Whether you're planning a trip to the great city of Pittsburgh, or looking for something to do with visiting family members, clients or friends, you can't go wrong with this collection of eclectic ideas for experiencing the best Pittsburgh has to offer.
1) Ride the Duquesne or Monongahela Incline
Also known as funiculars, these "inclined planes" were built in the late 1800's to transport immigrant workers from work at plants along Pittsburgh's rivers to their homes atop Mt.
Washington. While they still serve as transportation for area residents, they are also a great way to enjoy the beautiful panoramic Pittsburgh skyline, a view ranked as the second most beautiful place in America by USA Today. The Duquesne Incline, still utilizing the two original 1877 wooden cable cars, is also a working museum.
2) Have Lunch at Primanti's
Get your favorite sandwich served up complete with the coleslaw and fries rolled right in! Primanti's offer a wide variety of delicious sandwiches, with the cheesesteak being their most popular. Several locations exist around the city, but the original 1933 location in the heart of Pittsburgh's historic Strip district, open 24/7, is the best.
3) Can't Miss Point State Park
At this tiny state park in downtown Pittsburgh, on land once coveted by three empires, the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers meet to form the Ohio. The 'glass castle' PPG building dominates the skyline.
And one of the tallest fountains in the nation (a 275-foot geyser that blasts 6,000 gallons of water per minute)is fed by an aquifer found 53 feet underground (sometimes referred to as Pittsburgh's fourth river). While there, explore the Fort Pitt Block House & Museum located among the remains of the famous British fort or just sit and watch the boats go by.
4) Spend an Afternoon at One of the Carnegie Museums
Visit the Museum of Natural History, with one of the best dinosaur collections of anywhere in the world, or enjoy more than 250 exciting, hands-on science and technology exhibits at the Carnegie Science Center. Treat yourself to a day of browsing the renowned architecture collection at the Carnegie Museum of Art, or Heinz ketchup boxes at the Andy Warhol Museum, the most comprehensive single-artist museum in the world.
5) Take in a Game
It's hard to think of Pittsburgh and not think about sports. From the fabled "Steel Curtain" Steelers of the 70s, to sports legends and heroes such as Kurt Angle, Roberto Clemente, Mario Lemieux, Dan Marino, Bill Mazeroski, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Arnold Palmer, Johnny Unitas and Honus Wagner, Pittsburgh is known for its rich sports history and tradition. Get into Pittsburgh's strong steel spirit, by attending a football game with the Steelers, baseball with the Pirates, hockey with the Penguins, or soccer with the Riverhounds. PNC Park is arguably one of the most beautiful ballparks in major league baseball, and Heinz Field next door has great views too!
6) Visit the Cathedral of Learning
A 42-story neo-Gothic structure at the center of the University of Pittsburgh campus, the Cathedral contains 26 Nationality Rooms designed by the different ethnic groups that resided in Allegheny County.
On the grounds of the Cathedral you'll also find the beautiful Heinz Memorial Chapel which, with its 23 enormous stained-glass windows, is a favorite Pittsburgh wedding location.
7) Have A Screaming Good Time at Kennywood
One of only two amusement parks in the country to be designated a National Historic Landmark, Kennywood is, surprisingly, a favorite with roller coaster aficianados worldwide. And this is with only 4 coasters on its roster: the venerable Jack Rabbit and Racer; the 30-year-old Thunderbolt, considered one of the best wooden coasters in the world; and the fire-breathing Phantom's Revenge. You'll also find an impressive collection of classic rides, charming buildings and old-fashioned fun.
8) Wander Through Allegheny Cemetery
One of the most picturesque places in Pittsburgh, Allegheny Cemetery is also unexpectedly romantic with 300 acres of rolling hills and monuments encompassing a wide variety of architectural styles.
The cemetery houses generations of Pittsburghers back to the French & Indian war. Stop and get a map to the graves of composer Stephen Collins Foster and America's first glamour girl, Lillian Russell.
9) Board the Good Ship Lollipop
Kids of all ages will enjoy Lolli the Clown as the Captain presents a moving portrait of our great river city. A wide variety of other cruises are also available on the boats of the Gateway Clipper Fleet, including dining, entertainment and narrated sightseeing tours which truly capture the personality of Pittsburgh. If you have the time, I especially recommend the Lock and Dam cruise.
10) Experience the South Side When the Sun Goes Down
Enjoy the nightlife of East Carson Street on Pittsburgh's historic South Side, where old buildings have been converted into trendy bars and local bands provide great entertainment.