We Invented Happy

Top Picks for Your Venture & IP Conference Weekend

October 6-7, 2016

It should come as no surprise that Penn State's hometown– world-shaperinnovator, and top city for entrepreneurshas also found a way to innovate fun. We locals call our area Happy Valley, and it's not for nothing. It's been voted among the most physically active citiestop college town and all around most livable. Bottom line, you're going to love it here.

You are coming into town on Homecoming weekend. Homecoming weekend, here in Blue White country, means that you can take advantage of the very best in events, food specials and more. Come enjoy the best that Happy Valley has to offer!

Where to Eat

The Penn Stater, where the conference is held, offers superb on-site dining. You’ll surround yourself with Penn State memorabilia as you enjoy the Penn Stater Burger, a half pound of ground sirloin topped with cheddar, bacon and sautéed onions. Early lunch menu available from 11-11:30 a.m., and full menu from 11:30 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Staying Friday night? Enjoy America’s Bounty Buffet with entrees like sesame-seared tuna, grilled mahi mahi, blue cheese potato flatbread and their dessert offerings include fresh baked desserts and famous PSU creamery ice cream! 

Perhaps one of the most recognizable landmarks on Penn State’s campus, The Nittany Lion Inn has two unique, yet equally satisfying dining options. The Dining Room, which was awarded the 2016 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and the Wine Spectator’s 2016 Best of Award of Excellence, is a great option for an upscale dining experience. On Friday night, October 7, they will be offering their famous Sea-Fare at the Inn, a buffet that features a delicious variety of fresh seafood dishes (You'll want to reserve your spot early for this: 814-865-8590).

At Gigi’s Southern Table, old word sophistication meets modern elegance. You’ll be craving the seasonal chef-inspired menu long after your stay in Happy Valley. Several items have been featured and named “must haves” by writers and critics in the area, including Lobster Mac n’ Cheese (also a best seller among patrons!). Their small batch Saturday brunches are locally-sourced and fantastic. Also not to be missed: Steak night every Saturday and the raw bar on Friday night!

Since 2002, Otto’s Pub & Brewery is THE place to go for award winning craft beer and fresh food. Their American cuisine is made with local ingredients, and the beer is brewed onsite. Many menu items, such as wings and fondue, feature beer as a centerpiece ingredient. The restaurant has become a local—and visitor—favorite!

Where to Stay
If you’re not staying at the Penn State Conference Center and Hotel, where the conference is being hosted, there are plenty of other options. 

Hotels in the area range from premiere hotels, like The Nittany Lion Inn and Carnegie Inn & Spa, to affordable and comfortable options, like Days Inn Penn State and Holiday Inn Express.

If you’re looking for a more laid-back stay, Happy Valley offers a selection of bed & breakfasts that won’t disappoint you. Our Fair Lady B & B and The Queen B & B, both located in Bellefonte, offer a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere and are about a 15-minute drive from downtown State College.

What to do While You are Here
October 6

Dark Star Orchestra continues the Grateful Dead concert experience. Their shows, performed to critical acclaim for over 15 years, are built off the Dead’s extensive catalog and the talent of these seven fine musicians.

Sure, everyone's heard of our football team, but our Penn State Ice Hockey team rocks in their new stadium. Watch them battle St. Lawrence on October 6 & 7.

October 7
Missed the hockey match on the 6th? Check out our Ice Hockey as they battle St. Lawrence on October 7.

Rascal Flatts will bring down the house at the Bryce Jordan Center at 8:30.

October 8
If you've always wanted to see a Penn State game, this is the one to see. The Nittany Lions go against Maryland in their homecoming bout. See over 100,000 people sing Sweet Caroline, bleed blue and white and bring the HAPPY to Happy Valley. Get tickets here.

Indulge in Autumn and all its glory at Way Fruit Farm’s Fall Festival on Saturday, October 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

But wait, there’s more!

  • Hit the most popular spots on Penn State’s campus:
    • The Arboretum (Explore nature’s beauty by taking a stroll through the gardens.)
    • Berkey Creamery (Enjoy ice cream or a milkshake you can’t get anywhere else, like Russ “Digs” Roseberry or Alumni Swirl!)
    • Palmer Museum (With free admission, it’s an art-lover’s dream.)
  • Pose with the Nittany Lion Shrine. It's a campus must-do.
  • Hike the legendary Mount Nittany.
  • Visit Penn’s Cave (America’s only all water cavern) with the family.
  • Visit one of our award-winning local wineries (Happy Valley Vineyard & Winery in State College, Seven Mountains Wine Cellars in Boalsburg, or Mount Nittany Winery in Centre Hall).
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