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Three Rivers In Three Days: Things To Do In Pittsburgh

This weekend’s Penn State-Pitt football game is the perfect excuse for a weekend getaway in Pittsburgh. But kickoff isn’t ’til 8 p.m. on Saturday, and tailgating doesn’t officially begin until 5 p.m. So what else is there to do? Here are our recommendations to make the most of your weekend in the Steel City.

Pitt things

If you want to get the full college town experience while in Pittsburgh, you’ll have to venture away from downtown and head to Oakland where Pitt’s campus is actually located. Penn State has the Creamery and the Nittany Lion, but there are a few things you’ll need to do if you want to say you’ve been to Pitt.

Check out the top of Cathy.

Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning is its most iconic building (even though it’s no comparison to Old Main). The 35th and 36th floors, where Pitt’s honors college is located, have the best view of Oakland and beyond.

Take a picture at the Pitt Panther.

We don’t blame you if this one is against your morals, but we couldn’t leave it out, either. The Pitt Panther statue is outside the William Pitt Union Building on the Forbes Ave. side.

Stroll through Schenley Park.

Unlike rural State College, Pitt’s nature comes in the form of Schenley Park. It’s a great place to take a stroll, visit Phipps Conservatory, or hang out on Flagstaff Hill.

Grab a bite of Pitt drunk food.

No college weekend is complete without drunk food. The Original Hot Dog Shop (affectionately called “the O”) is best for a giant french fry basket. Pitt even has its own version of the Canyon vs. College Pizza rivalry, so if you stop by both Sorrento’s and Antoon’s for a slice, let us know which is better. Other popular drunk food options are Campus Deli and Larry & Carol’s.

Yinzer things

If you’ve never been to Pittsburgh before, you’ll quickly realize Heinz Field, where the game is held, is nowhere near Pitt’s actual campus. Maybe that’s why students have such a hard time going to football games, but I digress. There’s plenty going on downtown this weekend to keep you busy besides the actual reason you’re in town.

Catch a Bucs game at PNC Park.

Since it’s almost certain to cause a traffic nightmare Saturday, you may as well take advantage of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ home series with the Miami Marlins. Hit up PNC Park for sweet views of the skyline and America’s favorite pastime at 7:05 p.m. Friday, 1:05 p.m. Saturday, or 1:35 p.m. Sunday. You can get your tickets online here.

Ride the incline up to Mt. Washington.

The most recognizable view of Pittsburgh in all its glory is from Mt. Washington, which overlooks the city. True yinzers (read: tourists) will make their way up on the Duquesne Incline, a century-old cable car that’s still operational and part of many Pittsburghers’ daily commute.

Bites & brews

It’s not a trip to Pittsburgh without a trip to Primanti Bros. I know we have one in State College now, but it’s not quite the same. Yinzers put french fries on everything, including sandwiches and even salads (yes, really). Don’t knock it ’til you try it.

For those of age, Pittsburgh’s also home to a buzzing brewery scene. Get your hops fix while supporting some fellow Nittany Lions at breweries like Grist House and Cinderlands, which both feature Penn State alums as their head brewers.


What plans do you have for your trip to the Steel City? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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