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State College, PA

Hard to beat State College - 7/11/2019
I relocated to State College about 30 years ago. We hadn’t planned to stay this long, but life here is “easy”. Outdoor activities are ample. There are many beautiful parks with walking trails close to most neighborhoods. Rothrock State Park is close by and has an old hemlock grove and endless trails. Cultural activities are many with two local museums and PSU. Health care is very good, especially for a town of this size. People are very friendly. While ethnic diversity is low, the University makes up for that with a broad mix of students. State College also hosts one of the highest rated art festivals in the country and has a large community of artists. On the minus side, it’s not easy to get to an International airport. Pittsburgh is 2.5 hours away by car or one can fly to Philadelphia or Dulles to connect. So, that’s a limitation if you like to travel by air. Restaurants also are limited. There are a handful of good ones, but most are American fare (burgers and fries). There are a handful of good local breweries, as well as a couple of seriously decent wineries. For the weather, spring is delightful, summer is muggy and buggy, the fall is gorgeous, but the winters are typically grey. If you can get through the grey months of November and February, you will thrive here. While the stats say we get 45 inches of snow, that sounds high to me. This winter we had around five or six snow events of less than 6 inches. Roads are cleared quickly. Real estate is affordable. You can get a lot for your money compared to say Oregon or Washington. Homes are on spacious lots compared to most placed in the U.S. If you like spectator sports, you will love State College. HUGE PLUS—crime is extremely low. Another HUGE PLUS—we have lots of water without flooding. Like most places, State College has become warmer and we seem to be turning into more of a rain forest. Politically, State College is blue, but rural areas surrounding us are typically red. We actually can still discuss politics here and have differing points of view and still be civil. The job market is excellent. So, you can see why it’s hard to leave! As we get closer to retirement, we keep searching for a place to beat State College. We haven’t found one yet and we have travelled quite a bit. State College is also low when it comes to natural disasters. For young families, real estate will be higher than some places. But if you live outside of town and commute, you can find an affordable home. Education here is excellent. A downside to that is that we have high school taxes. It is a fabulous place to raise a family.

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