While taking a tour of the state of Pennsylvania by car, a journey to the city of Pittsburgh, located around 20 miles east of the state’s boundary with Ohio, is not to be missed. Keep on reading to learn about the things to do in Pittsburgh.
The city of Pittsburgh is home to a diverse range of communities, ethnic groups, and neighborhoods, all of which contribute to the city’s thriving arts and cultural scene. This is something that the city’s natives take great pleasure in.
Make plans for your next trip and let our world-class performing venues, museums, galleries, and exhibitions serve as a source of motivation for you.
1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Situated in the state of Pennsylvania and Allegheny county, Pittsburgh is a city with a vast population and many breathtaking views. To the southwest of Pennsylvania, the city of Pittsburgh is located.
It’s also known as the “City of Bridges” as there are around 446 bridges and “the Steel city” because of its huge contribution to the historical development of the steel industry.
The steel city is also well known for the production of petroleum, glass, and aluminum. Both energy extraction and leadership in environmental and energy Design have their roots in this part of the world.
NOTE: Pittsburgh has been included in the list of “eleven most livable cities in the world” by Metropolis magazine in 2015.
2. History of Pittsburgh
General John Forbes chose the name Pittsburgh in 1758 to commemorate the British politician William Pitt, 1st Lord of Chatham. Pitt was the first Earl of Chatham. The borough of Pittsburgh kept on growing in size after the conclusion of the American Revolution.
The construction of boats for early settlers in Ohio Country was one of the region’s first major enterprises. The location of Fort Pitt, which later became Pittsburgh, near the headwaters of the Ohio River made it an ideal starting point for colonists migrating through into Northwest Territory.
NOTE: In 1785, Pittsburgh was annexed by Pennsylvania and became a part of the state.
3. Things to do in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh attractions include a number of exotic and generic locations that promise you a great time. Keep reading on to discover the confounding things to do in Pittsburgh.
3.1) Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium
The combination of the Pittsburgh Zoo and the PPG Aquarium is one of the most well-liked things to do in Pittsburgh. This attraction is a particular favorite for visitors who are traveling with children or who still consider themselves to be children at heart.
This kid- and family-friendly attraction features more than 4,000 animals (representing no less than 475 species), distinct themed regions that allow you to observe the furry occupants in their natural habitat, and opportunities to meet and greet the animals. Together, all these fascinating features ensure that there is something unique for everyone to enjoy at this location.
While the aquarium is also open throughout the year, it sometimes hosts special seasonal exhibitions. The zoo is always open. The entry fee is not too expensive, making it an attractive choice for vacationers who are concerned about their spending.
In addition, as a result of its position in Highland Park on the eastern side of the city, you will be afforded an abundance of open space that is perfect to enjoy a relaxing afternoon picnic.
Do not pass up the opportunity to take part in the Zoo Lights Drive-Thru, which is described as “a moonlight safari adventure where you can wheel around the zoo and delight in 80 animal exhibits lighted by magnificent LED combinations,” according to an insider recommendation.
3.2) Carnegie Science Center
Whoever argued that education couldn’t be enjoyable was clearly wrong. The question was answered by Pittsburgh with the establishment of the Carnegie Science Center, which has proven to be an outstanding achievement. It is one of the interesting things to do in Pittsburgh for children and adults.
This science center is located in a huge building on the banks of the Ohio River in the North Shore neighborhood of Pittsburgh. It is right next to Heinz Field. This science center has something for everyone. It has an exhibit of Pompeii, an IMAX theatre that is 70 feet tall, and four floors of interactive exhibits that detail everything from the human body to outer space.
Be sure to stop by the Highmark Sportsworks section, which features thirty calorie-burning interactive experiences (this is especially important if you are traveling with children), and choose to explore the meticulously maintained USS Requin, which was the Navy’s first Radar Picket submarine. Both of these attractions are not to be missed.
And after you’ve had your fill of the sights and sounds, there’s a café, an open park with views of the river, and a scientific playground for children to enjoy when you’re done exploring.
3.3) Andy Warhol Museum
The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is widely considered to be among the most remarkable and in-depth museums in the United States that are devoted to a single artist. Every art enthusiast can visit the Andy Warhol museum to enrich their life experience with one of the best things to do in Pittsburgh.
From his ground-breaking works of pop art, which featured celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley as well as commonplace artifacts such as dollar bills, to his audacious artistic vision, which forever altered the trajectory of contemporary art, these are just a few of his many accomplishments.
NOTE: It is regarded as one of the most comprehensive single-artist museums in the world and the biggest in North America.
Warhol was the one who made the prediction that “in the future, everyone would be a universe for 15 minutes,” and he was right. The museum provides a fascinating look at the life and thoughts of one of the most renowned painters to come out of the United States.
Even visitors with limited time will be able to view a significant amount of the Andy Warhol Museum since it is situated over numerous levels and also includes an outdoor area.
3.4) Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are located in the vibrant Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. They have been a Pittsburgh institution ever since it first opened its doors in 1893. These gardens are enchanting and natural, and they provide a welcome escape from the hectic pace of urban life.
One of the greatest botanical gardens on the American continent, the huge complex of today has both indoor as well as outdoor gardens and is a habitat to ever more than 13,000 species of plants from all over the globe (including several rare and endangered ones).
A spectacular glasshouse with 14 separate rooms, an intense tropical forest, a desert room, a calm sunken garden, and a beautiful orchid room are just some of the 15 distinct parts that are available to visitors throughout the grounds.
The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens also functions as a museum in its own right, including an impressive permanent collection of glass sculptures by Chihuly. For your next adventurous trip, Phipps Conservatory can be the best setting.
3.5) National Aviary
The National Aviary, which can be found in Pittsburgh’s historic North Side in the Allegheny Commons, is yet another excellent destination for people who have a passion for nature and birds. Among the list of things to do in Pittsburgh, you must include a tour of the National Aviary.
The aviary is home to more than 500 birds belonging to over 150 distinct species (including some individuals that are exceedingly rare and on the verge of extinction), and it features a wide variety of colorful birds that are allowed to fly freely inside realistic environments.
The most exciting part? It is one of the very few aviaries in the United States that permit visitors to hand-feed many of the birds, and in addition to that, there are plenty of active learning shows and guided tours that visitors can participate in.
3.6) Mount Washington
Enjoy a content time with your friends and family by visiting the graded Mount Washington, located on the southern banks of the Ohio River and Monongahela River. Mount Washington is located in Allegheny County and is considered to be one of the nicest locations to live in Pennsylvania.
Life in Mount Washington provides inhabitants with an urban-suburban mix, and the majority of residents rent their houses. There are several taverns, restaurants, coffee houses, and parks in Mount Washington.
Mount Washington has a modest but booming restaurant scene, which can be divided into three major parts of the neighborhood depending on what you’re searching for.
The first sector is along Grandview Avenue and features upscale eating businesses with spectacular views, as the name implies.
The second sector is located along Shiloh Street near the Monongahela Incline and has a number of bars and grills as well as less formal restaurants.
The third is on Bailey Avenue, Daquesne Incline, farther off Shiloh Street, as you make your approach toward Grandview Park, which also has a number of enchanting sites.
3.7) Cathedral of Learning
Stopping by one of the University of Pittsburgh’s most recognizable campus buildings is a must if you want to get a feel for the city’s rich architectural history. Many tourists and local people have included the Cathedral of learning in their list of things to do in Pittsburgh.
The Cathedral of Learning (built in 1926) is an educational mecca full of classrooms, interactive exhibits, and some fascinating Nationality Rooms that teach and inspire all about the various cultures that can be found in Pittsburgh. It is located directly across the street from the Carnegie Museum, making it easily accessible.
In addition to the magnificent Commons Room that spans four stories and is located on the ground floor of the 42-story Cathedral, the building also contains academic and administrative offices, computer labs, libraries a theatre, a print shop, and a food court. The world-acclaimed Nationality Classrooms are also located within the Cathedral.
3.8) Strip District
In recent years, the Strip District has experienced a resurgence, quickly rising the ranks as one of the city’s most vibrant areas. This is due to the fact that many of the neighborhood’s former warehouses and factories have been converted into a diverse assortment of businesses, including restaurants and bars.
After beginning your day of sightseeing with a cup of coffee from the Allegheny Coffee and Tea Exchange, spend some time perusing the stalls of local artisans at the Pittsburgh Public Market or the local flea market, and finish the day by strolling the city streets and taking in the various one-of-a-kind dining options that are available.
In addition, to put the icing on the cake, artisan breweries like the East End Brewing Company are a fun stop for many tourists.
3.9) Children’s Museum
The fantastic Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh at Allegheny Center is located on Pittsburgh’s Northside and is one of the many things to do in Pittsburgh. Children can spend the whole day exploring interactive exhibits both inside and outside in the museum’s garden.
A fun and enjoyable activity for children and their parents or adults can be to explore the Bounce exhibit providing a fantastic spherical bouncy object and the Tough Art exhibit of interactive artwork.
Afterward, you can take your children to the Garage, where everyone may combine their constructing abilities and race their inventions on the 37-foot racing track. Want your children to have a fun time and learn innovative and creative thinking? Do take a stroll in the children’s museum!
3.10) Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Oakland is the ideal location for anyone interested in learning more about the history and heritage of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as that of the wider world. The museum is home to dinosaur skeletons, gems that are thousands of years old, educational exhibits on evolution, and a whole lot more.
To learn about historical events you can add visiting Carnegie Art museum to the list of things to do in Pittsburgh. With permanent collections that include art, anthropology, plant life, Native American culture, natural history (including fossils), geology, and an extensive number of lifesize animal reproductions.
A renewed awareness of the history, present, and future of the place is something that often occurs when a tourist leaves a location that hosts traveling exhibitions that rotate every few months. It is a contemporary art museum that is commendable in providing its visitors with an eminent time.
In addition, stored away up in hipster Oakland, there are a great number of restaurants and pubs for you to explore following your visit.
3.11) Heinz History Center
Attention, those of you who are interested in history: the John Heinz History Center, which is among the biggest national history museums in the whole state, markets itself as one of the key things to do in Pittsburgh.
This is one of the greatest places to start if you want to sharpen up your knowledge of Pennsylvania history and sports history since it presents some fantastic exhibitions that go into a variety of exciting topics.
The magazine covers a wide range of themes, such as the rediscovering the rich history of the Lewis and Clark expedition, an in-depth look at the Heinz ketchup corporation, Pittsburgh’s participation in World War II, and a complete sports section that investigates thought-provoking issues such as Negro League Baseball.
NOTE: Heinz history center is the largest history museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The narrative of the city’s namesake monument and the important role it played in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution may be learned at the Fort Pitt Museum (Former Fort Duquesne), which is also a major attraction in the city.
Pittsburgh Symphony orchestra as well as Pittsburgh Opera has been performing at the Heinz history center for a very long time, and their performing arts are enjoyed and appreciated by many citizens and tourists.
This cutting-edge museum can be found in the Strip District. It offers a wide variety of additional activities and events for guests to participate in during their time there, including scavenger hunts, seminars geared specifically toward children, and more.
3.12) Point State Park
Point State Park, which is located in the middle of downtown Pittsburgh and straddles the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers, provides a refuge amid the city’s urban wilderness and is another site to add to the list of things to do in Pittsburgh.
Point State Park was once a thriving hub of commerce and industry, but now it is one of the most popular tourist sites in the city due to the variety of historical monuments, scenic vistas, and many opportunities for leisure that it offers (including biking trails, jogging, and playgrounds).
The fountain that resembles a geyser and is located at the very end of Point State Park is without a doubt the most impressive feature of the park.
It creates a breathtaking show of water that rises up into the air and is accompanied by verdant vegetation. Go around the park’s picturesque promenade if you want to spend more time exploring the area, but make sure to step up onto one of the neighboring bridges to get a birds-eye perspective of downtown and the Three Rivers Stadium (home of the Steelers).
3.13) Schenley Park
There is no better place in the city to get some exercise and breathe in some clean air than Schenley Park, which is an urban paradise full of hiking trails, breathtaking waterfalls, and other features. Many common residents and tourists visit Schenley park to enjoy one of the many things to do in Pittsburgh.
This enormous park covers 450 acres and is found in the Oakland neighborhood. It is residence to the Schenley Park Overlook, an ice skating rink, a golf course (and another disc golf course), as well as a number of playgrounds, monuments, hiking and biking trails, sports facilities, and other amenities.
3.14) PNC Park
Are you looking for things to do in Pittsburgh? Check out, PNC Park!
PNC Park has served as a canvas for a few of the best players in baseball ever since it first opened its doors in 2001, and the almost 40,000 seats in the stadium are consistently sold out whenever it is used.
And despite the fact that, in terms of baseball, it is rather tiny in scale, PNC more than compensates for it with its breathtaking perspective of the city skyline and its raucous, enthusiastic spectators.
Nowadays, it serves as the stadium for the Pittsburgh Pirates, making it an essential destination for baseball fans throughout the United States.
3.15) Lawrence Convention Center
The David L. Lawrence Convention Center is one of the most recognizable structures in Pittsburgh and makes up the list of things to do in Pittsburgh. It has an area of more than 1.5 million square feet, and it looks out over the sparkling Allegheny River. The center’s sweeping arching glass windows create a perfect contemporary backdrop for a variety of events, both large and small, that take place throughout the year.
Concerts (ranging from symphonic performances to rock and roll extravaganzas), trade exhibits, and a whole lot more are just some of the other events that are held there on a regular basis.
To put it simply, if there is going to be an event in Pittsburgh, it is quite probable that it will take place in the Convention Center.
3.16) Three Rivers Heritage Trail
Imagine a historic riverside route that spans 33 miles across the city of Pittsburgh, from Millvale to Brunot Island, and everything in between. This trail would connect all of the neighborhoods along the river.
This urban greenway will take you on an adventure along both sides of the three rivers — the Ohio River, the Monongahela River, and the Allegheny River — stopping at several important cultural venues and photo-worthy landmarks such as Washington Landing and the Old Heinz Factory all along way. Both gorgeous and iconic, this urban greenway will take you on an exciting journey.
A helpful hint for avid explorers, cyclists, or runners is that you may see the routes online and select your perfect route before you go out on your adventure.
3.17) Emerald View Park
The expansive Emerald View Park is the place to go to soak in a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding metropolitan area while engaging in activities such as walking, cycling, or just unwinding.
This beautiful green park on Pittsburgh’s South Side spans over 250 acres, all the way to Mt. Washington, Duquesne Heights, and Allentown, and it serves up some of the most breathtaking vistas of the city and the hills that surround it.
Although the views may become rather busy during the high season, this location is still ideal for going on a hike in the woods or having a picnic lunch because there are acres of open land behind the building to explore.
3.18) Federal Gallery
Federal Gallery located on the North shore of the city of Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania is another one of the exciting things to do in Pittsburgh.
If you or your friends are having trouble deciding what kind of meal you feel like eating, Federal Galley is an excellent spot to go. They offer four different restaurant ideas under one roof, making it possible for all customers to find something that appeals to them.
In addition to that, they have a bar that serves a wide variety of local, regional, and national beers in addition to one-of-a-kind drinks. There is a large number of seats available inside as well as outside the establishment. They furthermore make it incredibly easy for you to purchase all of your meals by scanning a QR code that is located on your table.
3.19) Cultural District
The 14-square-block Cultural District can be found in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh between the Convention Center and Stanwix Street. It is home to over 90 retail businesses, 50 eating places, seven world-class theatres, eight public parks and art installations, and a dozen art galleries.
Pittsburgh is the type of location that is wholly and gloriously itself while still providing all that you might want from a large metropolis, which is a mix that is simply fascinating!
What are you waiting for? Book yourself the time of your life by enjoying various Pittsburgh attractions.
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