New Hotels in Happy Valley

– by Jeff Cavanaugh

Hotels in downtown State College and the Happy Valley area have always had a timeless charm about them, but sometimes even the best of traditions can use a little freshening up. Now, with a number of new and upgraded hotels right in the heart of the downtown business district, it has never been more convenient or comfortable to travel to Happy Valley for a long weekend.

The Scholar Hotel State College

205 East Beaver Avenue, State College

(814) 778-0300


Opened in early 2021, State College’s newest downtown hotel is the Scholar Hotel State College, part of the Hilton Tapestry Collection. Located at 205 East Beaver Ave., the Scholar Hotel is right in the heart of downtown Happy Valley and is located inside the historic Glennland Building which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Scholar features 72 guest rooms – which are perfect for an extended stay or for prepping the perfect meal for your tailgate prior to heading to Beaver Stadium with kitchens, refrigerators and dishwashers.

“With the Scholar Hotel, we’ve really created a whole new category of hotel that State College had not seen before with the extended stay option. It adds to the diversity of options for people that want to stay downtown,” Gary Brandeis, President of Scholar Hotel Group and a 1988 Penn State Grad said. “We need to protect and preserve the historic buildings downtown that are meaningful to the community and meaningful to the streetscape. We did that with the Scholar Hotel which preserves a beautiful historic building on the outside but the inside is totally reimagined.”


And while the Scholar Hotel boasts a convenient walk to anywhere in downtown State College, it also has a great on-site restaurant in the lobby – the Social Food + Drink which is open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner. The bistro-style restaurant offers a full-service bar with a variety of specialty cocktails and small plated menu items. Click here to check out the menu!

And next time you come to Happy Valley, bring your furry friends along for the trip – The Scholar Hotel is also pet-friendly.

The Graduate State College

125 South Atherton St., State College

(814) 231-2100

In college towns across the country, the Graduate hotel brand has thrived in capturing the vibe and history of each unique location – and here in Happy Valley is no different. Opened Since late 2019, the Graduate State College features 150 guest rooms, a ballroom, an executive boardroom, a meeting room, a cafe, two large gathering rooms, a fitness center and an outdoor fire pit – the Graduate State College has everything you need for a perfect stay in Happy Valley.

“State College gives off such traditional, old-school collegiate energy and design throughout the hotel speaks to this undeniable school spirit,” said Jessica Jacoby, Director of Sales. “Guests enjoy a distinct color palette and warmth that evokes an immediate sense of nostalgia.”

S Freihon 190909 0643 1

Located at 125 South Atherton St., the Graduate is just one block to Penn State University and a quick walk to Old Main. The Graduate is located in the heart of downtown and an easy walk to the best spots in Happy Valley – giving visitors a perfect location for Nittany Lions games, campus visits or concerts at the Bryce Jordan Center. The ballroom that can accommodate groups of up to 300 people also makes the Graduate State College a perfect spot to host your Penn State-themed wedding or reunion.

Many Penn State families and visitors have fond memories of staying at the Atherton Hotel, which was located at the current home of the Graduate since the mid-80s – but the comprehensive renovation, upgrades and attention to detail at the new hotel has completely given The Graduate its own new identity.

And no good hotel is complete without a quality restaurant – the Graduate State College Hotel recently opened the Trophy Room restaurant on location that features delicious shareable starters, salads, and entrees. The cocktail menu is equally impressive with a number of Happy Valley themed drinks. Click here to view the menu!

The Graduate State College is pet friendly, offering a free stay and complimentary BarkBox treats for four-legged guests.

S Freihon 190909 0463 1

Hyatt Place State College

219 West Beaver Ave., State College

(814) 862-9808

The Hyatt Place State College opened in 2017 in downtown State College and literally has everything anyone would ever need during a stay.

The Hyatt Place State College is located in the newly-constructed Fraser Center at 219 West Beaver Ave. and, at 155-feet and 12 stories – it is the tallest building in all of State College. The hotel has some of the best views in its 165 guest rooms.

Adjacent to a Target, H&M and the outstanding Federal Taphouse restaurant, there is never a need to leave the premises – even though there is so much great food, shopping and entertainment within walking distance. The Federal Taphouse features 100 beers on tap and has some of the best wings, crab dip, and freshly made pretzels in Central Pennsylvania.

Hyatt Place

In addition to the comfortable, spacious guest rooms, the Hyatt Place State College also features 5,000 sq. ft. of meeting space that can be split up to accommodate groups and gatherings of any size.

Brandeis, whose company also developed the Fraser Centre and Hyatt Place State College, sees real potential in the future of downtown State College.

“We love the downtown area and we love that it is supported by one of the largest universities of the country. When we had the opportunity to buy the Fraser Centre land, we jumped on it because we knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Brandeis added. “A vibrant downtown needs both new development and it needs the preservation of historic buildings. We are doing that here in State College and I believe that downtown State College’s best days are in front of us, not behind us.”

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau publishes up-to-date event information at