A Pittsburgher’s Guide to a Weekend Trip to NYC

Our take on Big Apple’s best attractions

By Allison Tibaldi

Published August 15, 2022

Read Time: 4 mins


New York City’s iconic attractions, vibrant cultural scene and towering skyscrapers add up to a whole lot of vacation fun.

With the addition of Spirit’s daily nonstop flights to Newark Liberty International Airport, Pittsburghers have yet another option for a quick hop to America’s largest city.

RELATED: Spirit Adds Nonstop Pittsburgh-Newark Service for Summer

From what to do to where to stay to the most delectable eats, read on for the perfect Big Apple weekend getaway.

See the sights from land and sea

NYC’s skyline dazzles. Savor a sweeping view, including the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, from the Top of the Rock’s three observation decks at Rockefeller Center.

For water-level sightseeing, a Circle Line cruise is unbeatable. Instead of waiting on lengthy lines, you’ll be seated in breezy comfort as you get up close to attractions like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Arts and culture

For many visitors, a trip to NYC isn’t complete without the excitement of a live Broadway show. Whether your taste runs to musicals or dramas, the theatre district is home to dozens of venues, with something to satisfy everyone. Head to the TKTS ticket booth in Times Square for same-day tickets to select shows discounted up to 50%.

The American Museum of Natural History’s comprehensive collection includes dinosaur fossils, a stellar planetarium and the Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, where priceless diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires add sparkle.

Visitors at Central Park can rent a rowboat on the lake or ride a painted pony on the antique carousel. (Stock image)

It’s right across the street from Central Park, the iconic urban oasis where you can rent a rowboat on the lake or ride a painted pony on the antique carousel.

New York is a wonderland for art lovers. In the trendy Meatpacking District, the Whitney Museum of American Art focuses on 20th and 21st century American art. The permanent collection includes work by Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol, Man Ray and Georgia O’Keefe.

It’s located in a show-stopping Renzo Piano-designed building with indoor-outdoor exhibition space and Hudson River views. Pay-what-you-wish each Friday night from 7-10 p.m. with advanced online reservations.

Get outside

Located just steps from the Whitney, Little Island Park, one of the city’s newest attractions, is an innovative green space suspended above the Hudson River by concrete planters shaped like giant mushrooms. An amphitheater has free live performances.

The Big Apple was made for walking. The High Line is a linear park built on what was once an elevated rail line. Lush landscaping and funky art installations offer plenty of eye candy as you stroll a chunk of the West Side.

Located on New York City’s West Side, the High Line is a linear park built on a former rail line featuring various art installations. (Stock image)


Thompson Central Park is a polished Midtown hotel with newly redesigned guestrooms and striking public spaces. It’s home to Burger Joint, serving one of the best burgers in town, and Parker’s, where guests and locals flock to hear live music and sip creative cocktails.

For a hip hotel, the Moxy East Village pays tribute to the counterculture musicians, poets and artists who have lived in this neighborhood for generations. Don’t miss a meal at onsite restaurant Cathédrale, where food and service feel festive.


Bring your appetite because NYC is culinary heaven. New York’s pizza, from a cheesy $3 slice on almost any street corner to an entire pie cooked in a 1929 coal oven at John’s of Bleecker Street, rivals Italy’s.

What Primanti Brothers is to Pittsburgh, a pastrami sandwich at Katz’s Delicatessen on the Lower East Side is to NYC. Locals order this big boy on chewy rye and wash it down with a Dr. Brown’s cream soda.

Katz Delicatessen, located at the Lower East Side of New York City, is famous for its legendary pastrami sandwich. (Stock image)

The city is home to exotic cuisines from every corner of the globe, from succulent spit-roasted shawarma at Lebanese Au Za’atar to spicy stews at casual West African eatery Teranga.

All of these adventures are less than 90 minutes away on Spirit’s summertime service. Other options from PIT to the NYC metro region include American and Delta routes to John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport and United service into Newark.

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