Central Pennsylvania's State College, the exuberant home of Penn State University, has a plethora of entertainments close at hand. A lively downtown historic district adjacent to the university's campus includes outdoor cafes, shops, restaurants, nightclubs and theaters highlighting everything from jazz to Broadway shows. Not far away is Penn State Creamery, where Ben & Jerry got their start in ice cream, and MiLB's State College Spikes (the Class 'A' affiliate of the defending World Series Champions St. Louis Cardinals). State College event venues run the gamut from college favorites to golf destinations.
University Park Airport is located about seven miles from downtown State College. It is served by Delta, US Airways and United. University Park Airport offers a daily selection of flights to several major hubs, including Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington/Dulles.
While there no convention venues in State College per se, the city has an arena with a conference wing and a group of high-quality, hotel-based conference centers. Bryce Jordan Center has 78,120 square feet of meeting and expo space that includes a 16,000-seat arena, space for 360 exhibits and a conference wing with 17,325 square feet of function space.
Hotel venues in State College include the 300-room Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, which is an IACC-certified facility with 58,000 square feet of meeting space. The 284-room Ramada Conference Center and Golf Hotel offers 27,517 square feet of function space; the 221-room Nittany Lion Inn has 28,634 square feet of function space; and the 102-room Toftrees Golf Resort and Conference Center, which overlooks a 4.5 PGA-rated Marriott Golf Course, offers 12,000 square feet of meeting space. Among its new offerings is EsSpa at the 21-room Carnegie Inn & Spa, a newly renovated boutique hotel nestled in the woods at Toftrees Golf Resort.
Two favorite venues for off-site events in State College connect to the area's heritage. The 10-room Philips Hotel, a charming restored circa 1921 hotel, provides groups with a grand ballroom that can handle 100 people and rooftop dining space with a view of the Allegheny Mountains. Groups can also host a special event at the American Philatelic Center in nearby Bellefonte, which is located in a refurbished wooden match factory originally built in1899. Other venues include the Arboretum at Penn State, which has both open and covered spaces available in various gardens; and Beaver Stadium's Mount Nittany Club, which has 40-foot windows overlooking the football field and panoramic views of Mount Nittany.
A college town with lots of fun and funky eateries, State College has several restaurants that are especially welcoming to groups. Four of these are located downtown within a few blocks of each other and walking distance to several hotels: Spats Cafe & Speakeasy specializes in Cajun Creole dishes; the Allen Street Grill is an institution in State College, set on the second story of a building on a prime corner across from the university; The Tavern, another long standing State College tradition, has the ambience of an 18th-century inn; and The Deli's American menu emphasizes New York-style deli favorites.
The rolling hills surrounding the city are famous for having some of the best mountain biking areas in the nation and offer fly fishing on more than 200 miles of trout streams, along with interesting attractions like Penn's Cave, the only all water commercial cavern in the U.S.; one of the largest vertical adventure team building courses on the East Coast; and meticulously maintained historic towns like Bellefonte and Boalsburg.