If you have visited the State College area, odds are you have heard of, or even attended, the Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair. With an impressive assortment of activities, rides, and classic fair food, the Grange Fair is an undeniable destination every August. However, when walking around the fair, enjoying a funnel cake or watching a sheep show, you might wonder what happens when the vendors pack up and the animals return to their pens.
If you’ve been paying attention to the social media scene in Happy Valley over the last few months, you probably already have heard of the region’s newest influencer: Happy Valley Hannah. Hannah Morris, the creator behind the rapidly growing Instagram account, recently shared some of the story behind her rising local fame with The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau.
Hiking in a forest alone never crossed my mind as something I would be doing before 2023. I had barely set foot in a forest. As a former long-distance runner, I thrived on the adrenaline of a long run. Never would I see myself hiking slowly through a forest, having to be aware of such things as snakes and bears. After the passing of my mother in late 2020, I thought I would use running to heal, but I found that I could no longer find the motivation to do so. After many failed attempts to return to running, I began walking instead.
There’s plenty to see and do in and around Happy Valley, and whether you’re a local looking for somewhere special to spend your staycation, or a visitor seeking to make your getaway memorable at every moment (even while sleeping!), exploring the region’s unique lodging opportunities is a must. From peaceful, bucolic settings that set the soul free, to beguiling Victorian bed and breakfasts and chic modern digs, Happy Valley has it all!
A recent Centre Daily Times article referenced movies produced in Pennsylvania in 2023. Our state is of course no stranger to the film industry, with many recognizable motion pictures made in the Commonwealth over the years. During my time with the Pennsylvania Office of Tourism, Film and Economic Development marketing, more than 30 major motion pictures were filmed in Pennsylvania. Prior to that, blockbuster movies such as 1985’s “Witness” helped make already well-known Lancaster County the extremely popular tourist destination it is today.
From the beautiful Victorian homes to the sites enshrined in the National Register of Historic Places, nearly everywhere you turn in Bellefonte, you can see traces of the rich history of our community. Local Historia, a group with a “passion for local history, community, and preservation,” is a terrific source for finding out more about this history, and one of their most important recent projects is their tour, “The Underground Railroad in Bellefonte, PA.”
The Pennsylvania State University, one of the largest universities in the country and a member of the Big Ten Conference, was founded in 1855. The University Park Campus today covers more than 5,000 acres and provides more than 40,000 students with about 160 baccalaureate and 150 graduate programs.
If you love the thrill and challenge of mountain biking, you know that when bikers discuss the best places to test their skills, the mountain ridges that surround Happy Valley are often mentioned. This area has become a premier East Coast destination for mountain bikers of all skill levels, who are drawn to the hundreds of miles of trails (290 miles in Rothrock State Forest alone) it has to offer.
From expansive farmlands to lush mountain forests, from clear limestone streams to tree-lined neighborhoods, Happy Valley is rich in scenery. Local pastel artist Jennifer Shuey’s work is synonymous with the natural beauty of Happy Valley, capturing its scenic and agricultural lands and waters in a way that is both delicate and vibrant. We tapped into her deep appreciation for the area and her talent to gain insights into what she does best, plein air painting.