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Spring Graduation - Go Out With a Bang!

PSU GraduationGraduation is one celebration that college students look forward to. At Penn State, Happy Valley is the perfect town to make the most out of your graduation festivities. Downtown State College buzzes with visitors, as many families make a weekend of it. There is always something going on and activities for the whole family to enjoy! Stay for the weekend, go to dinner, shop for Penn State paraphernalia, walk around campus, and celebrate good times!

Spring time is the best season for graduation because you can truly experience the town at its best. When warm weather hits Happy Valley you can guarantee people will be out and about. Downtown bustles with visitors, students, families, and locals. There are several hotels in the area that can house the rush of visiting families. Stay downtown and get the full effect of the weekend at The Nittany Lion Inn, or stay at one of the oldest buildings and businesses downtown at The Allen Street Grill. Wake up, have breakfast at The Corner Room, lunch or dinner at Allen Street Grill, walk around downtown, go out, and be right back in your bed whenever it is convenient for you! It will truly make you appreciate being a Penn State graduate.

There are also plenty of lodging options just outside of town, a short drive from campus and downtown. Stay at The Toftrees Golf Resort and Hotel where you can golf, dine at The Down Under Steak House, and drive through the scenic valley. Similarly, The Autoport is close to downtown and offers a great bar/restaurant, lodging, in-ground pool, deck, and live music all at one place. No matter where you stay for graduation weekend, you won’t be far from the fun.

Everyone’s gotta eat and Happy Valley has plenty of places to choose from. Just a heads up, most restaurants around graduation take reservations so call early to guarantee a place eat without waiting in long lines! Some popular places include The Deli featuring American cuisine, a full bar, and two outdoor seating areas. If you feel like being extra “Penn Statey” try the Mount Nittany Inn where you can sit right on top of Mount Nittany and overlook Happy Valley. Enjoy the views from the mountain in the fresh air and take it all in. Alumni usually enjoy stopping in at The Tavern, another restaurant that has been around for quite some time. Check out their newest patio edition and reconstruction. If you are with a smaller party, make reservations at Zola New World Bistro located downtown and enjoy their constantly changing, selective menu, share a bottle of wine, and enjoy an intimate meal with loved ones.

Other popular springtime activities in the area include hiking and biking in the valley. Before you graduate, hiking the famous Mount Nittany is a must- even if it is on your graduation day/weekend! Take the family on a bike ride. Check out the latest group rides and trails with Mount Nittany Biking Association. Explore Tussey Mountain on a bike at Rothrock State Forest for a more challenging trail. Other scenic activities that allow you to stay on solid ground include a stop at one of Happy Valley’s Wineries or Breweries. Ottos Brewery is a great place to eat and drink. They brew their own beer on site. Stop in and try one of their specialty beers with dinner or get a six-pack to go. Gamble Mill in Bellefonte also serves up some tasty dishes and locally brewed beer.

PA and Happy Valley specifically have some beautiful and prime places for wineries. For a Penn State graduation weekend, make a stop at the Mount Nittany Winery, sample wine, explore the vineyard, and take a bottle home. If you are headed east on 322 out of town, be sure to make a stop at Seven Mountains Winery to see what they have to offer. Take some time to drink a glass of their cleverly labeled Penn State themed wine bottles and enjoy their outdoor back deck.

Start planning your weekend in Happy Valley now and commemorate your spring graduation. Be sure to start early, as town will be filled with graduates and their families. Celebrate at local restaurants, bars, wineries, breweries, and the scenic outdoors. Happy graduation in advance to those of you graduating from this great school and great town. Give it one last hoorah in Happy Valley.

Get your Graduation Photo In Beaver Stadium!

Saturday May 5th 10-4pm
Sunday May 6th 10-2pm

The Sports Museum is offering 8x10 prints, $25 per print plus shipping (Cash or Check Only). Proceeds from photographs benefit the Penn State All-Sports Museum. For more information call 814-865-0044.


Nittany Lion Inn

Allen Street Grill


The Autoport

Featured Restaurants:

Down Under Steak House

The Deli

Mt. Nittany Inn

The Tavern



Mount Nittany

Mount Nittany Biking Association

Bike Tussey



Gamble Mill

Mount Nittany Winery

Seven Mountains Winery

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