Quick! You have visitors coming to Pittsburgh and they’ve asked for a list of the top things they must do during their visit. A culturally diverse city, Pittsburgh has something for everyone: amusement parks, museums, professional and college sports, restaurants for every taste, and on and on. How do you choose? Well, here’s a start: Here are 12 of the best things to do in Pittsburgh:
1. Eat a sandwich topped with fries and coleslaw.
Everyone who lives in and visits Pittsburgh must try a Primanti Brothers sandwich topped with fries and coleslaw. It's a Pittsburgh tradition.
2. Go to a Steelers/Pens/Bucs game.
Pittsburghers are fiercely loyal to our sports teams. Even if you're not a sports fan, one thing you have to do before you die is go to a Steelers, Penguins, or Pirates game just to experience the sheer excitement, the stadium food, and the camaraderie between fans.
3. Beat the tunnel monster.
You're cruising down the Parkway East. As you approach the Edgewood exit, maybe sooner, slam! That's you hitting the brakes as traffic slows to a crawl. Pittsburghers are notorious for slowing down before the Squirrel Hill Tunnels, perhaps because of the illusive tunnel monster. Every Pittsburgher deserves to maintain speed on the parkway and drive straight through those tunnels – at least once before they die.
4. Zip up Mount Washington on the incline.
Board the Duquesne Incline at Station Square, scale the mountain in one of the two traditional cable cars, and emerge to a scene of unrivaled beauty: The Pittsburgh landscape.
5. Feverishly prepare for snow.
Pittsburghers fall into one of two categories: Those who, at the mere mention of snow in the forecast, rush to the store for milk, bread, and toilet paper and those who joke about the people rushing to the store. Whichever you are, be the other just once. After all, it's a Pittsburgh thing.
6. Spend a day in the Strip District.
The title could easily end in any number of neighborhoods in Pittsburgh: Oakland, the South Side, Squirrel Hill, Oakmont, and on and on. For the purposes of this list, let's say spend a day in the vibrant and always bustling Strip District where you can shop, dine, and visit museums, including the Heinz History Center.
7. Get a duck's eye view of the Burgh.
Sometimes we become complacent. After all, we live in Pittsburgh and may inadvertently take the beauty around us for granted. Hop aboard a Just Ducky Tour boat and see Pittsburgh, with a new perspective, from both the water and from land.
8. Ride a coaster at Kennywood.
Whether or not you conspire with your best pal to wear the same outfit to Kennywood, like most of us did as kids, make Kennywood a place to visit before you die. Eat fries from the Potato Patch. Ride the Racer, the Jack Rabbit, and the Thunderbolt. Go early and leave late. It's the Pittsburgh way.
9. Dangle your feet in the Pittsburgh Water Steps.
People typically either embrace summer's heat or run indoors to escape it. Cool down during those hot days by dangling your feet in the Pittsburgh Water Steps at Riverfront Park on the North Shore, where you'll be within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and the Carnegie Science Center.
10. Visit Mister Rogers' statue.
Generations of children grew up with Mister Rogers. A lifelong Pittsburgher, Mister Rogers left us with an incredible legacy. Honor Mister Rogers by visiting his statue on the North Shore, near Heinz Field and right along the river. Relive the magic of Mister Rogers by heading to Idlewild Park in nearby Ligonier, where you can take a trolley ride through Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.
11. Tour the Carnegie Museums.
Pittsburgh is home to some of the country's finest museums, including the Carnegie Museums: the Science Center, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Andy Warhol Museum.
12. Go to a church festival.
Summertime means community and church festivals throughout the Pittsburgh area, promising wholesome fun like rides, games, and live entertainment. But, arguably, the highlight of those community and church festivals is the homemade food: pierogies drenched in butter and onions, kielbasa, and other Pittsburgh favorites.