A surprising sugar-filled food scene amidst rolling hills.

By Travel + Leisure
May 15, 2012
© Craig Steinberg

Sleepy countryside, hand-painted farmhouses, and covered bridges draw travelers near and far to Central Pennsylvania. But these hills may just offer America’s finest trove of junk food, too. Expect to cross spoons with sticky-sweet shoofly pie, a university that specializes in ice cream studies, and much more.

Penn State Berkey Creamery

Penn State runs its own creamery, and it operates its own popular ice cream parlor with 18 flavors on rotation including cherry chip and peanut butter marshmallow.

The Diner, State College

The old-school diner—clad in shiny steel punctuated by retro curved windows—has been baking its popular sticky buns (“grilled stickeys”) since 1929.

Penn's Cave

Don’t miss an otherworldly underground motorboat tour beneath the stalactites in this limestone cave; or opt for the 90-minute guided excursion of the surrounding 1,500 acres to spot bison, mustangs, and even cougar.

Reynolds Mansion

Stay within the ivy-colored walls of the Reynolds Mansion, built in 1885 by a banker and plush with sugar-sweet touches like cherub murals, spa tubs perched in the windows, and a billiard room inside a turret. Expect an intimate vibe: there are only six rooms spread throughout three stories.