Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a city that is rich in culture, history, and fun things to do. With so many things to explore, here is a list of nine things to do in the ‘Burgh to get you started. It’s no wonder so many people #LovePGH.
1. Visit the Suburb of Oakland
There are 90 neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, each with its own charm. I had a brief chance to explore Oakland and instantly fell in love. (I know that I use the word “love” a lot when describing Pittsburgh. I can’t help it – I really am enamored with the city!) It’s the academic and healthcare center of Pittsburgh and it’s absolutely beautiful.
The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon both are located in Oakland. With all of those university students, it’s a vibrant part of the city filled with inquisitive minds.
Did you know that the writer of “Camptown Races,” “Oh! Susanna,” “Old Folks at Home (Way Down Upon the Swanee River),” “My Old Kentucky Home,” and “Beautiful Dreamer” was not from the South but a Pennsylvania native? Stephen Foster was born in Pittsburgh on July 4, 1826. A museum in his honor is located on the University of Pittsburgh campus.
The University of Pittsburgh is located at 4200 Fifth Avenue and Carnegie Mellon University is located at 5000 Forbes Avenue.
2. Explore Plant Life at Phipps Conservatory
The beautiful steel and glass Victorian greenhouse known as Phipps Conservatory was built in 1893. It’s considered the architectural centerpiece of the Oakland neighborhood.
Thankfully it is not necessary to have a green thumb in order to appreciate the beautiful plants that are carefully tended there.
Before you go, be sure to check out Phipp’s website and read up on some of the art installations around the facility. (If you have children with you, you could create a scavenger hunt to see who can find the most displays.)
Phipps Conservatory is located at 1 Schenley Drive and opens daily at 9:30 a.m. It closes at 5:00 p.m. daily with extended hours on Fridays until 10:00 p.m. Advance ticket reservation is recommended and available online. Regular admission is $21.95 for adults, $19.95 for senior citizens (ages 62+) and students over 18, and $13.95 for children ages 2-18.
3. See the City via Segway Pittsburgh
Exploring Pittsburgh via Segway is a thrilling and unique way to experience the Steel City. Riding atop these two-wheeled marvels allows you to effortlessly glide through the city, taking in the sights, sounds, and rich history that Pittsburgh has to offer. From the picturesque bridges spanning the three rivers to the bustling cultural districts and iconic skyscrapers, a Segway tour offers an up-close and personal encounter with the city’s diverse landscape.
My daughter and I booked a City Lights Tour with Segway Pittsburgh and rode throughout the city. We could not have had better timing – the Pirates were playing, the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta was taking place, there were concerts throughout the town, and the weather was absolutely perfect.
We boarded at Station Square and rode across the bridge, through downtown, by the stadium, around the Golden Triangle, and made our way back across the bridge. Most. Fun. Ever! Our guide, Alan Harper, did a fantastic job making sure we were all safe and had a good time.
Segway Pittsburgh is located at 228 W Station Square Drive. It is open Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., and on Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Rates begin at $45 for the 3-mile Sunset Tour, $49 for the Downtown Pittsburgh Segway Tour, and $59 for the 2-hour Adventure Segway Tour.
4. Ascend Mt Washington
Mt Washington is another one of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods, but what makes this one extra special is the spectacular views of the city. The most fun way to get there is to ride the funicular.
Riding the Monongahela Incline in Pittsburgh is like taking a step back in time while enjoying breathtaking, panoramic views of the city. As one of Pittsburgh’s two remaining funiculars, this historic cable car system has been in operation since 1870 and is an iconic symbol of the city’s heritage.
A journey on the Monongahela Incline is not just a means of transportation but a memorable experience that offers a front-row seat to the stunning vistas of downtown Pittsburgh, its shimmering rivers, and the surrounding neighborhoods. The incline carriages gracefully ascend or descend the steep Mount Washington slope, providing an awe-inspiring perspective of Pittsburgh’s skyline and its diverse architectural wonders.
The lower station for the Monongahela Incline is located on W Carson Street. It is open Monday through Saturday from 5:30 a.m. until 12:45 a.m. and on Sundays and holidays from 8:45 a.m. until midnight. An adult round trip costs $3.50, for children ages 6-11 and disabled individuals it costs $2.50 round trip, and for children under 5 and senior citizens, it is free.
5. Watch The Pittsburgh Pirates Win
Watching the Pittsburgh Pirates play at PNC Park is not just a baseball game; it’s an experience filled with the spirit of the Steel City. Nestled along the Allegheny River with the stunning Pittsburgh skyline as its backdrop, PNC Park is often regarded as one of the most picturesque ballparks in the country.
Yinzers love their teams, and the Pittsburgh Pirates are no exception. The connection between the city’s residents and the Pirates is steeped in history, dating back to the founding of the team in 1882. Every game at PNC Park becomes a gathering of the city’s extended family, where fans from all walks of life come together to celebrate their beloved Bucs.
PNC Park is located at 115 Federal Street.
6. Visit The Andy Warhol Museum
Visiting the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh is an immersive journey into the avant-garde world of one of the 20th century’s most iconic artists. Housed in a converted industrial building, the museum pays homage to the city’s native son, Andy Warhol, through a vast collection of his works, personal artifacts, and multimedia exhibits.
Exploring the museum is like stepping into the pop art movement itself, as you encounter Warhol’s famous pieces like the Campbell’s Soup Cans and Marilyn Monroe portraits. It’s a place where art, culture, and innovation merge, providing a deep insight into the life and creativity of this visionary artist. Whether you’re a fan of Warhol’s work or simply interested in modern art, a visit to this museum is a captivating and thought-provoking experience.
The Andy Warhol Museum is located at 117 Sandusky Street and is open Wednesday through Monday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. with extended hours on Friday (10:00 p.m.). The museum is closed on Tuesday.
7. Chill Out at Randyland
Despite how it may sound, Randyland is not an amusement park. Rather, it is the home of artist Randy Gilson. It is located in the Mexican War Streets district in Northside (another one of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods).
Randyland is a quirky place full of fun, vibrant art throughout. I have heard that Randy has a big heart that is full of love and it is free to visit. So we did while we were in Pittsburgh! Randy wasn’t there, but we did get to check out some of his unique artwork.
Randyland is located at 1501 Arch Street. It is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. and on Sunday from noon until 9:00 p.m.
8. Explore The Strip District
The Strip District in Pittsburgh is a vibrant, eclectic neighborhood that pulsates with the heartbeat of the city. This historic district, once a bustling industrial hub, has transformed into a mecca for foodies, shoppers, and culture enthusiasts.
As you stroll along Penn Avenue, you’ll be captivated by the aroma of freshly baked bread from local bakeries, the sizzle of hot-off-the-grill street food, and the colorful sights of street vendors and boutiques offering everything from gourmet foods to vintage treasures. The Strip District is a culinary adventure waiting to be savored, with its famous Pittsburgh sandwiches and international cuisine.
Beyond the gastronomic delights, it’s also home to art galleries, unique shops, and a rich tapestry of cultures, making it a true microcosm of Pittsburgh’s diverse and dynamic spirit. Whether you’re searching for the perfect pierogi or a unique souvenir, the Strip District offers an unforgettable experience, one that captures the essence of Pittsburgh’s past and present.
There are plenty of stores to find black and Aztec gold merchandise for showing Pittsburgh (Pirate, Penguins, Steelers) pride.
9. Learn at the Heinz History Center
The Heinz History Center, named after Pittsburgh native Senator John Heinz, is located in the Strip District. It is Pennsylvania’s largest history museum and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute.
The expansive 370,000-square-foot establishment brims with artifacts and narratives intertwined with American history, all of which bear a direct link to western Pennsylvania. Much like my own astonishment, you might find yourself surprised by the profound impact Pittsburgh’s historical legacy has had on the entire United States.
The Heinz History Center is located at 1212 Smallman Street. It is open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance online. Rates are $20 for adults, $18 for senior citizens (ages 65+), $11 for students, and free for children ages 17 and younger.
Those are just some of the awesome things to do in Pittsburgh. What’s your favorite thing to do in the ‘Burgh?
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