Directions to Nassau Coliseum from Pittsburgh:
Approx. 400 miles
Time: approx. 7 hours *see below*
1)Take Pa. Turnpike I-76 East to Exit 226 and pay toll.
2) After toll booth, bear left and Merge onto US-11 N/Harrisburg Pike towards I-81Harrisburg (TIP: great place to stop for a break, to fill up, eat. I do every trip).
3) Continue on US-11 and bear right and Merge onto I-81 N towards Harrisburg.
4) Follow I-81 N until fork, as road splits merge onto I-78 E, take it into New Jersey.
5) Take exit 29 for I-287 towards US-202/US-206/I-80/Morristown/Sommervile. Bear left at fork in the road onto ramp to merge onto 287-N (if you don’t then you’ll end up on an episode of Jersey Shore).
6) Follow I-287N then take exit 41A and bear left onto I-80 towards New York City.
7)Follow signs for I-80 E/Patterson/New York and bear left to merge onto I-80 E.
8) Continue on I-80 E until it merges onto I-95 N.
9) Bear left and continue on I-95 N follow for Upper Level of George Washington Bridge. Must pay toll at bridge- (TIP: EZpass lanes are on the left, Cash lanes everywhere else, very slow).
10) Cross over George Washington Bridge and continue on I-95 N which becomes the Cross Bronx Expressway. (TIP: lock your doors…).
11) Bear right and follow signs onto I-295 S towards the Throgs Neck Bridge (TIP: Toll bridge. Cash lanes all the way on right, EZpass all other lanes).
12) Once off bridge continue on I-295 S Clearview Expressway South.
13) Take exit for Grand Central Parkway and bear left at the fork merging onto Grand Central Parkway and continue on it as it becomes Northern State Parkway.
14) Follow Northern State Parkway, take exit 31A and merge onto Meadowbrook State Parkway South towards Jones Beach.
15) Bear right and take exit M4W towards Hempstead/Coliseum/NY-24 W and merge onto Meadowbrook State Parkway Service Road.
16) Finally merge onto Hempstead Turnpike for literally two seconds as the first right is Hotel Drive (entrance to hotel) and the second right is the Coliseum parking lot.
If you guys think that the parkway traffic from Monroeville to downtown Pittsburgh is bad, you have no idea how bad NYC traffic is, it can literally ruin your trip. There are many times during the day where traffic at the George Washington Bridge and Cross Bronx Expressway will be at a stand still. The key is timing. You must try as best as you can to be at the George Washington Bridge between the hours of 11am and 2:30pm at the latest- during that time you can pretty much glide right through the Bridge and Cross Bronx. If you are not between those times (especially after) you run the risk of more than 2 hours of traffic to go that roughly 10 mile stretch. Every time I come back from Pittsburgh I leave the same time, and it has never failed me. I leave Pittsburgh no later than 8:30am which brings me at the George Washington Bridge at 2pm and I breeze through traffic. The bridge is roughly 6 hours into the 7 hour drive, so plan accordingly. Knowing which lanes to be in at the bridges are important, as so many people cause traffic by being in the wrong lanes, so follow my tips for where to be at the bridge depending on if you have EZpass or not. The George Washington Bridge toll is $8 heading into NY but there is no toll for exiting NY. The Throgs Neck Bridge toll is $6.50 each way. These tolls are different prices cash vs. EZpass and may change by the time April comes along, so be prepared.
-Gas is cheapest in New Jersey, roughly 30 cents cheaper per gallon, in case your car can make it all the way there from Pittsburgh before a fill up (mine can't). In Pa. the gas is cheaper in Carisle (exit 226 on the turnpike) compared to actually on the turnpike or anywhere else in Pa., so I always fill up there.
-There are a few rest stops in New Jersey along 78E.
-NY drivers are much more aggressive than Pa. drivers so don't expect anyone to let you merge into a lane at the last minute or anything, you have to be on guard as you drive, especially from bridge to bridge.
-The area around the Nassau Coliseum is pretty much a dive and I wouldn't recommend going anywhere except the Hotel bar to spend time before the game.
-The Nassau Coliseum is even more of a dive and a joke once you are inside it. Food and drinks are expensive.
If anyone has any questions about the directions or any other general questions about the area etc. please feel free to contact me via twitter at GeorgeK67 that would be the best way to contact me.
Hope this all helps,