Pittsburgh Escapes: The Definitive Traveler’s Handbook

Discover Pittsburgh

Traveling to Pittsburgh offers a captivating experience filled with rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes. As you journey to the Steel City, prepare to be enamored by its impressive skyline adorned with towering bridges spanning the majestic rivers below. Be sure to ride the historic Duquesne Incline for panoramic views of the city’s iconic skyline and venture into the lush greenery of nearby parks such as Schenley Park or Point State Park. With its friendly locals, thriving arts scene, and a rich tapestry of neighborhoods waiting to be explored, Pittsburgh offers an unforgettable destination for travelers seeking adventure, culture, and charm.


Best time to visit
Best places to visit

Three Fun Facts About Pittsburgh


City of Bridges

Pittsburgh is known as the “City of Bridges” for good reason – it boasts over 446 bridges, more than any other city in the world, including famous ones like the Roberto Clemente Bridge and the Andy Warhol Bridge.


Steel City

Pittsburgh’s nickname, “The Steel City,” stems from its historic prominence in the steel industry during the 19th and 20th centuries. While the industry has declined, the city’s steel heritage is still evident in its architecture and culture.


Home of Heinz

Pittsburgh is the birthplace of the H.J. Heinz Company, known for its famous ketchup. The company was founded by Henry J. Heinz in 1869, and its headquarters remained in Pittsburgh for over a century.


Must See Attractions

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Andy Warhol Museum

Speciality Museum

Explore the extensive collection of artwork by the iconic pop artist Andy Warhol, who was born and raised in Pittsburgh.

Duquesne Incline

Cable Car

Take a historic cable car up Mount Washington for stunning panoramic views of the Pittsburgh skyline and three rivers.

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Nature & Parks

Wander through beautifully landscaped gardens and glasshouses filled with exotic plants and flowers.

Three Rivers Heritage Trail

Nature & Parks

Enjoy scenic paths that follow the rivers, offering opportunities for outdoor recreation and sightseeing.

Gateway Clipper Fleet

Boat Cruise

Enjoy a sightseeing cruise along Pittsburgh’s rivers, offering unique perspectives of the city’s skyline and landmarks.

Strip District

Shopping & Dining

Explore this bustling neighborhood known for its eclectic mix of food markets, specialty shops, and vibrant street life.

Lakes Near Pittsburgh

Lake Arthur

225 Pleasant Valley Road Portersville, Pennsylvania 16051

Located in Moraine State Park, about 40 miles north of Pittsburgh, Lake Arthur offers boating, fishing, swimming, and hiking opportunities.

Distance from Pittsburgh: 41 miles
Boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, picnicking

Pymatuning Lake

2660 Williamsfield Rd Jamestown, Pennsylvania 16134

Although a bit farther away, Pymatuning Lake is worth the drive. It’s situated on the Pennsylvania-Ohio border, approximately 80 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. The lake is known for its fishing, boating, and wildlife watching.

Distance from Pittsburgh: 89 miles
Fishing, boating, birdwatching, water sports, hiking

Conneaut Lake

12382 Center St Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania 16316

This is Pennsylvania’s largest natural lake, about 90 miles north of Pittsburgh. It’s a popular spot for boating, fishing, and enjoying lakeside activities.

Distance from Pittsburgh: 95 miles
Boating, fishing, swimming

Secret Fishing Destinations Near Pittsburgh

Loyalhanna Creek

1658 Catherine St, Latrobe, Pennsylvania 15650

Located in Westmoreland County, Loyalhanna Creek offers excellent trout fishing opportunities. This scenic creek flows through wooded valleys and offers a peaceful setting for anglers seeking solitude.

Rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, panfish

Youghiogheny River

600 Scene Ridge Rd, McKeesport, Pennsylvania 15133

The Youghiogheny River, particularly the section below the Youghiogheny Dam in Confluence, Pennsylvania, is known for its excellent trout fishing. Anglers can also find smallmouth bass, walleye, and other species in this beautiful river.

Fishing: Shoreline
Trout, smallmouth bass, walleye, muskellunge

Cross Creek Lake

1281 Beham Ridge Road Avella, Pennsylvania 15312

Situated in Washington County, Cross Creek Lake is a hidden gem for bass fishing. This 244 acre reservoir offers plenty of shoreline access and boat rentals, making it a popular spot for anglers looking to reel in largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Fishing: Shoreline, dock, boat, kayak
Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish

Top Hiking Trails Within 1 Hour of Pittsburgh

Hemlocks, Powerline, and Meeks Run Trail Loop

Montour Woods Conservation Area, 1875 Hassam Rd, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania 15108

As hikers traverse the winding paths of Hemlocks and Powerline trails, they are treated to sweeping views of the park’s rolling hills and wooded valleys, while the Meeks Run Trail meanders alongside a picturesque stream, offering opportunities for peaceful reflection and wildlife observation.

Distance: 2.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 
123 m
Time to Complete:
1 hour

Frick Park Tour Loop Trail

Squirrel Hill South, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15217

Located in the city’s East End, Frick Park offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life, with its extensive network of trails, wooded hillsides, and scenic vistas. The Tour Loop Trail guides hikers through a captivating journey, winding past tranquil streams, historic landmarks, and lush greenery.

Distance: 5 miles
Elevation Gain:
200 m
Time to Complete:
2 hours

Nine Mile Run, Braddock, Kensington, Homewood and Tranquil Loop

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15217

Starting at Frick Park, this trail meanders along the scenic Nine Mile Run watershed, where hikers can immerse themselves in the tranquility of wooded ravines and babbling streams.

Distance: 3.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 
91 m
Time to Complete:
1.5 hours

Best Golf Courses Near Pittsburgh

Oakmont Country Club

1233 Hulton Rd, Oakmont, Pennsylvania 15139

Located in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, just northeast of Pittsburgh, Oakmont Country Club is consistently ranked among the top golf courses in the world. It has hosted numerous major championships, including the U.S. Open, and is known for its challenging layout and fast, undulating greens.

Holes: 18
Henry Fownes

Visit their website for more information

Pittsburgh Field Club

121 Field Club Rd, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15238

Situated in Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Field Club features a classic championship golf course designed by William S. Flynn. This private club offers a challenging yet scenic golfing experience amidst rolling hills and wooded landscapes.

Holes: 18
William S. Flynn

Visit their website for more information

Totteridge Golf Course

2029 Totteridge Dr, Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601

Located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, about an hour east of Pittsburgh, Totteridge Golf Course is a premier public course designed by Rees Jones. Set amidst rolling hills and picturesque countryside, this course offers a challenging layout and pristine playing conditions.

Holes: 27
Rees Jones

Visit their website for more information

Tips on Renting a Vacation Property in Pittsburgh

Start Early

Begin your search for vacation rentals well in advance, especially if you’re planning to visit during peak seasons or popular events. This gives you a better chance of finding the perfect property that fits your needs and budget.

Define Your Needs

Consider your preferences and requirements for the rental property. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Do you require specific amenities such as a kitchen, laundry facilities, or pet-friendly accommodations? Clarifying these factors will help narrow down your search.

Research Neighborhoods

Pittsburgh is a city with diverse neighborhoods, each offering its own unique vibe and attractions. Research different areas to find one that suits your interests and preferences, whether you prefer a lively urban environment or a more tranquil suburban setting.

Keep in Touch

Maintain open communication with the host or property manager throughout the rental process and during your stay. Report any issues or concerns promptly to ensure they can be addressed in a timely manner.

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Jet Skiing

Traveling to Pittsburgh offers a captivating experience blending history, culture, and modernity. As you arrive in the Steel City, you’re greeted by the iconic skyline dominated by the towering spires of its historic buildings and the gleaming glass of its contemporary skyscrapers. The city’s rich industrial heritage is palpable, evident in its revitalized neighborhoods, bustling streets, and vibrant cultural scene.

Explore Pittsburgh’s dynamic neighborhoods, each with its own distinct character and charm. From the trendy boutiques and eateries of Lawrenceville to the historic streets of the Strip District, there’s something to discover around every corner. Dive into the city’s diverse culinary landscape, sampling everything from classic Pittsburgh sandwiches like the Primanti Bros. sandwich to innovative farm-to-table cuisine.

Immerse yourself in Pittsburgh’s thriving arts and culture scene, with world class museums, galleries, and theaters to explore. Visit the Andy Warhol Museum to delve into the life and work of the iconic pop artist, or catch a performance at the Pittsburgh Cultural District, home to theaters showcasing everything from Broadway shows to experimental theater productions.

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience Pittsburgh’s stunning natural beauty. Take a ride on the Duquesne Incline for panoramic views of the city and its three rivers, or explore the expansive green spaces of Frick Park, Schenley Park, and Point State Park. For outdoor enthusiasts, the nearby Laurel Highlands offer hiking, biking, and skiing opportunities amidst picturesque landscapes.

Discover Pittsburgh’s fascinating history at the Heinz History Center, where exhibits detail the city’s evolution from a frontier outpost to an industrial powerhouse. Explore the historic buildings of the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, or take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of the Mexican War Streets Historic District.

Experience Pittsburgh’s legendary sports culture firsthand by catching a game at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, or Heinz Field, where the Pittsburgh Steelers play. Whether you’re a die hard fan or just looking to soak up the atmosphere, a visit to these iconic stadiums is a must for any sports enthusiast.

For a taste of Pittsburgh’s thriving music scene, head to the South Side, where live music venues and bars line the streets, offering everything from jazz and blues to indie rock and hip hop. Don’t forget to check out the vibrant street art scene, with murals adorning buildings throughout the city, showcasing the creativity and talent of local artists.

Explore Pittsburgh’s unique neighborhoods, each with its own personality and attractions. From the historic architecture of the North Side to the hip boutiques and cafes of East Liberty, there’s always something new to discover in the city’s diverse communities. Take a guided walking tour to learn about the history and culture of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods, or simply wander the streets at your own pace, soaking in the sights and sounds of this vibrant city.

Experience the warmth and hospitality of Pittsburgh’s residents, known for their friendliness and welcoming spirit. Strike up a conversation with locals at a neighborhood bar or restaurant, or join in the festivities at one of the city’s many cultural events and festivals. Whether you’re exploring the city’s historic landmarks or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll along the riverfront, you’ll find that Pittsburgh is a city full of surprises and delights, just waiting to be discovered.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pittsburgh

Some must-visit attractions include the Andy Warhol Museum, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and the Duquesne Incline for panoramic views of the city.

The best time to visit Pittsburgh is typically in the spring (April to June) and fall (September to November) when the weather is mild, and there are fewer crowds. However, each season offers its own unique charm and events.

Pittsburgh has various transportation options including buses, light rail (known as the “T”), inclines, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, and bike-sharing programs.

Pittsburgh is known for its unique culinary offerings such as Primanti Brothers sandwiches, pierogies, Pittsburgh-style pizza (with toppings under the cheese), and “chipped ham” sandwiches.

Yes, Pittsburgh offers many family-friendly activities including visits to the Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and Kennywood amusement park.

Budget-friendly accommodation options in Pittsburgh include hostels, Airbnb rentals, and affordable hotels in neighborhoods like Downtown, Oakland, and Shadyside.

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities such as hiking in Frick Park or Schenley Park, biking along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, kayaking on the Three Rivers, or exploring the city’s numerous parks and green spaces.

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