Affordable City Vacations Meet the Great Outdoors in Happy Valley

Nestled in the “Centre of Adventure”, Happy Valley, Pennsylvania, offers travelers plenty of, well, happy experiences. Home to charming towns within Centre County — such as State College, Bellefonte, Boalsburg, and Philipsburg — this region offers the best of both worlds when it comes to beautiful outdoors and urbane (yet affordable) small-city experiences.

Get Outdoors

Explore the area’s incredible natural beauty and keep an eye out for wildlife at state parks like Bald Eagle State Park and Black Moshannon State Park. Go hiking or mountain biking in the sprawling Rothrock State Forest. Marvel at the country’s only all-water cavern and farm-nature-wildlife park at Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park. Toss a fishing line into Big Poe Creek and Black Moshannon Creek, known for exceptional trout fishing, or paddle down the rapids of Spring Creek or Bald Eagle Creek on a guided kayak trip with Tussey Mountain Outfitters. In the summer, stay at Toftrees Golf Resort to play a PGA-rated golf course, or in the winter, hit the ski slopes at Tussey Mountain.

Explore Small Towns

Home to Penn State University, State College is a bustling college town with plenty of action. Enjoy gourmet burgers at The Field Burger & Tap and craft beer at Boal City Brewing Or taste your way through 12 of the area’s wineries, distilleries, cideries and breweries on the Central PA Tasting Trail. In Bellefonte, stroll the charming downtown and take in the sights of Victorian-era architecture.

A house with Green lush lawn infront

Explore Arts, Culture, & Entertainment

Centre County boasts a vibrant art scene with all kinds of performance venues and festivals. At the new Palmer Museum of Art at the Arboretum (opening spring 2024), explore exhibits that showcase Penn State’s vast collection of artworks. Watch a theatrical production or musical at the Penn State Centre Stage, Broadway Shows with the Center for the Performing Arts, world-class concerts at Bryce Jordan Center or catch a live performance by the Nittany Valley Symphony.

Named one of the top 10 summer festivals in the country, the annual Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is filled with handmade jewelry, housewares, pottery, and fine art at the sidewalk sale, along with live music and great street food. Listen to live jazz and orchestral concerts at Penn’s Woods Music Festival or head to downtown Bellefonte for Fridays in the ‘Fonte, or State College’s First Friday for live music enjoyed in beautiful outdoor spaces.

Discover Historic Sites and Museums

Surprising, unexpected, and unforgettable sums up the history in The Happy Valley. This is the place where you can see 15th-century European oil paintings and pieces of The True Cross of Jesus at Columbus Chapel & Boal Mansion Museum in Boalsburg.

Boalsburg’s Pennsylvania Military Museum honors the military service of all Pennsylvanians with displays of artifacts and equipment from conflicts in the air, sea, and on the ground.

Start planning your next vacation with more ideas from The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau.

Enjoy a little video visit via our YouTube channel: Get Happy in #HappyValleyPA

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