Next stop: Boalsburg
If you’re looking for something fun to do this summer, in a historic setting, look no further than Boalsburg, Pa. The birthplace of Memorial Day, the charming small town is still reminiscent of the early 19th century, with plenty of past plus modern amenities.
Just a 15 minute drive from Penn State’s University Park campus, it offers bed and breakfasts, coffee shops, bars, casual dining, fine dining and unique specialty shops.
Here are some of our favorite stops in one of Happy Valley’s hidden gems.
The Pennsylvania Military Museum
If there’s a history buff in your family, the Pennsylvania Military Museum is one of your must see spots. The museum was constructed in the late 1960s and situated on the grounds of the Pennsylvania National Guard’s 28th Infantry Division Shrine.
Today, the Pennsylvania Military Museum is one of Happy Valley’s most visited museums. It features war time relics, retired tanks and cannons. Check the museum schedule as there are often re enactments, lectures and active displays throughout the year.
For more information about the museum, visit pamilmuseum.org.
A Basket Full
A Basket Full was established in the spring of 1990. It’s been in business under the leadership of Pam Bair since. She left the teaching profession to pursue a new life as a small business owner and continues to provide quality service and merchandise to customers from Centre County and beyond.
Bair’s shop carries many items, including clothing, accessories, home décor, gourmet kitchen items, local food products and much more.
A Basket Full has many special events throughout the year. Its annual Summer Yard Sale is coming up Saturday, July 28. It will feature special prices on purses, clothing, home décor and more.
Recently, A Basket Full expanded and now carries even more products, including Brighton and Vera Bradley items, Fresh Produce clothing, Sportina 449, locally made foods, baby items and more of the accessories that are already staples at the store. There are also more spa type products, from oils to cozy socks and robes. For more information, visit basket full.com.
Seven Mountains Wine Cellars
In August 2009, Scott and Mary Ann Bubb opened Seven Mountains Wine Cellars. In nearly a decade, the once small winery has grown by leaps and bounds. Many of its wines have won gold medals at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, including five Governors Cups and a Keystone Cup for both its grape and fruit wines.
The award winning wines have fared especially well at the prestigious Finger Lakes International competition in Rochester, N.Y. One of Seven Mountains’ most popular wines is its Vidal Ice wine, which features grapes that are allowed to freeze on the vine. It has a honey and apricot like aroma.
Visit their main winery on Decker Valley Road off 322 near Potters Mills and see the Vintner's Inn, a three bedroom, two bath log cabin, just a few hundred steps away from the winery. It’s a perfect vacation rental for the summer months or any Penn State events.
The Vintner's Inn can be booked at AirBnB.com, or directly through Seven Mountains Wine Cellars at sevenmountainwinecellars.com.
Columbus Chapel and Boal Mansion Museum
The Columbus Chapel and Boal Mansion Museum is a large complex of historic structures constructed over the 200 years of the eight generations of the Boal family. The historic mansion was built around 1800 by David Boal. He was an early settler to the Centre Region, and the community that formed around him would take his name.
If you’re an avid American history fan, you’ll love the Columbus Chapel and Boal Mansion Museum. It has numerous displays that detail the history of the Boal family and their ties to many historical figures including Christopher Columbus, Napoleon, Richard Henry Lee, and Simon Bolivar and are explained by a 1.5 hour guided tour. The museum recently opened an environmentally-controlled room where 150,000 pages of Columbus family manuscripts dating from 1450 are housed.
The museum owns the largest collection of Columbus artifacts in North America. Other collections of note include an armory with weapons from the medieval through WWI periods, a transportation exhibit with nine of the family’s carriages, and over 300 original works of art dating from the Renaissance through the 19th century.
For more information on the Columbus Chapel and Boal Mansion Museum, visit boalmuseum.com.
TriYoga of Central PA opened its Boalsburg location in July of 2015. Located on the diamond in Boalsburg, the studio offers an extensive lineup of classes and workshops for anyone interested in increasing their flexibility and strength, slowing down their racing mind or finding some inner peace.
The experienced teachers believe in the power of yoga to transform bodies, minds, spirits and lives. The tranquil studio offers a welcoming environment for both advanced students and beginners. It doesn't matter what your body can or can't do. "That's not what makes it yoga," says Theresa Shay, director of TriYoga of Central PA. "It's how relaxed and calm can you be."
For more information or to sign up for a free trial, visit pennsylvaniayoga.com.
Nittany Theatre at the Barn
Since its conception in 1953, the Nittany Theatre at the Barn has held the position of the oldest arena bar theatre in Pennsylvania and is even one of the oldest in the nation. This 99-seat theatre is dedication to entertainment and their summer program seeks to blend old and new theatre ideals and foster new talents. This summer, enjoy one (or all!) of their amazing shows, from Lead Me a Tenor to Funny Money to The Love List.
The theatre is located at Boal Estate Dr., in Boalsburg, PA, and has recently been renovated to make your evening even more splendid. The stage is larger, the seats are reupholstered and plush, they have installed a state-of-the-art LED lighting system and added a Broadway quality sound system. But, if you're a fan of charm and the old theatre, never fear. The Barn still holds on to its classic roots.
For more information and a full list of their summer shows, visit nittanytheatre.org.