Visiting Penn State University Park

Make the most of your visit by using the information on this page to plan your travel, find visitor information, and learn about popular Penn State attractions and events. You can also review Penn State’s Visitor’s Guide.

International Visitors — Secure a Visa

Unless you qualify for a visa waiver, you will be required to secure a B-2 Tourism and Visit visa. There are several steps to applying for a visa, and these steps can vary depending on the embassy or consulate website where you will apply. The U.S. Department of State recommends that you wait to make travel arrangements until after you have officially secured a B-2 visa. Our staff can also help answer any questions you might have as an international visitor.

Plan Your Travel

Find information about transportation, lodging, and tours. 

Several airports are within driving distance of University Park, including the University Park Airport located just a few minutes from campus. From the airport, you can take a rental car, taxi, or hotel shuttle to get to your hotel.

Hotels near University Park fill fast. It is recommended to make your hotel reservations as soon as you know your travel plans.

  • For a guided tour of the University Park campus, you can check out the Lion Ambassadors walking tours.
  • If you’re feeling adventuresome, check out the self-guided, cell phone tour of University Park campus landmarks, iHear Penn State

Penn State Attractions and Events

Stop by iconic landmarks or attend popular Penn State events during your visit.

Nittany Lion Shrine statue
Nittany Lion Shrine at University Park campus

Local legend has it that the shrine is the second most-photographed place in Pennsylvania, exceeded only by the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

Whether or not this can be proven, one thing is for sure: if you visit the Penn State University Park campus, you must have your photo taken at the shrine.

Penn State’s Berkey Creamery is the largest university creamery in the United States! On football weekends, several thousand cones are dipped — and in the summer, lines snake out the doors as visitors wait their turn for famous flavors such as Peachy Paterno and Alumni Swirl. Berkey Creamery also makes its own cheeses, yogurts, and milkshakes.

First completed in 1863, Old Main is one of the most well-known landmarks on campus. It was designed to contain classrooms, laboratories, offices, a chapel, and residential space for 400 students. Over the years, Old Main has burned down twice and was rebuilt each time, serving many different purposes. Today, it serves as an administration building for Penn State’s President and other leaders.

With more than 17,000 plants representing 700 species, the Arboretum is the perfect relaxation spot on campus. The 370-acre Arboretum boasts more than a mile of hiking trails and was opened in April 2010 after Penn State received a $10 million donation from alumnus Charles H. "Skip" Smith. 

The Penn State Panhellenic Dance Marathon, fondly known by Penn Staters as THON, is the largest student-organized philanthropy in the world. Every February, this fundraising effort — benefitting The Four Diamonds Fund children’s cancer foundation at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center — culminates in a 46-hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon. THON has raised more than $200 million since its start in 1973. 

Penn State is home to varsity sports including football, baseball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, field hockey, volleyball, fencing, wrestling, and more! 

Visit GoPSUSports to find schedules, get ticket information, and buy merchandise. The site includes schedules, scores, analysis, ticket information, video highlights, and access to live audio feeds. 

Don’t miss the chance to join fellow Penn Staters to celebrate one of Penn State's most popular spring events — the Blue-White Game!

In recent years, the Blue-White Game has drawn more than 70,000 fans to Beaver Stadium to watch the Nittany Lions take the field against one another. The game is free; no tickets are needed. 

The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts (Arts Festival) is a five-day celebration of the arts that brings more than 300 artists and 125,000 visitors to State College and Penn State’s University Park campus every summer.

Children’s Day is a longstanding tradition that kicks off Arts Festival and draws a large crowd of participants every year. 

For hours and exhibit information, visit each museum’s website.