Both Penn State and Happy Valley have long been favorites on "best of" lists, both in terms of business and livability. In fact, there are so many that it’s hard to separate the innovation and achievement accolades from awards like ‘best places to live’ and ‘best hockey town.’
That’s because Happy Valley has found the secret – it can be a top Industry 4.0 town and a great place to adventure outside, eat amazing food and see world class entertainment. It has the perfect combination of big city fun, small town friendliness and industry acumen to make this the right place for you to live and launch. But don’t just take our word for it … listen to what places like businessinsider.com, Nationalgeographic.com, Money.com and CNN have to say!
It’s a great place to live
Movoto calls Happy Valley one of the happiest small places in America, and we concur. Not only do local communities keep breaking onto Niche’s list of best places to live in America (we see you, Lemont, Houserville and Boalsburg!), but we’re also on lists for 10 most exciting towns (Movoto), top 30 places to visit before you turn 30 (PopSugar) and Least Stressful City in the US (Psychology Today).
Bottom line: Talk to professionals who have moved here and they’ll tell you first hand that the farm-to-table scene is amazing, the short commutes are a welcome change, and cosy neighborhoods are a great place to raise their kids.
We do sports really well
Saturdays in the fall are all about football. Well, tailgating and football. Nittany Lion fans love to win, but at the heart of Happy Valley’s football culture is fun. Enjoy some tailgate treats and beverages under the sun (or in the snow, it is central PA after all) then head into Beaver Stadium in 109,000 of your closest friends. In the winter, it’s all about hockey as Pegula Ice Arena fills to capacity The teams are competitive, the space is gorgeous, and the concessions are delish—hello Penn State Creamery. Summer is for the State College Spikes, a class A short season affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, play in the New York-Penn League. Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, also home to Penn State Baseball, has all the amenities of a major league ballpark, including comfortable suites, microbrews on tap, fireworks galore, and a gorgeous view of a local landmark—in this case, Mount Nittany.
There’s arts and culture just outside your door
When you think of the best in visual arts, performing arts, music and cinema, central Pennsylvania may not top your list. But it should. Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art hosts a permanent collection of more than 8,000 works, and adds nine rotating exhibits a year. The Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County showcases local artists and offers free art shows, classes and cultural exhibits, including a permanent exhibit that remembers the role of our region in the operations of the Underground Railroad.
And there is no need to drive to the closest major city for concerts or shows. Big name music acts like Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Luke Bryan regularly stop at the Bryce Jordan Center, and The Center for the Performing Arts’ annual line-up includes top touring musicals, plays, dance troupes, symphonies and musical groups from around the world. Indie fans shouldn’t worry; The State Theatre in downtown State College brings music and film to town.
Outdoor fun is minutes away
Centre County and surrounding counties are home to state parks and state forests that offer hiking, mountain biking, camping and boating for all levels of outdoor lovers. Just four miles from Beaver Stadium you can bike, walk and birdwatch in Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, a 62-acre nature preserve with protected wetlands and boardwalks for hiking and wildlife viewing. Centre county’s pristine limestone streams, including Spring Creek, Penn’s Creek and Elk Creek, offer world-renowned trout fishing. And just over 40 minutes away you can spend the weekend on a houseboat or a day on the water or on the trails surrounding 8,300 acre Raystown Lake.
We have lots of fun for your family, too
Kids and families love Happy Valley. Popular spots around campus include the Penn State Berkey Creamery and the Arboretum, which includes botanical garden’s and a children’s garden featuring a limestone cave and stone amphitheater. In the summer, it’s a short drive to nearby Del Grosso Amusement Park for water slides, rides, games and their famous Italian concessions.
Happy Valley was an early-adopter of the locavore movement and has an abundance of options for farm-to-table dining and market shopping. The Central PA Tasting Trail features a growing selection of craft breweries, distilleries, wineries and cideries. In total, there are 12 unique destinations to visit for handcrafted local beverages.