When you think of State College, you probably think of tailgating before football games in the fall, sledding on the HUB Lawn in the winter and iconic day-long parties when the community comes out of hibernation to bask in the warmer weather brought by spring. However, when summer rolls around in State College, most Nittany Lions have returned to their hometowns or embarked on an exciting adventure abroad.
For the few that remain, the uncharacteristic quiet can be daunting — but your State College summer could prove to be your best break yet if you follow VALLEY’s tips!
If you live in off-campus housing that operates through a private real-estate company, you might be set to stay where you are for the summer months. Though it can vary, most agreements executed by leasing agents around State College are in effect for a 12-month span that extends through the beginning of August. However, if you spent the school year in on-campus housing, you might be looking for a place to stay during the summer months. Luckily, many State College residents have vacant apartments that they offer to sublease for the summer. Whether you want to ask around your friend group or visit a Facebook page that allows users to interact on the basis of their subleasing needs, you’re sure to find a living arrangement that will work for everyone involved.
Once you’ve established a suitable living arrangement, you can start searching for fun ways to spend your free time during your summer in Happy Valley. If you want to expand your palette and sample cooking styles from around the world, you’re in luck! State College is full of lovely eateries that feature dishes from different cultures across the globe. If you love sushi and authentic Japanese cuisine, stop by Kondu to try their signature sushi burritos. Using seaweed wraps to pack a powerful punch of fresh fish, assorted vegetables and rice, you can show your Penn State pride by sampling the Nittany Lion burrito at Kondu’s downtown location.
If you’re craving something a little closer to home, check out Gigi’s Southern Table for local farm-to-table dishes that channel the casual sophistication of Southern hospitality with dishes like Gigi’s signature shrimp and grits. For a classic all-American diner experience, stop by State College’s beloved Corner Room to try their BBQ burger, grilled stickies and hot fudge sundae.
If you’re 21 and older, check out Champs Downtown and try their signature Dirty Sprites or stop by The Basement Nightspot to sip on their famous Big Basement Teas.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the arts, stop by the Palmer Museum on campus to appreciate fine artwork or The State Theatre downtown to enjoy live music and theater performances. Between July 14 and July 17, look out for the annual Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts — colloquially known as Arts Fest — and celebrate local artistry throughout the three-day event.
If you want to support the LGBTQIA+ community and witness the performance of a lifetime, check out 3 Dots Downtown to see members of Opulence, Penn State’s own Drag Ambassadors, slay the runway with looks that could kill and performances that are sure to leave you breathless.
Share your favorite State College summer memories with us on Twitter @VALLEYmag!