The Getaway
Things to Do in State College, PA

State College is a college town with a lively community in Pennsylvania's scenic beauty. At its center, Penn State University is known for top academics and a dynamic campus life. This combination of beautiful surroundings and education makes State College an unparalleled destination for students, residents, and tourists.

State College, PA, offers a rich experience with its mix of education, sports, art, and nature. Whether you're drawn to campus life, the thrill of athletic achievements, the charm of art, or the call of the wild, there's a chapter waiting to be written here for you.


01 Visit Penn State University

August 31, 2017: Students and adults walk in front of the Old Main building, on the campus of Penn State University, in State College, Pennsylvania. (5949) Kristopher Kettner/Shutterstock

First, don't miss Penn State University. The vibe of scholarly excellence is everywhere. Walking through Penn State University is to explore a place rich in knowledge and history. Iconic sights like Old Main and the Nittany Lion Shrine share stories from the past and present. But there's more than just historic buildings and landmarks. Take a guided tour, try the ice cream made on campus, or visit the large bookstore. The vibrant academic atmosphere encourages curiosity and exploration, making it a top spot to visit in State College.


02 Penn State All-Sports Museum

The Penn State All-Sports Museum is a treasure trove for sports fans. Filled with memorabilia across different sports, it showcases the university's athletic achievements and rich history. It honors Penn State's commitment to competition and teamwork.

It's a cool spot where the legends and achievements of both men and women athletes from Penn State are celebrated. It's all about showing off hard work and success and keeping their stories alive for everyone to learn from and enjoy. And guess what? You can get closer to the action as a "Friend of the Museum." This comes with some sweet perks and chances to experience even more cool stuff. So, why not see all the amazing history packed inside? It's a great way to spend a day.


03 Palmer Museum of Art

The Palmer Museum of Art exhibits a visually captivating collection of American and European artworks. With changing exhibitions, there's always something fresh to explore, making it a central part of the university's cultural scene.

This museum has everything from ancient pieces to modern works, pleasing all art enthusiasts. With new special exhibits often, there's always something interesting to see. Exhibits aren't only paintings; they're a deep dive into creativity of all types. The Palmer Museum is perfect for art lovers and the curious alike, offering a memorable cultural experience.

Check out the second-floor old masters Baroque and Renaissance gallery. Admission is free, so you have every reason to visit.


04 Attend a Penn State Football Game

Nothing marks fall in State College like a Penn State football game at Beaver Stadium. Picture the excitement of joining almost 107,000 fans, buzzing with excitement. The tradition of tailgating starts the fun hours before the game, with fans in blue and white enjoying barbecues and games. Everyone wears white for the game, creating an unforgettable "white out" scene. The loud cheers and the excitement of the game showcase college football at its best.


05 The Arboretum at Penn State

The Arboretum at Penn State is perfect for a peaceful getaway. Walk through its many plant collections and enjoy the stunning colors and variations. The Children's Garden is a magical place for kids, with fun, educational installations. Check out the seasonal events, particularly in spring and fall, when the arboretum lights up with flowers and autumn colors. It's a tranquil haven in the campus bustle.


06 Downtown State College

Cathedral of Learning, a 42-story Late Gothic Revival Cathedral, at the University of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, USA

Get immersed into the atmosphere of Downtown State College, an area jam-packed with shopping and dining options. From the shopping mall to sweet shops to satisfy every craving. The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts brings artists from all over the nation to the district. It's a haven for book lovers, fashion trendsetters, and people who love tasty local coffee. It is truly the right place to discover quaint bookshops and trendy boutiques. And provides an awesome chance to be a coffee shop regular.

Exploring the Penn State Downtown State College Public Art Walk is a real treat. You'll stumble upon cool sculptures and vibrant murals that bring the streets to life. It's more than art; it's about experiencing the town's vibe. You don't have to be an art expert to enjoy the walk. Just keep your eyes open and let the creativity of soak in. Spending an afternoon here is a relaxing way to unwind and capture Instagram-worthy pics.


07 Columbus Chapel and Boal Mansion

Explore history at the Columbus Chapel and Boal Mansion. This special place provides an exciting look into the past with a wide array of Christopher Columbus artifacts and European antiques. Enter a different time filled with tales of exploration. As you walk through, you'll sense the heavy history contrasting the college town outside. It's a thrilling trip back in time for anyone interested in history, leaving you amazed at the adventures that shaped our world.


08 Attend a Performance at Eisenhower Auditorium

Check out the Eisenhower Auditorium at Penn State for a dose of culture. It's a leading arts venue, hosting everything from Broadway shows to concerts. It's where music, drama, and dance come to life, promising a night to remember. Whether you love opera or rock, Eisenhower guarantees top entertainment with over 200 shows per year.

Be enchanted by a ballet one night and laugh at a comedy show the next. Its variety keeps both locals and visitors coming back.

Eisenhower offers top entertainment, with world-famous artists taking the stage. Imagine watching breathtaking performances up close. And it's all in the welcoming atmosphere of State College.

Next time you're in town wondering what to do in the evening, try Eisenhower Auditorium. It's not just a venue; it's where you make unforgettable memories, one amazing show at a time.


09 Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania

Do you have curious kids? The Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania is great for sparking an interest in science and adventure. This hands-on science museum has many exhibits and programs that make learning fun. Kids can build and explore space while learning cool facts. It's fun, educational, and a great way to enjoy family time together.


10 Hike Mount Nittany

Mount Nittany, located next to State College, is a nature getaway. It features trails with stunning panoramic views of the valley for both casual walkers and seasoned hikers. The paths provide a mix of adventure and beautiful scenery, making for an enjoyable outdoor experience for all.


11 Rothrock State Forest

Want more nature? Rothrock State Forest has plenty more to offer. Rothrock is ideal whether you fancy a picnic, kayaking on a lake, or climbing peaks. It's a place where adventure and calm meet, perfect for anyone looking to escape daily life. Bring lunch and your adventurous spirit, and let Rothrock be the setting for a day filled with exploration and rest.


12 Berkey Creamery

Ice cream fans, celebrate! The Berkey Creamery in State College is a must-visit. It has offered delicious ice cream for over 150 years, giving you a piece of Penn State's history. With many flavors, from classic vanilla to unique inventions, all made with milk from Penn State cows. The hardest part is choosing which flavor to indulge in first.


Scroll Down

for the Next Article

The Getaway Badge
Sign up to receive insider info and deals that will help you travel smarter.