One of our quests while we have been full timing has been to visit the many large colleges and universities in our country. When we started to look for where we wanted to head next we felt we just had to go to State College Pennsylvania and see Penn State University (PSU). From Gettysburg PA we headed north for around 118 miles and pulled into the 7 Mountains Campground just a few miles south of State College PA.
We will only spend two nights as the RV park is on the very expensive end to us at $42.50 per night but we figured we could see all we wanted to in the day and half we would be here. We hit the ground running the first day as we drove all around State College to get a feel for what we wanted to do and what we wanted to see.
First up for us was the PSU arboretum and botanical gardens which was a great spot to visit all by itself. We walked all around it while enjoying all the flowers that were blooming as the bumble bees were really working them over. We even spotted a solitary bunny enjoying itself while feasting on the horticultural bounty.
Afterward we checked out Otto’s Brewery where we sat at the bar and ended up chatting with a very nice fellow who played college football and then got into sales. Before he left he told us several must sees in the area and even bought us a round of beer!
The next day we drove over to the free parking at the PSU arboretum and found a marsh meadow walkway over to the main campus. The night before we downloaded a walking tour from the university website. PSU is a rather large sprawling campus and most of the buildings are composed of a similar red brick exterior. Although it is not the most scenic of campuses we have visited, it is steeped in history as it was founded in 1855 and it has the largest dues paying alumni association in the USA. Impressive!
The campus was bustling with activity since it was move in day for the students. Many of the 46,500 enrolled students and their parents were everywhere but we still enjoyed our leisurely stroll about the campus. The most impressive building we came across was the one called Old Main. Of course we had to take the obligatory pictures of all those new to the campus so we posed before the Nitany Lion statue (their mascot).
Nittany as it turns out was derived from an Indian word and means single mountain which refers to a local landmark named Mount Nittany where it was said that mountain lions once roamed. We also had been told by several people to visit the on campus Berkley Creamery so we made sure to share a pint of their Death by Chocolate ice cream (yum).
Of course we had to tour the athletic facilities as well and the PSU football stadium sits atop a small hill and is quite impressive. We sure wished it had been open to the public so we could have seen it inside. Nonetheless we still enjoyed our walking tour of PSU but it was time to leave and head home. Next up for us is a return visit to a very nice COE park near Tioga PA called Ives Run.
NOTE: We leave to Ives Run COE park near Tioga PA tomorrow morning. Then we move into New York for stops in Brewerton, Ogdensburg and East Chazy.