Destination PA: The must-see sights of Penn State University

National News

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) – Many know it for the high-energy football games, while others, for their famous slogan “We Are,” but tucked away on Penn State University’s campus are tons of must-see sights.

First up, is the Nittany Lion Shrine. You can find it near the Recreation Building on University Park campus, but don’t worry it won’t bite! The lion, made from a large block of Indiana limestone was sculpted by Heinz Warneke as a gift from the senior class of 1940.

Almost 80 years later, the iconic shrine has posed in thousands of graduation pics, selfies and even proposals making it the second most photographed place in Pennsylvania, right after the Liberty Bell. 

Another staple on campus that’s been around even longer than the lion, is Penn State’s Berkey Creamery

“The creamery’s more than 155 years old, been around since 1865,” Sales & Marketing Manager James Brown said.

From best seller “Death by Chocolate” to “Bittersweet Mint,” the creamery makes over 72 different flavors, and each is homemade, going from cow to cone. 

“So from the time the cow is milked, and we’ve received the raw product to the time we actually package it, freeze it, and give it to the customer into the cone is about 4 days. It’s as fresh as it possibly could be,” Brown said, proudly. 

According to Brown, this is what believes makes their ice cream some of the best.  

“We’re quite busy. During a football weekend, Friday Saturday Sunday, we can scoop up to 10 thousand cones,” Brown said.

To walk off all those scoops, the Arboretum at Penn State is the perfect place to do it with a view. 

Open from dawn until dusk, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, Director of Operations Shari Edelson says there’s a total of 370 acres. 

With that much grounds, Edelson says one might naturally think that they have an army of staff to take care of it all, but in reality, she says its upkeep is all thanks to hundreds of volunteers.

While exploring the gardens visitors can expect to see flowers, plants and even some wildlife. 

“They may see bees foraging for nectar or pollen. They may see birds eating fruit, flying around, drinking out of our ponds. You may even encounter four-legged critters like chipmunks, squirrels or bunny rabbits hopping around,” Edelson said.

The last place to ‘hop’ by on campus is Penn State’s All-Sports Museum

Walking up the stairs, visitors will be taken back in time to experience Penn State’s athletic history and the true legends of blue and white. Showcased in glass cases are old trophy’s, winning game balls and even uniforms, like Charles Rosebrock’s, a drum major from 1965.

Visitors will also have the chance to interact with things like trying their fist at being a boxer and throwing some punches at a punching bag.

As folks near the end of the museum, they’ll stumble upon the gift shop. Whether it’s a hat or a stuffed animal, everyone is encouraged to buy something, so they too can leave “We Are” strong.

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