Bellefonte, PA Guide: What to Do, Where to Eat, and Where to Stay

– by Anna Cook

Bellefonte is a quaint little town about 20 minutes northeast of State College with plenty of character. Stay at one of the bed & breakfasts within walking distance to many of the attractions and restaurants. Come experience the town that produced five different PA governors!


- Photo taken by Anna Cook

Summer and fall weekends are perfect for getting away and exploring the countryside and there is no better place to base yourself than Bellefonte, PA.

Talleyrand Park anchors downtown as a gathering place, event space, and even a destination for anglers who want to fly fish in Spring Creek.

Wander the streets of downtown, admire the Victorian architecture, and pop in some of the local shops. There are also plenty of restaurants downtown serving up delicious bites.

While the town itself has so much to offer, you’ll still be in the heart of Happy Valley where outdoor adventures are at your fingertips.

If you think Bellefonte may be for you, then read on to find out exactly what you should do while in town!

Local Historia

Things to Do in Bellefonte

Here are just a few things to do in Bellefonte itself - this adorable central Pennsylvania town has a lot to offer!

Learn the History of Bellefonte, PA

This small town is steeped in fascinating stories from the past. Did you know that five Pennsylvania governors came from Bellefonte and two other Bellefonte natives grew up to be governors of other states?

The people of Bellefonte have interesting stories but so do many of the historic landmarks like the Big Spring, Gamble Mill, and even the Bellefonte Art Museum.

Learn about all this and more on a walking tour with Local Historia. Their passionate guides bring Bellefonte's stories to life in a way that's much better than what you experienced in your high school history class.

Check their event schedule to see if something will be offered while you’re in town. They also offer self-guided history tours so you can learn at your own pace.

Talleyrand Park

Picnic in Talleyrand Park

This is one of the best picnicking spots you’ll ever find! There are tables and benches throughout the park, but I recommend bringing a blanket and setting up under one of the large willows that hang over Spring Creek.

It will be so peaceful as the creek gurgles beside you. Stay for sunset and watch as the sky changes colors through the trees. Do beware of the ducks because it is illegal to feed them!

If you don’t want to set up a picnic, then just take a leisurely stroll through the park. There are sidewalks that wind through the park and paths along the creek. Don’t miss crossing the beautiful bridges either.

Other attractions that you’ll find here are a gazebo, a sculpture garden, and an edible garden to admire.

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Go Fly Fishing in Spring Creek

Spring Creek is one of the best places in Happy Valley for fly fishing and many anglers come in search of trout. In Talleyrand Park, you can wade right into Spring Creek which makes this an easily accessible spot to get out in the water.

If you’re looking for a more remote area, then Fisherman’s Paradise is just south of Bellefonte or you can hike in at the Spring Creek Trailhead to find a spot. Just make sure you know the laws on wading and catch-and-release in these areas.

If you’re looking for a guided option, then TCO Fly Shop offers guided trips on Spring Creek. They also have a shop in State College where you can pick up any gear you may need.

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Make a Stop on the Central PA Tasting Trail

You’ll find multiple stops on the Central PA Tasting Trail located in Bellefonte. From beer to spirits to cider you’ll find all of it right here.

If cider is your thing, then head to Mad McIntosh Cider or Good Intent Cider. Both offer a wide variety of options. At Mad McIntosh, you can also get cocktails and unique drink mixtures using their cider.

Axemann Brewery and Robinhood Brewing Co. will satisfy any beer drinker with their options ranging from heavy stouts to hoppy IPAs to flavorful lagers. Grab a flight at either one so you can try a few different brews. That’s my personal favorite way to experience a brewery!

You’ll find full-service restaurants at each spot and both have very cool spaces. Axemann is in a repurposed metal factory and they really embraced the history here.

Finally, at Big Spring Spirits you can try their vodka, gin, or bourbon in a unique space right next to Talleyrand Park. You can also grab a bite to eat here from Bonnie Blues Smokey’s & Sweets or Belle City Bites.

As you can see, there are plenty of different places to grab a drink in Bellefonte!

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Visit the Bellefonte Art Museum

The Bellefonte Art Museum is located in the Linn House which was built in 1810 out of Trenton Limestone. You’ll find permanent and rotating exhibits featuring local artists as well as artists from around the world.

They also offer a variety of different events and classes throughout the year that you can attend. Check their schedule before visiting!

Note that they are only open on the weekends in the afternoon so plan accordingly. One of their most powerful exhibits is on the Underground Railroad and the role of this region in it.


Places to Eat in Bellefonte

The Governor’s Pub

Governor’s Pub is a popular place in Bellefonte to grab a drink and a hearty meal after work or on the weekend. They’ve coined their menu as “Comfort Food with a Twist” and you really can’t go wrong here.

They have a variety of sandwiches like burgers, chicken, and crab cakes. Their soups are also popular but if you’re really hungry then try some of their pub fare. Meatloaf, Shepherd’s Pie, and Fish & Chips are just a few of the things you’ll find on the menu.

Four Ways Pub & Eatery

While this location was not originally highlighted on Anna's Bellefonte tour, we found it valuable to feature it in our comprehensive Bellefonte guide.

Four Ways Pub & Eatery in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, is known for its culinary excellence and commitment to sustainability. They source ethically produced ingredients, prioritize minimal processing to let natural flavors shine and focus on meats raised without hormones or antibiotics. Their dedication to in-house preparation ensures fresh, flavorful meals and a memorable dining experience. Located at 685 Pleasantview Blvd, Four Ways Pub & Eatery offers guests an exceptional farm-to-table dining experience.


Creekside at the Gamble Mill

If you’re looking for a bit of an upscale dinner, then check out Creekside at the Gamble Mill. This historic mill building has been beautifully renovated and now houses the restaurant, bar, a boutique, and short-term rentals.

The menu is constantly changing based on what Chef Michael Marx can source fresh from the local farmers. From the drinks to the food, everything here is top-notch.

Bonfatto’s Italian Market & Corner Café

For fresh sandwiches, salads, and pasta, there is no better place than Bonfatto’s Italian Market. Half market and half café, you can grab something to eat and check out the unique offerings of the market while you wait.

I’ve heard that their lasagna is the best thing around but it’s still on my list to try. It’s just a short walk from downtown and very easy to get to.

Robin Hood 1 HVRW2023 Photoby Matt Fern

- Photo taken by Matt Fern/Happy Valley Restaurant Week

Robin Hood Brewing Co.

Robin Hood will require a short drive from downtown but the food and drinks are worth it! They have a huge selection on their menu so it can be very hard to decide what to get.

They are well-known for their pizzas but their burgers and “Craftwiches” are very good too. I had the Cajun Honey Mustard Chicken sandwich and it was delicious. They also have large plates that you can order at dinner.

Where to Stay in Bellefonte

Bellefonte Bed & Breakfast

The kindest hosts run Bellefonte Bed & Breakfast and the little touches make a big difference in your stay. They have three rooms and each one is individually decorated. I’ve stayed in the Coastal and Sierra rooms.

Breakfast here is a three-course meal and every single one is incredible. Kathy and Phil are available to make suggestions for your trip but are never overbearing.

Bellefonte Bed and Breakfast

Reynolds Mansion

Another highly rated option, the Reynolds Mansion is really magnificent. It’s made of beautiful stone that came from Hummelstown, PA and the rooms are elegantly decorated.

The owners here are incredibly friendly and helpful as well and do everything to ensure you have the best stay. People rave about their breakfast too!

Our Fair Lady

If you can’t already tell, Bellefonte is full of fantastic Bed & Breakfasts and Our Fair Lady is another great one. This 1883 Victorian home has five different guest rooms plus a separate Garden Cottage available for rent.

The hosts consider every little detail and serve up some amazing meals for breakfast. You will truly feel pampered after staying here!

Anna Cook Anna n Mike Lynch Overlook

Anna is a travel blogger and photographer at Stuck On The Go where she loves writing about outdoor adventure and small town USA. She created her blog to help busy people incorporate more adventures into their lives and inspire them to try new things - even if it's scary. She is based in North Carolina with her husband and German Shepherd who often tag along on weekend trips but she's known to take off on long solo road trips often.

Read more of Anna's Happy Valley articles!

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