Probably best known for its sports teams like the Steelers and the Penguins or for its more than 445 bridges; but Pittsburgh has a lot more to offer than just sports and steel. It is also home to great food like Klondike bar and is home of the famous Heinz ketchup. So let’s take a stroll and find out what more the city has to offer its visitors and what things to do in Pittsburgh.
Things to do in Pittsburg
The Duquesne Incline
This is actually one of the two uphill trolleys which have been catering to visitors who want to climb Mount Washington since the 1870s. But why opt for this one? Because it transports you straight to the perfect vantage point over on Mount Washington, right above where Pittsburgh’s three rivers collide. Moreover, there is also a large viewing platform from where you will be able to click some panoramic shots. Once at the top, there’s a lot more to do than just admiring the view:
- You can visit the small museum and come out a bit better versed in Pittsburgh history.
- You can pop into the gift shop to take a souvenir back home.
Here’s a pro tip as well: Try hopping onto the incline at night since it will be not just less crowded but you will be able to see the illuminated city below. Add this spot quickly into your bucket list of ‘Things to do in Pittsburgh’
Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
If you are visiting with family then the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium is the place to spend an afternoon at. Nestled in the Shadyside neighborhood, this place houses more than 400 different species of animals. Animals are grouped together according to habits:
- Elephants, Giraffes, Lions and more are in the African Savanna.
- Tigers, Red Pandas and Snow Leopards are housed in the Asian Forest.
- Penguins, Sharks, Colorful fish and more call the PPG aquarium their home.
- Water’s Edge is home to Polar bears and sea otters.
Everything is family friendly and there are petting zoos for kids in the Kids Kingdom as well. If you are on a trip with your kids than definitely Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium are to be added in the things to do in Pittsburgh.
After getting a good aerial view of the city and spending time with animals at the zoo, how about doing something a little offbeat? The Trundle Manor located in the neighborhood of Swissvale near Pittsburgh welcomes you with coffins on the porch. The inside is full of oddities which range from:
- Vintage taxidermy collections which include ‘pigeon shark’ and ‘rat bird’
- Antique medical devices.
- Gas masks
- Animal skulls
- Steampunk sculptures.
- Various types of weaponry
All these and more line the walls and fill the rooms. The official website states that the manor prides itself on displaying genuine articles and not fake props. While this real-life Addams family home will send chills down the spine, but if you love everything spooky then this is the place for you. Also remember that while entry is free, some sort of donation is required- it can be money, alcohol or even an oddity of your own. So if you have a liking for such chills, then Trundle Manor should be added to your list of things to do in Pittsburgh.
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Named after a local artist and renovator, Randy Gilson. He single-handedly turned a wasted neighborhood into a colorful spectacle. Here, every corner is brightly painted and decorated with giant banana plants, pink flamingos, mannequins, lawn furniture, plastic dinosaurs and much more. Gilson’s artistic influence has also spread to nearby neighborhoods. The area now acts as a home, garden and an artist’s space which Gilson shares with other like-minded creators. So if you want to witness something drastic and different then this is the road to embark on.
The Randyland is definitely one of the many things to do in Pittsburgh and should not be missed especially if you are a person with a creative mindset.
The Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
While some may consider visiting a botanical garden pretty dull during a vacation but if you want to wind down and just want to enjoy a quiet day then head on over here. Located near the Carnegie Mellon University’s campus, here you can explore the large collection of green rooms, each of which is made keeping in mind a specific region or plant type.
Everything from Butterfly Gardens to Tropical forests, orchids and bonsai call this conservatory home. After enjoying a quiet time admiring something uniquely natural, you can rest at the small cafe there.
While this place is great for people seeking some peace, families with kids will also find a lot of hands-on activities and play areas to engage in as well.
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Carnegie Science Center
A great place to hang out with family, the center offers a lot of interactive exhibits which cover a variety of topics. Here you will find:
- A Planetarium
- An exploration station equipped with electricity and weather exhibits.
- A sports-focused area
- Robotic experience at roboworld.
- Naval submarine
- Zero gravity climbing wall
There is a lot of entertainment options here like laser shows with neon lights and music as well as screenings in the Rangos Omnimax Theatre which is four-story big. But keep in mind that admissions can be costly even though there are combo packages available.
Pittsburgh, contrary to popular public perception isn’t a grey steel world but has a lot of secrets of its own which it invites visitors to explore and know.