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When in Happy Valley...

Whether you’re a newcomer to Happy Valley, or a looking for new ways to enjoy your weekends, we give you a guide to State College and the charm of the surrounding area.

Go Downtown

If you’re planning to be downtown, check out the performance and film schedule at The State Theatre on College Ave. The beautifully refurbished theatre is the hub of community theatre in State College, and offers exciting national acts, acclaimed independent films, family programming and a Live opera broadcast series. Upcoming shows include Proof by the State College Community Theatre October 11-13 & 18-21, Arlo Guthrie December 2, and Scrooge by the State College Community Theatre December 14-16. Call (814) 272-0606 or visit for scheduling and tickets. S

Shoppers will find a number of unique boutiques including hip women’s clothiers like Mr. Charles and Access, which offer a selection of clothing, shoes and accessories you won’t find at the mall. Adventurous shoppers will find very cool vintage treasures at Rag & Bone on Calder Way. The eclectic retro atmosphere makes clothes shopping even more fun.

For casual dining, visit The Corner Room, a State College tradition since 1926 and a great place to catch daily value menu items, such as the delicious all-you-can eat fried chicken on Wednesday nights. Fine dining downtown rivals the big cities thanks to Zola New World Bistro. The urban chic atmosphere includes outdoor seating in warmer months, and the seasonal menu is stocked with local foods. Tasting menus are available by advanced request. The Tavern offers the atmosphere of an 18th century inn and a photo history of State College adorning its walls. Traditional main courses are accompanied by a long list of ‘unlimited’ side dishes that will remind you of Sunday dinner at grandma’s.

On Campus

While walking through the beautiful 5,448 acres of academic and athletic history, be sure to visit the venerable Nittany Lion Shrine – the single most photographed site on campus. Don’t be surprised to see alumni of all ages standing in line for their opportunity to pose with the majestic lion! To learn about the full breadth of the Penn State athletic legacy, visit the Penn State Athletics All-Sports Museum. Set just outside of the legendary Beaver Stadium, the two-level, 10,000 sq. ft. facility offers rare archival images, floor-to-ceiling visuals, historic athletic equipment, and trophies such as the fabled Heisman Trophy.

Of course, no trip to campus is complete without visiting the famous Berkey Creamery. Operated by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, it is the largest creamery in the U.S., using over 4.5 million pounds of milk each year to make delicious ice cream and cheese.

Just a short ride away…

If you’re looking for family fun or a fun-filled date, visit Northland Bowl just off North Atherton Street. In addition to bowling and arcade fun, they offer a surprisingly wide selection of menu items, from the traditional pizza and hamburgers to their “Luxury Box” menu which features prime rib and seafood fettuccini. For a hearty meal, check out Damon’s Grill State College. This casual restaurant specializes in steaks, chicken, and award winning ribs. Best of all, it’s just a few blocks away from Beaver Stadium and the Bryce Jordan Center, making it perfect for pregame or pre-concert lunch or dinner.

A favorite among locals is Otto’s Pub & Brewery, home to fresh craft-brewed beer and locally-sourced fresh food. There is no shortage of comfort food at Otto’s – we particularly like the bacon-wrapped meatloaf sandwich. Weekends bring long lines, but grab a Mt. Nittany Pale Ale at one of the two bars inside to pass the time.

Out and About…

Don’t confine your visit to State College—just a short drive out of town you’ll find some of Happy Valley’s most charming options for dining, shopping and visiting.

Kelly’s Steak and Seafood in Boalsburg is THE premiere steakhouse in Happy Valley. In our experience, Kelly’s has excellent soups and sandwiches, but is, of course, par excellence in steak, burgers and seafood. Teriyaki Tenderloins, Kelly’s Cut-10 oz Filet Mignon, or the decadent 1/2 lb. Kobe Burger are some of our faves in the red meat department. Fish lovers will enjoy a unique seafood preparation every night, or menu favorites like the Asiago Crusted Halibut Cheeks or the Grilled Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon. You’ll know Kelly’s when you see it, by the bull on the roof.

Boalsburg—the birthplace of Memorial Day—also boasts the Boal Barn Playhouse, a favorite spot for enjoying community theatre; Tussey Mountain, offering year-round activities like skiing, golfing, fishing and go-karts; and several unique shops and cafes on the Diamond.

The Centre County Library Historical Museum in Victorian Bellefonte is located in the 1814 Miles-Humes house and offers a view of the area’s history. The museum is a popular research spot for genealogy collections, county histories, records, newspapers, and artifacts of local history.

Dining options in Bellefonte range from the Gamble Mill on Dunlap Street near Lamb’s Crossing over Spring Creek, which offers an historical atmosphere, an extensive locally-sourced menu and craft-brewed beer (named after Bellefonte historical references) to some of the best pizza in Happy Valley at local favorites Pizza Mia on Spring Street and The Hofbrau, on the corner of Allegheny and Bishop Streets.

For a drive through some of Happy Valley’s most scenic farmland, head to Penns Valley hamlets Centre Hall or Millheim, both stops along Route 45 East from State College. Centre Hall serves as host to the Annual Grange Fair and offers unique dining at the Whistle Stop Restaurant, which features homestyle meals and a comfortable atmosphere. Just 5 miles east check out Penn’s Cave, for a boat-tour of America’s only water cavern and an open bus ride through the wildlife park.

Continue along Route 45 to Millheim, home to several lovely bed and breakfasts popular for fly-fishing enthusiasts. Plan for lunch or dinner at Elk Creek Café to enjoy an uber-local, seasonal menu and craft-brewed beer named for the area’s abundant trout supply, like the delicious Brookie Brown Ale, practically a meal in itself. The Green Drake Gallery & Arts Center is just across the street and features original art, music performances and art education for the community.