« All News

Staycation State College – Cailey’s Recommendations








By Cailey Lewis, Spring 2018 Intern


Ready to discover a new side of Downtown State College? Grab a girlfriend and indulge in a weekend of regrouping and recharging. Here’s your guide to a weekend of treating yourself to good food, good hospitality, and a bit of pampering for you and your bestie:









Start your staycation with a leisurely brunch at Champs Downtown on South Allen Street and indulge in huevos rancheros or blueberry ricotta pancakes. I am a big fan of their $3 Mimosas, although a Bloody Mary or Deschutes Fresh Squeezed Tallboy can also start your staycation off right.


If you’re on a health kick, pop into one of the yummiest spots in town – Café Verve on East Beaver Avenue. Their Piña Colada smoothie will make you feel like you’re on a beach with your toes in the sand. Their selection of delicious food and drinks – not to mention sweet treats – will satisfy all of your staycation cravings.


Or, switch it up and try some more exotic cuisine. Barranquero Café is one of my favorite places in State College!  Serving traditional Colombian food, you can relish the vibrant atmosphere while enjoying empanadas and arepas without breaking the bank or breaking out your passport.


Finally, if you’re looking to splurge on an amazing dinner, I recommend Zola’s Kitchen and Wine Bar.  I’ve been there recently and can’t say enough about their wine selection and curated menu. I recommend the Chilean seabass and a bottle of Torrontés, a sweet, crisp Argentinean wine that pairs perfectly with seafood.










The Hyatt Place State College opened last Spring and is the first of its kind in State College. The modern amenities, large picture windows, airy rooms, fresh décor, and king-sized beds are the perfect way to begin your staycation. The boutique-style accommodations will allow you to feel like you’re spoiling yourself without breaking the bank. The hotel will allow you to bring your pooch with you if you’re an animal lover – my dog has stayed here twice and I’m sure your pup is sure to enjoy the treats at the front desk as much as mine did!  The convenient central location will allow you to walk everywhere throughout the weekend.


Also centrally located is the Days Inn Penn State.  This hotel is pet-friendly and has an indoor pool for guests to relax and unwind. The patio at Mad Mex offers an excellent atmosphere to enjoy staycation vibes.


Other downtown staycation accommodations include the Atherton Hotel and Hotel State College.










Make pampering a priority with an appointment at the Designer’s Denn to really get your relaxation started. This beautiful, newly expanded salon and spa will have you de-stressing the second you walk through the door. They offer services like facial treatments, massages, waxing services, and even provide one of the biggest beauty trends of 2018 – lash extensions. Polish your look with a manicure and pedicure by one of their skilled technicians.


If you want to spice up your look, then head over to Viva Bella Salon.  This salon offers everything from hair treatments and coloring to a simple cut and style to satisfy your hair-care needs.


Check out our website for other beauty spots downtown!









Retail Therapy


After indulging in good food and pampering, add in a little light cardio with some retail therapy.


I recommend People’s Nation and Barefoot on East College Avenue for the trendiest clothing and shoes. Both stores have a wide range of styles for every price point.


Another new favorite store of mine is Funky Trunk on Calder Way. Perusing the racks and shelves are fun and you never know what you’ll find.  For example, Barkley and McSorely jerseys on sale for $50!  Imagine you and your bestie rocking #26 and #9 jerseys.


Finally, stop by The Makery to get crafty and also visit Hazel, owner Amy Frank’s adorable puppy. Or, walk over to 2000 Degrees and paint a mug to commemorate the best staycation of 2018!



For more staycation ideas, visit DowntownStateCollege.com.