Summer’s in full swing in the Burgh but, before you know it, we’ll be piling on the layers, complaining about the local news spreading panic about impending snow storms that dump half an inch on the city and beyond, and counting down the days until summer 2017. Make every remaining moment of summer count with visits to these 10 best summer destinations in Pittsburgh. (Fair warning: Some are headlined as events that take place in those summer destinations in Pittsburgh.)
1. Kennywood Park
No summer destination list in Pittsburgh will be complete without Kennywood Park. It has been, after all, a summer tradition for generations of Pittsburghers. Kennywood offers day passes, night passes and, of course, season passes. Join the VIP Coaster Tour. Eat Potato Patch fries drenched in cheese. End the evening with cotton candy and a candy apple.
2. The Three Rivers Regatta
The Three Rivers Regatta takes center stage from August 5 through 7 with events planned throughout Pittsburgh, including at the Point, on the North Shore, on the water, and on Clemente Bridge. While the highlights of the regatta may take place on the rivers, you'll find so much more to do during this three day event. Scheduled events include jet ski shows, BMX bike stunt shows, and Xpogo stunt shows. The Gin Blossoms, Better than Ezra, and Good Brother Earl are among the musicians slated to perform.
3. Bloomfield Little Italy Days
Indulge in your favorite authentic Italian foods at Bloomfield's Little Italy Days, scheduled for August 18 through the 21. The vibrant festival promises so much more than delicious food, however, and features traditional music and entertainment, children's activities, the Little Miss Italy Pageant, and the city's very own Italian Idol.
4. Schenley Park
Turn an ordinary summer day into a memorable experience at Schenley Park. The sprawling 456 acre park promises something for everyone: Playgrounds for the kids. Trails for the hikers and bikers. A sparkling swimming pool. Grills for barbequing. And, if you're visiting on a Wednesday or a Sunday, cap off a perfect day with a free movie on Flagstaff Hill courtesy of Cinema in the Parks.
5. Riverside Drive-In
Who wants to be cooped up in the summer? Save that for winter, right? The Riverside Drive-In promises good, old-fashioned fun with delicious drive-in fare (popcorn, nachos, hot dogs, etc.) and two movies for the price of one, all under the blanket of the beautiful night sky. Plan a trip to the drive-in in Vandergrift any day of the week during the summer.
6. PNC Park
Of course, Buccos fans flock to PNC Park en masse. But, you don't have to be a baseball fan to enjoy all that PNC Park offers. Walk around the stadium for spellbinding panoramic views of the city. Taste test all the delicious food – pierogies, ice cream, pizza, to name just a few. Cheer on the pierogies as they race on the field between innings or simply sit back in your seat and relax.
7. Klavon's Ice Cream Parlor
Some of the best summer destinations in Pittsburgh serve ice cream. Keep cool and take a stroll back to the 1920s this summer with a visit (or two or three) to Klavon's Ice Cream Parlor on Penn Avenue. The old-fashioned ice cream parlor features an extensive menu of all of the traditional favorites: Ice cream, sundaes, sherbet, ice cream floats, banana splits, and ice cream sodas. You can also order from a menu of food, such as paninis and soup, before finishing off your meal with ice cream.
8. Open Streets Pittsburgh
Open Streets Pittsburgh joins hundreds of cities around the globe in shutting down the streets to motor vehicles and opening them to pedestrians and bicyclists. Pittsburghers can trek the whole route – from Market Square to the West End – or just stroll or bike part of it. Along the way you'll pass the city's eclectic businesses and activities, such as kids' crafts, right on the sidewalk.
9. Sandcastle Water Park
Soak up summer's rays at Sandcastle Water Park. Spend the day lounging in the sun or floating on an inner tube or zip down the Lightning Express, Thunder Run, or Tubers Tower. Of course, no trip to the “beach” is complete without a walk down the boardwalk, corn dogs, and Potato Patch fries.
10. The Three Rivers
The Three Rivers beckon outdoor enthusiasts, inspiring them go kayaking, boating, or canoeing. But, even if you're not into water sports, you can enjoy the Three Rivers all summer long. The Gateway Clipper Fleet offers day and evening sightseeing cruises, dinner cruises, and cruises aboard the Good Ship Lollipop.