Top must-see spots of State College

UNIVERSITY PARK – It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly makes Happy Valley so happy and charming, but a good guess would perhaps be the hidden gems sprinkled throughout State College.

Each building, each structure, each lawn, each café and each restaurant holds a legacy that stretches for generations. There is such depth to the valley and such history.

The must-see destinations of State College are listed below; they encompass the happy spirit that lights the hearts of each student, resident and Nittany lion. 


Carved by Heinz Warneke out of Indiana limestone, the shrine was dedicated to Penn State Homecoming on Oct. 24, 1942. The shrine has been through a lot over the years, whether it be six students from Syracuse University splashing orange paint all over the lion in 1966 or losing one of its ears in 1978. More importantly, the Lion has been a major backdrop for family photos and post cards and screen savers as well as a symbol upon which the Penn State Nittany pride rests upon in glory. 

Old Main was first completed in 1867, but the building we see today was the model completed in 1930. The structure is made of limestone quarried from the land right in front of Old Main and the all-too-familiar bell ringing every fifteen minutes has roots in a gift from the class of 1904. It was 1993 when the University began to use digital chimes that we hear today. Frescoes and murals hug the walls inside Old Main and are welcome for the public to come and see; these murals share the history of Penn State University. 

The Corner Room was first open to the public in 1855, the same year Penn State University welcomed students inside its Nittany halls. Back in 1855, the Corner Room was known as Jack’s Roadhouse. A century and many decades later, the business spiraled into eight different businesses, with the Corner Room being the very one at the intersection of College Avenue and Allen Street. There’s nothing like meeting someone at the Corner. 

At the turn of the century, Webster’s Bookstore & Café opened in 1999. Since its opening, Webster’s has been providing fair-trade and organic coffee. Feed into that aroma of books and coffee beans, into a café that uses local produce and offers catering and specialty menus. Every month, the café hosts  events that get residents on their feet including Open Mic night, Argentine Tango Tuesdays. A warm and cozy atmosphere, Webster’s bookstore provides a heady mix of community, literature, art and music. 

Beaver Stadium: with a seating capacity of 106,572, this stadium is the second largest in the Western Hemisphere and the third largest in the world. In 2016, in a USA Today poll, Beaver Stadium was voted as the number one football stadium when it comes to college football. The stadium has been expanded six times in its career and reached an attendance of 110,823 in 2017 in the Whiteout game against Michigan — the largest crowd in Beaver Stadium ever. 

A special experience at Penn State University, the Berkey Creamery provides mouthwatering ice cream by cup, cone or milkshake. With strict rules of blue and white sprinkles and no mix of flavor, the Creamery brings the blue and white spirit into sweet and cold goodness. Dairy Research began at Penn State in 1865, the same year when the Creamery opened in the “College Barns” behind Old Main. Today, the Creamery is in the food science building on Curtin Road and uses a unique process and formula consisting of 12 steps to produce the best ice cream for the best and happiest valley.  

The Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State provides a stage for talent, innovation and art form. It all began with the Artist Series in 1957 and by 1985, artists showcased theirs works in Eisenhower…and the Center for the Performing Arts was born! Currently, there are shows weekly that range in culture, style, movement and sound — there is always something for everybody so keep refreshing the events page to see what theatrical treasures you might find! 

Mount Nittany consists of a ridge that divides Nittany Valley and Penns Valley. Penn State University is at the very foot of Mount Nittany, a renowned Centre County geographical symbol that gives the Nittany Lion his name. The views picturesque, the hike and experience astounding and the legacy of the term Nittany is too good to pass up. Go on and see for yourself the peak of the Nittany pride. 

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