Sometimes the standard two-day weekend just isn’t enough. When long hours at work get to be too much, it’s time to take a long weekend. Whether it’s built around a holiday, a sick day or a day or two of vacation time isn’t important. What is important is that the long weekend allows for as many new and different experiences as possible. There is a science to squeezing an unforgettable trip into just four days, a relatively small amount of time. This list offers Pittsburghers some great short road trip destinations that would’ve been too far to experience under normal weekend conditions.
1195 Baltimore Pike
Gettysburg, PA 17325
This year marked the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg. For anyone that didn’t make it for the July 3 festivities, there’s still plenty of time to plan a visit. Located about three hours east of Pittsburgh lays the historic town and battlefield of Gettysburg. Check out the gettysburghfoundation.org link for a complete list of tours, museums and Civil War-themed exhibitions. For anyone fascinated by Civil War history, Gettysburg offers a treasure trove of historical significance and history but also an unforgettable spot to spend a long weekend.
State College Pennsylvania
Penn State University
201 Old Main
University Park, PA 16802
Something about the autumn season makes a trip to State College seem so alluring. Saturday morning tailgates followed by the excitement of a 100,000 screaming fans cheering in Beaver stadium is more than enough reason to take that much-needed long weekend. Keep your excitement levels high by planning your trip to coincide with one of the headlining music acts appearing at the Bryce Jordan Center this season. Or for a more quiet, contemplative experience, spend it in the area’s majestic natural surroundings. There’s world class fly fishing available year round on several of the area’s limestone streams, and for a relatively new State College experience, be sure to visit the Nature Inn at Bald Eagles State Park.
University of Virginia
1721 University Ave.
Charlottesville, VA 22903
For an eclectic mix of music, culture and history, Charlottesville, Virginia is sure to bring something outside the ordinary to your long weekend experience. By car, you can be in Charlottesville in a little over 4.5 hours, and then the fun starts. For a bit of history, visit architectural marvel of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. For live music, you’d be hard pressed to find a more charming setting than the college bars of the University of Virginia, The Paramount Theatre and even along streets of town at night. Charlottesville helped give rise to Mary Chapin Carpenter and The Dave Matthews Band, and remains a hot bed for great live music.
100 Art Rooney Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
The slogan “A drinking town with a football problem,” can be read on many a bumper stickers during the evening commute through some of the city’s more congested routes just about any day of the week. It only stands to reason that for many Pittsburghers, the recipe for a great weekend is all about good beer, great food and gridiron action. Three weekends in particular stand out this fall on the Heinz Field calendar as ideal for a weekend packed with football and tailgates. They are October 19-20, November 9-10 and November 16-17. On these dates, Heinz Field will be rocking all weekend long when the Saturday Pitt Panther games serve as an opening act for the Steeler games that follow on Sunday.
Marcel Tourdot is a freelance writer from Pittsburgh. His work can be found at Examiner.com.