facility, you can catch a football game, both men's and women’s basketball, as well as wrestling and lacrosse.

    Rutgers Livingston Campus

    Rutgers Livingston Campus

    Distance: 0.5 mi


    The expansive Livingston or "Livi" campus is located in Piscataway and is the youngest of Rutgers University–New Brunswick’s five campuses. The compact walkable area boasts plenty of entertainment, with a plaza featuring a movie theater and restaurants. @RBScomm

    Rutgers Livingston Campus

    Rutgers Livingston Campus

    Distance: 0.5 mi


    The expansive Livingston or "Livi" campus is located in Piscataway and is the youngest of Rutgers University–New Brunswick’s five campuses. The compact walkable area boasts plenty of entertainment, with a plaza featuring a movie theater and restaurants. @RBScomm

    Salt Seafood & Oyster Bar

    Salt Seafood & Oyster Bar

    Distance: 0.02 mi


    Clams, local oysters, lobster, or stone crab? Why choose when you could order the Seafood Tower and get them all and more.

    Salt Seafood & Oyster Bar

    Salt Seafood & Oyster Bar

    Distance: 0.02 mi


    Clams, local oysters, lobster, or stone crab? Why choose when you could order the Seafood Tower and get them all and more.

    Stage Left & Catherine Lombardi

    Stage Left & Catherine Lombardi

    Distance: 0 mi


    Twenty-one second-floor windows look out at the Theater District, giving you an amazing view while you dine on some amazing Italian food.

    Stage Left & Catherine Lombardi

    Stage Left & Catherine Lombardi

    Distance: 0 mi


    Twenty-one second-floor windows look out at the Theater District, giving you an amazing view while you dine on some amazing Italian food.

    State Theatre New Jersey

    State Theatre New Jersey

    Distance: 0 mi


    In 2003, as many as 20 layers of paint were removed from the walls of this 1921 Thomas W. Lamb–designed theater during a $3 million restoration. @State Teatre NJ

    State Theatre New Jersey

    State Theatre New Jersey

    Distance: 0 mi


    In 2003, as many as 20 layers of paint were removed from the walls of this 1921 Thomas W. Lamb–designed theater during a $3 million restoration. @State Teatre NJ

    Steakhouse 85

    Steakhouse 85

    Distance: 0.02 mi


    You’ll go for the steak, you’ll stay for the Wine Spectator award-winning wine list. You'll leave happy.

    Steakhouse 85

    Steakhouse 85

    Distance: 0.02 mi


    You’ll go for the steak, you’ll stay for the Wine Spectator award-winning wine list. You'll leave happy.

    Stress Factory Comedy Club

    Stress Factory Comedy Club

    Distance: 0.2 mi


    In Stress Factory’s 20 years, it has hosted the likes of Amy Schumer, Drew Carey, and Chris Rock. See which up-and-coming comedian or famous act will be performing during your visit.

    Stress Factory Comedy Club

    Stress Factory Comedy Club

    Distance: 0.2 mi


    In Stress Factory’s 20 years, it has hosted the likes of Amy Schumer, Drew Carey, and Chris Rock. See which up-and-coming comedian or famous act will be performing during your visit.

    Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

    The Grape Escape

    Distance: 11 mi


    Choose the region, varietal, and barrel type then spend four sessions crushing, pressing, racking, and bottling your own signature wine.

    Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

    The Grape Escape

    Distance: 11 mi


    Choose the region, varietal, and barrel type then spend four sessions crushing, pressing, racking, and bottling your own signature wine.

    The Helrich Wanderguide

    Your top-rated places to explore in New Brunswick, NJ

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    WANDERGUIDE

    Flavor of

    The best food artisans, farms, and local markets. 

    New Brunswick Community Farmers Market

    What started as just one home location on Jones Avenue in 2009 has grown to three market locations scattered across the city on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The weekday markets tend to be the quietest – which means more facetime with farmers and artisans, hawking everything from homemade honey and jams to local meat and veggies.

    Scala Bakery

    Scala Bakery

    Said to be the best Italian bakery outside of New York’s five boroughs, this 50-year-old family-owned establishment utilizes every inch of its space, chockablock with a variety of traditional cookies, cakes, and pastries, as well as wonderful breads: semolina, rustic, rolls, rye, all made fresh daily. Just remember to bring cash or a check.  

    Cypress Brewing

    Cypress Brewing

    Located just 15 minutes from New Brunswick on the other side of the New Jersey Turnpike, this nano-brewery is known for beers with progressive flavor profiles, deep colors, and frequent rotation (if you find something you like, scoop up a few growlers as it might not be there the next time). Eight taps are offered in its small tasting room, as well as tours of the attached brewhouse. 

    Giamarese Farm & Orchards

    Giamarese Farm & Orchards

    This 35-acre East Brunswick farm has been in the Giamarese family since 1941 and is the locals’ choice when it comes to pick-your-own with quite the roster: strawberries, peas, peaches, apples, pumpkins, and greens. But if you’re not into picking, a farm store sells produce, as well as eggs, homemade pies, jam, and honey. 

    The Weekender

    How to spend 36 hours in New Brunswick, with The Heldrich as your base camp. 

    Friday

    6 p.m. | Dinner at Catherine Lombardi

    Located within walking distance of The Heldrich, this second-floor Italian restaurant gets you a bird’s-eye view of the Theater District, thanks to 21 windows that line the spacious, deep red interior. Dishes embody the Italy-meets-Brooklyn cooking style of the owner’s grandmother, the restaurant’s namesake.

    8 p.m. | Evening Show at the George Street Playhouse

    No need to head into New York City to see a show…or cross the street for that matter. This playhouse is located within a five-minute drive from the hotel (along with two other theaters). With a mainstage season that runs October through April, productions include on- and off-Broadway musicals, dramas, and comedies with show times that start promptly at 8 p.m. on Fridays. 

    Saturday

    10 a.m. | Brunch at Hansel ’n Griddle

    Don’t expect a super high-end brunch café from this local chain, but do expect hearty, well-made breakfast dishes served all day. Head to their location on the edge of Rutgers University campus on Easton Avenue to try their signature “breakfast crisp,” a three-egg omelet, Cajun-style home fries, bacon, and cheese all folded and grilled in a flour tortilla.

    11 a.m. | Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

    In the heart of Rutgers, the Voorhees Hall building contains what is said to be one of the largest university-based museums in the country with more than 60,000 works. Its most unique feature is its particularly extensive collection of Russian art. A realm of art history rarely seen in other museums, here, it accounts for almost one-third of the entire holdings.

    3 p.m.| Spa at The Heldrich

    Return to The Heldrich for a 55-minute Raindrop Therapy at the hotel’s spa [www.heldrichspa.com] (be sure to book ahead). This unique full-body treatment takes various oils and drips them down your spine and legs before fully massaging them in. Hot towels are applied to allow the oils to penetrate deeply into the skin.

    7 p.m. | Comedy at Stress Factory

    After grabbing dinner at one of the many eateries that line George Street (some picks: Glo, Hotoke, Tumulty’s Pub), you can easily walk to this comedy club that has been here for 20 years and has hosted the likes of Amy Schumer, Drew Carey, and Chris Rock. Doors open at 5 p.m.; show starts at 7 p.m.  

    Sunday

    10 a.m. | Breakfast in Style

    Before departing, you can’t miss dining at least once at the hotel’s urban-chic restaurant, Christopher’s, featuring theater-style lighting and an open-hearth kitchen. Breakfast comes in the form of a buffet, with chef-manned stations for omelets, waffles, and pancakes made-to-order. 

    Like a Local

    Quirky, under-the-radar highlights only a local could recommend.

     

    Rutgers Gardens

    It’s a place that even the locals drive by, unaware of the little oasis tucked under the Route 1 exit ramps. Here, you’ll find a bamboo forest, interwoven with a path that follows a small creek and tiny waterfalls along the way, several botanical gardens (one boasting the world’s largest collection of holly), and a slew of wooded nature trails.

    State Theatre

    Most towns can claim a gem of a historic theater in their ranks. But not many can say their icon was built by one of the most prominent twentieth-century theater architects, Thomas W. Lamb. That’s why $3 million was invested in 2003 in this downtown 1921 theater, removing as many as 20 layers of paint in some places, to bring it back to its true design.


    The Heldrich’s Art Collection

    Three beautiful women with flowing red hair are always on hand to greet guests with apples as they enter the lobby of this downtown hotel. Actually nymphs from Greek mythology, the ladies are depicted in 10- by 10-foot nine-panel glass installation by J. Kenneth Leap – just one of several New Jersey artists represented in the hotel’s three-gallery art collection

    The Adventurist

    When simply “seeing” a destination just won’t do.

    Feature Adventure: Bike About

    One of the state’s most scenic bike paths calls Central New Jersey home: the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail. Shaped like a “V,” the smooth and flat route runs along an 1830s canal towpath from Frenchtown in the northwest down to Trenton in its southernmost point, then up to New Brunswick to the northeast over a continuous 70 miles along. With a dozen places to access it, the eastern side of the route (from New Brunswick down to Trenton) features 40 miles of scenic nineteenth-century bridges and bridge-tender houses, remnants of locks, and hand-built stone-arch culverts. 

    Walking Tour | Historic Walking Tours of New Brunswick

    4 centuries of history in 2 hours

    Enjoy a two-hour tour that covers one-and-a-half miles of downtown New Brunswick; landmarks include one of the oldest churches in North America (dating back to 1717). Need a little more excitement? Try the drunken history pub crawl, where you can learn the history and have a few drinks along the way.

    Making Wine | The Grape Escape

    A wine with its own style.

    Journey over to the leading East Coast hands-on winery to learn the winemaking process from start to finish. Choose the region, grape type, and barrel type, then return for four one-hour sessions to crush, press, rack, and bottle. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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