Pittsburgh has history. This centuries-old city has gone through its fair share of booms and declines, with only the most resilient making it through. That’s why this city is so interesting – over the past few hundreds of years, Pittsburgh has become a home to people from all walks of life, inviting a diverse culture to take root in the Mid-Atlantic. From the classics to the modern, Pittsburgh has made it through the ages by molding and adapting to the times while celebrating what makes the city great.
Because there’s so much to do here, it’s a little intimidating trying to narrow down your itinerary – most people don’t even know where to start! To help, we've crafted a list of our top 10 favorite things to do in Pittsburgh.
1. Carnegie Museum of Natural History
What better introduction to a city than to visit some of its famous museums? At the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, you’ll find some of the most interesting and thought-provoking exhibits in the city, both permanent and traveling. The Natural History Museum in particular is a versatile choice that’s can be enjoyed with the entire family, with your sweetheart, or when you’re exploring the city on your own. From Ancient Egypt to dinosaur fossils and modern wildlife, there’s no shortage of things to look at and learn about. Admission will run an adult about $18, but be sure to check their special offers, as you may be eligible for a discount.
2. National Aviary
Where can you see penguins from Antarctica, whistling ducks from South America, Eagle-owls from Asia, and kookaburras from Australia, all in one place? At the National Aviary, you can take a trip through the world, as seen through the eyes of the different bird species that live there. Whether you’re walking through a tropical rainforest or watching a live feeding demonstration, you’ll experience a different type of zoo that’s more interactive than simply looking at animals in cages. Your inner environmentalist can rest easy knowing that the National Aviary has a slew of research programs set in place and an entire department dedicated of these unique birds.
3. Night Kayaking
It’s hard to decide where the best view of Pittsburgh is, but we think we’ve found it. Kayak Pittsburgh offers the unique experience of paddling the river under a full moon. Departing from the North Shore, kayakers embark on a two-hour tour that encompasses some of Pittsburgh’s greatest buildings and bridges, seen from a new angle, and all illuminated by moonlight. Solo kayaks start at $16.
4. Andy Warhol Museum
Of course America’s favorite pop art icon has his own museum, and of course, it’s in Pittsburgh, Warhol’s birthplace. Hailed as one of the greatest artists of the 1960s, his iconic work is instantly recognizable. Anyone, from art novice to art connoisseur, can find something to enjoy at this unique, eye-catching museum. You can see some of the most well-known pieces of Warhol’s collection, as well as some lesser-known works that are equally as brilliant. Don’t forget to check out the gift shop. Normally, they’re overrated, but here, you’ll probably want to buy everything you see. Students and children receive discounted admission, and members of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh can attend the museum at no cost.
5. Nationality Rooms
On the third floor of the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning, you can walk into classrooms of countries all over the world. Known as the Nationality Rooms, these classrooms are modeled after those of the countries to which they belong, offering a unique view into the architecture and design of global academia. Because the rooms are functional classrooms, the best time to visit is during the summer, when university classes are out of session. For $4, you can take a guided tour throughout the rooms, and be transported to Japan, Greece, Hungary, Russia, India, or one of the other 30 nationalities represented.
6. Bicycle Heaven
If you were to Google Bicycle Heaven in Pittsburgh, the online reviews alone would be enough to persuade you to visit. Past visitors say this museum of bicycles is “unreal,” “like no other,” and that “you gotta see it to believe it,” and we’d have to agree with them. With over 90,000 items, Bicycle Heaven is no joke. Bicycles line every square inch of space in the shop, including the walls and ceiling, offering a ride through time as you see the progression of the bicycle throughout history. Although it might make a bicycle enthusiast shed a tear of joy, this museum and bike shop combo is a must-visit for anyone looking for something outside the usual tourist trap.
Pennsylvania is known for its German ancestry (almost 30% of all Pennsylvanians identify with a German heritage), and Pittsburgh certainly hasn’t forgotten its roots when it comes to celebrating. Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh is Pennsylvania’s first authentic Hofbrauhaus – a legendary, centuries-old beer hall in Munich, Germany. Here, the beer steins are as big as the soft pretzels (note: really, really big), and it’s as loud as it is busy (note: very, very busy). The beer is brewed on-site using a recipe handed down by the Duke of Bavaria more than 400 years ago. With a new seasonal beer introduced each month, you have a reason to visit at least 12 times a year.
8. Chop, WOK, & Talk!
There’s something satisfying about cooking a nice meal from scratch, but for the "culinary challenged" it's easier said than done. Luckily for you, Chop, WOK & Talk! knows exactly how to get you feeling like a seasoned pro in the kitchen, all while having an insane amount of fun. These cooking classes started off as the only Southeast Asian cooking school in Pittsburgh but has since broadened its horizons to include ethnic food of almost every variety. Take a girl’s or guy’s night out or learn the ins and outs of creating delicious homemade pasta, Cajun-Creole dinners, Moroccan meals, French pastries, Pierogies, other Polish favorites, and almost everything in between. You can also book private cooking parties for corporate events, lunches, adult dinners, or kid’s birthday parties. The best part: You get to eat everything you cook.
9. Public Art Tour
If you ever find yourself stopping in front of a sculpture or mural in downtown Pittsburgh, wondering about its origins or meaning, or simply wanting to know a little bit more about the piece, the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council has you covered. For absolutely no cost, they’ll provide you with a self-guided walking tour key that aims to uncover some of the greatest public artworks in three Pittsburgh neighborhoods and educate the public about the art that inhabits their spaces. Each tour takes about 80-120 minutes. Your walk around the city just got a whole lot better.
10. All-Natural Water Slide at Ohiopyle State Park
Over the past several thousands of years, a small stream has been eroding its way through rock at Ohiopyle State Park, and now you can reap the benefits. The incredible geology has given way to a 100-foot-long, all-natural waterslide carved directly into the rock that spits you out right at the mouth of a giant swimming hole – all the fun of waterslides without any of the huge crowds, steep admission prices, or harsh pool chemicals! The waterslide is accessible through a short hiking trail. Ohiopyle state rangers want to encourage safe habits, so be sure to check out the water level of the slide before taking the plunge, and be sure you’re wearing secure shoes and a pair of shorts that will protect your bottom from any potential cuts or scrapes.
There are too many awesome things in Pittsburgh, we couldn’t possibly list them all. What are some of your favorites that we missed? Drop us a line in the comments below!
Posted 156 days ago
by Maggie 0 Comments