We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Walking?

Which Pittsburgh hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,389 posts
133 reviews
Save Topic
Walking?

My friend and I are meeting in Pittsburgh for a reunion. We are from Chicago and New York...both great walking cities. Is Pittsburgh a walking city? Is there a hotel (or an area) where we could stay and walk to a number of tourist sights? We are particularly interested in museums. Is it a city where you can safely walk a half a mile or so to a restaurant and back to the hotel safely? We know nothing about the city (have read some and have a few ideas of things to see....Carnegie Museum of Art, Andy Warhol Museum, Heinz Historical Center...maybe a drive out to Falling Water). Any suggestions would be welcome.

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
5,261 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Walking?

Not sure how much you want to pay per night, but the Hampton Inn on Smallman is a popular choice and near all the Strip District eateries and Heinz History Center. There's a Spring Hill Suites and a Hyatt Place on the North Shore near PNC Park and Carnegie Science Center. The Westin, Doubletree, Fairmont, Omni, and Courtyard are all located in downtown, but are more expensive. If you can walk on 42nd St. in New York, you can walk in all the locations I've mentioned easily.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,389 posts
133 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Walking?

Thank you so much. If we stayed in the down town area, what cultural options would be in walking distance? Would there be museums in the area?

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
1,093 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Walking?

Staying downtown you can easily walk to the Warhol, The Heinz History Center, and the Fort Pitt Museum (which is the not greatest of museums but is good for local history, in my opinion). You will need to take a bus or taxi to The Carnegie Museum. The Carnegie Science Center is a terrific place, but geared more toward children than adults (though I have a great time there). You may be surprised as to how small the actual downtown area of the city is once you get here.

You should also include a stroll over to PPG Place, interesting complex of buildings. For your evenings, you might want to check the schedule of performances on the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust website to see what is playing when you are here. And do include Fallingwater on your list.

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
5,261 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Walking?

Not sure the dates of your stay, but if culture is on the agenda, I strongly recommend checking out the world renowned Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall. http://pso.culturaldistrict.org/m/pso_home# There are also shows at the Byham Theatre and Benedum Center. In fact, I forgot to mention the Reniassance Hotel right in the cultural district. Either way, downtown Pittsburgh isn't very large and in my opinion is walkable from just about any part.

Donegal;PA
Level Contributor
321 posts
173 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Walking?

Pittsburgh is an easier town to walk in than to drive for most people and it is certainly safe in the area of the downtown hotels.The Andy Warhol Museum and Carnegie Science Center on the North shore are good destinations.http://www.warhol.org/

The Carnegie Museums include the Science Center on the North Shore and also The Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History both located in the Oakland area of the city.

http://www.carnegiemuseums.org/

More on Oakland below.

If you are in the downtown area be sure to make a trip over to Station Square. It is across the Smithfield Street Bridge. There is a nice mix of restaurants, a few shops, and it also the home to Just Ducky Tours and the Gateway Clipper Fleet. I do recommend the Just Ducky tour for out of towners. It's fun, informative and a great way to see Pittsburgh from both the streets and the rivers. The Grand Concourse restaurant is a beautifully restored train station and a walk through this historic building is recommended even if you do not eat there but they do have a fantastic brunch on Sundays.

http://www.stationsquare.com/

One of the real gems of the city, which is not to be missed, is a ride on one of the historic inclines. They are both on the South side of the city. The Monongahela Incline is just across the street from Station Square and the Duquesne is a little further north form the same area. The view of the city from atop Mt. Washington on one of the incline observation decks is really spectacular.

portauthority.org/paac/…Inclines.aspx

A very short ride,,less than 10 minutes, gets you to the Oakland area and in addition to the Carnegie Museums it has several other great attractions. The Nationality rooms at the University of Pittsburgh http://www.nationalityrooms.pitt.edu/ and Phipps Conservatory http://phipps.conservatory.org/.

You will not be disappointed with a trip to the Oakland area museums and attractions.

I hope you enjoy your visit to Pittsburgh. The geography of the region makes for an interesting city. Although not a large city like Chicago and New York, I believe you will find for it's size it has a lot to offer.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,389 posts
133 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Walking?

Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is so helpful. One more naive question. If we stayed at the Hampton Inn on Smallman, could we walk to the downtown area easily and safely?

Thanks to acmepanda for the great suggestions. This is what we need.

Pittsburgh, PA
Destination Expert
for Pittsburgh
Level Contributor
1,079 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Walking?

Yes, the Hampton Inn is on the fringe of downtown Pittsburgh, and you'd be fine walking around there. I don't think anyone mentioned the August Wilson Center, which is another cultural center downtown with interesting exhibits.

Here is a link to information about public art downtown:

pittsburghartscouncil.org/public-art/walking…

The Mattress Factory is another art museum, on the North Side. I love the James Turrell works they have there, and there are some other interesting permanent installations as well as temporary exhibits. http://www.mattress.org/

The Pittsburgh Glass Center is small, but would be worth a visit if you really like glass. Don't expect the Corning Museum though.https://www.pittsburghglasscenter.org/

People have mentioned the Carnegie museums, and I would esp. recommend the architectural center which is in the Carnegie Art Museum in Oakland.

Clayton is a very nicely presented house museum, one of Frick's early homes before he took off for New York. On pretty grounds, a great cafe, and a small art museum there too:http://www.thefrickpittsburgh.org/index.php. Would be somewhat hard to get there on the bus though, better if you had a car.

Fallingwater is definitely worth the drive, in my opinion. They open up for tours again today, and you should make a reservation rather than just showing up. Great gift shop!

http://www.fallingwater.org/

Market Square is a popular area downtown, lots of restaurants, bars, etc. Very close to Heinz Hall, so stroll on over after the symphony.

Here is a good map of downtown Pittsburgh. The Hampton is about two blocks from the Convention Center.

downtownpittsburgh.com/_files/docs/2043_dtme…

Lots of things for you to do of a cultural nature, I hope you have a great visit!

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
418 posts
97 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Walking?

Pittsburgh is very walkable. Most of the sites Visitors are primarily interested in seeing are easily accessible with well-lighted sidewalks and, for the most part, in safe, busy areas. You should consider staying in or nearby the Downtown area. The Hampton Inn & Suites on Smallman St has FREE Parking and FREE Breakfast. It is a well-run, friendly place, near the exciting Strip District with all its many shops, Bars, Restaurants, the indoor Pittsburgh Marketplace, Society for Contemporary Crafts, etc. Heinz History Center, just across the street has a great exhibit called "Innovation Pittsburgh" which details the contributions of local people to the arts, sciences, business, etc. It is close enough to walk to the Northshore attractions and anywhere around Downtown or Station Square.

The 3Rivers Heritage Trail System follows the 3Rivers of Pittsburgh on all shores, including along the Allegheny River to the Strip District, but you can literally walk for miles all around the riverfront. I also suggest a stroll from the Northshore out to Washington's Landing, an island with a park, in the middle of the Allegheny River. There is a nice little casual restaurant called Redfin Blue here, at the Marina, where you can sit under an umbrella at your riverside table on the deck and watch the boats go by. There is also bike rental available Downtown, under the 6th St Bridge on the Northshore and on the Eliza Furnace Trail, behind the 1st Ave "T" Station, if you would like a little change of pace from walking. Kayaks at the 6th St location, too. Details on this at Golden Triangle Bike Rentals website.

A bus trip to Oakland is easy from Downtown, as there are lots of bus routes. Consult the Port Authority of Allegheny County website for details on this. Generally, though, these buses run outbound from town on 5th Avenue. If you do go to Oakland, be sure to visit the spectacular Phipps Conservatory, a Victorian Glass House in beautiful Schenley Park. It is very near the Cathedral of Learning with its unique and very popular Nationality Rooms. There is a Cafe inside Phipps, another in the Park, right across the street from Phipps, annother in Schenley Plaza right in front of the Carnegie Library & Museums, and all along S Craig St, across from the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Enjoy your trip to Pittsburgh! Let us know if you have any other questions.

Pittsburgh...
Level Contributor
36 posts
94 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Walking?

Pittsburgh is definitely a safe/walk able city. I would recommend in this order absolute "do's": 1) Falling Water (people arrive daily from international/domestic origins to see this man-made wonder)..nearby Nemacolin would be an option for lunch/dinner or even lodging after (5 diamond rated resort) ....2) Carnegie Museum of Art (Teenie Harris exhibit is executed immaculately, but ending soon)...3) Frick Art and Historical Center...4) ride up the incline...have fun and enjoy!

Donegal;PA
Level Contributor
321 posts
173 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Walking?

Not to get off your original subject but since it's already been mentioned and if you are a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright, then Fallingwater is a must if you have time while you are in the Pittsburgh area. It is located in the Laurel Highland area of southwestern PA about a 1 1/2 hour drive from the city.

If interested and you have a whole day to spend, you can check out more Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in this area. The other two places are Kentuck Knob, not fat from Fallingwater, http://kentuckknobs.com/ and the Duncan House.

Kentuck Knob, not quite as spectacular as Fallingwater, but it is another fine example of one of the personal residences designed by FLW.

An example of a Usonian home that was supposed to be affordable by many is also nearby (about another 35 minute drive from Fallingwater). It's Duncan House in an area called Polymath Park which also includes 3 other FLW apprentice homes.http://www.polymathpark.com/. The really neat thing here is that you can actually spend the night in one of these homes.

Here is a USA today article about all of these architectural gems.

…usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2007-09-27…

Edited: 17 March 2013, 17:21