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5 Off-the-Radar Attractions to Check Out in State College This Spring


Looking for some different things to do in State College this spring? RISE at State College is here to help with these five (mostly) off-the-radar attractions to check out as the weather in Central Pennsylvania starts to heat up.

Penn’s Cave

Hop in a boat and explore this historic (somewhat) hidden gem in Centre Hall. A world of wondrous formations await inside this limestone cavern, which is accessible only via boat. Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park guided tours offer a close-up glimpse at every nook of this natural wonder, which stretches 1,300 feet. Check out the historic Penn’s Cave House and wildlife park while you’re there.

A Mysterious Mural

Tucked away in the underbelly of Pennsylvania State University’s Willard Building is a curious work of art painted by an unknown artist. A hidden maintenance tunnel is home to this mural rich with colorful imagery of stars and vegetation. If you fancy yourself as an art aficionado on any scale, it’s worth a visit.

Mount Nittany

Okay, this one isn’t all that off the radar, but it’s still a must-visit for all who spend time in State College. This 2,077-foot peak is a fixture in the city’s skyline and its 7-plus miles of hiking trails offer a steep and scenic adventure. The payoff – sweeping views of the city and PSU campus  – is pretty amazing. Fun fact: The Nittany in Penn State’s Nittany Lion nickname was inspired by this iconic mountain.

The Arboretum at Penn State

The Arboretum at Penn State is another open secret that all who pass through State College should experience at least once. Immerse yourself in the colors of spring with a serene stroll through the arboretum grounds. Escape the rigors of life and academia and connect with nature as you explore the various gardens that play host to hundreds of plant and flower species. The colors will be popping extra bright with the warm weather setting in. 

Rothrock State Forest

Get lost in the woods at Rothrock State Forest. If you’re in the mood to hike, trail run, take a spin on your mountain bike, fish, kayak, or simply escape for some quiet me-time, Rothrock is an unbeatable close-to-campus destination. Rugged, rolling terrain and dense clusters of trees of all types are an epic backdrop for a day spent exploring.

Ready to Head Home?

When you’re done hitting up these amazing attractions, retreat to RISE at State College and unwind. Whether you’re sinking into the comfort of your luxury apartment or spending some socially distanced quality time outdoors with neighbors at our outside amenity deck, it’s sure to be an A+ experience.


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