Pennsylvania State University or better known as Penn State, was founded in 1855 as the Farmer’s High School of Pennsylvania and is the state’s only land grant university. Located in State College, in the heart of Pennsylvania, Happy Valley is the home of good football, great food, and an even better time.
Check out our listing of places you must see!
The Penn State football program lays claim to a whopping 42 consensus All-Americans, 4 conference titles, 2 national championships, and 1 Heisman winner. The Nittany Lions call Beaver Stadium home and are 7th on the all-time victory list. With a capacity of over 106, 000, this stadium is the 2nd biggest in the Western Hemisphere, so you know there is bound to be plenty of tailgating.
Many fans tailgate on the intermural fields not too far from Nittanyville, where students camp out the night before home games. As the crowd begins to rock in anticipation of the team’s arrival, The Blue Band entertains the fans-in-arms with “Rock and Roll Cheer” and the spelling out of L-I-O-N-S on the field.
Once the team arrives with Coach Franklin aboard the Blue Buses and make their way onto the field, the crowd erupts into a deafening roar of “WE ARE …PENN STATE!” while the drum major performs the signature acrobatic front flip. A victory is not complete without fans singing the alma mater “For the glory of old State” in unison. The fun doesn’t have to stop there, check out the many attractions Happy Valley has to offer.
Penn State History and Must See's on Campus
Old Main is the first building of significance at the Penn State. It was built in 1867 and rebuilt in 1930, it now serves as the administrative center of the university. Old Main houses the University President’s Office and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.
The Centre Furnace Mansion was established in 1791. In 1855, the owners James Irvin and Moses Thompson gifted 200 acres of Centre Furnace land to establish Farmer’s High School now known as Penn State. The mansion currently serves as the HQ of the Centre County Historical Society.
Restaurants & Hot Spots
Whether you choose to sightsee before or after the game, nothing would top the day off better than some delicious food from a variety of local restaurants or maybe catch some more football at one of the sports bars. If it’s dinner with the family in a family friendly setting, then American Alehouse & Grill, Corner Room or The Tavern are the go-to places.
If you and your old college buddies want to catch up on old times, then State College has Bar Bleu which boasts 22 true 1080i HDMI high definition flat screen TVs, authentic Kansas City BBQ, live music, pool tables, bubble hockey, and sports arcade games or Zeno’s Pub located downtown in State College.
Spirits connoisseur? Otto’s and Barrel 21 is a restaurant, brewery, and distillery all located at the same site. Great food and your choice of spirits, ales, and even wine tasting can all be found at this one of kind and local favorite of Nittany Lion fans!
Entertainment for the Whole Family
The Rampage Room is a veteran and locally owned family entertainment center. It contains a paint splatter room, a virtual gaming room, and a smash room. It is great fun for the family and the kids would really enjoy it!
By John Covington, Clemson University, Class of 2021.