The Nittany Lion Inn
What We Love
- Penn State's historic, AAA Four Diamond hotel - includes a suite and a dining creditThe seven-AAA Four Diamond Award-winning hospitality (among other honors)
- The fine-dining room, with a wine list that's won 14 Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence
- The complimentary shuttle service and airport transportation
- The basket of fresh apples in the lobby, hand-polished by the hotel team
Winner of seven AAA Four Diamond Awards, membership in Historic Hotels of America and and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Expedia Insiders’ Select honors and TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame inclusion, this Pennsylvania hotel is quite the overachiever – which is perfect, if you came here for a taste of collegiate culture. In fact, The Nittany Lion Inn is an official Penn State stay, with guest rooms in shades of blue and white and a pub called Whiskers.
So maybe you’re not staying here as a student – a current one, at least – but you can still pick up some knowledge outside of the classroom. The property will school you in fine food and wine, its dining room having won 14 Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence, and its shuttle will show you what else is around. Hit the fitness center, visit local golf courses, and hang at the downtown shops. Or, perhaps, catch a team game, and wear your Nittany-lion pride loud and proud.
The accommodations at The Nittany Lion Inn have a heavy dose of school spirit, in the form of their shared blue-and-white palette. The spacious King suite includes separate sleeping and living quarters, with traditional furniture and modern touches, like a flat-screen cable HDTV and Keurig coffee maker.
Looking for locally sourced, traditional pub-style cuisine, with a bounty of vegan and vegetarian options? Look no further than Whiskers, The Nittany Lion Inn’s go-to spot for low-key dining, with fresh salads, a variety of sandwiches and burgers from Executive Chef Andrew Monk. The Dining Room offers a tempting selection of sophisticated options, like roasted-beet pasta and dry-aged beef. With a wine list that has won a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence every year since 2002, and history as a Penn State favorite for more than 85 years, this pub has earned its reputation among locals.
Home to Penn State, the town of State College is where visitors come to explore the well-known campus and catch some university sports (including baseball, basketball and football). But there’s more to this destination than interscholastic game days and school tours. You can also visit the Happy Valley Vineyard & Winery, one of the many stops along the Central Pennsylvania Tasting Trail, which also includes breweries, distilleries and cider mills. Alternatively, discover the local Indian Caverns, Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park, DelGrosso’s Amusement Park and the Arboretum at Penn State.
How to Get There
We just got back from our weekend stay at the Nittany Lion Inn, and I am not one to normally write reviews, but had to after our visit. We had our two young (ages 1 and 3) kids with us and the hotel did not miss a beat making us feel welcomed, and never once made us feel like our kiddos were a nuisance. A few examples: Our daughter wore a princess dress around most of the weekend and basically didn’t stop singing Disney Princess songs and spinning/dancing. The hotel staff embraced it! A super awesome young man at Whiskers played a frozen song over the speakers for her so she could sing and dance after she was finished eating lunch. Made her day! The front desk associates didn’t mind (at least they didn’t show it) at all when we arrived in the lobby at 6:30am each morning, to pick out an apples (free apples in the lobby!) all while dressed as a princess and singing, with her little brother in tow wobbling around and getting into everything he shouldn’t. The folks in the breakfast restaurant were so helpful in the mornings, offering extra help (I’m sure I looked like I needed it!) and even making my daughter a pancake shaped like Mickey Mouse. We booked a suite room, which made the stay easier for our kids who still nap, and having the extra space was definitely nice. The location was great for campus, town, pretty much anywhere around there that you need to go. If I’m ever back in State College, I will definitely be staying here again!
I have stayed at the Nittany Lion Inn about 10 times now. I enjoy the location, as I can walk downtown when it is nice out and it is close to the bike trails where I can run. The rooms are always clean and Whiskers is a nice spot. The food is always good, but be prepared for the higher prices of both food and adult beverages.
The Nittany Lion Inn may be the best we've ever encountered. Nice staff, free parking with a shuttle and dining options. One minor blip with the shuttle but everything worked out. The staff is very friendly and nice to have options to eat, have a drink, or sit by the fire and converse with family and friends. We love it and plan to return.