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Any trip to State College is not complete without a visit to one of its many bars and nightspots. A drink with some friends at one of the watering holes in the downtown area is a perfect way to close out your day, or stop for an afternoon break in the midst of your travels around town.

Many of these locations feature indoor and outdoor seating, as well as live music. Plus, if you want to get a taste of the beers that are brewed right here in Happy Valley, some of these bars serve selections from Otto’s Pub & Brewery,The Gamble Mill Restaurant and Microbrewery in Bellefonte and Elk Creek Cafe in Millheim.

Here are a few of the most popular bars that we recommend visiting when you come to State College.

Mad Mex (Map)

Craving a margarita? This is your go to spot. Mad Mex, located inside the Days Inn Penn State, (website) offers indoor and outdoor seating. Pair your margarita with a signature Mad Mex burrito and you’re in business.

Cafe 210 West (Map)

Cafe 210 offers the most outdoor seating of all the bars in downtown State College, with patios in the front and back of the establishment. Sitting on the front patio with a cold beverage and a plate of skillet fries is sure to make those passing by on College Avenue green with envy. Their most popular beverage is their Cafe Teas, for which they offer more than ten flavors to choose from.

While Cafe 210 frequently hosts local bands, they also schedule national acts that are on tour.

The Rathskeller (Map)

A favorite among Penn State alumni, The Rathskeller has been serving patrons since 1933. There’s always a lively atmosphere at the Skeller and it provides a good old fashioned feel with lots of relics and classic photos adorning its walls. The Rathskeller was recently named one of the Top College Bars by Travel & Leisure magazine. Read more about it here.

bar bleu (Map)

There’s no better place to watch the game than at bar bleu. With 22 HD monitors stationed around the bar, you can keep your eye on multiple games at once. While at bar bleu, be sure to try their signature drink, the “Fishbowl,” a crafty cocktail served in its own 43-ounce bowl.

The Saloon (Map)

Home of the famous Monkey Boy drink, The Saloon is patterned after an English Pub. Energetic would be the world to describe the Saloon. It has the atmosphere of a rock concert and the local bands that take the stage provide the heart-pounding music.

Zeno’s Pub (Map)

Located beneath The Corner Room on Allen Street, Zeno’s is the place to go if you’re looking for something different on tap. One of State College’s many basement bars, they serve a wide selection of import and craft beers. Zeno’s offers more than 30 beers on tap and 155 bottled selections.

Bill Pickle’s Tap Room (Map)

While Pickles may not offer outdoor seating, when they have the windows open the air flows freely throughout the bar providing a comfortable setting, especially on a hot day. Pickles has great daily drink specials and has popular DJs playing throughout the week. This old wood-style bar has plenty of good menu items to enjoy as well, including their signature Peanut Butter wings.

Brewery and Winery Tours
If you’re looking for an activity that would be good for a couples weekend getaway, a brewery or winery tour could serve that purpose. They also serve as a good alternative if the downtown bar scene gets crowded. Reserve your hotel with Lion Country Lodging, and click here to learn more about local breweries and wineries.

Visit Lion Country Lodging

Carnegie Inn & Spa - (814) 234-2424

100 Cricklewood Drive State College, PA 16803

Days Inn Penn State - (814) 238-8454

240 S. Pugh Street State College, PA 16801

Hilton Garden Inn - (814)-272-1221

1221 East College Avenue State College, PA 16801

Nittany Budget Motel - (814) 238-0015

2070 Cato Avenue State College, PA 16801

Quality Inn State College - (814) 234-1600

1274 North Atherton Street State College, PA 16803

Super 8 - (814) 237-8005

1663 S. Atherton St State College, PA 16801