If you are coming to State College, welcome! And bring your running gear.
Where to Run
Directly across Business Route 322 from Rec Hall and the Nittany Lion Inn are the Penn State golf courses. The golf courses are extremely popular with local runners and, weather permitting, a good bet for most visitors who'd like to run four miles or so. Check out several local running routes on our maps page.
Anyone may use Rec Hall's seven-lap indoor track . University guests may use the open locker rooms in Rec Hall. Bring a lock and a towel. Leave your wallet back at the hotel; the lockers do get burglarized occasionally. Visitors may use most of the other Rec Hall facilities, including squash, racquetball, and basketball courts. There are often decent pickup hoops games, but phys ed classes and teams have priority on all courts.
Are you interested in hooking up with some of the locals? On Mondays through Fridays, noon is a popular time for small groups of regulars (the way-over-21 crowd) to form on the floor of the main gym in Rec Hall and head out for runs of 3 to 6 miles. Thursday is track day for that group. There are also folks -- not quite as many -- who head out after work, at around 5:30. Introduce yourself, by all means; someone will be glad to show you around. There are many pleasant routes through campus, town, and nearby meadows and woods.
For eight weeks during the summer there are all-comers track meets on the PSU outdoor track. These are relaxed community type events with kids, oldsters, hotshots, and not-so-hotshots; anyone is welcome.
Food and Footwear
Downtown State College is a real college town with the sort of small shops you'd expect, concentrated along College Avenue between South Allen Street and Garner Street. A favorite running-oriented store is Rapid Transit Sports (814-238-3831) in the heart of downtown, at the corner of South Allen Street and College Avenue. Nearby popular and inexpensive restaurants include the Corner Room, Irving's Bagels, Panera, the Green Bowl, and Spats. The Tavern is a nice place for dinner. Casual attire is fine for any restaurant in town.
There are plenty of nice places to stay in the State College area.
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