The Colts play the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday, November 3, at 1 p.m. Pittsburgh is an easy 5.5 hour drive from Indianapolis—a straight shot east on I-70. As of Monday, TicketMaster had tickets for the game starting at $65. Though not setting the world on fire, the Colts are playing better than anyone expected this season; add reasonable ticket prices and the fact that fall foliage should be at its peak that weekend, and it’s a perfect excuse to take a drive to enjoy a football game and some nice scenery along the way.
Columbus, Ohio, is about halfway to Pittsburgh so plan a stop there. A 10-minute detour will take you to Short North, Columbus’ art district. You can visit shops and galleries if you’re interested, and you’ll definitely want to go to Melt Bar and Grilled (840 North High Street) for lunch. Melt offers soups and salads, but their staple is all things grilled cheese. This is not your average grilled cheese, however (although they do have that; it’s called The Kindergarten). More exotic sandwiches include The Cowabunga made with pizza rolls, The Big Fat Gyro, The Winner Winner Chicken Dinner, and Peanut Butter and Banana, among others.
If you have time for more stops, consider a visit to the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, six miles northeast of Dayton. It’s the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world with more than 360 aircraft and missiles on display. Admission is free, though there is a fee for the theater and flight simulators. Another option is a visit to the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum (744 Kruger Street) in Wheeling, West Virginia. Part of the museum is still under development, but there are plenty of toys—from model trains to pinball machines to Legos—for children (and adults) to view and play with.
When you arrive in Pittsburgh, take a trip up the Duquesne Incline (1197 W. Carson St.) for impressive views of the city. Fares are very reasonable, just $2.50 for children 6-11 and $5 for 12 and older. You’ll ride a restored cable car up Mount Washington to an observation deck with a museum and gift shop.
On game day, park at any Golden Triangle parking garage (20,000 spaces available) for $5 and take a free “T” train to Heinz Field.
If you don’t want to eat at the stadium, grab a burger for lunch at Burgatory, 342 North Shore Dr., a short walk from Heinz Field. Besides beef options, they have chicken, veggie, bison, elk and impossible burgers. They are also known for both adult and child-friendly milk shakes. Another lunch option with a football twist is Jerome Bettis’ Grille 36, 393 N. Shore Dr. Consistently voted Pittsburgh’s best sports restaurant, it features a range of American fare, from sandwiches to flatbreads to steaks. Both restaurants open at 11 a.m., so you have plenty of time to eat before the game.
A trip to Pittsburgh makes for a nice weekend getaway, and maybe you’ll get to see Jacoby Brissett make another game-changing play. Go Colts!