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Coming to Pittsburgh? Here's everything you need to know!

Saxonburg, PA
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Coming to Pittsburgh? Here's everything you need to know!

I've compiled a list with short descriptions and links for anyone that might be traveling to Pittsburgh.


*Pittsburgh Children's Museum


Three floors of hands-on exhibits make exploration fun at the Pittsburgh Children's Museum, located in an elegant, old Victorian Post Office. Kids can explore the Museum's climbing mazes, build and launch flying machines, use pulleys to raise themselves up in human-powered elevators and get creative with silkscreening, painting and computer graphic design.


*Carnegie Science Center


Carnegie Science Center is the number one exploration destination in the Pittsburgh area. With a four-story OMNIMAX® Theater, an interactive planetarium, the largest science of sport exhibit in the country, a cold war submarine, the world's best model railroad display, three live demonstration theaters and a building full of 400 hands-on exhibits, we bring the world of science alive for visitors of all ages.

To get the most out of your trip to the Science Center, we recommend that you use one or all of these simple steps to find out all the information you need in advance of your visit.

Explore more than 250 exciting hands-on exhibits, live science demonstrations, a gigantic Miniature Railroad display and much more.


*UPMC SportsWorks


At 35,000 square feet, UPMC SportsWorks at Carnegie Science Center is the world's largest science of sport exhibition, offering over 40 exhibits and more than 60 interactive experiences designed to challenge your mind and body. Bring your sneakers, your camera, and your competitive spirit-you're going to have a great time!

When you visit UPMC SportsWorks, you can...

* Race an Olympic sprinter

* Play a game of optical illusion mini-golf

* Climb a 25-foot rock wall

* Feel the physics of flight in the Orbitron

* Pitch a fastball

* Design your own roller coaster... and ride it!

You'll also find out more about...

* The ins and outs of Olympic judging

* How ice skaters control their spinning

* How to line up a trick shot in pool

* The technology of sports safety equipment

* The anatomy of your feet


*Henry Buhl, Jr. Planetarium & Observatory


Hailed as the one of the world's most technologically sophisticated interactive planetariums, the revolutionary Henry Buhl, Jr. Planetarium & Observatory is a quantum leap forward from the original planetarium built in 1939. Explore the far reaches of the macro-universe with stars and galaxies and the micro-universe of the living cell. Plus, see how our understanding of the cosmos has changed through the centuries ... or come by at night for stargazing and laser fantasies!

Carnegie Science Center celebrates the history of the Buhl Planetarium and its commitment to astronomy education. With the continued guidance and generous support of the Buhl Foundation, the Henry Buhl, Jr. Planetarium & has reached millions of learners around the world.


*USS Requin Submarine


Come aboard to learn how 80 men used their expertise, humor and sheer ingenuity to carve out a rough and adventurous life during Requin’s lengthy defense and scientific missions, some of which are still classified to this day! State-of-the-art and battle ready when she set out just days before the end of World War II, USS Requin holds the distinction of being the Navy’s first Radar Picket submarine.

Go beneath the surface of submarine life with Living History aboard USS Requin. Carnegie Science Center has partnered with Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) to add high-tech interactive experiences to the historic submarine. It’s the first-ever use of interactive technology such as this aboard a historic ship.

The Requin is moored on the Ohio River at Carnegie Science Center. It may close without notice due to weather or river conditions.


*Rangos Omnimax Theater


Watch a movie on the largest film frame in the motion picture industry. The Rangos Omnimax Theater's projection system surrounds you in a visual experience and puts you in the center of the action. This is no ordinary movie theater!


*Carnegie Museum of Natural History


Shiver in the shadow of the giant T-rex at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History

home to one of the finest dinosaur collections in the world.

See Egyptian artifacts, visit the Hall of Minerals and Gems and hear the beat of distant drums in the Hall of American Indians. One of the largest, most contemporary exhibits on American Indians in the United States, the Hall engages visitors with an array of historical and contemporary artifacts brought to life through dioramas, storytelling, videos and interactive computer activities.


*Carnegie Museum of Art



*Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center


Welcome to the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, Pennsylvania's largest history museum.

Operating in association with the Smithsonian Institution, the History Center recently opened a five-story expansion. Our new Smithsonian wing features the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, a dynamic museum-within-a-museum, along with the

Special Collections gallery, the Ann and Martin G. McGuinn Gallery for traveling exhibits, and more.

At the History Center you can step inside a 1790s log cabin. Discover how immigrants shaped this region. Uncover the myths of the Underground Railroad, experience the thrill of an unmatched sports legacy and climb aboard a 1940s Pittsburgh trolley. The History Center brings more than 250 years of Western Pennsylvania to life.


*Ride the Duquesne or Monongahela Incline


Also known as funiculars, these "inclined planes" were built in the late 1800's to transport immigrant workers from work at plants along Pittsburgh's rivers to their homes atop Mt. Washington. While they still serve as transportation for area residents, they are also a great way to enjoy the beautiful panoramic Pittsburgh skyline, a view ranked as the second most beautiful place in America by USA Today. The Duquesne Incline, still utilizing the two original 1877 wooden cable cars, is also a working museum.


*Have Lunch at Primanti's


Philly has it’s Cheese Steak and Pittsburgh has Primanti’s. A Pittsburgh Landmark, get your favorite sandwich served up complete with the coleslaw and fries rolled right in! Primanti's offer a wide variety of delicious sandwiches, with their own version of the cheesesteak being their most popular. Several locations exist around the city, but the original 1933 location in the heart of Pittsburgh's historic Strip district, open 24/7, is the best.


*The Gateway Clipper Fleet


The Gateway Clipper Fleet is America’s premier excursion boat operation. The fleet of six riverboats tour the three rivers year-round and are fully equipped and staffed for any size dinner, meeting and specialty cruises including dinner dances, sightseeing, specialty entertainment, one-day vacations and charter cruises.

Experience the South Side When the Sun Goes Down


*Be Entertained on the South Side www.southsidepgh.com/be_entertained/index.php

Our “Great American Main Street,” East Carson, is renowned for its 15 blocks of historic Victorian architecture and is an endless source of entertainment. On and off Carson, you’ll find shops, restaurants, art galleries, theatre, and live music venues.

That's just our upscale and chic side. You can also get a tattoo, dye your hair purple, and drink a yard in the South Side – a combination that makes for some of the best people watching around!

Venture deeper into the neighborhood and you'll find that the South Side also has the best in recreation. Hike, bike, or blade our five-mile riverfront trail. Or climb more than 5,000 public steps that lead to impressive city views. There's so much to do, you'll have to stay overnight or move here. Enjoy the nightlife of East Carson Street on Pittsburgh's historic South Side, where old buildings have been converted into trendy bars and local bands provide great entertainment.


*The South Side Works


The South Side of Pittsburgh is best known for its unique and eclectic atmosphere offering everything from upscale ethnic restaurants to vintage antique parlors. SouthSide Works enhanced the success of the existing East Carson Street business district by incorporating one-of-a-kind national and local retailers, exclusive restaurants and high-end urban living units, into the fabric of the well-know South Side community.


*The Pittsburgh Cultural District


The Pittsburgh Cultural District, in downtown Pittsburgh, features public spaces, arts projects, and cultural facilities. Many historic buildings are also in the area including Heinz Hall, the Benedum Center, the Byham Theater, and the O'Reilly Theater.


*Station Square


This restored railroad terminal on the riverfront houses restaurants, stores, cages, boutiques, office space, an amphitheater and more.

If you want to see Pittsburgh, there is no better place to start than Station Square.

Pittsburghers know that Station Square is the place to go for dining, entertainment, unique shopping experiences and sightseeing. Take a look around, there's so much to do!

At the heart of Station Square, next to the river, sits the Fountain at Bessemer Court. This state-of-the-art Waltzing Waters® Liquid Fireworks® Show features hundreds of multi-colored water jets soaring up to 40 feet in the air, choreographed to music. The Fountain at Bessemer Court is a tourist and Pittsburgher “must-see” operating

mid-April through early November each year. Fountain shows begin at 9am and end at midnight daily. Shows begin at the top of the hour, twenty after and twenty til.

The Freight House Shops at Station Square boast old world charm in the setting of a restored railroad building. You'll find over 20 unique retailers for everything from Pittsburgh souvenirs to novelties from around the world to toys, fashions, jewelry, wine and cigars.


*Horse & Carriage Rides


Get the feeling of old-world America with a Horse and Carriage Ride. A romantic ride around Station Square with your loved one is a perfect way to end a warm summer evening or to enjoy winter’s first snow fall.

Horse and Carriage Rides are available at select times. For more information call 724.745.1197


*Just Ducky Tours


Just Ducky Tours offers a fun-filled trip through Pittsburgh in a vintage World War II amphibious vehicle, able to drive from land into water.

Starting from Station Square, the tour is fun for all ages and provides a unique view of the city of Pittsburgh.


*The Chevrolet Amphitheatre at Station Square


The Chevrolet Amphitheatre at Station Square has your ticket for fun at their seasonal center for popular national and local musical concerts. You’ll also find regional food and music festivals plus unique special events at the amphitheatre.


*The Strip District Shopping


Today the Strip District is best known for its retail produce and ethnic food stores, restaurants and coffee shops.


*Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor


Take a step back in time and return to the Art Deco era. Klavon's Ice Cream Parlor is an authentic 1920's Soda-fountain/ Drugstore. Come back 70 years and experience the 'youth' of our Parents and Grandparents, experience the Corner Drug Store.

Klavon's is complete with the original Marble Soda Fountain, Coca-Cola bottle cap fountain stools, solid brass fixtures, mahogany woodwork, penny candies and much, much more. Stop by for a scoop, the nostalgia may overwhelm you!

If You Order One Thing - A favorite is the turtle sundae, and the moosetracks ice cream, which combines the favorite flavors of fudge, vanilla ice cream and peanut butter cups.


*Pittsburgh Brewing Company


Tour the Pittsburgh Brewing Company, which has been satisfying the thirsts of "Steel City" residents since 1861. Tours are held from April 1 through November 30. Edward Frauenheim and Leopold Vilsack originally founded the brewery under the name Frauenheim and Vilsack Brewery. Eventually, the name was changed to Iron City Brewing. Today, Pittsburgh Brewing is the 13th largest brewery in the United States. After your tour (which includes a free sample), check out the goodies in the company store.


*Penn Brewery


At this North Side brew house, patrons can pair an authentic German meal with a lesson in beer making.

Located in historic Deutchtown, Penn Brewery is housed in atmospheric 19th-century brick structures. Its long wooden tables and exposed brick and wood scream "beer hall," as do the Teutonic bands that frequently play on the weekends. An outdoor biergarten is the perfect place to enjoy a plate of wurst and a glass of Penn Weizen during the warm days of summer, or roasted pig and a glass of Marzen during the annual Oktoberfest celebration.


*PNC Park - Pittsburgh Pirates


PNC Park, which opened in spring 2001, is a classic-style ballpark, an intimate facility that embraces the progressiveness of Pittsburgh while saluting the spirit of early ballpark originals such as Forbes Field, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park.

This riverfront facility combines the best features of yesterday's ballparks - rhythmic archways, steel truss work and a natural grass playing field - with the latest in fan and player amenities and comfort.

Its prime location along the shore of the Allegheny River and adjacent to Federal Street takes advantage of scenic vistas of the downtown skyline and riverfront, as well as pedestrian and riverboat access, creating an exciting and dramatic urban sports venue. It also provides easy access for pedestrians crossing the Roberto Clemente Bridge from downtown, as well as those arriving from the river walk.

On game days, the bridge is closed off to vehicular traffic and a dynamic interactive retail/restaurant and sports pavilion beyond right field meets spectators, with attractions for all ages.


*The National Aviary in Pittsburgh


Get nose to beak with a flamingo, talk to a parrot, walk with a penguin and stroll through a tropical rainforest-all at the National Aviary. Discover new, interactive adventures at The Nations Premiere Bird Park-the only National Aviary in the entire country!


*Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens


Experience beautiful flowers and butterflies. An absolutely amazing display that will please all of your senses.

On the edge of Schenley Park by the Panther Hollow Bridge, the Phipps' appearance from the outside--a palatial complex of crystal--is breathtaking enough, but to enter and encounter the sights and smells of flora from around the world is sheer heaven.

It's a quiet place to relax. Stroll through walkways of lush tropical plants, orchids and desert cacti. There are seasonal flower shows and outdoor gardens to visit, and during the holiday season, the Phipps stays open late for Candlelight Evenings. It's definitely worth a stop for a romantic date or an outing for the entire family.


*Stephen Foster Memorial Museum


Auditorium/theater. Collection of the Pittsburgh-born composer's music and memorabilia. Said to be one of the most elaborate memorials ever built to a musician. (Mon-Sat, also Sun afternoons; closed holidays)

The Stephen Foster Memorial Museum, located in the Stephen Foster Memorial on the University of Pittsburgh's campus, is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Guided tours are $1.50 for adults, $1.00 for senior citizens and children and must be arranged in advance. Unguided tours are free. To make a tour reservation for the Memorial, please call 412.624.4100.

On display in the museum are several musical instruments, including one of Stephen Foster's pianos; copies of his 200+ musical compositions; examples of recordings, songsters, broadsides, and programs; and various memorabilia related to Stephen Foster's life.


*Lernerville Speedway


A dirt track speedway featuring four classes of cars racing every Friday night during late spring through early fall. Located in Sarver the track is just 40 minutes north east of downtown Pittsburgh.


*Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway


Thrilling Auto Racing every Saturday Night, April through mid-September featuring the Super Late Models, Advance Auto Parts Crate Late Models, WBGN-TV Pure Stocks, Lincoln Welder E-Mods, Amateur Stocks, Young Guns, and Demos on Dirt's Monster Half Mile. Visit our Sister Track Motordrome Speedway on Friday Evenings for exciting NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Action. "We'll sell you the whole seat, but you'll only need the edge!"


*Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium


One of the few major zoo and aquarium combinations in America, this 77-acre facility features thousands of animals in such habitats as "The Asian Forest," "African Savanna" and "Cheetah Valley."


*Idlewild Park


Fourteen major rides including two roller coasters and an antique merry-go-round. Games galore, special eateries, and nightly entertainment at the Hillside Theater will keep a smile on your face.

Hootin’ Holler’


Grab a seat for some foot stompin', hand clappin' music and dancing. Our turn-of-the-century mining town boasts live entertainment, unique shops and the best eatin's this side of the Mississippi - and don't forget about the games, rides and attractions, too!

Raccoon Lagoon


Raccoon Lagoon is a ride area specifically designed for our younger guests. Covering more than 9 acres, Raccoon Lagoon is one of the largest Kiddie Lands in the United States. Besides all the rides, it also includes pony rides, a shaded outdoor eating area, a stage for children's shows and a beautiful lagoon with fountain.

Soak Zone


It's liquid to the limits with our beautiful pool, thrilling waterslides and water play area. Soak up the fun!

Storybook Forest


Opened in June, 1956, Story Book Forest is a park built not on motion, but rather emotion. A very special place for children of all ages, Story Book Forest is where little ones can meet their favorite characters from nursery rhymes and children's tales and where parents and grandparents can revisit their youth and reminisce about simpler times.

Story Book Forest was the brainchild of Mr. CC Macdonald, former owner of Idlewild Park, and Arthur Jennings, a performance clown who spent his summers entertaining guests at Idlewild. Working together, they made their dream a reality.

Story Book Forest, itself, is a place for dreams. You literally step through the pages of your favorite storybook to visit a land of imagination.

Mr. Rogers Neighborhood of Make Believe


Based upon the popular children's show, this one-of-a-kind attraction takes children and parents on a life-size trolley ride through the well-known "Neighborhood of Make-Believe". Guests can meet and converse with many of their Neighborhood friends.


*Kennywood Amusement Park


One of only two amusement parks in the country to be designated a National Historic Landmark, Kennywood is, surprisingly, a favorite with roller coaster aficianados worldwide. And this is with only 4 coasters on its roster: the venerable Jack Rabbit and Racer; the 30-year-old Thunderbolt, considered one of the best wooden coasters in the world; and the fire-breathing Phantom's Revenge. You'll also find an impressive collection of classic rides, charming buildings and old-fashioned fun.


*Sandcastle Waterpark


Sandcastle Waterpark and Riverplex Picnic Area are located along the scenic shores of the Monongahela River, just a short drive from downtown Pittsburgh in the Waterfront Entertainment Complex. Sandcastle is the perfect place for your "Vacation in a Day"!


*Fairs and Festivals in and around the Pittsburgh area for 2006



*Point State Park


Point State Park is at the tip of Pittsburgh’s “Golden Triangle.” It commemorates and preserves the strategic and historic heritage of the area during the French and Indian War (1754 - 1763).

By the early 1950s, the area had deteriorated into a commercial slum. It has been reclaimed and is now one of the nation’s outstanding historical parks and tourist attractions. The park is a National Historic Landmark.


Fort Pitt Museum


Fort Pitt Museum, one of 26 historic sites and museums on the Pennsylvania Trail of History, is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. For a free copy of the Pennsylvania Trail of History visitor guide, call toll-free 1-866-PA TRAIL.


I hope this list is helpful when you plan your visit to beautiful Pittsburgh, PA

Ron Brooks

Saxonburg, PA

Rochester, NY
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1. Re: Coming to Pittsburgh? Here's everything you need to know!

Wow - this is very helpful. I'll be in Pittsburgh for just one day in July, but this should help us decide how to make best use of our time.



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2. Re: Coming to Pittsburgh? Here's everything you need to know!

Wow, great job, Ron. Kudos!

Pittsburgh, PA
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3. Re: Coming to Pittsburgh? Here's everything you need to know!

Nice work. You've performed a valuable public service!

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4. Re: Coming to Pittsburgh? Here's everything you need to know!

Ron. This is a really helpful list of things to do in Pittsburgh. We'll be making our 1st visit for 3 days in July and plan to visit many sites on your list. We'd like to tour Iron City Brewery also, but can't find any information regarding it's location or tour schedule. Their website gives absolutely no useful information. Can you help?

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5. Re: Coming to Pittsburgh? Here's everything you need to know!

Thanks for all the great information. We are considering a trip to Pittsburgh. Do you have any recommendations on an inexpensive or at least reasonably priced place to stay in the city? We would like to be able to park the car at the hotel and walk or take public transportation and not have to be constantly driving our car around and paying to park.

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6. Re: Coming to Pittsburgh? Here's everything you need to know!

Some additions to Ron's:

Carnegie Museum of History: The Hall of Dinosaurs has been going through some type of restoration. It's website indicates that it will re-open in November 2007.

Phipps: Our favorite time to go is for Christmas; but we just went the day before father's day and the Chihuly Glass Exhibit and Thailand exhibit was very nice. Even our teenage daughter enjoyed it. The Chihuly Glass Exhibit is there through November 11th.

Lernerville Speedway: Our favorite races at Lernerville are the school bus races. The kids get a kick out of seeing the busses racing around the track. Some of the busses are rather nicely painted with cartoon characters.

Pittsburgh Zoo: The new polar bear and sea otter exhibit is so much nicer than what they had the polar bears in previously. You can see alot more of them.

Point State Park: The park is going through a restoration currently for Pittsburgh's 250th birthday. Currently it looks a mess from construction. They are supposed to make many improvements.

Heinz Hall: We have been PSO Pops subscribers for 20 years. Since Marvin Hamlisch has taken over as music director, you can pretty much bet that you're going to have a great night of music. The season runs with 7 shows. The Christmas show is always a crowd pleaser.

The further we move away from the city, the more we tend to visit the attractions there.

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7. Re: Coming to Pittsburgh? Here's everything you need to know!

To ScarletandGrey: The visitPA website states that Pittsburgh Brewing Co. gives tours from April 1 - November 30th. The company just received approval from the courts to emerge from bankrupty protection in early June and they are under new ownership. Since this all happened rather recently, I don't know how accurate any of the tour info would be. You might be able to e-mail someone at info@pittsburghbrewingco.com and inquire about any tours.

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8. Re: Coming to Pittsburgh? Here's everything you need to know!

Great post.

One thing that should be removed is The Chevrolet Amphitheatre at Station Square.

It has been removed to make room for the casino they thought they would get at Station Square. They counted their chicken before it hatched and another site got the casino instead.

The amphitheatre was supposed to be moved to Sandcastle for concerts this summer, but there were problems with permits and the opening of the venue has been postponed until next summer.

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9. Re: Coming to Pittsburgh? Here's everything you need to know!

Thank-you for this complete and extremely useful resource list on Pittsburgh.

I would like to start my ONE full day in Pittsburgh by getting up early and riding the Duquesne Incline. Once on top, I thought we would have breakfast at the City Lights Café Coffee/Tea House. I am wondering how far it is from the top of the incline to this restaurant? I will have my 74-year-old mother with me, she is youthful in spirit but her walking endurance is not like it used to be! Perhaps there is another establishment where we can enjoy breakfast with a view. Thanks in advance for your help.


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10. Re: Coming to Pittsburgh? Here's everything you need to know!

Chordshar, you might want to consider staring a useful website list for Pittsburgh's TA Inside Pages


similar to this list from the Toronto Inside Pages