Whether you are a tourist or resident of Pittsburgh, there are so many activities that you can engage yourself in. As a city that is rich in culture and history, you can get to learn about the early days of America’s civil wars and industries. Apart from that there are many other attractions such as zoos, parks, museums, art galleries and restaurants among others. Below is a list of the best things to do in Pittsburgh.
Visit the Carnegie Museums
They are essentially four museums namely Carnegie Museum of Natural History ,Carnegie Museum of Art, Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Science Center which are run by the Carnegie Institute located in Oakland. Carnegie Museum of Natural History has one of the finest collections of dinosaurs. Visitors can get to see the complete model of the short arm Tyrannosaurus rex and the Diplodocus carnegii among others. It also houses collections of minerals and gems among other attractions. Carnegie Museum of Art has some of the greatest collections of art in the world such as Winslow Homer’s The Wreck and the Arrangement in Black: Portrait of Señor Pablo de Sarasate by artist James A. McNeill Whistler’s. Other pieces include centuries old American, European and even Japanese art and prints. The Andy Warhol Museum is one of the biggest museum that has been set up in honor of an artist. It houses more than 4,000 pieces of art, videos, photos and sculpture among others. Visiting the museums will provide both a learning and enjoyable experience.
Ride up and Down the Duquesne Incline
It is located on the slope of Mt Washington and was created in the 1900 as a transportation system for miners going to work from home to the river front industries. The incline has the honor of two original and operational wooden cars that also serve as a museum to educate users of the history of Pittsburgh and the industrial evolution of the steel mills. The incline ride offers visitors one of the best panoramic views of the city and the skyline. They are also known as the Monongahela incline or the funiculars.
Recreation at Point State Park
Located on 36 acres of land, it is referred by the local Pittsburghers as the Point. The park opened its gate in 1974 and was built on land that houses two of the oldest buildings in Pittsburgh; Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne. Its iconic attraction is the 275 foot water fountain that shoots 6,000 gallons of water high towards the sky per minute. The fountain draws it water from an aquifer located 53 feet underground. It is one of most beautiful experience. You can also get to visit the Fort Pitt Museum and learn about the war and struggles. Apart from the museum you can get to sit and relax on the ever green grass or park benches.
Watch a game
Pittsburgh is home to many sports fans and players. It is home to some the greatest teams such as the Steelers, a soccer team that has been in existence for 81 years, the Pirates a baseball club that has been in existence since 1882 and the Penguins, an ice hockey team that has been in existence since 1967. You can get to watch the action at great stadiums such as the PNC Park and the Heinz field. Get to cheer for the teams with your friends and other fans and enjoy a great time. You might even catch a ball as a souvenir.
Cathedral of Learning
Ranked as the tallest educational building in Western hemisphere and the fourth tallest in the world, it is located at the University of Pittsburgh. It is 42 stories high, with 2000 rooms and provides space for students to study and learn. Inside there are 29 Nationality rooms that represent the various ethnic groups that resided in the county. Built from 1926, it is a landmark for the university and the city and it is listed by the National Register of Historic places. It is one of best places to visit and get to see and learn early history of the city and university.
Kennywood Amusement park
Opened back in 1898, it was bought by F. W. Henninger and Andrew McSwigan who formed the Kennywood entertainment company which has remained a family business for over a century. Today it is owned by the Palace Entertainment and still has rides that date back to the 1900. It is one of the best attractions because of its roller-coaster rides and theme parks that offer entertainment to the children. Just be sure to bring along some sunscreen or sun protection gloves since that summer sun can be brutal and you don’t want to end up with a sunburn.
Pittsburgh known by its many nicknames as City of Steel, City of Bridges and City of Champions is home to over 300 Steel companies and its 446 bridges. It has a population of 306,211 living within the city, 1,733,853 in the urban area and 2,360,733 in the metro area. It is surrounded by many river fronts and hills which form a boundary around the city. Rated by Forbes as among the most livable city in the US, Pittsburgh is home to libraries, museums, parks and zoos that have helped retain and improve the character of the city. For the new comer who would want to relocate to the city, it is confusing at first to know which neighborhood would fit you perfectly. Even if you are a recent graduate or newly married or a family, the city has a perfect neighborhood for you and some are listed below.
Located in the East end of the city, Shadyside is filled with well maintained Victorian houses for families, apartments and condo’s for the newly wedded which are very affordable. They are architectural master pieces that have hardwood floors, tree lined streets, the old and new architecture helps to bring a blend of history and modernity together. Walnut Street is the center of Shadyside and has many salons, boutiques and lounges among others which are suitable for both residents and visitors. There are many schools near Shadyside such as Pittsburgh Liberty International Studies K-5 Magnet and Peabody 9-12 among others.
Surrounded by three rivers, it offers one of the most beautiful settings in Pittsburgh. As the central business district, its home to Fortune 500 companies that offer employment to the residents. The rivers offer residents a large playing ground where many can visit and kayak, fish and sail. The surroundings are great for cycling, rollerblading and running to get the much needed exercise. Being in the center of the city, it is very convenient to commute from home to work or home to school. There are many stadiums and theaters that offer recreation activities. Point Park University and other schools offer a great place to learn. Downtown offers a better alternative for those who want to live near the city.
Located east of Downtown, it is home to active business districts and is filled with card shops, shoe shops, restaurants and grocery shops among others. Bloomfield gets its name from the many flowers that used to grow years ago. Today, it has well maintained row homes that are crisscrossed by narrow streets. As a deep rooted community, you get to experience different cultures and languages which offer a diverse background of the people. With excellent schools and transport system, living here is alike a dream.
Located near the cities top attractions of Pittsburgh zoo and PPG aquarium, the neighborhood is one of the best to stay at. It is characterized by Victorian, Tudor and Craftsman style homes that add character and beauty to the neighborhood. Its proximity to the great attractions has made the place to have be quite which is great for those who don’t like too much noise. With a park nearby, families can get to participate in activities together while newly wedded couples can get to spend time together.
Pittsburgh is rated as among the best livable cities in the US and is home to the best universities and colleges. The many Fortune 500 technology companies, law firms and steel industries draw some of the best minds from the universities and colleges. Being among the best livable cities, it is surrounded by rivers and hills which act as a natural boundary. Apart from the rivers, there are libraries which offer books and research materials suitable for students’ studies, museums and art galleries where they can get to practice their trade and parks filled with different games for enjoyment and exercising. Below is a closer look of some of the best colleges in Pittsburgh.
Carnegie Mellon University
Founded by Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon in 1900, it is one of the best private research universities in the city and state area. The university is located 3 miles from Downtown neighborhood of the city and sits on 140 acres of land. It has several independent colleges that offer different subjects such as Fine arts, business, science, humanities and social sciences among others. Guided by the founders motto “My heart is in the work”, it is ranked 57th among best international universities in the world. The school engages in different sports such as volleyball, cricket, athletics and football among others. It is also home to the first internet soda vending machine.
University of Pittsburgh
Commonly referred to as a Pitt, it is a state research university that is located in Pittsburgh. Founded in 1787 as Pittsburgh academy, it has seen many changes and relocation. It was named University of Pittsburgh in 1908 after it was relocated to its present location. With a student population of 28,766 and academic staff population of 4,938, it is composed of 17 schools both undergraduate and graduate schools. Its official colors are blue and gold while its motto is “Veritas et Virtus” which in English means truth and virtue. Ranked 106 globally, it houses one of the tallest educational buildings, the Cathedral of learning and it’s famed for its scientist, Jonas Salk for creating the polio vaccine.
Founded in 1869 as Pennsylvania Female College by Reverend William Trimble Beatty, it was first located on Woodland Avenue in Shadyside. Today the college is composed of former private mansions. Located on 39 acres, it was designated as an arboretum and features 155 varieties of plant and flower species. It is mainly used as an outdoor classroom and a study area for landscaping program students. Started as a women only educational center, it changed its status to a co-educational center on May 1 2014 so as to allow admission of the first group of men. This elicited anger and surprise from its alumni.
Started as a private Catholic university by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, its full name is Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit. It started with 40 students and 6 faculty members back in 1878. It became the first Catholic university in Pennsylvania in 1911 and it is the only Spiritan University in the world. Today, it has expanded to have 10364 students where 5,858 are undergraduates and 4,505 are postgraduate students. The president is Charles J. Dougherty while the chancellor is John E. Murray, Jr. The students are guided by the motto “Spiritus est qui vivificat“meaning “It is the Spirit that gives life”.
When you go to a public park there are plenty things to do. Regardless or not you are by yourself or spending time with your family, being at the park is a great experience. Pittsburgh is not only a great steel town, but the public parks are special. In this city the parks are full of life and full of entertainment. When you go to a park in Pittsburgh, you’ll have a great time. Not only the parks have plenty spaces and lots of nature, but each park has something special that is Pittsburgh’s beauty.
Riverview Park is a great park in the Northern section of Pittsburgh. This park was established in 1894 and this park is full of life. Besides the two miles walking and bike trails throughout the park, this park has a horse trail and offers horseback riding for those who are interested. Riverview Park has a swimming pool area and play area too; this specific area is the most popular in the park. What makes Riverview Park special is the Space Age Playground. The playground is near the famous Allegheny Observatory. This observatory is opened to the public and for those who loves to look at the night skies through the telescopes, then Riverview Park is the park to visit.
Schenley Park is an excellent park to take children. The park is located between the areas of Oakland, Greenfield, and Squirrel Hill. This park was formed in 1889 and was named one of “America’s Coolest City Parks” by Travel + Leisure magazine in 2011. This park has plenty to offer. Besides the swimming pool area, Schenley Park has a soccer field, golf course, and an ice skating rank. This park also has four playgrounds for kids to enjoy and three levels within the walking trail- easy, intermediate, and difficult. Families will have great exercise when they go to Schenley Park.
Highland Park is located in the Northeastern section of Pittsburgh. It was established in 1889 and what’s special about this park is its reservoirs. This park has two of the largest reservoirs in Pittsburgh, and from these reservoirs there is a 3/4 mile walkway around them. This park has a swimming pool and volleyball court section. What makes Highland Park special is both the zoo and aquarium. The zoo and aquarium are open daily, except on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Years Day and the rates to get in is under $20 dollars. If you or your family love to see animals in their natural environment or an animal lover, Highland Park is the place to be.
When you take your family to any these public parks in Pittsburgh, it’s special. Besides the fresh air and nature walks, there are choices to see the stars at night, go horseback riding, ice skate, play golf, or just go to the zoo. Overall when you go any park in Pittsburgh, you and your family will have fun. Just being in the outdoors is the best when you are in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania is a very kid-friendly city, which features many fun attractions and events that children and their families would thoroughly enjoy. Pittsburgh has fun activities for kids and the whole family, no matter which season you visit, because there are great events that take place indoor and outdoors, year round. Some of these attractions include:
1. Just Ducky Tours
125 West Station Square Drive
The Just Ducky Tours in Pittsburgh, is a land vehicle that begins at Station Square with a tour of the historical streets. The land tour goes around to the North Shore, where it makes its decent into the Allegheny River, turning into a boat. The guides make it fun by asking for kids to volunteer in driving the Ducky. The tour lasts for an hour, but you have to be able to Quack when the guides directs.
2. Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium
7340 Butler Street
The Zoo and the Aquarium are great attractions that you could spend the entire day visiting. The Zoo and the Aquarium are next door to each other. Their locations are a connecting look which makes it easy to start at a beginning point and simply walk through each of the animal and sea life exhibits. There is a food court located towards the back of the Zoo.
3. Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
10 Children’s Way; Allegheny Square
The Children’s Museum is filled with exhibits and educational programs for children of all ages. It has been named as one of the top ten museums in the country. There are a variety of hands-on and interactive exhibits that takes children on fantasy adventures and spurs their cerebral cortex with stimulating colors and fun. The exhibits remain fresh and new because they fluctuate with 11 different arts and craft exhibits.
4. Carnegie Science Center and Sports Works
One Allegheny Avenue
The Carnegie Science Center and Sports Works is a large complex that contains an Imax Theater, a planetarium, the WWII USS Requin Submarine tour, and the Highmark Sports Works building. On the second floor is an amazing roboworld environment where a robot plays basketball and where other popular movie robots are housed. There is a miniature railroad exhibit and village that keeps kids amazed. The Highmark Sports Works area, features motion simulator rides, trampolines, and other sports exhibits that invites kids to participate.
5. Sandcastle Water Park
1000 Sandcastle Drive
The Sandcastle Water Park is located next to the Waterfront Shopping area. It is an enclosed and exciting water park. It makes kids and their families forget that they are in the city and not the beach. It has 15 water slides, which are a mix of water slides for tots and rides, as well as slides for older children and adults, such as the large Mon Tsunami Wave Pool, the scenic Mushroom Pool and a boardwalk area. Also travel in an inner tube down the Lazy River.
6. The Blue Slide Playground at Frick Park
Beechwood Boulevard and English Lane
The Blue Slide Playground is a large castle-themed playground with an amazing blue side which kids use a sliding pad or cardboard to slide downward for a long distance. Frick Park is filled with walking trails, bike trails, playgrounds filled with fun equipment and rides for kids, tennis courts, a dog park, outdoor fitness stations, sports fields, picnic areas, and nature wetland sites.
7. Duquesne Incline (Monongahela-Mt. Washington)
1197 WEST CARSON STREET
The Duquesne Incline is a great cable car ride which gives an amazing panoramic view of downtown Pittsburgh. At the top of the Incline is a museum filled with interesting Pittsburgh history and a souvenir shop.
8. Kennywood Park
4800 Kennywood Boulevard
Kennywood Amusement Park contains 28 wonderful rides, classic outdoor wood roller coasters, steel roller coasters, and an indoor roller coaster. There are water rides, amusement rides and the Kiddieland filled with little kid rides. Everyone will enjoy the arcades, varied games, and a fun gift shop.
9. The National Aviary
700 Arch St, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Allegheny Commons West
Young people will love the experience of visiting The National Aviary, which features over 600 bird species that can be found all over the world. The Aviary is an exciting walk-through zoo where kids can get a close up look at free flying, colorful birds of all sizes, some of which they can hand feed. Kids will learn, through guides, how to help preserve their environment, how to support endangered bird breeding programs, and they will view nesting techniques by unique birds.
10. PNC Park
115 Federal Street; North Shore
The PNC Park is Pittsburgh’s spirit of great, classic baseball, with fun Pirates games and family night activities. Kids will love visiting the concourse stand seating, looking out onto the field. There is a barbecue spot owed by Pirate Manny Sanguillen, there is the Rivertowne Brewing Hall of Fame Club, an outdoor river terrace and a beautiful river walk area. The ballpark contains casual retail shops, restaurants, sports shops, and ticket offices to buy affordable tickets for the whole family.
June is definitely the month to be in Pittsburgh if you like festivals and this month gives you many to choose from and we have outlined just four to show the diversity in content and cost.
The ten days from the sixth of June cover ten fun packed days combining art for free, superb food, dancing of all kinds, different visual art concepts theatre and something for all family members. This free of charge festival is attended by over 600,000 people and not only is it the longest held in Pittsburgh it ranks as one of the biggest multidisciplinary festival of all kinds of art in the USA.
This multi location festival covers four main locations as well as open spaces, streets and plaza’s and the musical production side alone covers over four hundred and fifty performers from fifty bands.
If you are around Pittsburgh in June the Three Rivers Art Festival is a definite must visit.
In contrast to the ten days of free arts if you are a beer lover the Pennsylvania Microbrewers Fest offers two separate events with the same opportunity to sample a twenty five plus selection of East coast craft brewers products as well as a salad and sandwich meal with live music and a commemorative glass as well as the beers to be sampled.
There are two separate three hour sessions and the cost of the ticket, which is variable price depending on how early you book, includes tax, lunch, beer tasting and entertainment. Tickets are available direct from the brewery and for the real beer taster this is a wonderful chance to taste the best East coast beers.
So from free art to paid for beer tasting we move to fund raising which features the largest fireman’s parade in the East and lasts for six days.
The Saxonburg Volunteer Fire Company hosts a large fund raising carnival and is expected to be well attended.
Fund raising activities include pet contests and parades, Kids matinee’s, food, raffles water battles and live entertainment.
Lasting from Monday ninth of June to Saturday fourteenth of June and starts each day at 6-00 pm nightly with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday.
Finally, only for the brave or heat lovers the International Chili Sanctioned chili cook of festival includes not only HOT food but craft fairs for adults and children, an Adventure park as well as live music.
This internationally recognized festival has cooks from all over the USA trying to win prizes in excess of six thousand dollars in prizes and as a spectator you can also get to taste and judge the Five Alarm mountain Madness Chili Festival in Pittsburgh.