As I prepare for a (probable) upcoming trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in September, I realized something. I’ve been to the 412 many, many times in my lifetime, yet I’ve never posted a little guide to the city here on my blog! But hey – better late than never, right? So if you’re looking for things to do in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas, you’ve come to the right place. Look no further, because here’s the second edition of my “Incomplete Vistor’s Guide to….” – and this time, it’s a Pittsburgh edition.
If you’re looking for…
One of the most famous areas of Pittsburgh is The Strip District. It falls under several categories, as it’s a mix of shops, markets and restaurants sitting right in the heart of downtown. The Strip is just a short walk from the bus terminal and is almost always busy. Shopping in The Strip includes lots of hometown sports stores, Mike Feinberg Co., and plenty of food stores, including Lotus Food Co.
Also for shopping, try one of the local malls. South Hills Village Mall, aptly named because it’s located – shocker! – in the hills south of the city, has two levels of stores from Sears to Apple, Sephora to Hollister and everything in between. It’s your basic, run-of-the-mill mall that’s always worth a look. Ross Park Mall, located north of the city, is a bit more expensive but also worth checking out if you’ve got the time and the money. The Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills is yet another shopping option.
There’s any number of places to check out for food in the city. Start off with the traditional Primanti Brothers, whose sandwiches have been featured on many television shows. Then you’ve got DeLuca’s, a diner-style restaurant located in the heart of The Strip that provides good food at affordable prices. (Go for breakfast if you can!) Kings Restaurant is a chain, but I’ll be darned if their food isn’t delicious.
One specialty place you might want to check out is Sarris Candies, located outside the city in Canonsburg, PA. Not only is it where the famous Sarris chocolate is made – it’s also an ice cream parlor. The ice cream is delicious (be warned: their scoops are BIG scoops), and they’ve got a full-service chocolate store attached to the parlor where you can buy anything and everything.
Looking for a taste of culture while you’re away? Well, Pittsburgh has plenty of that for you!
The Cathedral of Learning, located on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh, is a wonderful attraction that will certainly catch your eye – thanks in large part to its height – when you’re driving around in the Oakland area. The cathedral houses a number of Nationality Rooms, which you can tour for a fee. Each room – used as classrooms during the school year – is decorated in the style of a certain nationality. They’re absolutely beautiful and while a tour may be time-consuming, it’s well worth it. Also nearby is the Heinz Memorial Chapel, a nondenominational church located next to the Cathedral. The chapel has the tallest stained glass windows you’ll probably ever see, decorated not with religious figures but all sorts of recognizable figures.
You can also check out the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, located together in one central area. Admission is $14 and if you’re interested in animals – or you’ve got anyone in your crowd who is – it might be fun to spend a day at the zoo!
For art, history and a look at nature, head to Oakland and check out any number of the museums located there. The Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Phipps Conservatory are all within walking distance of each other. A little bit of a drive away is the Andy Warhol Museum, and there’s plenty more where that came from.
Another option you could check out – particularly if science is more your thing – is the Carnegie Science Center, located near Heinz Field. I have yet to check it out, but I’ve heard nothing but great things.
Heinz Field, PNC Park, Consol Energy Center