Good Life

Road-game travel offers opportunities beyond football

Penn State enters the field against Michigan State during a football game in East Lansing, Mich., in 2015.
Penn State enters the field against Michigan State during a football game in East Lansing, Mich., in 2015. Centre Daily Times, file

Editor’s note: This story is part of the Road Trips special section.

Penn State’s 2016 travel schedule is full of exciting opponents, some stellar college towns and the return of one big old-school rivalry right as the year begins. Times for all games have yet to be announced, but stay tuned!

The first road game of the season is a doozy — the Nittany Lions will travel to Pittsburgh on Saturday, Sept. 10 to take on Pitt at Heinz Field. This is obviously a driveable game for a large chunk of the fan base, but tickets will go fast. While in the Steel City, fans should make a stop at the original Primanti Bro’s for a pastrami sandwich — add fries, of course — for the sake of tradition.

Penn State heads to Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 24 for a battle with Jim Harbaugh and his Michigan Wolverines. This matchup can’t be missed for the beautiful college town, and of course, the historic Big House. Alley Bar on Liberty Street is known for its cocktails and a fun atmosphere on game days along with a diverse live DJ.

After a few weeks of home games and a bye, the Nittany Lions go to West Lafayette, Ind., for a matchup against Purdue on Oct. 29. What is there to do in Indiana, you ask? Check out Pappy’s Sweet Shop for dessert or a breakfast sandwich before the game or the drive home.

Penn State is back in Indiana on Nov. 12 to face the Hoosiers, and true sports fans should check out the historic basketball town and all of its museums during their stay. On the way to the game, grab a cookie from student favorite Sugar and Spice in the memorial union.

Finally, the Nittany Lions’ last road contest is a can’t-miss: Rutgers, in Piscataway, N.J., on Saturday, Nov. 19. As many will remember, 2015’s Stripe-Out win over the Scarlet Knights was a memorable one, and certainly didn’t create any lost love between the teams. This too is a driveable game for many Penn State fans, and with New York City just a few minutes away, why stay in Jersey for the duration of the visit?

Jourdan Rodrigue: 814-231-4629, @JourdanRodrigue