Life in Pittsburgh can become pretty hectic. Slow down the pace. Put the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the parkway behind you – if only for the day when you visit one of these 11 small towns near Pittsburgh that hearken back to a simpler time.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
Escape to the small town of Foxburg, less than an hour and a half from downtown Pittsburgh, for a truly quaint experience. Home to less than 200 residents, Foxburg boasts the Allegheny Grille, right on the river, and the charming Foxburg Inn Hotel.
Travel to the charming town of Ligonier, just over an hour from downtown Pittsburgh to experience small town life. Home to a little over 1,500 residents, Ligonier boasts an old-fashioned downtown, lined with eclectic shops and restaurants, The town leaps alive every October for the annual Fort Ligonier Days.
Less than 900 people call Saltsburg, nestled in Indiana County, home. The picturesque town is an outdoor enthusiast's dream with its many outdoor activities, including hiking along rail trails, paddle boating, and fishing at Loyalhanna Lake and Conemaugh River Lake.
4. Grove City
One of the larger small towns on our list, Grove City boasts a population of a little over 8,000. Approximately an hour from downtown Pittsburgh, Grove City beckons avid shoppers with its the Grove City Premium Outlets. For the ultimate small town experience, visit Olde Town Grove City.
Head an hour and a half outside of Pittsburgh for Clarion, population less than 5,000. Home of Clarion University, the town itself dates back to 1840 and hosts a popular annual autumn festival.
Just over 45 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, Kittanning attracts visitors with its easy access to the Allegheny River (and the water activities the river affords) and the Armstrong County Historical Society and Genealogical Society. Kittanning boasts a population of less than 4,000.
A quick 45 minute drive from downtown Pittsburgh, Beaver is a food lover's dream with its many restaurants, including Heirloom Restaurant, Mario's Woodfired Pizzeria, and Wooden Angel Restaurant. The borough also hosts an annual light-up festival to usher in the holiday season.
Just about everyone locally, and maybe even countrywide, knows of Punxsutawney, thanks to the lovable Groundhog Phil who lets us know if we get six more weeks of winter or an early spring. The town of less than 6,000 is a must-visit for all of Phil's fans and for those who just want to relax by visiting the Shadow Vineyard and Winery or the Punxsutawney Area Historical and Genealogical Society.
9. New Wilmington
Hit the open road for the 65 mile journey to the charming town of New Wilmington, population around 2,300. Dating back to the late 1790s, New Wilmington promises a slower pace of life. Explore the town on an Amish buggy tour and be sure to drive or walk through the picturesque Banks Covered Bridge.
Founded in 1868, the tiny town of Volant still maintains it small charm and a small population of less than 200 to match. Toast your time in Volant, just about an hour from downtown Pittsburgh, with a stop at the Volant Mill Winery then go shopping at Volant Village Shops.
Smicksburg earns the top billing for the smallest town on our list with 45 residents. The quaint town, about an hour and 15 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, features old-fashioned stores and restaurants, including Old Tyme Diner, the Windgate Vineyards & Winery, and Smicksburg Pottery.
Embrace a slower pace when you visit these 11 charming smalls town near Pittsburgh, each of which is perfect for a
relaxing day trip.