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Where Students Should Actually Go On Penn State Tours

There’s no doubt that the Lion Ambassadors give great tours showing prospective students around Penn State’s picturesque campus. They entertain the crowd by spouting facts about Penn State that don’t even seem real, and they do it all while walking backwards. Ultimately, they’re the ones who sell students on Penn State.

However, we’ve all seen the Lion Ambassadors in the most generic places on campus. From the HUB to 100 Thomas, they try to show students the day-to-day life of any Penn Stater. While most of their tours walk through campus buildings and on many different lawns, we think there might be something missing from the tour. Even though the academic side is important and all the tours are informative, we wondered what would it be like if tours included the most realistic places where students will spend most of their time at Penn State. We hope these vital locations will be considered for future Lion Ambassadors tours.

Canyon Pizza

First stop — Canyon Pizza. One of the finest pizza establishments downtown, you can’t help but stop by when your aching belly is begging you to fulfill your drunken hunger at 2 a.m. We don’t know many Penn Staters who don’t frequent Canyon. It’s necessary to show prospective students that Canyon is a famous choice after a liquor-fueled night because new students will certainly spend more time here than they expect (whether they mean to or not).


Beaver Stadium

When I found out that they don’t show high school students Beaver Stadium, I was stunned. I mean, it’s Beaver Stadium! And it’s technically on campus. Some of the best days are spent here in the fall, and football can be enough to sell anyone on Penn State. I imagine tour guides saying something along the lines of, “And don’t be surprised if you pass out in these grassy fields more than once or twice in your collegiate career. It’s completely acceptable and sometimes encouraged.”

beaver stadium stock

A Fraternity Basement

Where most of my dreams go to die, the basement of a fraternity house definitely needs to be added to the tours. While I’ll admit that frat parties aren’t for everyone, I think we’ve all spent our fair share of Thursdays drinking a mixture of Vlad and Weis brand soda from a red solo cup. Prospective Penn Staters need to know what they’re getting themselves into for most of their freshman and sophomore years. Showcasing a frat basement like they showcase a typical dorm room would really enlighten most students to what “bangers” are all about.


Saint’s Cafe

On the academic side of Penn State, Saint’s Cafe should be included in the tour for many different reasons. First, if you really want to get work done and feel really cool doing it, this is your place. Located in a little nook along Beaver Avenue, Saint’s has the best coffee and the coolest atmosphere to meet new people and show off that you’re trendy and really into the coffeehouse dynamics. While Lion Ambassadors show  different places on campus to study, they tend to get overcrowded and don’t make for the best studying environments. If you don’t snap an Instagram photo here, you’re basically committing the worst of the hip coffeeshop sins.

saints cafe

Cafe 210 West

Though winter might shed a few years off your life, Penn Staters live for the day that the blue skies and sun appear so we can head to the magnificent patio that is Cafe to drink one of their legendary teas. Cafe’s patio is arguably one of the best places to sit down and drink with friends, so there’s a good chance you’ve waited nearly an hour for a table when the weather is beautiful. This is the perfect place to show prospective students because they can understand why you lie to your parents about studying when you’re just sitting out on the patio getting a good buzz on.

Cafe_Stock_Morton Lin-1

While there are numerous places we wish Lion Ambassadors tours included, these hot spots top the list because they exhibit exactly why coming to Penn State is the best decision. If you think we missed an important destination, let us know in the comments.

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About the Author

Drew Klingenberg

As well as being a staff writer for Onward State, Drew is a self-proclaimed Pittsburgh expert and traveling enthusiast. When he is not hiking some strange yet secluded area of the United States, you can see him either standing entirely too long in the State College Chipotle line, or at the gym acting like he's doing something productive. If you appreciate sub-par humor or overly-saturated photography, follow him on Twitter and Instagram (@dmklingenberg). For inquiries please email Drew at [email protected]

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