Most appreciation for culture...
Most appreciation for culture stems from the nearby Universtiy Park campus of Penn State.
However, there is an historical Black church located in nearby Bellefonte, Pennsylvania (about a one-half hour drive from State College). The Church is called, St. Paul's AME African Methodist Episcopal church and a previous stop for the Underground Railroad.
Interest groups more often meet on campus while their activites spill into State College itself. Throughout the year...Penn State pays tribute to Culture through heritage months, which combine the Campus interests groups with community awareness activities. Penn State activities tend to merge with State College community activities making the distinction between town and campus blurred. Efforts are currently underway to convert State College's stagnant 'State Theatre' building. The Building is under proposition to become an independent entity apart from PSU. If fundraising attempts are successful, it should house Artistic and Cultural events for the State College community and Centre County at large.
Happy Valley ~ State College, Pennsylvania
"Home of Penn State University"
The Road to Happy Valley
August 20, 2010 ~
Move In-Day ~ The previous four years of hard work were all made worth while today when my daughter moved into her dorm at Penn State!
~ June, 2010 ~
Our daughter love fell in love with Penn State University on our first visit to State College back in 2007. I am proud to say was accepted into the prestigious Smeal School of Business (one of the top 10 business schools in the country) at Penn State University and is a rising Freshman for Fall, 2010. We have made two trips to Penn State U. over the past couple of months, and needless to say, we expect there will be many more visits. The town of State College and the university become more and more appealing with each visit!
~ May, 2008 ~
It's been two years since we visited State College, Pennsylvania, and Penn State University. And even though the purpose for our visit is the same as before--volleyball--it is another chance to see more of this little town and the university that virtually put it on the map. Thousands of girls travel here each year with their teams to compete, and showcase their talent with the individual hope of catching the eye of the college scouts who also attend this 3-day event now named the "Happy Volley Club Championships."
Late May brings warm days and cool nights and ample opportunity to explore sights around town, on the university campus, and surrounding natural wonders of this beautiful countryside. There is plenty to see and do in this area. This visit allowed us to visit more sites and revisit others. Therefore, I have added new tips, updated others and added many new pictures!!
~ May, 2007 ~
What an unexpectedly great weekend we had in State College, Pennsylvania!! Known for being home to the legendary Nittany Lions of Penn State University, the town of State College, Pennsylvania, was our destination for Memorial Day weekend where the 2007 East Coast Volleyball Championships were being held. An estimated 600 girls' teams with 10,000 people or more converged on State College coming from as far south as Virginia and as far north as Ontario, Canada. Our daughter's team was culminating the competitive season here and what an experience it turned out to be!!
"Medium-Size Town Welcomes Big Crowds"
State College, located in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, is what I would call a medium-sized town. Yet, being the home of Penn State University, the university student population increases the number of the town's inhabitants by the thousands (30,000???) during the academic year. And during football season when there is a home game, the population increases by the tens of thousands. Penn State's "Beaver Stadium" currently has a full capacity of 107,282 seats and is second in size only to the University of Michigan's stadium in Ann Arbor. Joe Paterno ("Joe Pa"), football coach of the Nittany Lions, and his team have an amazing following of fans and supporters which for some can be called a religion!! Paterno had a real side-line injury last fall (2006), but at age 80 he is returning for his 57th season with the Nittany Lions in 2007 (statistics per Wikipedia).
Football is not the only nationally recognized sport taking place on Penn States' Campus --- Penn States' Womens' Volleyball team has won 2 consecutive NCAA championships.
State College, Pennsylvania, and Penn State University have been hosting the East Coast Volleyball Championships for about 17 years now. The town and many of its merchants rolled out the hospitality red carpet and put up welcoming signs which I found pretty special. You can bet that during the 3-4 day period that the volleyball teams stay here, they give a healthy boost to the State College economy in what would be the off-season.
"Life Outside of Penn State U"
The drive to State College, Pennsylvania, seduces you with its lush green countryside, mountains and the Susquehanna River which meanders through the valley for a good distance. The Susquehanna appears to be a swift moving, if somewhat rocky river with trees growing right down to the banks for most of what I could see. Perhaps it is because of all those beautiful rocks that you see no pleasure boats, no ever expanding ripples created on this part of the river. I found the river beautiful.
State College is a pleasant town with a somewhat lively little downtown, contrasted by quiet neighborhoods, and including golf courses, the university, and many hotels, and restaurants to serve its needs. The University provides multiple opportunities for sporting events and cultural performances. It doesn't have the charm of some other university town's I've visited, but it was a very nice town to be in for a few days nonetheless. Some of the nearby towns have attractions which would probably be worth the short drive to see them:
Boalsburg, PA ~ Birthplace of "Memorial Day" and home to the Pennsylvania Military Museum, Duffy's Tavern, the Boal Mansion, parades, festivals, etc.
Altoona, PA ~ Home of the Railroaders Memorial Museum. Rides on the rail are a nice change of pace and another good way to see some of the countryside.
Oak Hall, PA ~ Home of Historic Penn's Caves and Wildlife Park - Tours of the natural geologic caverns and underground streams along with a motorized tour of 1,500 acres of preserved natural forest habitat for birds, elk, deer, wolves, bear, bison, and mustangs are appealing.