Where to stay this Fall

By Christen Bell


As the summer dwindles, “We Are” chants are heard around the Penn State campus and the first coin toss commences, football season — and thousands of accompanying fans — will take over Happy Valley. And for those fans without any local friends and family, where to stay is a major piece of the weekend planning.

Thankfully, there is a plethora of options for those looking to stay in and around the State College area this fall. Consider your plans, length of stay, style and price, then check out the timeless tradition of the Nittany Lion Inn or Penn Stater or the long-weekend escape of Bear Mountain Lodge or Gage Mansion Bed and Breakfast.

When considering price and availability, take note of the popularity of the game. Homecoming and rival games will have inflated prices as well as very limited availability. Look now for the best rates and choices!

Take a long weekend

For football fans or weekend adventurers, there are plenty of scenic choices that bring you to PSU in less than two hours. Bear Mountain Lodge provides guests everything needed for a relaxing weekend getaway with options to explore nature at Pine Creek and Mouth of the Canyon, Tioga Central Rail Road or Pine Creek Rail Trail. Travelers can also visit downtown Wellsboro for a beautiful and quaint small town feel. Visit bearmountainbb.com for more information.

If you’re looking to get away but keep it a bit closer to PSU, look into the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau for Raystown Lake options such as large vacation homes, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds and cabins. Visit raystown.org/places-to-stay for more information.

Gage Mansion Bed and Breakfast is just one of the options for Huntingdon County and Raystown guests. It’s located in downtown Huntingdon near restaurants, shopping and local attractions like Raystown Lake. The historic Queen Anne Victorian is updated with modern amenities and luxurious details like Italian marble floors. 

Website: gagemansion.com

Cozy up for a weekend getaway

If you want to be close to the action, yet still feel like you’re stealing a weekend away look into the multitude of bed and breakfasts available in State College and any of the neighboring towns.

Reynolds Mansion is a luxurious bed and breakfast built in 1885. The exquisite details of the mansion will take you back with its old world charm, and the Snuggery and Billiards Rooms will leave you feeling sophisticated and attended to.

Website: reynoldsmansion.com

If you’re looking for the Victorian style, The Queen, A Victorian B&B will enchant you with its Victorian parlour, fireplace and a gourmet breakfast. Just minutes from the Penn State campus, it’s accessible to everything happening in State College, or a nice hiding place among the Victorian streets of Bellefonte.

Website: thequeenbnb.com

Earlystown Manor Bed and Breakfast features a 10-acre estate complete with beautiful gardens and a panorama of beautiful views. A 15-minute drive puts you in the heart of Penn State, and as a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Bed and Breakfast Inns, you can be sure to have a quality experience.

Website: earlystownmanor.com

History buffs won’t be disappointed by choosing the Civil War Era Springfield House Bed and Breakfast located in historic Boalsburg. Built in the 1840s, but complete with modern amenities, this highly rated venue would make an excellent cozy getaway.

Website: springfieldhousebb.com

Hudson House Bed & Breakfast sits just five miles away from the Penn State campus in State College. The open meadows surrounding the house are clearly visible through the large windows of the three guest rooms. A tree-lined lane will welcome you to your home away from home.

Website: hudsonhousebnb.com

Rent an RV

For the serious tailgaters, renting an RV can be a great change of pace to your typical hotel stay. Nittany RV located in Coburn offers “turnkey tailgate weekends.” RVs are ready for pick-up when you arrive and stocked with the necessities. It’s already parked in a great tailgating spot so all that’s left to do is show up with the food, drinks and Nittany Lion spirit. Visit nittanyrv.com for more information.

Rent a house

Maybe you already have the perfect tailgating spot and need more room for your crew. If that’s the case, there are hundreds of options to rent a house so you can enjoy spreading out for the weekend. Local individuals offer up their homes to central Pennsylvania visitors on Air B&B, VRBO and Craigslist. You can find homes as close as the historic College Heights neighborhood in walking distance to the stadium, or save on your nightly cost by staying in nearby areas like Port Matilda, Bellefonte, Centre Hall, Altoona or Huntingdon. Some families list their entire home to be yours for the weekend, others have additions with separate entrances, and still others invite you to stay and enjoy the company and hospitality of a State College townie. With price points for everyone, these houses go fast and require booking ahead!

Hotel options

If you enjoy the comfort and predictability of a hotel, you’re not alone. State College and its surrounding areas will sell out their establishments during their busiest time of year — though Commencement Weekend is a strong competitor. Stay at a well-known branch like the Ramada, Courtyard Marriott, Hilton Garden Inn, SpringHill Suites, Comfort and Sleep Inn State College, or opt for a local option like The Penn Stater, The Nittany Lion Inn or Graduate Hotel in the heart of downtown State College.  The local hotels will be ready, but not waiting, they sell out quickly for home games and visitors should plan ahead to hold a room!

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