By Jaclyn Bealer
State College
Pennsylvania
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Nestled in the valley of the Allegheny mountain range, State College, Pennsylvania, is an ideal destination for any traveler. The area, affectionately known as “Happy Valley,” offers big city experiences with small town charm. Visit an art exhibit, shop downtown, hike the mountain range, cheer at a Penn State sporting event, experience the nightlife, stay in a hotel with character--the opportunities are endless in Central Pennsylvania.

EscapeWizard.com invites you to visit State College for your next getaway. The city, ranked one of the safest small towns in America, can be reached by way of the University Park Airport (SCE). Alternative methods of travel include flights to Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) or Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and then a scenic ride though the mountains via bus or rental car to State College. To book your flight, vacationers can click on this link (www.escapewizard.com/flight.php) to compare prices among various options. Then when booking your hotel, look below to view our top selections, then click here (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl) to book through EscapeWizard.com.

Once in Central Pennsylvania, EscapeWizard.com encourages you to stroll downtown along College Avenue or Beaver Avenue and visit one specialty shop after another. Whether you are looking for Nittany Lion gear, antiques, clothing, outdoor outfitters, or toys and games for the family, Happy Valley has something for everyone. If you get hungry, stop in one of the many downtown restaurants, pubs, or cafes. On Friday afternoons, take a short walk to the State College Farmer’s Market on Locust Lane and purchase fresh baked goods, fruit and vegetables, flowers, and crafts from local vendors.

Whether you are an alumnus of Pennsylvania State University, a parent visiting their child, or a rival fan, you can not visit State College without setting foot on the beautiful University Park campus, located only a minute’s walk from downtown. If you are in town on a football game day, you can hear more than one hundred thousand Nittany Lions roaring from Beaver Stadium.

While State College is full of activity year round, July is a month of back-to-back festivals. If you are in the area for Independence Day, experience what the Travel Channel calls "one of the best fireworks displays in the world." In addition to 4th Fest, EscapeWizard.com considers the Central Pennsylvania Festival of Arts a must-do activity. More commonly known as Arts Fest, the occasion attracts more than 300 of the country’s most innovative artists and craftsmen as well as performances presented at six outdoor and indoor stages. 
   
After experiencing downtown State College, take a step back in time with a trip to Bellefonte, located just ten miles northeast. Home to only 6,000 residents, Bellefonte offers “Victorian charm in a modern world.” EscapeWizard.com invites you to experience the unparalleled historic architecture with a visit to the Bellefonte Museum located on Allegheny Street. Looking for an even closer drive? Colonial Boalsburg, only a five minute ride from State College, is more than 200 hundred years old and is also the birth place to Memorial Day.

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you have come to the right place. Considered one of the best adventure towns in the United States, you can get a rush of adrenaline while exploring the forest of Mount Nittany, skiing down Tussey Mountain, and biking on some of the best on and off road trails in Pennsylvania. Take a short drive on Route 26 to Stone Valley and experience the seven hundred acre park in the Alleghenies. Along the way, EscapeWizard.com hopes you make a roadside stop at Jo Hays Vista for a breathtaking mountain view of rural State College.

After a day of adventure, be sure to enjoy all the nightlife Central Pennsylvania has to offer. Grab a pint at one of the many bars and pubs in downtown, ranging from margaritas to martinis to State College specialty drinks like “Monkey Boys.” Visit one of the underground pubs on Allen Street or Pugh Street for a small hangout. If you brought your dancing shoes, EscapeWizard.com suggests one of the clubs on College Avenue. Or, if you would rather leave dancing to the professionals, you can see a show, concert, or film downtown. 

With breathtaking views, delicious food, unique shops and a family-friendly atmosphere, the opportunities are endless in State College. There is a reason this community is called “Happy Valley” and EscapeWizard.com knows that anyone who visits Central Pennsylvania will not be disappointed.
Hotels in State College
By Shaina Amienyi
Hilton Garden Inn
1221 East College Avenue, State College, PA
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A half-mile from Beaver Stadium, home of the Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions, sits the Hilton Garden Inn State College. The hotel features 95 guest rooms and 8 suites with luxurious amenities to make guests as comfortable as possible. Check-in begins at 3pm, and checkout is at noon. The hotel will store your luggage if you arrive before 3pm or leave town much later than noon.

You can choose a room with two queen beds or one king bed, all with adjustable mattresses. While in your room, relax in the lounge chair by the ottoman, play video games on the flat screen TV, or listen to music using the alarm clock with mp3 jack. Rooms include a work area containing a large work desk with a desk chair designed to comfort your back. There are two data ports and complimentary high-speed internet access. Bathrooms feature hair dryers, granite vanities, and carved shower rods. Black-out curtains, night lights in the bathroom, and glowing light switches are also included for your convenience.

When it is time to eat, head to Harrison's Wine and Grill; the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails. You can eat in the restaurant or order room-service from the restaurant during dinner hours. If you want snacks in between meals, you can get them at Pavilion Pantry, the 24-hour on-site convenience store. While you are at the hotel, make use of the heated indoor swimming pool and whirlpool. There is also a well-equipped fitness center so guests can keep up exercise routines.

Its over 2,350 square feet of meeting and banquet space makes the Hilton a great place to hold an event. Event hosts can have functions catered by Harrison's Wine Grill catering staff and rent the latest audio/visual equipment. Business guests can work in the 24-hour business center, which features express mail, copying, faxing, and printing services.

The Hilton Garden Inn State College aims to provide business and leisure guests with a worry-free, comfortable, enjoyable experience. It offers deluxe accommodations, a friendly staff, and exciting amenities. The hotel is located in a great area close to downtown State College, Pennsylvania State University, the Bryce Jordan Center, and Medlar Field at Lugano Park. EscapeWizard.com invites you to book your stay at this hotel. Simply click on the link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl) to reserve your room.