Explore your backyard
Summer 2021 bucket list
Summer is the perfect time to plan new adventures, including those that can be found right in your own backyard. Our 2021 bucket list is all about discovering Happy Valley all over again, from new things to see and do, to new-to-you experiences.
- Scale new heights at Climb Nittany. The climbing walls, courses and classes at the newly opened facility in Boalsburg are designed to help everybody climb.
- Learn to mountain bike. Harvest Fields Community Trails’ multi-use trail system is an ideal place for the whole family to discover the sport of mountain biking, with trails designed for all skill levels.
- Observe nature. More than 140 resident and migratory birds can be spotted throughout the year at the Galen and Nancy Dreibelbis Viewing Area near Julian, which features fully accessible viewing blinds and a linear trail surrounding the wetland.
- Attend new festivals. Arts Fest weekend will look a little different again this year, but Happy Valley’s communities have stepped up with some exciting first-time events for the July 9-11 weekend. Millheim’s Art and Music Walk will feature three days of art, music, food and fun. Philipsburg Fest will kick off July 10 with the Wilderness City 5k race around beautiful Cold Stream Dam, followed by fireworks set off from the We Are Inn later that night. Way Fruit Farm’s Art in the Orchard event will feature artists, bands, food vendors and more from July 8-11.
- Go on an ag-focused driving tour. Happy Valley Agventures’ Ag Heritage Driving Tour and the Centre County Farmland Trust’s Farm Routes (There are three to choose from!) are fun ways to learn about the county’s agricultural roots – with plenty of memorable stops along the way, not to mention beautiful scenery.
- Create your own ice cream trail. Happy Valley is THE PLACE for the best ice cream, including several farm fresh, hyper-local options: the world-famous Berkey Creamery; Wasson Farm, Inglebean Ice Cream; Meyer Dairy, Big D’s Cones and Shakes in Milesburg, and the We Are Inn in Philipsburg (serving up Berkey Creamery ice cream and Italian water ice) are just some of the many cool options to beat the summertime heat in Happy Valley.
- Give a boost to new businesses. Belle Mercantile, Art Ala Cart, Axemann Brewery, Pine Grove Hall, University Wine Company’s new tasting room, Titan Market are among the businesses that opened during or directly before the pandemic.
- Enjoy a new season of Spikes baseball. Major League Baseball’s inaugural Draft League kicked off last month, bringing another exciting season of State College Spikes baseball to Happy Valley. What hasn’t changed is the comfortable, family friendly atmosphere at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, always enjoyable entertainment and delicious ballpark food.
- Discover new old finds. Happy Valley’s antique and vintage shops are full of unique finds. Philipsburg’s Shindig Alley specializes in Mid-Century Modern; Apple Hill Antiques in State College is one of central Pennsylvania’s premier antique co-ops. The Great Mish Mosh is a “great collection of everything” and one of many browse-worthy antique stores in Bellefonte.
- Stay tuned for new experiences on the horizon. The pollinator garden at the Arboretum at Penn State is expected to welcome visitors later this month. In Bellefonte, all eyes are on The Gamble Mill project, including the anticipated opening of the Creekside at the Mill restaurant, and The Republic bar. In nearby Milesburg, Happy Dishes and a second Lupita’s location will soon bring flavorful dining options to the Bald Eagle Valley.
Need more inspiration? Visit Dispatch.HappyValley.com