Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, also known as the “Steel City” or the “City of Bridges,” is a city with a rich history, a vibrant arts and culture scene, and a reputation for innovation and resilience. One of the most iconic landmarks in Pittsburgh is the Duquesne Incline, a historic cable car that takes visitors up Mount Washington for breathtaking views of the city skyline and the three rivers that converge in Pittsburgh. Another famous attraction is the Andy Warhol Museum, which celebrates the life and work of the legendary pop artist who was born in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh is also a city with a strong sense of community and a proud industrial heritage. The city was once the heart of the American steel industry, and although the steel mills have mostly disappeared, Pittsburgh has reinvented itself as a hub of technology, healthcare, and education. The city is home to several world-class universities, including Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, as well as cutting-edge research centers such as the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and the Robotics Institute.
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15. Carnegie Museum of Art
The Carnegie Museum of Art is a great activity for people passing through Pittsburg, PA. It is a cutting-edge art museum for both traditional and contemporary works of art, featuring regional, national, and international artists’ exhibitions, programs, and collections. The museum offers a comprehensive range of educational programs and activities for all ages, including symposiums, discussions, and information sessions. Additionally, the museum offers guided tours, as well as a bookstore, restaurant, and shop. The museum is located in the Oakland area of the city and within walking distance of the University of Pittsburg campus, making the location easily accessible.
There are many restaurants and shops in the area, such as Mad Mex, Scratch Eatery & Top Side Bar, and Sette Luna Restaurant. These spots offer both tasty and quality food and are known to offer high-rated reviews. For a historic touch, right next to the museum, is the Carnegie Library of Pittsburg, the first Carnegie Library in the United States, which is a National Historic Landmark.
14. Andy Warhol Museum
The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg, PA offers an intriguing experience for all ages. Located in the neighborhood of Northside, the museum features the artworks, films, and objects from artist Andy Warhol’s collection. Visitors can explore seven floors featuring more than 3,000 exhibits, including extensive work collections and installations, intimate films, and interpretive digital media.
It is the world’s largest collection of Andy Warhol’s art and continues to hone the idea of the convergence of art and technology. While visiting the museum, visitors can take the time to enjoy local hotspots within the Northside area, such as Max’s Allegheny Tavern, which opened in 1902 and boasts Pittsburgh’s longest bar. Other attractions and restaurants in the Northside neighborhood include Grist House Craft Brewery, Jackson’s Restaurant and Bar, and Wigle Whiskey, tours of the latter and additional attractions such as the Warhol Bridge can also be explored.
13. Phipps Conservatory
Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, PA is a stunning flower and botanical paradise. Located in Schenley Park, the Victorian glasshouse showcases a dazzling array of floral arrangements, seasonal gardens, and tropical rainforest. Visitors from all over the region come to explore the 14-room glasshouse and view a selection of over 2,000 species of plants. The conservatory also features a Butterfly Forest exhibit where guests can get up close and personal with the colorful inhabitants. Past visitors have commented on the lush gardens, peaceful atmosphere, and knowledgeable staff.
As part of the conservatory experience, a visit to the nearby Primanti Bros. is a must, as the restaurant is well-known for its delicious Pittsburgh-style sandwiches. Nearby cultural attractions like The Warhol Museum, Carnegie Museum of Art, and Carrie Furnace can also be explored. During warmer months, the trails meandering throughout Frick Park and the grand universities of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon provide a plethora of outdoor recreational opportunities. Phipps Conservatory is a natural beauty that should not be missed while in Pittsburgh.
12. Three Rivers Heritage Trail
The Three Rivers Heritage Trail is a great activity in Pittsburg, PA. It is a 24-mile loop trail that follows the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers. Along this trail, there are many recreational activities available, such as biking, walking, running, or rollerblading. It also serves as an important connection for people in the surrounding neighborhoods.
It passes through Point State Park, the historic North Side, the South Side, and other local landmarks. For great restaurants near the Trail, there are high-rated places such as Primanti Bros in The Strip District and Joe’s Restaurant in the North Side. Along the Way Park also has programming events and installations, usually with a historical twist. This Trail is a great place to go to explore and stay active, with plenty of activities and attractions right at your doorstep.
11. Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is a great activity to do when visiting the Pittsburgh area. Located in Highland Park, it is the region’s premier wildlife destination. The zoo offers a diverse range of exhibits, including the presence of 163 different species of animals along with rides and educational activities. The aquarium features aquatic species from around the globe, including both freshwater and saltwater creatures, plus birds, reptiles, and amphibians. In addition to these, there are also opportunities to watch animal performances, experience immersive wildlife encounters, and ride trains or boats to get a closer look at the wildlife.
For those looking for a historical experience, visitors can also explore the nearby Carnegie Museum of Natural History. It is known for its world-renowned fossil collection, providing you with a real-life look at extinct animals. For dining options nearby, Carmen’s PGH Pizza & Grille and Glassmere Park Cafe both get high reviews from locals and visitors alike. With so much to see and do, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is a great place to explore when visiting the area.
10. Mattress Factory Museum
The Mattress Factory Museum is an entertaining activity located near Pittsburgh, PA. This interactive museum offers a variety of modern installations, innovative works of art, fun exhibitions, and more. Guests can explore the many rooms to uncover unique visual and sensory experiences. Plus, the museum also features historically significant pieces from the region and around the world, allowing guests to deepen their appreciation for all forms of art.
After visiting the museum, nearby restaurants like Gaucho Parrilla Argentina and täkō are ideal options for a delicious, nearby bite. For the ultimate Pittsburgh experience, visitors can watch the Pirates play ball at PNC Park while taking in the stunning views of the city skyline. Additionally, the Highmark Stadium, Point State Park, and Carnegie Science Center are all popular attractions located nearby.
9. Heinz History Center
The Heinz History Center is an activity located in Pittsburg, PA. It features interactive exhibits, events, and educational programming that highlights the accomplishments of local citizens throughout southwestern Pennsylvania’s 250-year history. The Center also celebrates Pittsburgh’s strong art, sports, food, and innovation histories. This location boasts more than 250 years of artifacts and stories of local events, culture, and business development.
With a focus on displaying amazing historical artifacts from all over the world, and from different times, the center makes this part of Pittsburg’s history easily accessible to visitors. Near the Pittsburg area, visitors can also visit other locations recommended for their good reviews, such as Bicycle Heaven, The National Aviary, and Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. For family-friendly activities, local businesses with high reviews include Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Kennywood Amusement Park. For anyone looking to explore some unique history, the Heinz History Center is the perfect spot!
8. National Aviary
The National Aviary in Pittsburg, PA is an exciting and interactive place for families to explore and discover birds from all over the world. Located in Allegheny Commons Park, a short distance from downtown Pittsburg, the National Aviary allows visitors to observe over 500 different birds, of over 200 different species, most of which live in habitats designed to resemble their natural surroundings. Many of these birds are part of species that were once endangered, such as the Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon and California Condor. Visitors can interact with the birds, watch them feed, and have bird-centric shows and education programs.
If your group is traveling in a large group, the National Aviary offers guided tours for groups of 15 or more people. They also have some great restaurants near the Aviary like The Warren, Crazy Mocha, and the Green Leaf Cafe that all provide excellent food, homemade desserts, and delectable drinks to enjoy after a long day of bird watching. The National Aviary is a great destination for people of all ages, perfect for a family outing, an educational field trip, or a special occasion.
7. Schenley Park
Schenley Park is a popular outdoor activity near Pittsburg, PA. The 445-acre park is full of green space, trails, and outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy large parks and trails throughout the area, such as the Panther Hollow Trail and the Tiger Hollow Trail.
There are also many old historical monuments, such as the Mary Schenley Memorial Fountain, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The park offers plenty of different activities such as biking, walking, running, and playing sports, and there are also plenty of picnic spots for anyone looking for a relaxing day outdoors. The park is also home to a few different businesses, including a coffee shop, a restaurant, and a brewery. Many of these businesses have received excellent reviews from locals and visitors alike.
6. Market Square
Market Square in Pittsburgh, PA is a great place to spend some time with family or friends. It’s the oldest public marketplace in the United States, and it boasts a wide variety of restaurants, shops, and entertainment opportunities. There are plenty of outdoor patios, rooftop venues, and cozy bars, so no matter the preference, there will be something for everyone to enjoy. For those seeking historical attractions, be sure to check out the nearby Monument to General John Forbes.
Also nearby are the Senator John Heinz History Center and the Andy Warhol Museum. Market Square also hosts a variety of seasonal events, from the Farmers Market to live music opportunities. Several renowned restaurants make up the area too, including Pierogi Night, Sienna Mercato, Tessaro’s Burger, and Mullen’s Bar & Grill. All of these restaurants consistently receive great reviews and make for a great night out with friends and family.
5. Frick Art & Historical Center
The Frick Art & Historical Center near Pittsburgh, PA is a great activity option for those looking to explore history and art. Located about 10 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, the center consists of the Frick Art Museum, Clayton, the Car & Carriage Museum, the Frick Environmental Center and the Café at the Frick. The art museum features several European paintings from the 15th to 19th century, as well as some American art from the 18th to 20th century. The Car & Carriage Museum showcases 19th-century carriages and cars from the collection of Henry Clay Frick II.
It’s a great opportunity to learn about the history of transportation. Nearby, you can also visit the historical Robert L. Prendergast Library. The library is a unique collection of rare books, documents, and artifacts, making it a perfect stop for anyone interested in the history and culture of Pittsburgh. For an added bit of fun, consider visiting the great clubs near the Frick, including Dave and Busters, Indigo, and It’s Your Move Games & Hobbies, which all have excellent reviews.
4. Strip District
The Strip District of Pittsburg, PA, is a vibrant and exciting activity, boasting local currency, delicious cuisine, a multitude of vendor stalls, and plenty more. Located close to downtown and the Allegheny River, the Strip District is conveniently located and is the perfect way to spend an afternoon, especially for those into food and culture. Here, visitors will be able to sample an array of unique and delicious cuisine, including some of the best pizza, pierogi, and seafood options in the area. The history parks and monuments in the district have stood since the late 1800s and provide visitors with an opportunity to learn and enjoy the history of the city.
If shopping is more your fancy, then the Strip District is sure to please. It’s home to numerous artisan shops, antiques, and clothing stores packed with unique items. There are also artist galleries, specialty stores, and select stalls selling fresh produce and gourmet foods, as well as the ever-popular Pennsylvania Macaroni Company. Businesses like the Penn Shore Winery, Uncle Sam’s Sandwich Shop, and Pittsburgh Popcorn are often highly-rated, and are absolute musts when visiting the area.
3. Mount Washington Overlook
The Mount Washington Overlook near Pittsburg, PA is a must-do activity for nature lovers. From this spot, visitors can have spectacular views of the city of Pittsburg, particularly during sunset or sunrise. There is some hiking through the area, but most of the activity is centered around the breathtaking views. A particularly popular spot is an overlook of the Ohio River at the tip of the hill opposite the observation point. On a nice day, it’s a great spot to watch the boats and barges making their way up and down the river.
There are also walking trails that lead to the various lookout points and provide some exercise. Visitors can choose to either take a short hike to the top or drive up the old winding road. There are also several good restaurants near the mount, including the Waffallonia Cafe, which serves delicious sandwiches and desserts. For a bit of history, there is the Washington Memorial, a monument to General George Washington which overlooks the city of Pittsburg and commemorates his contribution to the Revolutionary War. All in all, the Mount Washington Overlook is an ideal spot for a day trip from the city and a great way to take in the wonderful views of Pittsburg.
2. North Shore Trail
The North Shore Trail is a scenic biking and hiking trail located in Pittsburg, PA. Along the 10.5-mile loop, visitors will enjoy picturesque views of the surrounding rivers and the landmarks of downtown Pittsburg. The trail starts at the North Shore Commons, where visitors can also enjoy amenities like restaurants, bars, and a movie theater. For more adventurous types, the trail offers access to sites like the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area and the Allegheny Observatory.
Along the way, visitors can even find historical artifacts, as the trail was once part of the Pennsylvania Railroad line. For those who want to enhance their experience, local businesses like The Bicycle Stop and Solid Rock Cyclery offer bicycle rental services. Altogether, the North Shore Trail offers something for everyone, be it best enjoyed by a brisk bike ride, a leisurely stroll, or any other means of exploration.
1. Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Galleries
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Galleries near Pittsburg, PA offer visitors a great opportunity to explore the city’s rich and varied art scene. From Downtown Pittsburgh, The Trust Galleries feature a variety of artist-created works, rotating exhibitions, and interactive events. With several exhibition venues scattered throughout the city, visitors can explore the works while basking in the incredible beauty of the city’s rivers and hills. Additionally, if you’re looking for something a bit closer to home, there are plenty of great places to check out that are packed with culture and flavor.
The Garfield Art Gallery and The West End Art Gallery are both excellent places to visit for Contemporary works and local Pittsburgh art. For high-end cuisine, there are nearby spots like Parador Pitts for Mexican dishes and Apteka for vegan-friendly options. For those looking for something a bit more casual, the bars and restaurants near the Market Square area also receive high reviews. Exploring the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Galleries is a great way to get a taste of the city’s incredible art scene.
As you can see, Pittsburgh has a lot to offer everyone. If you are looking to do more in the surrounding area, check out other weekend trips!
These areas are perfect for a quick day trip or a long weekend getaway. Explore our favorite things to do or peruse some pre-built itineraries.