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Off the Beaten Path at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts

by on July 11, 2013 1:20 PM

Thousands of visitors are jamming the streets of State College for the wildly popular Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. And that's part of the fun. The Arts Fest brings with it an exciting atmosphere, but it’s not always easy to find a decent amount of elbow room when you want to grab a bite or just relax for a few minutes to regroup.

But when you've had enough of the crowds, there are some places you can relax that are off the beaten path.

The new bar above the Phyrst on Beaver Avenue, which opened a few months ago and has yet to be officially named (most people call it “Clover” or “The Second”), is a spot that may give weary travelers a nice break. While it is still close to the action on South Allen Street and has potential to be crowded, there are plenty of other well-established bars nearby that might draw bigger crowds like Bill Pickle’s Tap Room and Mad Mex. And for those who still want to experience the sights and sounds of the festival, the bar has an open window section with a small sidewalk seating area.

Anyone looking to just sit in an air-conditioned room and use some free WiFi can make their way over to CommonPlace, 115 Fraser Street. The community hangout area is supported by the people of Calvary Church and there is no set fee for stopping in. Visitors pay what they think is fair or what they can afford. There is free coffee available and up to two hours of free WiFi.

Inferno Brick Oven and Bar, 340 East College Avenue, is a dark, cool getaway where people can stop for a beer or enjoy the view of College Avenue as they dine. Just because it’s further away from the festival doesn’t necessarily mean it will be empty. It may be worth the five minute walk if it saves you some waiting time to be seated.

Webster’s Bookstore Café is a State College staple. Visitors who haven’t been to the area in a few years can find the café at its new location at 133 East Beaver Avenue. Once inside, festival-goers can grab a latte, browse through the store’s extensive book collection and even sit down to enjoy some live entertainment. Webster’s has multiple special events scheduled for Arts Fest like author signings and acoustic performances, so there might be a bigger crowd than normal in the basement lounge. However, there is still plenty of room to enjoy the coffeehouse atmosphere.

Click HERE for a list of local businesses in State College. You can also find out more about the Arts Fest, including event schedules, a live camera and a 360 virtual tour by clicking HERE.

Related stories:

Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts: Getting Around Guide

CATA Extends Blue Loop Service During Arts Fest



Shawn Christ is a recent Penn State graduate who is working as an intern for StateCollege.com
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