13 Best Things to do in Pittsburgh, PA

best things to do in pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is a great city for a number of reasons. First, it has a rich history dating back to the Revolutionary War, when it was known as Fort Pitt. Today, Pittsburgh is known for its steel industry, which began in the late 19th century. The city also has a strong arts and culture scene, with numerous museums and theaters. In addition, Pittsburgh is home to several professional sports teams, including the Penguins (hockey), Steelers (football), and Pirates (baseball). And finally, Pittsburgh is simply a beautiful city, with its three rivers, bridges, and hills. Whether you’re visiting for the history, the arts, or the sports, Pittsburgh is sure to have something for you.

Best Parks and hikes in Pittsburgh

duquesne incline
File:Downtown Pittsburgh from Duquesne Incline in the morning.jpg” by Dllu is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

1. Duquesne Incline

The Duquesne Incline is a historic cable car located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The incline was originally built in 1877 to transport passengers and freight up and down the steep hillsides of Mount Washington.

Today, the incline is a popular tourist attraction, carrying over two million passengers each year. The ride itself is short but exhilarating, offering breathtaking views of the cityscape below. The Duquesne Incline is an important part of Pittsburgh’s history and remains one of its most popular attractions.

phillips conservatory
family posing for a picture in front of Roger Phillips’s Split disk in Rectangular Frame” by bonstance is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

2. Phillips Conservatory and Botanical Garden

The Phillips Conservatory and Botanical Garden is one of the best places to see amazing plants from all over the world. The Conservatory is home to a wide variety of plant life, including some rare and endangered species.

The Botanical Garden is also home to a number of different gardens, each with its own unique collection of plants. In addition to the gardens, the Conservatory also has a number of exhibits and educational programs.

The Conservatory is open all year round, and admission is free for all visitors. Whether you’re a plant lover or just looking for a place to enjoy the beauty of nature, the Phillips Conservatory and Botanical Garden is definitely worth a visit.

3 rivers heritage trail
2008-05-25 Pittsburgh 084 Three Rivers Heritage Trail” by Allie_Caulfield is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

3. Three rivers heritage trail

The Three Rivers Heritage Trail is a system of trails and parks along Pittsburgh’s downtown waterfronts. The trail offers spectacular views of the city’s three rivers, as well as access to a variety of attractions, including museums, art galleries, and historic sites.

The heritage trail is also a great place to simply take a leisurely stroll or sit and enjoy the river breezes. Best of all, the trail is easily accessible from many of the city’s hotels and restaurants.

Whether you’re looking for a workout or just a relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors, be sure to check out the Three Rivers Heritage Trail the next time you visit Pittsburgh.

point state park
Fountain at Point State Park, Pittsburgh PA” by roy.luck is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

4. Point State Park

Point State Park is a state park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Park was created in 1974 and covers an area of 36 acres (15 ha). The Park has a number of features, including a fountain, an amphitheater, and a number of monuments.

The Park is located at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, and offers panoramic views of the city skyline. The park is open all year round and is well-connected to the city’s public transport network. In recent years, the park has become a popular venue for events such as concerts and festivals.

Museums Worth Visiting in Pittsburgh

carnegie museum of art
Carnegie Museum of Art ~ Hall of Architecture – Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA” by Onasill ~ Bill is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

1. The Carnegie Museum of Art

The Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh is world-renowned for its collection of European and American art. The museum was founded in 1895 by Andrew Carnegie, and it has been a point of pride for the city ever since.

The Carnegie Museum of Art is home to paintings by some of the most famous artists in history, including Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Monet. In addition to its incredible collection of art, the museum also offers a variety of educational programs, workshops, and events. The Carnegie Museum of Art is an institution that is truly unique and worth a visit.

carnegie museum of natural history
Carnegie Museum of Art ~ Carnegie Museum of Natural History – Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA” by Onasill ~ Bill- 81M views is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

2. Carnegie museum of natural history

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh is one of the most highly respected institutions of its kind in the world. Founded in 1895 by Andrew Carnegie, the museum has been a leading center for research and education in the field of natural history for over a century.

The museum’s collections are among the largest and most diverse in the world, containing over 21 million specimens ranging from ancient fossils to contemporary bird specimens. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History is also home to a world-renowned research department, which conducts cutting-edge research on topics such as evolution, ecology, and biodiversity.

In addition to its research and educational programs, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History also offers a variety of public outreach programs, including exhibits, lectures, and workshops. With its commitment to excellence in research, education, and public outreach, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History is one of the premier institutions dedicated to advancing our understanding of the natural world.

carnegie science center
Carnegie Science Center 3′ – Works Theater Panorama – Magic Planet” by Global Imagination is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

3. Carnegie science center

The Carnegie Science Center is a museum and educational institution located in Pittsburgh. The center houses four main exhibit halls, as well as the Buhl Planetarium and the Observatory. The exhibit halls feature a wide variety of interactive exhibits on topics such as astronomy, robotics, and ecology.

The Buhl Planetarium offers immersive shows and presentations on the night sky, while the Observatory allows visitors to experience firsthand the wonders of the cosmos. In addition to its exhibits, the Carnegie Science Center also offers a range of educational programs for all ages.

These programs include classes, workshops, and camps that aim to educate and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. From its world-class facilities to its commitment to public education, the Carnegie Science Center is one of Pittsburgh’s most valuable assets.

andy warhol museum
Pittsburgh – North Shore: Andy Warhol Museum – Self Portrait” by wallyg is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

4. Andy Warhol museum

For those who love art, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh is a must-see. Warhol was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, and the museum houses the largest collection of his work in the world. Visitors can see examples of his famous prints, paintings, and films, as well as personal items from his life.

The museum also offers a wide variety of educational programs, making it the perfect place to learn more about Warhol and his impact on pop culture. Whether you’re a fan of his work or simply interested in learning more about one of the most significant artists of our time, the Andy Warhol Museum is sure to provide an enjoyable and enlightening experience.

heinz history center
0684 Pittsburgh – Senator John Heinz History Center” by KlausNahr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

5. Heinz history center

The Heinz History Center is dedicated to the history of the city of Pittsburgh and the surrounding region. The museum’s collections include artifacts, documents, and photographs that illustrate the stories of the people who have lived and worked in this area. The museum also houses a research library that contains a wealth of information about the city’s history.

Visitors to the museum can learn about the city’s founding, its growth into a major industrial center, and its decline in the mid-20th century. The museum also tells the story of the people who have called Pittsburgh home, including its immigrant population. The Heinz History Center is an important resource for those interested in learning about Pittsburgh’s past.

Cool Districts and areas to visit in Pittsburgh

primanti bros
Pittsburgh – Strip District: Primanti Bros Sandwich” by wallyg is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

1. Strip District

The Strip District in Pittsburgh is a must-visit for any foodie. This vibrant, historic neighborhood is home to a variety of iconic food establishments, from gourmet cheese shops to world-famous pizzerias. The Strip District is also a great place to find fresh produce and specialty ingredients.

Whether you’re looking for exotic spices or locally grown fruits and vegetables, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in the Strip District. And of course, no visit to the Strip District would be complete without sampling some of the delicious street food on offer. From hot dogs and pretzels to ethnic dishes from around the world, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the Strip District.

If you really want to get the full experience, grab a signature Primanti Bros sandwich (comes with fries on the sandwich)!

Next time you’re in Pittsburgh, be sure to check out the Strip District – you won’t be disappointed!

cathedral of learning
Cathedral of Learning” by Dr. T is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

2. Cathedral of learning and the University of Pittsburgh campus

The Cathedral of Learning, completed in 1937, is a Pittsburgh landmark and the centerpiece of the University of Pittsburgh’s campus. With its 446-foot tower and 36 stories, the Cathedral is the tallest educational building in the Western Hemisphere. The building’s design is based on a medieval French cathedral, and its Gothic Revival style is unique among American universities.

Inside, the Cathedral houses classrooms, offices, and laboratories, as well as a variety of student organizations. The building’s most distinctive feature is its Great Hall, a vast 12-story room lined with stained glass windows and financed by donations from Pitt alumni. The Cathedral of Learning is one of Pittsburgh’s most iconic buildings, and it continues to be an important part of the University community.

Annual events in Pittsburgh

3 rivers regatta
Red Bull Flugtag, Pittsburgh” by nick.amoscato is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

1. Three Rivers Regatta (Summer)

The Three Rivers Regatta is an annual event held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The event features a series of boat races on the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers. The regatta also includes a parade, live music, food vendors, and other family-friendly activities.

The Three Rivers Regatta is one of the largest and most popular events in Pittsburgh, and it attracts visitors from all over the country. Every year, the regatta brings together people of all ages and backgrounds for a fun-filled day of celebration. Whether you’re cheering on the boats or simply enjoying the sights and sounds of the city, the Three Rivers Regatta is an event that you won’t want to miss.

vintage grand prix
The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix 2013” by Rhettwp is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

2. Vintage grand prix (July)

The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix is an annual celebration of all things automotive. Held each July, the event attracts car enthusiasts from all over the world. The centerpiece of the event is a historic street race that winds its way through the city’s scenic hills. But the Vintage Grand Prix is more than just a race. It’s also a chance to see some of the world’s rarest and most valuable cars up close.

During the event, there are also car shows, exhibitions, and Evenings at the Races, where guests can mingle with drivers and get an inside look at the world of vintage racing. With its mix of exciting racing action and nose-to-tail displays of automotive history, the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix is a must-see event for any car lover.

Recap of Best Things to do in Pittsburgh

  • Duquesne incline
  • Phillips Conservatory and Botanical Garden
  • Three rivers heritage trail
  • Point State Park
  • The Carnegie Museum of Art
  • Carnegie museum of natural history
  • Carnegie science center
  • Andy Warhol museum
  • Heinz history center
  • Strip District
  • Cathedral of learning and the University of Pittsburgh campus
  • Three Rivers Regatta
  • Vintage grand prix

Where to Next?

Interested in a historic city? Head northeast to Boston!

Looking to relax on the beach? Check out Fort Lauderdale!

Feeling outdoorsy? Head on over to Bozeman!

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