Local Area

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Local Area


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3 College Sophomore

Local Area: It's nothing compared to where I am from. It's very quaint and old-fashioned.

3 College Junior

Local Area: It has its ups and downs. Good food, terrible locals though. Not surprising because it is rural PA.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Local Area: It's a college town. Lots of things are catered to students.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Local Area: They call this place "Happy Valley" for a reason. Most of the locals at State College are very supportive of Penn State, many restaurants and businesses will offer discounts towards students. If you are in need of any help, just ask local residents, most would be more than happy to help a fellow "Penn Stater." The scenery here is amazing, State College is often considered one of the best college towns in the US.

4 College Freshman

Local Area: The town is awesome. Everything you need is right there, and if you find something that isn't there, buses run up to huge shopping centers down N Atherton. You don't hear of kids here going and leaving PSU and visiting other schools much. Its mostly people coming here. Kinda tells you something.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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The town of State College has been fairly judged as a party town. The town's population and activity level rises and falls with the academic calendar. During the day, downtown State College is a decent shopping ground for any 15-25-year-old. The area surrounding State College is almost always undergoing development, with new shopping plazas, restaurants, and movie theaters being added every year. This part of town is more accessible if you have a car, though there is a public transportation system if you're willing to keep to its erratic schedule.

At night, the stores close and the bars open. It's easy to find a party, but if you don't want to drink or party you may be left out in the cold. Remember, if you choose to live here, that State College is the only sizable town for over a hundred miles. Other universities are only present during athletic competitions. A good season for the Nittany Lion's football team makes for a happy populace.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Each year downtown State College hosts the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, a huge sidewalk sale and exhibition that draws artisans from across the country and brings in over 100,000 visitors!
  2. On football Saturdays, Beaver Stadium becomes the third largest city in Pennsylvania.
  3. CNN Money named State College as the number one "singles city" in the nation.
  4. Rolling Stone magazine gave honorable mention to State College as having one of the best music scenes in the country.
  5. "Nittany" is a Native American term meaning "single mountain."
Points of Interest
  • Beaver Stadium
  • Mount Nittany
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Penn Roosevelt State Park
  • Tussey Mountain
  • Whipple Dam
Shopping Centers
Nittany Mall
Movie Theaters
Carmike Cinema 6
501 Benner Pke.
State College
(814) 237-1997
Movie Theaters
College Nine Theatre
3031 Carnegie Dr.
State College
(814) 272-3050
Movie Theaters
Premiere Theater
125 Premiere Dr..
(814) 861-5006
Movie Theaters
State Theater
130 W. College Ave.
(814) 272-0606
Major Sports Teams
  • Nittany Lion Basketball:
  • Penn State Football:
  • State College Spikes : Minor league baseball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Philadelphia: PA: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Pittsburgh: PA: 3 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 304 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 306 responses

  • 6% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 70% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 16% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 5% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 4% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 306 responses

  • 21% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 21% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 58% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 305 responses

  • 15% Totally.
  • 48% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 37% No way.



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