Get Away for the Day

In the happiest of valleys, you can essentially participate in any activity you please—attend a baseball game, concert or theater performance, paint pottery, workout or even practice yoga. The State College community has become an economy that is dependent upon and caters to its largest market, the college-age student. While you would never really need to leave the 5-mile radius, except to see family, sometimes even the biggest State College, PA fans need to get out for the day.

That’s why Valley has created a list of activities that are easily accessible with a car for a day getaway.

Whipple Dam State Park

The closest thing State College has to a beach, Whipple Dam is a lake located 25 minutes away from campus. The sand beach is open from late-May to mid-September, 8 a.m. to sunset. There is also a beach volleyball court and boat rental. Perfect for when you’re craving the beach but can’t commit to something like Ocean City or Wildwood.

Find information on Whipple Dam here.

Centralia, PA

You have either heard about Centralia or you haven’t. Located in Columbia County, the town is roughly two hours away from campus. So, what makes this town so special? You see, Centralia is nearly a ghost-town. The town is set atop a coal mine and in 1962 it started burning under the streets. In 2013, the population was down to only seven people. Although marked unsafe to live, it is an eerily cool place to adventure to.


Located in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Hersheypark is an amusement park that claims to be the sweetest place on earth. Hershey is chocolate capital of the world and you will find an ample amount all around the park.

Philly Magic Gardens

Described as a “mosaicked visionary art environment, gallery and community arts center,” the Philadelphia Magic Gardens are an outdoor space where you can walk through and get inspired. Near the gardens you can also check out the Reading Terminal Market or Independence Hall if you want to become a little educated.

Tussey Mountain Ski Resort

Valley knows what you’re thinking; driving 15 minutes away from campus doesn’t sound like a very exciting day trip. But that’s where you are wrong! Tussey Mountain, although smaller, is a great place to ski or snowboard for the day with friends. You’ll get great views of the town and Valley promises while you’re up on the mountain, it won’t feel like you’re at school.

Eagle Valley Paintball

Just 30 minutes from State College, Eagle Valley Paintball is an outdoor woods paintball battle field. It is the great place for a beginner or an advanced player to have a day of exhilarating fun.

The next time you are in a school slump and want to get away for the day, keep the surrounding State College areas in mind for a day of fun.