Make the most of your PSU-Michigan weekend

Make the Most of Your PSU-Michigan Weekend

Big weekend in Happy Valley. Michigan, White Out, night game, woo hoo!

We know it’s all about the football, but even if you’re planning a daylong tailgate, there’s still weekend time left to explore Happy Valley during the most beautiful season of the year. No need to brainstorm, we’ve got your list right here:

Friday night beverages/dinner

You could grab fast food between bar hopping. But why the heck would you? Happy Valley’s local drinking/dining scene is thriving. You’re here. You really should check it out.

Liberty Craft House

Moscow Mules on tap. Need I say more? Liberty Craft House has arguably the best drink selection in town, from top quality wine to unique seasonal craft brews and sodas. From the fromage and charcuterie to the sandwiches and house-made sweets, the menu works for snacking or dining. It’s a grown-up bar in a college town. No reservations. 11:30AM-2AM. Map it. 346 East College Avenue, Downtown State College.

Gigi’s Southern Table

Farm-to-table is more than marketing at Gigi’s. The seasonal, locally-sourced and southern inspired menu includes unique cocktails, perfect small plates and exceptional entrees and desserts. Seafood fans will love the Friday raw bar. Patio seating offers a glorious view of the orchard at Harner Farm and the indoor ambience is the best in town. Late night snacks are available until closing on weekends! Make a reservation (11:30am-12am). 814.861.3463 or Map it 2080 Cato Ave, State College, PA.

Good Intent Cider (Bellefonte)

Before you tackle the mayhem that is downtown State College on game weekend, head up I-99 to Bellefonte’s coolest new hang. Good Intent Cider is (literally) nestled in the hillside next to Spring Creek. Enjoy a small tasting bar, adorable outdoor seating, local snacks and cider that puts other (mass-produced) cider to shame. Grab some to-go for your tailgate (we like Ginger Kid, Eve’s Revenge and North Meets South). No reservations. Map it. 167 S Potter St, Bellefonte.

Big Spring Spirits (also Bellefonte)

If the cidery is full, go around the block to Big Spring Spirits for a scrumptious cocktail. All spirits are distilled onsite and the seasonal drink menu is honestly mouth-watering. The décor is cool yet comfy and the patio has a lovely view of Bellefonte’s Talleyrand Park. Small plates are available to pair with your drinks. No reservations. Map it. 198 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte.


If you’re not an all-day tailgater, Saturday lunch is a great time to hit one of these local favorites. Don’t fret, you’ll still have plenty of time to set up your tent and pre-game with 100,000 of your closest friends.

The Field Burger & Tap

To say burgers, fries and shakes are The Field’s specialty would be an understatement. The shakes are made with Creamery ice cream, and available spiked. The fries are hand-cut and served ‘individual or table-sized’ with your choice of seasonings or sauce (do not be lured by the parmesan & truffle, get the CRAB FRIES. you’re welcome.). The burgers are perfection. The views are gorgeous. Plenty of Pennsylvania beers on tap. Make a reservation 7am-10pm (The Field also serves breakfast!). 814.234.8000

Legends (at The Penn Stater)

A great place to get in the mood for the game, you can surround yourself with Penn State history at Legends. It’s a signature sports bar with a classic menu that offers all your favorites, and just the right amount of variety. There’s a wide selection of beers, including Pennsylvania craft beers on tap, wine by the glass, and Penn State trivia on the walls—impressive tailgate conversation-starters. Make a reservation (11am-11pm). 814.863.5080

Kelly’s Steak & Seafood

It’s all in the name. Like steak? Like seafood? Kelly’s chef-prepared dishes are the best you’ll find in Happy Valley. Kelly’s serves the highest quality food at a great value, and prides itself on excellent service and a casual, family-friendly atmosphere. It’s a rare find when kids, moms and dads can all find something they love and feel at home. Bonus, a top notch wine list and plenty of beers on tap, plus a full bar. Kelly’s is a local favorite and has racked up the “Best of State College” awards to prove it. Make a reservation (Saturday hours 11am-3pm/4:30p-10pm) 814.466.6251

Sunday Brunch

You are going to wake up hungry. You could stand in line someplace, OR you could avoid the line (and enjoy a local beer or cocktail with your breakfast) with some upfront planning—i.e. brunch reservations (you can thank us later).

Elk Creek Café (Millheim)

Fall foliage is near peak, it’s the perfect weekend for a Sunday drive. Take route 45 through Penns Valley to Millheim for one of the most beautiful trips you’ll take this fall. Elk Creek has built a major following around authentically local food and finely crafted beer. Find out what the fuss is all about. (A great option for Friday night dinner, too!) Make a reservation (Sundays 11am-2pm). 814.349.8850

American Ale House

Convenient to pretty much everywhere, in the heart of leafy Toftrees, the Ale House knows how to do brunch, i.e. Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar. Great food, lovely setting, just a hop skip from town. (Another great option for dinner, too!) Make a reservation (starts at 11am Sunday).  814.237.9701

The Diningroom at the Nittany Lion Inn

Classic. There’s no better way to describe the Happy Valley tradition that is Sunday brunch at the Inn. Your favorite breakfast foods, plus a carving station and custom omelets. Walk it off with a stroll around campus and selfie at the Lion Shrine. Perfect way to end the weekend. Make a reservation (9:30am-1:30pm). 814-865-8500

Fun Stuff

Happy Valley has everything for a weekend making fall memories. Couples, kids, and friends alike will find something special.

Way Fruit Farm Fall Festival

Every year Way hosts its annual fall festival the second and third Saturdays in October. It’s got all the staples—apple cider, apple dumplings, apple slingshots(!), pumpkin picking, a petting zoo, kettle corn, and the list goes on. Way also has some of the finest fresh apple varieties in Happy Valley, along with homemade apple butter available by the jar, and a selection of local products for your pantry like honey, jellies, cheese and maple syrup. If you’re traveling with kiddos it’s the perfect pre-game. The festival starts at 11am, but the store and café open at 8am (tip! the café serves a mean breakfast!) Map it 2355 Halfmoon Valley Rd. Port Matilda, PA 16870

Shop Downtown Bellefonte

Downtown Bellefonte has added a handful of new businesses in recent years, including women’s clothing boutique Helen Foxx (122 S Allegheny St). The unique selection includes dresses, tops, jewelry, scarves, and more. Take home something you can’t get anywhere else! Ladies will also love CO2 (104 N Allegheny St), the boutique offshoot of Bellefonte staple Confer’s Jewelers. CO2 carries tons of adorable accessories and gifts, plus Vera Bradley, Alex+Ani, and more. The Bone Bar (135 W High St) doesn’t serve drinks, unless you walk on all fours. Homemade dog and cat treats, including grain-free options, toys, gifts and more for your pet. Your visit won’t be complete without a sweet treat from Dam Donuts (216 W High Street). Enjoy a traditional favorite or customize your own. If you’re into antiques, you’re in luck. Bellefonte in antique central. Check out The Great Mish Mosh (128 S Allegheny St) and new-in-town Iron Star Trading (118 N Allegheny St), both of which carry exceptional quality finds.

Proud Mary Showboat, Lake Raystown Resort

Staying in Raystown, or just not into tailgating all day? Take in autumn in all its spectacular glory from the deck of Proud Mary Showboat; it’s not unusual to catch glimpses of native wildlife, including resident bald eagles. Hour and a half cruises are offered Saturday afternoons from 2:15-3:45 (plenty of time to make the game), and Sunday mornings (9-10:30am breakfast cruise for early birds!), afternoons and evenings. Raystown is about 45 minutes from State College, and also offers outdoor activity galore, from fishing to hiking, biking to boating, and campsites, cottages and lodges for a unique accommodations experience for your football weekend, or any other Happy Valley getaway. Get more info here or call 814.658.3500. 

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