State College PA downtown

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 64
Demographics 31
Economy 45
Education 58
Health 76
Housing 49
Infrastructure 48

#98. State College, PA

There’s a reason State College, PA is often referred to as “Happy Valley.” The quality of life is second to none in this central Pennsylvania town, surrounded by mountains and forests and home to 45,000 people. The presence of Penn State University means there’s always something to do in State College, ranging from lecture series and concerts to football games (Go Nittany Lions!) This community is also a great place to raise a family, thanks to fun children’s activities like the Childhood’s Gate Children’s Garden at Penn State’s 395-acre arboretum.

Top Colleges/Universities: Penn State University 

Top Industries & Employers: Higher education, health care, retail and construction

Weekend Plans: Explore the town by foot with some shopping downtown and a show at The State Theatre.

Favorite Place to Feast: The Corner Room, an iconic local restaurant dating back to 1926 and serving up quintessential diner food.

Beloved Beverage: The Adios Motherf*cker pitcher at The Shandygaff, aka The Gaff. It’s reportedly made with gin, rum, vodka, Blue Curaçao and Sprite, but who actually knows what’s in this stuff?

Outdoorsy Activity: Hiking, camping, fishing or boating at Rothrock State Forest, which offers 96,975 acres of wilderness to explore. 

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: Tudek Dog Park offers separate areas for large dogs and small pooches.

Remote Work Perk: The fiber internet, unlimited coffee, business resources and distraction-free work environment of the Happy Valley LaunchBox coworking space will help you stay motivated and get more work done. 

One More Thing … According to legend, the nickname Happy Valley stems from the Great Depression when the State College region was largely spared from the economic downtown. Happy, indeed.

– Sarah Kuta

Find a Home in State College, PA

Movoto by OJO is a home search site that provides personalized recommendations and highlights local listings best suited to your needs and preferences.

See Homes for Sale in State College

Continue Reading Best Places To Live in the US in 2021

Newsletter Sign Up

Keep up to date with our latest rankings and articles!
Enter your email to be added to our mailing list.