Parent Drop-off Guide

The start of a new school year is an exciting time for both incoming freshman and returning students at Penn State. But there’s no reason why it can’t also be a fun time for parents. After months of buying dorm supplies, filling out financial aid paperwork, and packing the car to its breaking point, move-in week is a great to get to know Happy Valley, or to get reacquainted if you were a student here yourself.

Here’s our list of some of the best ways to spend a few days in the greater State College area.

Hike Mount Nittany. It goes without saying that Mount Nittany is one of the most recognizable landmarks in State College, but have you hiked to the top? If not, or if it’s been a while since you’ve enjoyed the views from the Mike Lynch Vista, head out to the aptly named Mt. Nittany Road in nearby Lemont, where the trailhead starts. The gentle sloping hills in the area are deceiving, as the hike will take you up a vertical rise of 600 feet over the course of 2-8 miles, depending on which trail you take. The views, however, are breathtaking and enable you to see Penn State from a totally viewpoint.

Visit the stadium. The Penn State All-Sports Museum is tucked into the bottom of Beaver Stadium and provides a good overview of history of athletics at the University, including football bowl trophies and interactive displays that let you feel the weight of a javelin. Several times per week, guided tours to the Mount Nittany Club section of the stadium are offered, so you can cap off your visit with a panoramic view of the football field when it’s empty, a view not many people get.

Check out downtown. There’s never a dull moment in Downtown State College, from street festivals, farmers’ markets, endless shopping possibilities, and restaurants that match any taste. Old-time eating favorites like The Deli, the Corner Room, and Spats are now accompanied by newer offerings such as The Green Bowl, Cozy Thai, and Pizza Mia – a new location of a Bellefonte pizza legend. You’ll also be able to find more Penn State-related gear than you can imagine, all while taking in the sights and sounds of Downtown.

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