Local Area

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Local Area


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3 College Freshman

Local Area: Coming from the city, living in Altoona takes time to get used to but it is not that bad. Altoona is a very small town there are numerous of places to eat and they have one mall but if you don't have a car to get around then you can forget about it. However, Altoona does have buses they just take forever for you to get to your destination.

3 College Sophomore

Local Area: There is shopping and restaurants but they aren't that close to campus and it's average stuff, nothing exciting or exceptional

2 College Sophomore

Local Area: It is not a very safe area. Not a lot of activities to do around the area.

3 College Sophomore

Local Area: If you or friends do not have a car, Altoona becomes pretty unbearable. Many things are not walking distance. The busses aren't the most reliable. Some of the locals are nice, however I feel that many of them just tolerate us. Compared to the shopping at home, the mall here is sad. There is not much to do here, I find that the campus often has trips to go places because they know there isn't much to do here.

2 College Freshman

Local Area: Altoona is a large town but campus is completely out of the way. There is nothing in walking distance. To get to town you have to drive. There are many places to eat once you're in town, however if you aren't there isn't much.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Unfortunately, the city of Altoona is not a college town. Most businesses close around 10:30 p.m., although many are trying to extend their hours for more business. However, the Varsity Café is very close to campus and doesn't close until midnight. This café features hookahs, singing, and dancing, and although the venue is fairly small, it a popular place for students. Other favorite late-night activities include going to a late movie or traveling to nearby colleges to interact with new people. On some nights, the two bowling alleys in town offer midnight bowling, which lasts until 2 a.m. and comes at a reduced price.

The majority of students tend to stay on campus or very close by, mingling at the off-campus apartments with their classmates. A lot of people also travel to State College where "Big Penn State" resides. Underage activities tend to revolve around walking the streets and trying to find a place to hang out. However, even though Altoona isn’t a traditional college town, the college atmosphere is very prevalent here.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Sheetz headquarters is in Altoona.
  2. Altoona is home to the oldest roller coaster in the world.
  3. The Altoona Curve, a minor league baseball team, plays at Blair County Ballpark, which has a roller coaster (the Skyliner from neighboring Lakemont Park) located just beyond right field.
  4. Mallo Cups are made in Altoona.
  5. The main campus of Penn State (University Park) is only 45 minutes from Altoona.
Notable Natives
  • Charlie Crist - Florida governor
  • Bob Sheetz - founder of Sheetz convenience store/gas station chain
Local Slang
  • Crick: Creek
  • Slippy: Slippery
Points of Interest
  • Blair County Ballpark
  • Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark
  • Lakemont Park
  • Railroad Museum
Shopping Centers
Logan Valley Mall
Movie Theaters
Carmike Cinemas
600 Logan Valley Mall
(814) 944-0339
Major Sports Teams
Altoona Curve: Minor league baseball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Harrisburg: PA: 2 hours
  • Pittsburgh: PA: 2 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 39 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 39 responses

  • 3% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 21% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 38% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 21% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 18% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 38 responses

  • 61% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 21% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 18% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 39 responses

  • 8% Totally.
  • 38% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 54% No way.
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