Traveler: Baseball Road Trip to Pittsburgh

The Indians’ affiliate occupies a league of its own.
Pittsburgh Traveler Cathedral

To root for the “home” team this baseball season, head to a Pittsburgh Pirates game: The Major League Baseball squad is the Indianapolis Indians affiliate. The Bucs (short for buccaneers, another word for pirates) play a three-game weekend home stand against the Milwaukee Brewers April 17–19.

Because Pittsburgh is intersected by three rivers and boasts 446 bridges, getting to PNC Park (115 Federal St., 412-321-2827) is part of the fun. On game days, the Roberto Clemente Bridge shuts down to traffic two hours before the first pitch, and fans walk en masse from downtown over the Allegheny River. Others park at Station Square and ferry across the Monongahela River on the Gateway Clipper Fleet (350 W. Station Square Dr., 412-355-7980). Go early to join the pregame block party on Federal Street.

Inside PNC, the highest chairs are just 88 feet from the field, ensuring that even the cheap seats enjoy a clear view of the game. If the Bucs aren’t winning, it’s okay to cry in your beer—there are plenty of craft drafts to choose from at the Beers of the Burgh stand, near Section 110. Or keep it old school and drink Pittsburgh’s hometown brew, Iron City, or Yuengling (pronounce it like a local: “Ying-ling”), made by America’s oldest brewery. PNC hits it out of the park on local food offerings, too. Sink your teeth into a legendary Primanti Bros. Pitts-burger, dressed with french fries and coleslaw. In the outfield concessions, sample a pulled pork–and–pierogi stacker at Manny’s BBQ, named for former Pirates catcher Manny Sanguillen. With any luck, Sanguillen will be hanging out by the stand, signing autographs and snapping selfies with fans.

Drive Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes

Stay: The Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel (from $249; 107 6th St., 412-562-1200), a restored landmark, is located within walking distance of PNC Park.

Tour: Visit the architecturally splendid Cathedral of Learning (420 Fifth Ave., 412-624-4141), a 42-story limestone Gothic Revival skyscraper at the University of Pittsburgh. The Commons Room looks like a Harry Potter set.