How do you define adventure? Everyone has his or her own personal definition. Some prefer adrenaline inducing adventures while others seek out unique adventures that are more demure yet thrilling nonetheless. Pittsburgh provides the perfect backdrop for adventures of all types. Here are the 10 best adventures to have in Pittsburgh:
1. Commission your own painting (by a penguin!).
Sure, anyone can hire an artist to paint a masterpiece to hang on their living room wall. But, how many people can claim to have a work of art painted by a penguin? That's right. Visit the National Aviary for the once monthly class in which the penguins show off their artistic abilities, painting with their feet, and make a one-of-a-kind piece of art for you to take home. Advanced reservations are strongly encouraged.
2. Race fellow Pittsburghers aboard a dragon boat.
Visit the Three Rivers Rowing Association where you will learn the ins-and-outs of dragon boating. If you like what you see, join the Youth Dragon Boat League or the Adult Dragon Boat League. And, be sure to visit the Steel City Dragon Boat Festival in North Park on September 24.
3. Hike the Great Allegheny Passage from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD.
Pittsburghers have access to some pretty amazing hiking trails within the city. But, if you're really up for an adventure – and maybe one of the greatest challenges of your life – you may just want to take on the Great Allegheny Passage, which runs from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland. The 150-mile trail connects with the C&O Canal Towpath, a 184 mile trail that leads directly to Washington DC.
4. See your name in lights.
Okay, so maybe your name won't exactly be in lights. But, how awesome would it be to catch a glimpse of yourself on the silver screen or on TV? Pittsburgh's become a haven for Hollywood directors, shooting films and television shows all over the city. And...those films and TV shows often need extras, a lot of them. Sign up as an extra for the adventure of a lifetime. The Pittsburgh Film Office and Movie Extras Pittsburgh can help you get started.
5. Take an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Pittsburgh Zoo.
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium allows visitors to get a pretty close view of their residents. But, have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes when the visitors have all gone home? The zoo hosts several Wild Encounters with different themes, such as the Penguin Encounter and the Sea Lion Encounter, that will give you a personal look at life at the Pittsburgh Zoo.
6. Join the VIP Coaster Tour at Kennywood.
Get your adrenaline pumping as you embark on the VIP Coaster Tour at Kennywood. Ride all of the heart stopping coasters – the Sky Rocket, the Jack Rabbit, and the Phantom's Revenge – and jump to the head of the line to ride. Several VIP tours are available and tickets can be purchased online in advance or, if available, at the park.
7. Try geocaching.
Reclaim your childhood by engaging in high-tech, adult scavenger hunting throughout Pittsburgh. All you need is a GPS (the GPS on your cell phone will do just fine). You'll take the GPS coordinates you find on a Pittsburgh geocaching website (just plug geocaching Pittsburgh or your neighborhood into Google to find a hunt near you) then go searching for the hidden treasure.
8. Go along with the Burgh Bits & Bites Tour.
Pittsburghers know good food and, just as important, we appreciate good food. Discover some of the culinary gems in Pittsburgh's eclectic neighborhoods – the Strip District, the South Side, and Bloomfield, for example – on a Burgh Bits & Bites Tour. The tours, which last around two and a half hours, include stops at various eateries with tasting along the way. (Bring your appetite!)
9. Rent a motorcycle.
Always dreamed of buying a motorcycle but just haven't been able to swing it yet? That doesn't mean you can't experience the excitement of riding the hills of Pennsylvania, the wind against your face, on a rented motorcycle. Choose your dream bike at Eagle Rider Pittsburgh and hit the road for the adventure of a lifetime.
10. Paint your own masterpiece.
Channel your inner Picasso and paint an artistic masterpiece of your own at Be A Paint Monkey in either Lawrenceville or Cranberry. Classes are held throughout the month and all the class members paint the same picture in a relaxed, fun environment. (Don't worry if art isn't your forte. The paintings are all pre-sketched to make it easier and more fun.) Bring your own beer, wine, other alcohol, and don't forget the snacks.
Are you ready for an adventure of a lifetime? These adventures in Pittsburgh will channel your wild side, your artistic side, your culinary side, and your “ahhh” (look at those cute penguins) side. But, don’t stop with these 10 once-in-a-lifetime adventures in Pittsburgh. Add some adventure to your day with these
10 places to go in Pittsburgh if you’re feeling adventurous.