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Things To Do In Pittsburgh If You Don’t Have Tickets This Weekend

There’s no doubt about it — Pittsburgh is the place to be this weekend. Pitt and Penn State fans alike will swarm Heinz Field this weekend to cheer on their respective teams in a rivalry (?) that has been dormant for quite some time.

One look at StubHub or Ticketmaster will tell you that tickets for this particular game are in high demand — a first for the Pittsburgh Panthers. Likewise, visiting Penn State fans may find it hard to properly tailgate this weekend.

If you didn’t snag tickets, it doesn’t mean you can’t still go to the Steel City to show your support for the Nittany Lions. Even though I do not support the Pitt Panthers, I am a fan of the city in which they reside. If you do make the trek to Pittsburgh, it’s very likely that you will be in good Nittany Lion company anywhere you go. So without further adieu, here are some things to do in Pittsburgh if you’re visiting this weekend:

Start The Day Off Right With A Good Breakfast

Mornings in Pittsburgh are pretty nice — you can enjoy your coffee as the sun rises over the three rivers and people bustle around you. If you have plans to be downtown for the game, then a good option is definitely the Strip District — a place you’ve undoubtedly heard of if you’re from the area. The most popular and mainstream option (for good reason) in the Strip is Pamela’s P&G Diner. The diner is old-fashioned, retro, and pretty low cost. The atmosphere is great, and you can eat in the same establishment that President Obama once dined in. A similar option a block or two away is Kelly O’s Diner. Deluca’s is another old-school diner with a similar feel (and equally long line).

Another great option is the Enrico Biscotti Company, a local hole-in-the-wall place that most people just seem to stumble upon. Don’t let the name fool you: They sell much more than biscotti. You can find coffee, pastries, and a full lunch menu here.

A personal favorite of mine is the dual combination — coffee from La Prima Espresso Coffee Company and a piece of breakfast pizza or a pastry from Colangelo’s. The two are located right next to each other and are as authentic as you can get. Saturday mornings are prime-time in the Strip District, so get there early or be prepared to wait in long lines.

Catch The Game At A Bar Outside Heinz Field

There are numerous places to hang out around the stadium if you don’t have tickets to the game. If you go for this option, then it’s likely you’ll be surrounded by other Nittany Lion fans or by Pitt fans. These establishments include (but are not limited to): the Jerome Bettis Grille, Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery, Clark Bar & Grill, McFadden’s, and of course, Primanti Bros. If you do hit up one of these places, be sure to follow along with your fellow Penn State fans and #whiteoutPittsburgh.

Take A Walk Through Oakland

If you’re brave, you should walk around Pitt’s Oakland campus to get to know your competition better. Take a look inside the Cathedral of Learning and see some of the spots the Pittsburgh Panthers boast. It’s no University Park, but there are some nice historical buildings and landmarks.

Take A Ride On The Incline And Visit Mount Washington

If you’ve never been through all the basic attractions downtown, then you may want to experience one of Pittsburgh’s main tourist attractions. The Duquesne Incline will take you up on a scenic ride to the top of Mount Washington, where you can get an amazing view of the city. Also, some pretty great restaurants and ice cream shops reside at the top of Mount Washington.

Visit One Of Pittsburgh’s Museums 

If you have some time to kill on Sunday, then you may want to visit a non-sports related attraction such as one of Pittsburgh’s many museums and conservatories. Some of your options include Phipps Conservatory, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Senator John Heinz History Center, the National Aviary, Frick Art and Historical Center, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Science Center, the Carnegie Museum of Art, or the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

Experience Night Life In The South Side

Since it’s a mere five minute drive from the Oakland campus, the South Side Flats is a common gathering place for Pitt students and alumni on the weekends. The area is home to a long strip of bars, some of which satisfy a younger crowd and some of which satisfy an older crowd. Since the area isn’t terribly big, it’s possible to just walk along E. Carson Street until you see a bar that strikes your fancy. No matter your age or taste, there will be something for you there (including Wings Over Pittsburgh). If you’re in the mood for some food, I would recommend the Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh, which is a huge German Brewery on S. Water Street — the place is always packed and lively.

Did we miss something? If you’re a Pittsburgh native, tell your fellow Nittany Lions about your favorite spots below in the comments!

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About the Author

Katie Klodowski

Katie is a senior from Pittsburgh, PA and a retired editor at Onward State. Currently, she works as a staff writer. True to her hometown, she is a fan of Steel City sports but also uses her ballet and music training to be a tough critic of all things artsy. The fastest ways to her heart are through pizza, sushi, and a solid taste in music (this means no Taylor Swift). To be constantly razzle-dazzled, follow her on all social media forms at @KatieKlodowski


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