Hannah Morris: Sharing a love of #HappyValleyPA online

– by Ellen Matis

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.

Bonafidephoto 121 of 27

- Photo courtesy of Bona Fide Photography of Central PA

You've been in Happy Valley for about 7 years, right? What brought you here?

My husband and I knew we wanted to move to an area that would be great to raise a family and had always loved visiting State College growing up. We toured Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and DC but ultimately decided that Happy Valley had everything we would need! I found a job to facilitate the move and he became involved with the Ben Franklin Technology Partners at Innovation Park which helped to develop his business in the energy industry.

The @HappyValleyHannah account has quickly become a go-to for things to do in the region. What made you decide to start this?

My dear friend Sara of Bonafide Photo suggested I create an account dedicated to all of the things I love in Happy Valley. I was already taking my kids to all of the area events and documenting, but all for my friends and family on a private profile. I went home that night, created the Instagram page, @HappyValleyHannah, and then went with it!

Springboard HVH 123

- Photo courtesy of Bona Fide Photography of Central PA

What do you credit for the account's fast-growing success?

I credit my growth to our supportive community. Everywhere I go, people are excited to chat, help network, and just support any way they can. I've met so many fascinating people in the few months I've been doing this, and helping to tell their stories has been so fulfilling.

What's your favorite way to spend a weekend in Happy Valley?

If I could craft the perfect weekend in Happy Valley, I would start with dinner and live music at Pine Grove Hall. I'd wake up the next morning and visit Elixir for coffee (or a matcha latte) and then I would stroll around downtown. I'd probably fit in a Pure Barre class, take the kids to Schlow Library, and go to a Penn State Hockey game! I don't know a thing about sports, but the energy and excitement around Penn State sports is just pure fun. I'd finish off the weekend with Bonfatto's and shopping in Downtown Bellefonte!

Springboard HVH 128

- Photo courtesy of Bona Fide Photography of Central PA

Are there any spots you visit regularly?

Yes! Rothrock State Forest, Appalachian Outdoors, Lemont Cafe, Schlow Library, Good Day Cafe, Chew Chew Bun, Boal City Brewing, Happy Valley Healthy Beauty (for their cryofacial), Sage Beauty Company, Pure Barre, Growing Tree Toys, the farmer's markets, Wasson Farm and Welch Pool (during summer months)!

If you could only tell visitors to do 3 things while they were in the region, what would they be?

Experience a Penn State Football game, dine at Pine Grove Hall, and visit the Arboretum.

Spring board

- Photo courtesy of Bona Fide Photography of Central PA

Has your Instagram account taken you anywhere you wouldn't have expected to go on your own?

My Instagram account has introduced me to some of the most remarkable people. From area philanthropists, artists and creatives, business owners, and everyday people, it's been such a fun ride these last few months! A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to spend time at The PA Pink Zone game with so many inspiring breast cancer survivors from our area. That was certainly a highlight of this whole experience.

Do you have any big plans for exploring Happy Valley this year?

This year I'm looking forward to doing more outdoors! Happy Valley has so much to offer for outdoor family fun and my children (soon to be 4 and 6) are almost to the ages where those things become enjoyable! This year I'm also launching a new segment on YouTube called "Happy Hour with Hannah", where I interview the people that make Happy Valley so great. My first interview is with Happy Valley legend, Mimi Barash Coppersmith!

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau publishes up-to-date event information at HappyValley.com/events