Scroll Down to Content Button

8 Fun Things to Do in State College

Experience the Northeast like never before. State College bridges the gap between history and modernity, inviting you to soak up icons like Old Main before sipping craft beer, walking through an arboretum, or sinking your teeth into the town’s best sushi rolls. Adventures abound whether you’re an alumni reliving your glory days or a traveler in search of a unique piece of the Northeast.

Take on State College starting with our eight favorite things to do, see, and eat, all just steps from Graduate State College.


Penn State Berkey Creamery

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Penn State’s own creamery. The Penn State Berkey Creamery is State College’s go-to for hand-churned ice cream. Since 1865, Penn State has used a science-based process to turn their very own milk into world-class dairy products. 

Sink your teeth into some of the best dairy products on the East Coast. Though you can grab a cone or a cup with as many scoops as you’d like, the creamery also sells cheese, meats, milk, butter, and more—all of which are made on site. 

Insider Tip

The majority of products are made using milk produced by the University’s on-campus herd of over 200 cows. You can buy milk, butter, and more, in the store.

See Flavors - Opens in new tab
Ice cream


Get a taste of Japan at Tadashi. This Japanese restaurant is a State College favorite for sushi rolls and authentic dishes. Their executive chef insists on using only the most high-quality ingredients, which shines through in their inventive dishes. 

Dig into pork katsu, spicy edamame, and more to start, then round out your meal with steamy ramen or donburi with miso soup or salad on the side. All this and more are on the menu at their two State College locations. 

Insider Tip

BYOB for free – and no bottle fee!

View Menu - Opens in new tab
sushi rolls

Otto’s Pub & Brewery

Cool down over a cold beer at Otto’s Pub & Brewery. This State College institution brews their own beer, so you’re sure to find something unique. Sip on refreshing lagers, British-style ales, and even a hard cider alongside pub grub like the ground beef swiss melt and the fried haddock sandwich. 

Not into alcohol? Try Otto’s handmade craft sodas or freshly-brewed iced tea. Dig into it all in their taproom or order to-go so you can enjoy your meal from the comfort of your room at Graduate State College. 

Insider Tip

Don’t miss $5 boneless chicken wings, available all day every Tuesday!

What’s On Tap - Opens in new tab
small glass of beer

Palmer Museum of Art

Surround yourself with art of all kinds at the Palmer Museum of Art. Their permanent collection includes paintings and sculptures spanning the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century. Each work holds a piece of American history, from the Early Republic to the genre painting of the Civil War. 

Once you’ve perused all the paintings, head to the Tonkin Gallery of Studio Glass and Ceramics to witness everything that glass can be.

Insider Tip

Tickets are always free, but visitors must reserve a free timed-entry ticket online via the website prior to arriving at the museum.

Plan Your Visit - Opens in new tab
art gallery

Discovery Space

Satisfy your curiosity at Discovery Space. This interactive museum is dedicated to shining a new light on science and technology. Play, explore, and experiment your way through Discovery Space’s more than 45 exhibits. 

Dive deep into the ocean at the marine life exhibit. Learn all about the lives of bees. Or drop the kids off for a day at science camp while you explore State College.

Insider Tip

Their makerspace, The Rivet, helps the community build the skills to make or fix just about anything. Continually seeking to spark curiosity and creativity, they serve everyone from toddlers to seniors.

Explore the Space - Opens in new tab
star fish

Arboretum at Penn State

Walk beneath the trees at the Arboretum at Penn State. This 370-acre expanse features lush gardens, vibrant groves, and almost endless peace and quiet. Immerse yourself in nature as you explore the thousands of plants and flowers that bloom within the Arboretum. 

Walk alongside ancient plants from the late Cretaceous Period or stop and smell the roses in the Rose & Fragrance Garden before watching the show at the Margery Enes Smith Soaring Waters fountain.

Insider Tip

Be on the lookout for workshops like “Food from Forage” and learn how to make food from plants in your backyard like dandelion jelly.

Explore the Garden - Opens in new tab

Old Main

Few things in State College are better known than Old Main. This campus landmark sees students through the seasons—by winter, they build snowmen on the lawn while, by spring, they gather on the grass. Swing by this iconic building and you’ll be part of one of Penn State’s most beloved pastimes. 

Though the building is more than 150 years old, it still stands as a symbol of Penn State’s enduring college pride. Admire the stately exterior, but also step inside to see colorful murals and interesting architecture.

Insider Tip

In the 1940s, Old Main became home to Henry Varnum Poor’s land-grant frescoes, which depict Penn State’s founding and early development through murals.

Discover Old Main - Opens in new tab
Old Main

Lion’s Pride

Put your Penn State pride on full display at Lion’s Pride, the campus go-to for Lions gear. Get cozy in a new sweatshirt or sweat pants, or opt for their more classy collections including shirts, dresses, and polos.

Though Lion’s Pride is known for their apparel, they carry even more ways to show off your love for the Lions. Pick up jewelry, blankets, pillows, and more, so Penn State can appear in every aspect of your life.

Insider Tip

Check out their Everything Penn State blog for the latest on Penn State athletics.

Shop - Opens in new tab
state college notebook