Boalsburg - a tiny town worth a visit!

I recently took a day off work and visited my oldest daughter, who is a student at The Pennsylvania State University in State College. Since my daughter doesn't have class on Tuesdays, we decided to spend a day together in an attempt to keep her mind off final exams!

As we are both impromptu adventure-loving girls, we didn't have any plans. I picked her up at her apartment and she told me she wanted me to see the cafe where she spends free time writing, so we headed ten minutes east to the little town of Boalsburg.

For 18 years, from birth to college, I grew up in Lewistown, a small town 30 minutes from State College.  Regular shopping trips to State College were part of our family life, and we had to drive through Boalsburg on the way to/from State College. Despite countless trips through this quaint little town, we never stopped to explore it. Since coffee and exploring are two of my favorite things, off we went!

Pump Station Cafe is a coffee shop in an old gas station that has fabulous coffee, sandwiches, wraps, homemade pastries (cookies as big as your head!), and breakfast all day. They even have a drive-thru! We shared a Chocolate Chunk Cappuccino Muffin (she indulged me, even though the lemon poppyseed muffin is her favorite) and sat and enjoyed this with our coffee while we visited. We had to invent a parking space - it was that busy and I found out why! Such a neat place.

I suggested that we get some exercise and do a little bit of exploring of all the military memorials at the park across the street. Boalsburg is the home of the Pennsylvania Military Museum. Though we didn't enter the museum, we enjoyed reading all the memorials; I especially found the WWII Memorial Wall to be well-designed and thought-provoking. And seeing the tanks and battleship guns up close is quite an experience.

After our walk, since State College isn't known for its plethora of good restaurants, my daughter suggested we eat lunch at the historic Duffy's Tavern in Boalsburg. The service was great, the food was terrific (try the homemade pretzel sticks with three different dipping options), and just look at how charming it is - who wouldn't want to eat there?! We arrived before the lunch rush, so I wandered around taking some photos. You can see the outside of Duffy's in the first picture - it's the large stone building behind the Boalsburg sign.

Because I have a #ShopSmall mindset (support local businesses!), we did some shopping in the adorable boutiques on East Main Street. I loved A Basket Full, which has a little bit of everything, and found some great Mother's Day gifts for the grandmoms.

Our favorite shop was Bella di Vita, a quirky, tiny shop with beautifully wrapped homemade soaps and lots of treasures for travel lovers (like us)!

We browsed a few other shops, then headed back to State College, where we spent some time on campus and at our favorite downtown shops, and had more coffee at Webster's Bookstore - my daughter's writing hangout.

It was a fun day, and my only regret is that I didn't discover the chocolate shop in Boalsburg! If you are in State College for a weekend and want a change of scenery, or just are looking for a new place to explore, don't overlook this little gem of a town!


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