The McMaster Team is happy to be the first to welcome you to Happy Valley. Here are some of our personal recommendations from around town to make your first few days a little easier.


·       Four Ways Pub & Eatery – This amazing little restaurant in Bellefonte is a unanimous favorite of the McMaster Team. You’ll probably run into at least one of us there.

·      Champs Sports Bar & Grill – Champs has 2 locations. Downtown Champs has a basement bar full of arcade games and awesome happy hour specials. The original Champs is a great place to go with a big group or to watch a game. (Fun fact: Justin used to manage Champs!)

·       The Field Burger & Tap – The Field’s Happy Hour includes ½ off fries and other appetizers, plus drink specials! The burgers here are amazing, they even have different types of patties for every taste from venison, to wagyu, to veggie!

·       Happy Valley Brewing Co. – You haven’t lived until you’ve tried the brisket nachos. These nachos are a State College treasure.

·       Plaza Mexican – The only place in town where you can get table-side guac!

Breakfast & Brunch:

·       The Naked Egg Café – Located in Pine Grove Mills, this quiet breakfast spot is great for a coffee or espresso lover. The Naked Egg has your classic breakfast foods and some not-so-classics if you’re feeling adventurous!

·       The Gardens – Located inside the Penn Stater Hotel, The Gardens features an upscale brunch buffet perfect for special occasions! Every brunch includes a free mimosa for guests 21+

·       Barrel 21 – Barrel 21 is a small distillery adjacent to Otto’s Brewery that’s known for delicious Bloody Mary’s and a fabulous Brunch Buffet

Vegetarian & Vegan:

·       Otto’s Pub – Otto’s has weekly vegan and vegetarian specials that are ever-changing and always using fresh and local ingredients!

·       Rey Azteca – If you love Mexican food, Rey Azteca has a Vegetarian menu and lots of great meatless lunch specials too!

·       Whiskers – Located inside the Nittany Lion Inn, Whiskers has unique vegan and vegetarian options for every taste. If you’re a pescatarian, you don’t want to miss out on the Lobster Bisque.


·       Tussey Mountain – With everything from go-karts to batting cages, there is always something to do at Tussey! Home to Wingfest in the Summertime and the slopes in the winter, keep an eye out for all sorts of community events in between.

·       Whipple Dam – The  perfect State Park for summer fun! Whipple’s has paddle board & boat rentals, fishing, camping, hiking and swimming! Doan’s Bones BBQ is located just outside the park’s entrance for a quick bite after a long day. There are even paddle-board yoga classes in the summer!

·       2000° - Unleash your inner artist and paint some pottery! 2000° is a great place for date night, birthday parties or just a rainy day.


·       Escape Artist – State College has 2 Escape Rooms! BYOB for even more fun.


·       Café Lemont – Locally made coffee and a very relaxing atmosphere.

·       The Pump Station – This little café in Boalsburg was once a gas station, but don’t be fooled it’s still one of the best places to get a quick bite and some coffee.

·       Rothrock Coffee – Bright and clean, Rothrock is a cool place to hang out if you can find a spot!


·       Hi-Way Pizza – Try the Red Stuffed Pizza and thank us later!

·       Home Delivery/Robin Hood Brewing Co – Any pizza any size just $11.99 after 9pm! There is a State College & Bellefonte location so you can avoid town on busy football weekends if you want.

·       The View – This restaurant is located inside the Wyndham Hotel. Their best kept secret is the amazing pizza!


·       Use GrubHub, DoorDash, goPuff or Uber Eats to have almost anything delivered right to your door! If you live a little further out, some places may be out of range but Papa John’s delivers almost anywhere!




·       Otto’s – Amazing food and drinks with ever-changing locally sourced vegan and vegetarian options. Call ahead to make sure there’s room!

·       VooDoo – This new brewery is beer only but usually has a host of food trucks outside. It’s right next to Happy Valley Brewing Co, but DO NOT park in the Happy Valley parking lot. You WILL be towed. Trust us!

·       Shy Bear – This brewery is a little further from town, but worth the drive! Amazing food and beer that will have you wanting to go back every weekend.


·       Local Whiskey (“The Second”) – Local Whiskey is located right above the popular college bar “The Phyrst” but has a more sophisticated atmosphere with their specialty being Whiskey “on the ball”

·       The Saloon – Everybody needs to try a ‘Monkey Boy’ once in their life

·       Champs Downtown – Usually crowded but always a good time!

·       Pickles – The perfect bar for any occasion. And Long Islands are always $2!

·       Mad Mex – The BEST Margs in town. Amazing Happy Hour specials. $6 Burritos and Margaritas on Mondays!!

Hair & Beauty:

·       Ulta – A one-stop shop for all of your beauty needs! Whether you need some highlights, a mani-pedi or your favorite makeup supplies, Ulta has it all.

·       Looks Hair Design – Located Downtown, Looks is a fan-favorite salon! You can choose from master stylists or whoever is available. You won’t be disappointed!

·       O Nails – O Nails has been around forever, they are the best in town! Always quick and fairly priced.

Health & Wellness:

·       Planet Fitness – With memberships starting at $10 a month, Planet Fitness is affordable and open 24/7

·       East Coast Health & Fitness – This health club offers great facilities, classes and more!


·       Salt Water Spa – Clear your mind with a relaxing massage or take a relaxing float in Salt Water. The customer service at this Spa is truly unbeatable. No other spa in State College will come close to the experience Sara and her team provide. Memberships available!


·       Giant – The new Giant in the South Atherton Plaza includes a beer & wine café and a Starbucks!

·       Wal-Mart- Avoid Wal-Mart at all costs during undergrad move-in and parents weekend!

·       Target- The Target downtown is a little more expensive than the big Target on Colonnade.


·       The Student Health Center- Great and convenient care! They personalize a team for you so you can stay familiar with the same doctors and nurses throughout your time at PSU

·       Med-Express- Inexpensive, quick and convenient

·       Geisinger Careworks- Check in online ahead of time to reduce the wait!

Good luck and welcome!