PA Travel Logo

 
Happy Valley Bucket List: Adventures for
Every Season

From bustling street festivals in the summer to blissfully quiet ski runs in the winter, State College has unforgettable experiences to enjoy year-round. Explore the towns of State College, Bellefonte, Boalsburg, Centre Hall and Philipsburg, as well as the natural beauty throughout Centre County, during your next trip with these must-try activities for every season:

Spring

Experience springtime in all of its lush, green glory when you mountain bike Rothrock State Forest, where more than 100 miles of forested trails offer routes for riders of every skill level. Or take in soaring views overlooking the verdant “Happy Valley” and nearby Mount Nittany when you go on a hot air balloon ride with The Sky’s the Limit Balloon Company in State College. In historic Bellefonte, stroll the quaint downtown streets for antique shopping and views of Victorian mansions, and on the third weekend in May, don’t miss the town’s Big Spring Festival with boating and fishing in Talleyrand Park. Meanwhile, Boalsburg is the birthplace of Memorial Day festivities, drawing nearly 25,000 people to its annual celebration.

Summer

Summer brings the blaze of sunny days, perfect for enjoying a scoop of ice cream from the iconic Penn State Berkey Creamery in University Park, where flavors like WPSU Coffee Break and Peachy Paterno nod to the namesake university. Take part in a summertime tradition in Centre Hall when you camp out at the Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair—celebrating its 145th year in 2019—featuring live music, rides, livestock shows and games. In State College, stroll the famous sidewalk sale and exhibition during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts to peruse the works of more than 300 artists and crafters. If you’re looking to escape the summer heat, descend into the cool caverns of Penns Cave & Wildlife Park in Centre Hall, where you can marvel at stalactites and stalagmites on a guided boat tour.

Fall

Enjoy the bounty of the season—pumpkins, apples, honey, freshly baked pastries and more—at one of the many farmers markets throughout the area. Harvest season also means it’s the perfect time to tour a local vineyard, cidery, brewery, or distillery on the Central Pennsylvania Tasting Trail. At Columbus Chapel & Boal Mansion Museum in Boalsburg, explore a historic mansion and marvel at the largest collection of authentic Christopher Columbus artifacts in the Western Hemisphere. And no fall trip to Central PA would be complete without a day of tailgating at Penn State, followed by cheering on the Nittany Lions college football team at Beaver Stadium.

Winter

The weather may be snowy, but wintertime is merry and bright in Central Pennsylvania. Get in the holiday spirit during the Bellefonte Victorian Christmas, when the town features a lineup of festive events: Festival of Trees, Santa Express on the Bellefonte Historical Railroad, Charles Dickens carolers and more. Spend an evening being enchanted by the magic of the theater at the historic State Theatre in State College, or watch a headliner concert or comedic performance at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park. For active types looking for adventure, ski down the snowy runs on at Tussey Mountain in Boalsburg, or just glide down the mountain at the snow tube park. In Black Moshannon State Park in Philipsburg, enjoy some peace and quiet along the cross-country skiing trails.

Looking for even more trip ideas? Order your free visitors guide to find fun things to do all year long.